Even though it’s 2013, the War of 1812 was more or less underway from 1812-1814, so I didn’t totally miss the anniversary. (Really? Wars have anniversaries now? Aren’t anniversaries supposed to be celebrations and wars… not?)
ANYHOW, Things I Want To Share About The War Of 1812 include:
1) The first time I encountered some Canadians (in the wilds of a school cafeteria), they shared a beautiful song with me called “The War of 1812” by the Arrogant Worms:
We got off to a great start on our friendship, me and Canadians. Seriously, why are you such haters? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s adorable. But so much with the hate!
2) I find postage stamps endlessly fascinating. Check them out:
America-land: When I ask for the “War of 1812” stamps, the clerk always goes “You mean the U.S.S. Constitution?” No, I mean the War of 1812!
3) Caroline Abbott is an American Girl Doll whose dad is totally kidnapped by Canadian (British) pirates! The link goes to a lesson plan developed by the Smithsonian and MATTEL. Ah-mazing.
4) Sir Isaac Brock:
According to Sunnie Rothenburger, “Brock’s heroism is highlighted, but the biography that comes with the toy, which frames his Native allies as ‘helpers’ only, is never questioned.”
5) I have an ongoing exchange with totally rad Professor Emeritus Desmond Morton of McGill University about how the Americans won the War of 1812 (don’t get mad, Judith! Rhetoric is a fascinating thing to study – I am not saying if the British / Canadians / America-landers won or lost, but that looking at the aftermath is informative and enlightening precisely because of the claims on either side.). Really, as Morton points out, the people who really lost were the Native allies in the conflict. Or the Indigenous peoples living anywhere in North America. In response to his detailed, nuanced, well-cited arguments in his lengthy letters, I have sent him a music video, postage stamps, a figurine, and an American Girl doll catalog.
I might be the worst correspondent ever. Then again, he keeps writing me back, so maybe I’m not. :-)