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April 29, 2013

Record Numbers Attend Oswego War of 1812 Symposium

PASSIONS CONTINUE TO RUN HIGH - The audience is captivated as Major Sandy Antal (Canadian Forces, ret.) and Dr. John Grodzinski (Major, Canadian Forces), debate over the abilities and actions of British Governor George Prevost during the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium.

HISTORY, ART AND LITERATURE COME TOGETHER - Dr. Peter Rindlisbacher of Katy, TX takes a moment to talk about the art of the War of 1812 in his new book, "War of 1812: Sea Battles on the Great Lakes." After his presentation, Dr. Rindlisbacher unveiled his new book at the symposium and signed copies for the audience.

OSWEGO - More than 250 people gathered to enjoy a weekend of history talks, demonstrations, art and literature at the third annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium on April 5, 6 and 7. Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen formally opened the symposium by unveiling a painting of the U.S. Brig Oneida by local artist Tim Ames.

"The energy in the room was electric as War of 1812 passions still run high some 200 years later," said Fort Ontario State Historic Site Superintendent Paul Lear, chairman of the event. "There was a heated exchange between two speakers with opposing views about British Governor Prevost's abilities and movements during the war; in particular, the September 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh. The audience was mesmerized as they watched these two heavyweights of War of 1812 history engage in such a lively debate."

Eleven speakers from across the U.S. and Canada explored a variety of War of 1812 topics, including military training and battle analysis, maritime and military archeology, naval history, wartime society and commerce, espionage, and the art of war.

Participants also discovered engaging exhibits, living history demonstrators and historical authors who presented and signed their works. Also at hand was a crew from WCNY-TV to interview participants and document the symposium for an upcoming program.

Lear added, "We've taken an important step toward developing Oswego County's heritage tourism potential. Many people came in from out-of-town and are spreading the word of our history and hospitality around the U.S. and Canada. Even our speakers commented that they plan to promote our event in their own travels on the lecture circuit."

The symposium was sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ontario, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Old Fort Niagara Association, Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, NBT Bank, The Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, Pathfinder Bank, SUNY Oswego Office of Business Relations, IHeartOswego, C & S Engineers, The Palladium-Times, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Man in the Moon Candies, City of Oswego, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

To follow this and other War of 1812 commemoration activities, or to learn more about the history of Oswego County, go to visitoswegocounty.com/historical-info/war-of-1812/ or visit www.fortontario.com. For visitor information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322 or go to visitoswegocounty.com.

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