This year marks the 200th of the War of 1812, which began on June 18 of that year and lasted until February 18, 1815.
Maine’s coastline and proximity to British Canada made the state a target during the War of 1812, as it had during previous conflicts. On September 5, 1813, the U.S.S. Enterprise, which was patrolling the East Coast, chased the English Brig HMS Boxer off the coast of Maine. The British, and especially the Boxer, had been harassing Maine coastal towns.
The online exhibit “Enemies at Sea, Companions in Death” tells the story of the two captains who faced off, and died, in this famous battle.
For a new look at the two-century-old war, join us tomorrow night at 7PM for “The Civil War of 1812,” a talk by Dr. Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Professor of History at University of California, Davis. The talk is part of the “Richard D’Abate Lectures: Conversations about History, Art, and Literature”.
The talk, based on Taylor’s new book of the same name, will tell the riveting story of a war that redefined North America. In the early 19th century, the British and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution. In this second confrontation, soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians fought to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British contain, divide, and ruin the shaky republic? Taylor will tell us about an often brutal (sometimes comic) war and help illuminate the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.
Alan Taylor, a Portland native, is one of the foremost historians of early America. His new book can be purchased through our museum store in-person or online.
This information originally appeared in the April 17, 2012 edition of “This Week at MHS.”