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March 28, 2012

Register Now For War of 1812 Symposium

LIFE IN A MILITARY TOWN - This is an artist rendering of the Kingston Upper Canada (now Ontario) naval yard at Point Fredrick in 1815. The image represents a typical War of 1812 navy yard and features the commandant's house with the 106-gun ships-of-the-line Wolfe and Canada under construction in the background. A watercolor painting by E. E. Vidal, it now hangs in the Massey Library at the Royal Military College of Canada.

WAR OF 1812 SYMPOSIUM HIGHLIGHTS MILITIA UNIFORMS - Living history re-enactor Ted Schofield presents his interpretation of the more common militia uniform during the War of 1812. Schofield learned from his own family history that War of 1812 soldiers were issued British muskets from a state arsenal, while all of their civilian clothing, canteens, knapsacks, blankets, and other personal items were reimbursed by the state for their use while called into service.

OSWEGO - This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812; a significant campaign that firmly established America's independence from Great Britain and confirmed its national identity. On Saturday, March 31, come to the Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium and hear about military strategies, civilian life and the Native American influence on the war as fighting broke out along the New York-Canadian border. The day-long event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the American Foundry, 246 West Seneca Street in Oswego.

"This year's seminar features a new panel of distinguished speakers who will discuss the important role that the northern region played in this war," said Paul Lear, manager of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site and chairman of the Oswego County War of 1812 Committee. "Each presentation provides a unique perspective about the people who lived and fought here and the struggle for control of Lake Ontario."

Symposium presenters include: Dr. John Grodzinski, assistant professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada; Col. Clayton Nans, USMC (ret.); and Dr. Gary Gibson, noted historian and author.

Dr. Benjamin Ford, assistant professor in maritime and historical archaeology and preservation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; and Douglas George-Kanentiio, co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association and vice-president of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, will also be presenters; along with Susan Gibson, Sackets Harbor native; and Beverly Sterling-Affinati and Anne Davis, of the U.S. Daughters of 1812.

The symposium also features several exhibitors from across the region including Ted Schofield, living history re-enactor from Chaumont, N.Y.; and George Clark of the Continental Arms Collectors Association.

Additional exhibitors include: Fort Ontario State Historic Site, H. Lee White Marine Museum, U.S. Daughters of 1812, War of 1812 Peace Garden Trail, Seaway Trail, Inc., Oswego County Tourism Office, and the Oswego County and Sackets Harbor Historical Societies.

This year's seminar is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ontario, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, and Fort Ontario State Historic Site with support from the Daughters of the War of 1812, City of Oswego, The Palladium-Times, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Heritage Foundation, Oswego County Historical Society and Half-Shire Historical Society.

Registration is $25 per person and $15 with valid student ID. The registration fee includes lunch and workshop materials. Advance registration is required and may be paid by credit card through the Fort Ontario State Historic Site. Contact Jon Zella at 315-343-4711 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or e-mail fortontariointern@gmail.com. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Fort Ontario Inc. and mailed to Fort Ontario State Historic Site, 1 East Fourth Street, Oswego, N.Y. 13126.

For accommodations and visitor information, go to visitoswegocounty.com or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322.

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