OGDENSBURG -- A Canadian brigadier-general is not a common sight in Ogdensburg, but the lectures presented by the Fort La Présentation Association War of 1812 program drew the Chief of Staff Land Operations Brigadier-General Michael Dabros from Ottawa to the Maple City on April 28.
Brigadier Dabros was one of the serving and retired officers from the American and Canadian Armies, along with educators, re-enactors, history buffs and historians from both countries, expanding their knowledge of the War of 1812.
“We have received such positive comments from the participants about this year’s lectures that we believe these have been the best yet,” said Fort La Présentation Association President Barbara J. O’Keefe. “The nine presentations covered a range of subjects from Indian alliances to the role of a regimental surgeon, all fortuitously linked into a comprehensive view of the war.”
The Fort Association recognized an opportunity and was the first organization to offer annual lectures in advance of the War of 1812 bicentennial. Since 2009, a core of participants, not only from New York and Ontario, but Vermont and Connecticut as well, have moved the effort forward. This year, four of the new participants came from Ohio and Maryland.
“Our success is attributable to a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and the backing of the Canadian Friends of Fort de La Présentation,” said O’Keefe. “This bi-national support is vital to maintaining our ability and reputation to provide top-quality speakers from the United States and Canada.”
About 70 individuals attended the lectures. In addition to the speakers from northern New York, Ontario and Illinois, there were exhibits from the Battle of Plattsburgh Museum, the Potsdam Public Museum, the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, the St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance, and John Carruthers with his collection of Battle of Crysler’s Farm memorabilia.
Two DVDs of select lectures are available for $20 each plus $5 postage and handling.
A list of possible speakers and exhibitors for the 2013 War of 1812 lectures is in preparation.