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The War of 1812 Interactive Timeline

This Interactive Timeline allows you to explore important events that occurred during the War of 1812 (which ended in 1815), as well as significant events that happened before and after the war.

Each Timeline event has a set of medals that will help you better understand what took place. Click the MEDALS BUTTON at the top right of your screen to know more.

The soldier to the left will be your guide.

Use the UP and DOWN keys or your mouse to move the soldier to each event.

Use the NAVIGATION BUTTON at the top right of your screen to jump to a specific year.

Français Medals Navigation blah
1

Silver Covenant Chain Treaty

This wampum treaty between Britain and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people represents an open and honest communication between two peoples. Subsequent wampum treaties reinforce this idea, as well as the idea of mutual interest and peace. Such wampum treaties oblige the parties to help each other, in war if necessary, should they be asked.

Photo: Two-Row Wampum (Kaswentha). Reproduction and photograph by Darren Bonaparte. Used with permission.


Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

2

Treaty of Paris

This treaty ends the American War of Independence. Post-war life in the United States is very difficult for British Loyalists, who endure property loss and discrimination. Many leave and begin to arrive in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec and Ontario. Famous migrant Loyalists include Lieutenant James Moody, Laura Secord and Richard Pierpoint.

Photo: Detail of Treaty of Paris. United States Government, 1783. National Archives.
Website: http://1.usa.gov/Y9Av0N


Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

3

The Chesapeake-Leopard Affair

British frigate HMS Leopard attacks USS Chesapeake looking for British-born sailors. British crew board the American ship and force one sailor into service with the Royal Navy. The incident brings American outrage against impressment to a peak, and becomes a major factor in the declaration of war.

Photo: The incident between HMS Leopard and USS Chesapeake. Fred S. Cozzens, 1897.


Atlantic Ocean

Naval event on Atlantic Ocean.

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

4

Major-General Brock Appointed

Major-General Sir Isaac Brock is appointed president and administrator of Upper Canada. He is also commander of its armed forces. Brock goes on to defend against American attacks, and enlists the support of several Indigenous nations.

Photo: Major General Sir Isaac Brock. George Theodore Berton, c. 1883. Archives of Ontario.


Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

5

The Battle of Tippecanoe

William Henry Harrison, governor of the Indiana Territory, attacks Tecumseh's Western Confederacy at the Shawnee village of Prophetstown, Indiana. Angered, Tecumseh enters an alliance with Britain as a means to counter American expansion into their lands.

Photo: Battle of Tippecanoe. Kurz & Allison, 1889. Library of Congress.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Frontier

Disputed territories, including western American territories.

6

The Royal Newfoundland Fencibles mobilize

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry, a provincial unit formed in 1803, is ordered into Upper Canada to form five companies for naval service in protection of the Great Lakes.


Great Lakes

Naval event on the Great Lakes.

Maritime Region

Now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island.

7

Declaration of War

Following U.S. President James Madison's recommendation, Congress declares war on Great Britain in response to, among other issues, the forced impressments of American sailors into service with the Royal Navy, and ongoing British support for Indigenous peoples on the American frontier.

Photo: James Madison. John Vanderlyn, 1816. The White House Historical Association.


Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

8

Capture of Cuyahoga Packet

Lieutenant Frederic Rolette, a French Canadian officer of the Provincial Marine, captures the American schooner Cuyahoga Packet on the Detroit River. Rolette's crew find supplies, soldiers and American plans for invading Canada on board the vessel.

Photo: Capture of the Cuyahoga Packet. Peter Rindlisbacher.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Great Lakes

Naval event on the Great Lakes.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

9

Attack on Upper Canada

American Brigadier-General William Hull launches an attack against Upper Canada from Fort Detroit. Hull's men land near the town of Sandwich (Windsor). Hull is eventually forced to withdraw back across the Detroit River.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

10

Capture of Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac, located on Mackinac Island in the straits between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, is captured by a party of 400 Aboriginal warriors, 200 fur traders and some 50 British regulars. The victory underlines the need for Britain to ally with Indigenous nations.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Great Lakes

Naval event on the Great Lakes.

Frontier

Disputed territories, including western American territories.

11

Creation of Coloured Corps

Black Loyalist and American Revolutionary War veteran Richard Pierpoint advocates for the creation of an all-black militia unit. Captain Robert Runchey is commissioned to command the volunteer force known as the Coloured Corps. The unit serves in the Niagara region, including at the Battle of Queenston Heights.

