DEKALB – The History Press has released “St. Lawrence County in the War of 1812,” Folley and Mischief, by John M. Austin of DeKalb.
The book covers how the fledgling United States struggled to keep its freedom from Great Britain during the War of 1812, but St. Lawrence County in upstate New York played a divided role.
Austin is a retired schoolteacher living in DeKalb. He has researched and compiled lists of soldiers from St. Lawrence County in both the Civil War and the War of 1812.
The local region shared a border, as well as close personal and business associations with British Canada and opposed the American embargo that disrupted these relationships. While some St. Lawrence men fought bravely for America, smuggling was a common way of life. Several small battles and skirmishes took place along the river, and a local merchant even influenced President Madison’s decision-making. Austin recounts these and other events, as well as the fascinating North Country characters that influenced them in his book.
Austin is a member of the St. Lawrence County Historical Society and enjoys using lesser-known resources for genealogical and historical research.