History Browser

Search Results

Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1800 > 1830-1839

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

Wreck of the steamboat Caroline near Niagara Falls, 29 December 1837

Type: Image

The destruction of the American steamboat Caroline in December 1837 caused a diplomatic storm between Britain and the United States. Canadian loyalist volunteers, commanded by a Royal Navy officer, mounted a raid across the border to capture the merchant ship that was supplying William Lyon Mackenzie's Canadian rebels on Navy Island. This 1838 aquatint suggests that the burning ship went over Niagara Falls, but in fact it ran around on a small island before this could happen. (Library and Archives Canada, C-004788)

Site: National Defence

A Series of Amerindian Nations

Type: Document

During the eighteenth century, the northwest Pacific coast was home to a series of Amerindian nations, including the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Nootka and Salish. These were maritime cultures - excellent sailors and fishermen who depended on the sea's resources

Site: National Defence

Seldom Seen Guardians

Type: Document

The Royal Navy was crucial in the defence of British North America in the 19th century, even though Canadians seldom saw warships. The threat of a naval blockade and raids by the British fleet helped American politicians to find diplomatic solutions to Anglo-American disputes.

Site: National Defence

Newfoundland

Type: Document

Newfoundland had little in the way of militia during the 19th century. The population was sparse, and even British regular troops were not commonly seen. It was the Royal Navy that defended the colony.

Site: National Defence

Royal Navy officers and midshipmen, 1830s-1890s

Type: Image

The two officers at left wear the scarlet collar and cuffs introduced by King William IV in 1830. The traditional white facings were restored in 1843. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

The Royal Navy

Type: Document

As an island state, Britain gave priority to its navy. The Admiralty (the appointed committee of admirals which made all strategic decisions) governed hundreds of ships worldwide. The Royal Navy used its bases in Canada to help control the Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Site: National Defence

The Pacific Coast

Type: Document

Along the Pacific coast, British and American interests clashed throughout the first half of the 19th century. Britain claimed the whole coast, increasing American settlement eventually lead to the Oregon crisis of 1845. This prompted the birth of a British colony on Vancouver Island.

Site: National Defence

The Invasion of Upper Canada

Type: Document

Upper Canada was invaded twice by Patriot forces in late 1838. In the east, a mixed force of Canadian radicals and American supporters were trapped near Prescott after an abortive attempt to seize Fort Wellington. In the west, invaders took Windsor, but were soon driven back.

Site: National Defence

Fort Lennox National Historic Site of Canada: War of 1812 and the Naval Shipyard

Type: Document

A description of the role of the British naval shipyard at Île aux Noix during the War of 1812.

Site: Parks Canada