Erik Nitsche: Fort Erie/Ontario
Artist: Erik Nitsche
Canada's Fort Erie, located at the junction of Lake Erie and the Niagara River, was originally built as a trading post by French fur traders in 1750. Over a period of years from 1764 to 1779, the fort was destroyed twice by large masses of ice driven ashore by furious storms. The third time the Fort was built, it was placed on a high knoll behind the original site. The third Fort Erie was still unfinished when the War of 1812 between the United States and England broke out. In 1814, the fort, garrisoned by only 150 men, was easily seized by an American force of 4500 men led by General Jacob Brown. About two thousand Americans then strengthened the fort's defenses and used it as a base for patrols into Canada. On August 16, 1814, the British forces staged a supposedly surprise attack on the fort. The Americans, however, had been expecting the attack and as a result, the British lost almost half of their troops in the assault. The British then besieged the fort until the U.S. troops made a full-scale sortie, destroying two British gun emplacements, during which the British lost another six hundred men. Several months later, the Americans withdrew from the fort but destroyed the fortifications before they left. In 1904, the Canadian Government erected a thirty-foot monument near the fort in memory of 153 British, Canadian and U.S. soldiers whose remains were found during restoration of the old fort. Today, Fort Erie has been restored to represent the period of the War of 1812.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Canada 34¢ Fort Erie stamp issued June 28, 1985.
Artwork Copyright © 1985 Unicover Corporation. All Rights Reserved under United States and international copyright laws. You may not reproduce, distribute, transmit, or otherwise exploit the Artwork in any way. Images of the Artwork may be watermarked and/or digitally watermarked. Any sale of the physical original does not include or convey the Copyright or any right comprised in the copyright.
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