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Natives going to meet the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana in 1792

Type: Image

This painting shows an encounter on 11 June 1792 between native canoes and the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana. Mount Baker can be seen in the background. On this date in Guemes Channel (near present day Anacortes, Washington), a Spanish expedition paused to make astronomical observations that would correctly fix their longitude. Their mission was to chart the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and search for the Northwest Passage. The painting is the work of José Cardero, the expedition's official artist. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

Weapons

Type: Document

This section illustrates a selection of firearms and bladed weapons used by British and Canadian military units during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Site: National Defence

Formidable Fighters

Type: Document

The peoples of the Pacific coast were formidable fighters during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their warriors used bows and javelins, carried clubs and bone-bladed daggers, and could wear wooden armour. They preferred a mass assault, but treachery during 'friendly' meetings were not rare.

Site: National Defence

Typical British field artillery of the War of 1812 - brass six-pounder field gun

Type: Image

The six-pounder gun was the most common piece of artillery found in the field during the War of 1812. The description 'six-pounder' refers the weight of a solid shot (popularly known as a cannon ball) fired by this type of gun. Both the United States and Great Britain used guns of this size. In fact, some of the American guns were captured British pieces dating back to the American Revolution of 1775-1783. Only the British used the more modern block-trail carriage shown here, however. The wood of British artillery carriages was painted grey and the iron parts black.

Site: National Defence

The Budding Explorer: Samuel de Champlain: Activity

Type: Interactive Resource

Help the ghost of Samuel de Champlain regain his memory of Canada`s national historic sites in an interactive game for younger children.

Site: Parks Canada

Niagara ( Butlersburg/West Niagara/Lennox/Newark/Niagara-on-the-Lake )

Type: Document

Niagara was the first permanent Anglo settlement in present-day Ontario. From 1792 until 1796 it was the capital of Upper Canada. It was important for the transhipment of goods in North America, developed as a farming community to serve the needs of the British garrison and the growing refugee population, and a vigorous commercial area. Because of Niagara's importance, eventually the entire length of the Niagara River was defended by artillery batteries.

Site: Parks Canada

British field artillery limber at the time of the War of 1812

Type: Image

Limbers were small two-wheeled wagons that provided the ‘front wheels’ for cannon whose trail was hooked up to the limber for travelling. The limber boxes, also used as seats for gunners, contained ammunition and various tools for serving the gun. Four (or more) horses pulled both gun and limber. This reproduction limber is found at Fort George National Historic Site. Note the way the spoked wheels are 'dished' for extra strength, and slightly angled outwards at the top.

Site: National Defence

HMS Asia in Halifax harbour, 1797

Type: Image

This watercolour of the 64-gun ship of the line HMS Asia in Halifax harbour is the work of Royal Navy lieutenant George Gustavus Lennock. Britain always maintained a strong naval presence in the American side of the North Atlantic. Warships based in Halifax insured the security of sea lanes and protected fishing fleets against mostly American and French privateers and the occasional pirate. In wartime, they would also be deployed in raids on the American coast or as far as the French West Indies. (Library and Archives Canada, C-151103)

Site: National Defence

Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada: History

Type: Document

With its obvious strategic location, Signal Hill became the site of harbour defences from the 18th century through the Second World War. The last battle of the Seven Years' War in North America was fought here in 1762.

Site: Parks Canada

British brass six-pounder field gun on block-trail carriage, 1793-1860

Type: Image

Shown from the rear, the brass smooth bore muzzle-loading six-pounder gun was the standard British field gun at the time of the War of 1812. The British artillery introduced carriages of the type shown, with single-block trails and small ammunition boxes at each side of the gun, during the Napoleonic wars. These innovations were later by all armies. The result was a weapon that was lighter and easier to manoeuvre in the field. The Royal Regiment of Artillery used such carriages alongside the older Congreve pattern twin-plate carriages during the War of 1812. This photo graph shows a modern reconstructed carriage found at Fort George National Historic Site, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Site: National Defence