On this Day in 1812
June 18, 2012 at 6:05 PM
On June 1, 1812, US President James Madison sent a message to the Congress recounting American grievances against Great Britain, though not specifically calling for a declaration of war. After Madison's message, the House of Representatives deliberated for four days behind closed doors before voting 79 to 49 (61 percent in favor) the first declaration of war, and the Senate agreed by 19 to 13 (59 percent in favor). The conflict began formally on June 18, 1812, when Madison signed the measure into law.
Old Fort Niagara hosted a day of special programming to commemorate the bicentennial of the declaration of the War of 1812 on over the weekend. Programs included special tours, musket and artillery firing programs and early-19th century games. The highlight of the day’s activities will be a hot shot demonstration, flag-raising of the replica 1812 garrison colors, and dedication of a new exhibit panel about Fort Niagara's 1812 heroine, Betsy Doyle.
Doyle, a heroine of the War of 1812, was named one of this year’s New York Women of Distinction, State Sen. George D. Maziarz announced.
Niagara County Historian Catherine L. Emerson published extensive research last year that proved Doyle was not a fictional character, as some Canadian historians suspected. Doyle earned notoriety for carrying red-hot cannonballs to Fort Niagara’s guns during an artillery duel with Fort George at Niagara-on-the Lake, Ont.
Doyle escaped the capture of Fort Niagara by the British in 1813 and walked across the state in the dead of winter with her four children to arrive at an Army camp south of Albany, Emerson proved through research in the National Archives.
Michelle Blackley is the Communications Manager at Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation (NTCC). Besides having the pleasure of calling Western New York home, Michelle has lived throughout New York State, including New York City, and abroad in Dublin, Ireland. A Niagara County native, she is a globetrotter at heart. With a background in journalism, book publishing and publicity, she explores Niagara County to report its happenings on the Niagara USA blog. Please contact Michelle at email@example.com or follow her @shellblackley.