Photo: Richard Pierpoint-Soldier. Meredith Blackmore, 2012. Wellington County Museum & Archives.


Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

12

Tecumseh and Brock Capture Fort Detroit

Forces led by Shawnee chief Tecumseh and Major-General Brock secure the surrender of Fort Detroit, solidifying the alliance between the Western Confederacy and Britain.

Photo: The Meeting of Brock and Tecumseh. Lorne K. Smith, c. 1920. Library and Archives Canada.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Frontier

Disputed territories, including western American territories.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

13

HMS Guerriere Sunk

The USS Constitution sinks the HMS Guerriere. This Atlantic naval victory is a morale boost to the American public and Congress. This is one of 26 naval actions on the high seas during the War of 1812, half of which were American victories.

Photo: The Constitution and the Guerriere. Thomas Chambers, c. 1840-1850. Metropolitan Museum of Art.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Atlantic Ocean

Naval event on Atlantic Ocean.

14

Siege of American Forts

Aboriginal warriors launch coordinated sieges on Fort Madison, Iowa, Fort Harrison, Indiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana and Pigeon Roost Creek, Indiana. American forces are eventually able to lift the sieges.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Frontier

Disputed territories, including western American territories.

15

Battle of Queenston Heights

Americans cross the Niagara River and attack the high ground of Queenston Heights. His sword drawn, Major-General Brock leads troops into battle and is fatally wounded by an American sniper. The battle essentially lost, Grand River Mohawk warriors led by John Norton (Teyoninhokarawen) prevent American forces from retreating for several hours until reinforcements led by Major-General Roger Sheaffe arrive and force over 1,000 American soldiers to surrender.

Photo: The Battle of Queenston Heights. Major James Dennis, 1836. Library and Archives Canada.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

16

Second Battle of Frenchtown

After capturing Frenchtown (now Monroe, Michigan) a week earlier, American forces come under attack from Aboriginal and British forces. The American defenders are quickly overwhelmed by cannon and musket fire. After the fighting ends, the battle turns into a massacre when more than 30 American prisoners are killed.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Frontier

Disputed territories, including western American territories.

17

Winter march of the 104th Regiment of Foot

Governor-in-Chief Sir George Prevost orders the transfer of soldiers from the Atlantic region to the Canadas to help protect them from impending U.S. attacks. Soldiers from New Brunswick begin their snow-shoed march from Fredericton to Québec City, eventually reaching Kingston, Ontario. Some die of frostbite on the nearly six week journey.


Maritime Region

Now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island.

Lower Canada

Lower Canada (now Quebec and Labrador).

18

Invasion and burning of York

American forces led by Brigadier-General Zebulon Pike launch a seaborne invasion of York (Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada. The Americans capture, sack and burn the city. The local militia commit acts of sabotage. They set alight the grand magazine (gunpowder storage) at Fort York, killing or wounding over 240 American occupiers. The partially-built sloop HMS Sir Isaac Brock is burned to prevent it from being used by the Americans.

Photo: Death of General Pike (woodcut). Library and Archives Canada.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

19

Capture of USS Chesapeake

HMS Shannon defeats USS Chesapeake and tows the American vessel into Halifax, Nova Scotia. This victory reclaims the honour of the Royal Navy, which had suffered from earlier defeats in ship-to-ship actions.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Atlantic Ocean

Naval event on Atlantic Ocean.

20

Battle of Beaver Dams

Upper Canadian Loyalist Laura Secord overhears American troops stationed at Fort George talk of the impending American advance and treks 30 km to warn Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon. A force of 400 Mohawk warriors from both Upper and Lower Canada, with British regulars in support, forces the surrender of nearly 500 advancing American soldiers at what is now Thorold, Ontario. The battle is the largest Iroquois victory without significant non-Aboriginal involvement.

Photo: Laura Secord Warning Colonel Fitzgibbon, June 1813. Lorne K. Smith, c. 1920. Library and Archives Canada.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

21

First muster of Canadian Volunteers

A military unit of Canadian renegades joins the American cause at Fort George. Commander Joseph Willcocks, a sitting member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, begins a reign of terror in the Niagara Region lasting until December. Many inhabitants loyal to Britain, including those who have “given their paroles” not to fight, are taken as hostages and imprisoned in the United States.


Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

22

Battle of the Thames (Moraviantown)

British and Aboriginal forces are overwhelmed at the Battle of Moraviantown. Tecumseh is killed in the battle, effectively destroying the Western Confederacy and any hope of an independent Indigenous nation in the Old Northwest.

Photo: Battle of the Thames. William Emmons, 1833. Library and Archives Canada.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

23

Battle of Châteauguay

The United States launches its largest offensive of the war, attempting to capture Montréal. Some of the invading U.S. troops are sent down the St. Lawrence River, while others cross from New York State into Lower Canada. At the Battle of Châteauguay (near Ormstown, Québec), an American land force of approximately 3,000 is defeated by nearly 2,000 French-Canadian Voltigeurs, fencibles and Aboriginal warriors, all led by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry.

Photo: The Battle of Chateauguay. Henri Julien, 1884. Library and Archives Canada.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Lower Canada

Lower Canada (now Quebec and Labrador).

24

Battle of Crysler’s Farm

American forces on the St. Lawrence River are halted when British and militia units defeat them at the Battle of Crysler’s Farm near Cornwall, Ontario. After defeats at Châteauguay and Crysler’s Farm, the Americans abandon the St. Lawrence campaign, guaranteeing British control of the important river.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Lower Canada

Lower Canada (now Quebec and Labrador).

25

The Ancaster Bloody Assize

A series of trials are conducted in which 19 men are accused of supporting the American cause and are charged with high treason. Fifteen men are found guilty, and eight are executed by hanging on 20 July 1814.


Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

26

Battle of Chippawa

For the first time in the war, American forces defeat a similarly sized British contingent. In addition, Mohawk warriors allied with the British are forced to face fellow Six Nations warriors in battle, as Seneca warriors from New York are allied with American forces. The battle sets the stage for the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

27

Battle of Lundy’s Lane

In one of the bloodiest battles fought on Canadian soil during the war, British troops, fencibles, militia and Aboriginal allies (led by John Norton) clash with Americans near Niagara Falls. There are nearly 900 casualties on each side. The battle ends American advances into Upper Canada as they retreat to Fort Erie.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Upper Canada

Upper Canada (now Ontario).

28

Sacking of Washington

Some 4,500 British soldiers land at Benedict, Maryland and advance on the American capital. British soldiers quickly overwhelm the American defenders guarding Washington. The British proceed to sack government buildings, setting fire to the U.S. Capitol and White House. Americans destroy the Washington Navy Yard to prevent ships and stores from falling into British hands.

Photo: The taking of the city of Washington in America. G. Thompson, 1814. Library of Congress.


UK Victory

British and Canadian allied troops generally said to have won.

United States

United States, consisting of the 13 original eastern colonies.

29

Battle of Plattsburgh

After receiving reinforcements from Britain, Governor-in-Chief Prevost launches a combined land and naval operation against American forces stationed at Sackets Harbor, New York. British ships meet American forces near Plattsburgh, New York. After the British ships are defeated, their land forces are ordered to withdraw. It is the last major British operation of the war.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

United States

United States, consisting of the 13 original eastern colonies.

30

Treaty of Ghent

Peace talks between Great Britain and the United States take place in Belgium in August, and end with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve. The British insist the treaty be ratified by both governments before it takes effect because the Americans refused to ratify three previous treaties. The treaty is ratified by the Prince Regent (later King George IV) in December and by the Americans in February 1815, finally ending the war.

Photo: A Hundred Year’s Peace. Amédée Forestier, 1914. Library and Archives Canada.


Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

31

Battle of New Orleans

In the last major land battle of the war, American forces under Major-General Andrew Jackson repulse the British led by Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham, near New Orleans. In debates over which side won the war, the battle is often used as an example to support American success because it leaves the U.S. with a sense of victory.

Photo: Battle of New Orleans. William Edward West, 1817. Library of Congress.


US Victory

American allied troops generally said to have won.

Frontier

Disputed territories, including western American territories.

32

Treaties between Indigenous Nations and United States

Between 1815 and 1816, the United States negotiates various treaties with Indigenous peoples in the Old Northwest.


Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples significantly involved or affected.

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

33

U.S. ratifies Rush-Bagot Agreement

This agreement demilitarizes the Great Lakes and, along with the Convention of 1818, solidifies the border between the United States and British North America.


Great Lakes

Naval event on the Great Lakes.

Power & Governance

Event of political, diplomatic, or judicial significance.

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