Guns Across The Lakes: Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial- End of War - Peace

Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial


Welcome back to "Guns Across the Lakes: A Virtual Series of the Old Northwest in the War of 1812". My name is Rob Whitman and I'm a Park Ranger at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial located at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island in Lake Erie last week Eric Hemenway of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians shared the story of indigenous populations during the W ar of 1812. Today I'm here to talk about the second half of the park's name International Peace Memorial.

The War of 1812 ended for the US and the United Kingdom on February 17, 1815 when the Treaty of Ghent is ratified and exchanged in Washington DC, however the militaries of the US and the UK do not know of this peace and will continue planning for the 1815 campaign season.

On Lake Ontario for example the US is building the largest ships the US Navy would have a float. Ironically the treaty did not address the three reasons the US went to war: free trade, sailors rights, and indigenous tribes out here in the west. It should be noted that the indigenous tribes were not even part of these peace negotiations. The treaty was negotiated based on "status quo antebellum" This phrase was Latin for let's go back to the way things were before the war started. Immediately after the war peace was uneasy there was a certain palpable tension between the United States and the United Kingdom. Then in 1819 the Rush-Bagot Agreement was passed. The Rush-Bagot Agreement was important because it began the process of demilitarizing the Great Lakes. Both countries were limited in the number of naval vessels they could place in each Great Lake. The Rush-Bagot Agreement did not squash all tensions, however. In the decades following the agreement there would be several rebellions in Canada even though the United States would not officially become involved there were many Americans that supported or even assisted the events that unfolded in Canada during those rebellions. Furthermore in 1859 as the American Civil War loomed on the horizon the UK and the US almost confronted one another over a pig that was killed. An event that is commonly referred to as the Pig War in the San Juan Island. Cooler heads luckily prevailed and outright war was avoided. The matter will be settled by arbitration in 1872. During the American Civil War as a result of the Trent Affair the UK rushed troops to Canada to rebuild fortifications that had fallen into disrepair after the War of 1812. Although this happened many Canadians crossed the border to fight for the Union Army during the civil war. It will be in 1867 Canada started to form as a country as we know it today. Between 1912 and 1915 Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was built to remember Oliver Hazard Perry, his men that fought in the Battle of Lake Erie. Equally important the memorial was to mark a century of peace between the United States, United Kingdom and then Canada. During the World Wars, prior to the US involvement in both many Americans will cross the border to enlist in the British and Canadian military. It is clear that old enemies were becoming friends and allies especially with the collaboration we saw between the three countries during the World Wars. When did this peace actually start? An argument could be made that peace might have been first realized on September 12, 1813 when Perry helped support the wounded Barclay at a joint funeral service for the six officers killed in the Battle of Lake Erie or it could have been realized after the battle of the Thames when Perry wrote passes for civilians to return to their homes. Perhaps it was when Perry gave financial assistance to some of the British subjects to make their way back home and now US occupied Canada. Maybe it was when Perry died of Yellow Fever in 1819 and the British gave him his funeral even though some of those men would have been at the Battle of the Thames or the Battle of Lake Erie. Or is there some other event that took place during the war that might have started this peace, this spark. The spirit of peace and friendship continues today. In 2001 September 11th when planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. There were many planes still in the air on their way to the US. There were 225 aircraft inbound into the United States they'd passed the point of no return. There was no going back to Asia, Europe wherever they were coming from. These planes had to land someplace and US airspace was closed. Canada our neighbor to the north took those planes in in places like Gander there were now more people visiting that town than there had been in years and these aircraft sat but there was no place for the people to go. The locals would end up providing places to stay in their own homes for these people trying to get to the US until they could reach their destination. Also because of this peace Canadians can cross the border into the US to help commemorate events of our shared history. In return people from the US can cross the border and commemorate those events in Canada as well. This has allowed this creation of this series "Guns Across the Lake". We'd like to thank all our viewers for coming along on this virtual adventure we hope you enjoyed this series and learn some more about the War of 1812. We sure did. If we cut a story short or completely missed your favorite part of the war we apologize. There was only so many stories we could include in so many places so in so little time this first time around. So this might be the end of this season of "Guns Across the Lakes" but as a group we hope to continue this collaborative video series in the future with the hope of gaining more partners to more fully tell the story of the War of 1812 in our part over the world around the Great Lakes. So, till next time Huzzah!


This episode explores the end of the war and the peace that has lasted to this very day.


7 minutes, 19 seconds

Copyright and Usage Info