2005-05-20 / News

Museum Offers War of 1812 Presentation and Exhibit

This painting of the Mackinac Island harbor with Fort Mackinac, a property highly coveted by the U.S. and Britain during the War of 1812, is depicted in the new exhibit on the War of 1812 at the Michigan Maritime Museum. British Lt. Col. Robert McDouall (left), talks with two Native Americans, while captured U.S. schooners, This painting of the Mackinac Island harbor with Fort Mackinac, a property highly coveted by the U.S. and Britain during the War of 1812, is depicted in the new exhibit on the War of 1812 at the Michigan Maritime Museum. British Lt. Col. Robert McDouall (left), talks with two Native Americans, while captured U.S. schooners, The War of 1812 was the first true test of this infant nation. Just 30 years after gaining independence, the United States was invaded by an enemy force with expansionist goals. Much of this war was fought in the Great Lakes basin, where citizens, soldiers, and sailors representing Britain, the United States, and Native American nations faced the conflict with great resolve and courage. Theodore Roosevelt, in his writings on the war, remarked on the “indomitable spirit” demonstrated during this time by people of all races, vocations, ages, and nationalities.

The Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven opened last month its new year-long exhibition: With Indomitable Spirit: The Great Lakes War of 1812 , which will provide context to the Museum’s historic replica tall ship, Friends Good Will, now moored at the Museum Campus.

With Indomitable Spirit presents a view of the early 19th century from the perspective of several individuals with differing backgrounds. The exhibit will inform visitors about this time period and one of the least understood wars in American history through the diverse viewpoint of pioneers, Native Americans, African Americans, women, and children. The exhibit includes military equipment and clothing, period images, Native American objects, navigational aids, replica flags, and children’s toys.

The museum’s Web site is www.michiganmaritimemuseum.org.

Tigress and Scorpion , enter the harbor flying British colors. This oil on canvas was commissioned by Lt. Col. Robert McDouall of the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibiles and painted by William Dashwood about 1820. It is based on the print Michilimackinac on Lake Huron by Thomas Hall, published in 1813. (Image courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks)

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