|More Stuff About Laura|
|There are several good books available on the life of Laura Secord, including Laura Secord's Brave Walk by Connie Brumel Crook and Laura Secord: A Story of Courage by Janet Lunn; but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, there was no cow; second, she was not a spy and third, SHE DID NOT MAKE CHOCOLATE!
The real Laura Ingersoll learned responsibility at a young age, when despite the fact that her father had remarried, she found herself in charge of her brothers and sisters, at the age of 15. Her father owned the local tavern, which may be where she met her husband. James and Laura lived comfortably in a small frame house, with their seven children, and two servants to assist with the chores. When she made her famous walk she was already the mother of five.
|b: Sep 13,1775 in Great Barrington, MA
m: 1797 in Queenston, Upper Canada
d: October 17, 1868 in Chippewa, Ontario
|Thomas Mosely Ingersoll
b: lul 5, 1753 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
m: 1775 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
d: Unknown in Queenston, Niagra
|Elizabeth Mosely Dewey
b: 1758 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
d: 1783 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
b: 1711/12 in Hampden, Massachusetts
m: 1734 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
d: 1773 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
b: 1715/16 in Hampden, Massachusetts
d: 1787 in Berkshire, Massachusetts
b: Jun 29,1682 in Westfield, Hampden, MA
d: 1758 in Hampden, Massachusetts
|James and Laura had seven children: Mary Lawrence, Charlotte, Harriet, Hannah, Appollonia, Laura Ann and Charles.
Mary Lawrence married William Trumble, a Military Surgeon with the 37th Regiment during the War of 1812. The couple moved to Jamaica where he worked as a doctor and Mary died there. Charlotte moved to Guelph where she died in 1880. Harriet married David William Smith, a lawyer from St. Catherine's. When he died in 1842, she joined her sisters in Guelph, where she died on January 20, 1892.
Hannah married Edward Pyke Carthew, who would become the Customs Collector at Guelph. She died there on November 21, 1877. Appollonia may have died as a child. Laura Ann married Doctor William Clarke who had his practice at Guelph. She died there in 1852. Charles married Margaret Robbins and became a Barrister-at-Law in Kingston. He died there in 1873.
|In 1860, when Laura Secord, now 85-years-old and living at Chippawa Ontario, was presented to the visiting Prince of Wales - Queen Victoria's eldest son and the future King Edward VII, she gave the prince this memorial:
"Having the privilege accorded me this day of presenting myself before your Royal Highness I beg to assure you that I do so with the greatest gratification to my feelings. I am confident your Royal Highness will pardon the liberty I have taken when your Royal Highness is informed of the circumstances which have led me to do so.
I shall commence at the battle of Queenston, where I was at the time the cannon balls were flying around me in every direction. I left the place during the engagement. After the battle I returned to Queenston, and then found that my husband had been wounded; my house plundered and property destroyed. It was while the Americans had possession of the frontier, that I learned the plans of the American commander, and determined to put the British troops under Fitzgibbon in possession of them, and if possible, to save the British troops from capture, or , perhaps, total destruction. In doing so I found I should have great difficulty in getting through the American guards, which were out ten miles in the country. Determined to persevere , however, I left early in the morning, walked nineteen miles in the month of June, over a rough and difficult part of the country, when I came to a field belonging to a Mr. Decamp [DeCew], in the neighbourhood of the Beaver Dam. By this time daylight had left me. Here I found all the Indians encamped; by moonlight the scene was terrifying, and to those accustomed to such scenes, might be considered grand. Upon advancing to the Indians they all rose, and, with some yells, said "Woman," which made me tremble. I cannot express the awful feeling it gave me; but I did not lose my presence of mind. I was determined to persevere. I went up to one of the chiefs, made him understand that I had great news for Capt. Fitzgibbon, and that he must let me pass to his camp, or that he and his party would be all taken. The chief at first objected to let me pass, but finally consented, after some hesitation, to go with me and accompany me to Fitzgibbon's station, which was at the Beaver Dam, where I had an interview with him. I then told him what I had come for, and what I had heard - that the Americans intended to make an attack upon the troops under his command, and would, from their superior numbers, capture them all. Benefiting by this information Capt. Fitzgibbon formed his plan accordingly, and captured about five hundred American infantry, about fifty mounted dragoons, and a fieldpiece or two was taken from the enemy. I returned home next day, exhausted and fatigued . I am now advanced in years, and when I look back I wonder how I could have gone through so much fatigue, with the fortitude to accomplish it.
I am now a very old woman - a widow many years. A few short years even if I should so long live will see me no more upon this earth. I feel that it will be gratifying to my family and a pleasure to myself that your Royal Parent the Queen should know that the services which I performed were truly loyal and that no gain or hope of reward influenced me in doing what I did.
I request that your Royal Highness will be pleased to convey to your Royal Parent Her Majesty the Queen the name of one who in the hour of trial and danger - as well as my departed husband who fought and bled on Queenston Heights in the ever memorable battle of 13th Oct. 1812 - stood ever ready and willing to defend this Country against every invasion come what might."
The Prince went back to England, but he didn't forget the frail Canadian grandmother who had so heroically altered the course of a war. A few months later he sent Laura a hundred pounds in gold, the only financial reward she was ever to get, forty-eight years after her deed.
|Laura is buried at Drummond Hill Cemetery. The Tombstone Inscription reads:
"At Chippewa on the 17th of October aged 91- Mrs. Secord relict of the late James Secord Esquire Mrs. Secord was one of the Canadian women of the War of 1812, whose spirit and devotion to her country contributed so much to its defence. Having ascertained during the night that a large American force under Colonel Boerstler was proceeding in the direction of the Beaver Dams, in the Niagara district, Mrs. Secord hastened on foot through the dense forest, and in the night- went a distance of 20 miles-to inform Colonel Fitzgibbon- then in command of a small force of British troops and Indians-of the movement of the enemy. Acting on this information Colonel Fitzgibbon marched at once to intercept the enemy, and at daylight next morning encountered, defeated and captured the whole force under Colonel Boerstler, in the battle known as that of the Beech Woods (Beaverdams). At the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860, Mrs. Secord was introduced to him, and received a substantial token of his respect for her patriotism and intrepidity.
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