Completely unknown to the public at large in the US, Laura Secord, ironically a daughter of a man who fought on the patriot side in the Revolution, is a national heroine in Canada. In 1813 during the War of 1812, American troops were quartered in Secord’s home. Learning of a plan to attack the British installation at Beaver Dams, she walked from Queenstown twenty miles to warn the British.
Forewarned, the British with 400 Indians and 50 regulars surrounded the American force of some 600 regulars as it advanced on Beavers Dam on June 24, 1813. After some fighting the British commander, Lieutenant James FitzGibbon, convinced the American commander, Colonel Charles Boerstler, that he was vastly outnumbered and that unless he immediately surrendered, FitzGibbon would not be able to control the Indians. The gullible Boerstler surrendered.
Secord’s role in all this remained virtually unknown until she sought a pension for her poverty stricken family after the War. The Canadian public did not pay much attention until the visiting Prince of Wales in 1860 heard of her long ago heroics, and sent the 85 year old Secord one hundred pounds.