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Laura Ingersoll

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Laura Ingersoll was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1775. Following the aftermath of the American Revolution, her father, Thomas Ingersoll, who had sided with the Patriots, moved his family to Canada in 1795. In 1797 she married the United Empire Loyalist, James Secord, son of an officer of Butler's Rangers. James and Laura resided in Queenston, Upper Canada (present-day Ontario), while her family went on to settle present day Ingersoll, Ontario.[1] After helping carry Isaac Brock's body from the battlefield during the Battle of Queenston Heights, James Secord was later wounded by a musket ball. Laura went searching for James and was tending his wounds when they were happened-upon by a trio of U.S. soldiers, two raising their muskets intending to dispatch the prone sergeant of the 1st Lincoln Militia. Captain John Wool of the 13th U.S. Infantry happened on the scene, preventing the attack. Wool and James Secord would remain life-long friends.[2]

[edit] The attack

Laura Secord warns James FitzGibbonOn May 27, 1813, the American army launched another attack across the Niagara River, successfully capturing Fort George. On the evening of June 21, Laura became aware of plans for a surprise attack on troops led by British Lieutenant James FitzGibbon at Beaver Dams, which would have furthered American control in the Niagara Peninsula. While her husband was still suffering the effects of his injury from the previous October, Laura set out early the next morning to warn Lieutenant FitzGibbon herself. She walked approximately 30 km from present day Queenston through St. David's, Homer, Shipman's Corners (present-day St. Catharines) and Short Hills at the Niagara Escarpment before arriving at the camp of allied Native warriors who led her the rest of the way to FitzGibbon's headquarters at the Decew house. A small British force and a larger contingent of Mohawk warriors were then readied for the American attack with the result that almost all of the American soldiers were taken prisoner in the ensuing Battle of Beaver Dams.

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