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Mary Henry's Story at Fort George

Left: Historic Battlesite of Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, (Kelsie Brewer). Right: Courageous 19th century portrait of Mary Henry, Laura Secord Homestead Museum, Queenston, (Kelsie Brewer) .

 

GENERAL INFORMATION


Fort George was not only a defensive and strategic area for the British soldiers during the War of 1812, but also an area of protection for the wives and children of the British soldiers. During the battle at Fort George in 1813, Mary Henry, the brave and courageous wife of a retired British soldier put her life in risk by walking the dangerous battlefield and bringing food and drink to the wounded soldiers. Her story is inspirational and you will learn more about it now.

 

Mary Henry's Story

 

Mary Madden was born in Antrim Ireland, 1770, and at the age of twenty married Royal Artillery gunner, Dominic Henry. In 1803, shortly after being shipped back to a post in Niagara, Dominic became a retired pensioner and was appointed keeper of the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes in the Town of Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake).

 

On May 27, 1813 a large American Army made a destructive attack on Niagara which was soon to be known as the battle of Fort George. With American forcces landing not far from the lighthouse, Mary and Dominic Henry found themselves in the front row of the battle between the small army of British, Canadian and Aboriginal allies against the massive American army.

 

During the battle, there were high casualties as result of the heavy bombardment of cannons and shells and left half the British and Canadian soldiers killed or wounded right on the battlefield. During the battle, Mary Henry played a brave and pivotal role as she walked the battlefield bringing food and hot drinks to the soldiers while also nurturing the injured ones the best she could. From dawn to dusk Mary Henry went and came back with more nourishment for the troops and with as much bravery as any soldier, she continued to walk the battlefield binding the wounds of those injured in the battle.

 

When the Americans finally abandoned Fort George and Niagara, they left with no remorse and burned down the entire town. The residents were not given much time to pack up as many of their belongings before they were taken by the destructive flames. The weather was harsh and cold and many of the refugees had nowhere to go. Many faced starvation and death as a result of the frigid weather conditions. However, close by Mary Henry selflessly opened up her home to many of the refugees providing shelter, food and drink. Thanks to her selfless deeds, Mary Henry saved many families that night.

 

After the war, Mary Henry’s courageous and generous acts did not go unrecognized. She was granted a gift of twenty-five pounds sterling by the Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada and was referred to as “a heroine not to be frightened”.

 

When you visit Fort George today, you will not see any representation of Mary Henry. Her actions have gone unrecognized in the later years after the war and her story has continued to go untold. When you visit the historic site of Fort George, remember the story of a brave and selfless Mary Henry. Her story will no longer be forgotten and one can appreciate the role she played in our history during the Battle of Fort George.
 


 

Photo Gallery

 


TripClip Audio File

(more about TripClips...)

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Click to play or download the Mary Henry Story TripClip (mp3 format).

 

This destination is also part of the TripClip tour entitled 'Heroic Stories of 1812: The Forgotten Heroes Tour.

 

 


Hours of Operation

Fort George Historic Battle Site:

Open 10:00am – 5:00 pm, weekends in April and November
Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, seven days a week, May 1 to October 31.
Group visitation available year round by reservation

 


DIRECTIONS

From Toronto:
Take Gardiner Express Way WEST
Continue onto QEW
MERGE onto 403 WEST
MERGE QEW NIAGARA/EAST HAMILTON/FORT ERIE
Take Glendale Ave/RR-89 via EXIT 38B toward NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE
Turn LEFT onto YORK RD/RR-81
Turn RIGHT onto AIRPORT RD/RR-90
Turn RIGHT onto NIAGARA STONE RD/RR-55
Turn RIGHT onto EAST & WEST LINE/RR-85
Turn LEFT onto NIAGARA PKWY
NIAGARA PKWY becomes QUEENS PARADE/RR87
51 QUEENS PARADE

From Niagara:

Take Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) FORT ERIE nortwest toward Exit 12

Take Glendale Ave/RR-89 via EXIT 38B toward NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE
Turn LEFT onto YORK RD/RR-81 
Turn RIGHT onto AIRPORT RD/RR-90 
Turn RIGHT onto NIAGARA STONE RD/RR-55 
Turn RIGHT onto EAST & WEST LINE/RR-85 
Turn LEFT onto NIAGARA PKWY 
NIAGARA PKWY becomes QUEENS PARADE/RR87
51 QUEENS PARADE


Continue onto QUEENS PARADE/RR87
51 QUEENS PARADE

 


Historical


Fort George Historic battle site was a vital defensive and strategic area for the British soldiers during the War of 1812. During the War of 1812 Fort George was beginning to be attacked by the Americans and the British were forced into open field fire, leaving their children and wives in the fort for protection. After a long battle, the troops suffered many casualties.

 

 


Further Information

 

Canadian Heritage. 2012. Heroes of the War of 1812: “Mary Henry, A Heroine not to be Frightened”. Canadian Heritage. <http://1812.gc.ca/eng/1317828221939/1317828660198#a9>

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ownership & Management

Parks Canada

Admission Fee

DAILY Adult:$11.70 Senior:$10.05 Youth:$5.80 Family/Group:$29.40 Commercial Group, per person:$10.05 SEASONAL Adult:$29.40 Senior:$25.00 Youth:$14.70 Family/Group:$73.60 DAILY PARKING:$5.50

Accessibility

Wheelchair accessible

Address

51 Queens Parade
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
L0S 1J0

Telephone

(905) 468-4257

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.252771
Longitude -79.066906
UTM easting 657227.34
UTM northing 4790612.29

Administration

Tel (905) 468-4257
Email www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca

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