Laura Secord Homestead
April 12, 2019
Laura Secord Homestead

Laura Ingersoll Secord was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. She is known for her 20 mile (32 km) trek out of American­ occupied territory to warn British forces of the Americans’ attack plan. Though Secord had no relation to it, most Canadians associate her with the Laura Secord Chocolates company, named after her on the 100th anniversary of her walk.Laura’s husband, James Secord, served under Isaac Brock during the War of 1812. He helped carry Brock's body away after Brock was killed in the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812. James received severe leg and shoulder injuries during the battle. Laura spent the next several months nursing James back to health.On 27 May 1813, the American army attacked and captured Fort George. The Americans had control over Queenston and the Niagara area. That June, a number of U.S. soldiers were billeted at the Secords' home. On the evening of June 21, Laura Secord learned of American plans for a surprise attack on British troops at Beaver Dams, which would have furthered American control in the Niagara Peninsula. According to tradition, Laura overheard a conversation about this attack among the billeted Americans as they ate dinner. Since James was still recovering from his October injuries, Laura set out by herself early the next morning to warn the British. She walked 20 miles (32 km) from present­day Queenston through St. Davids, Homer, Shipman's Corners and Short Hills. She arrived at the camp of allied Mohawk warriors who led her the rest of the way to Lieutenant FitzGibbon's headquarters. A small British force and the Mohawk warriors prepared for the American attack. At the Battle of Beaver Dams on 24 June, 1813, the American forces were defeated. No mention of Secord was made in reports that immediately followed the battle. Laura did not publicly record her story for many years, and it was not until 1860, when she was 85 years old, that she received any formal recognition. The Prince of Wales, while visiting Canada, read Laura's account of her early morning hike, and sent her a gift of 100 pounds for her efforts.

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