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Robert Jones | all galleries >> Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada >> The Falls and the Region > Laura Secord Homestead, Queenston
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Laura Secord Homestead, Queenston

Laura Secord (née Ingersoll) (September 13, 1775 – October 17, 1868) was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. She is known as Canada's Paul Revere.

Laura Ingersoll was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1775. Suffering the aftermath of the American Revolution, her father, Thomas Ingersoll, moved the family to the Canadas in 1795, and in 1797 she married the Loyalist James Secord, son of an officer of Butler's Rangers (the Ingersolls themselves were not Loyalists). James and Laura resided in Queenston in Upper Canada (present-day Ontario), while her family went on to settle present day Ingersoll, Ontario. On October 13, 1812, James Secord was injured at the Battle of Queenston Heights, part of the emerging War of 1812.

In June of 1813 the American army invaded again and the Secord home was forced to billet American officers. Laura became aware of plans for a surprise attack on troops led by British Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon at Beaver Dams, which would have furthered American control in the Niagara Peninsula. While her husband was still suffering the effects of his injury, Laura set out to warn Lieutenant Fitzgibbon herself. She walked approximately 32 km from present day Queenston through St. David's, Homer, St. Catharines and Short Hills at the Niagara Escarpment before arriving at the camp of allied Native warriors who led her the rest of the way to Fitzgibbon's headquarters at the Decew home. A small British force and a larger contingent of Mohawk warriors were then readied for the American attack with the result that almost all of the American soldiers were taken prisoner in the ensuing Battle of Beaver Dams.

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