It’s a question I asked while searching through the colonial Canada resources the talons classes have recently compiled. Among the numerous accounts of the War of 1812 I was disappointed to find only one article centered around women, specifically of a certain women associated with that war.

It’d be nice to hear about her rather than the brand of chocolate more often.

Laura Secord. If you’ve never heard of her before you can check out this link kindly shared with the talons class by Anne, but to give you a quick rundown, during the War of 1812 she pretty much walked 30 km to warn this guy called James Fitzgibbon that Americans were going to attack his outpost. Pretty nice of her, right? Now let’s see what this article tells us about the aftermath of all that.

On 24 June 1813, American troops under Colonel Charles Boerstler were ambushed near Beaver Dams by 300 Caughnawaga who were joined by 100 Mohawk warriors led by Captain William Kerr. FitzGibbon arrived with 50 soldiers from the 49th Regiment and persuaded Boerstler to surrender. The official reports of the victory made no mention of Laura Secord.

No mention of Laura Secord? Kind of rude don’t you think? Obviously Canada was no less discriminatory towards women than the rest of the world back in the day, as she only got recognition for her efforts much much later on in her life, and not because someone remembered her actions- she had to remind the country herself. And that makes me wonder about how it all relates to my earlier post- is the future,or rather, the present, really any different from the past? Has the amount of sexism in our society lessened at all from 100 years ago? Maybe a little bit, but it didn’t really seem like it for Laura Secord.


Prescribed learning outcomes this covers:

B1: Analyse Canadian society from 1815 to 1914 in terms of gender roles, ethnicity, daily life, and the arts.

  • compare the roles and daily activities of men and women in urban society and pioneer life