The Story of Laura Secord
by Mathew Keigher, Thunder Bay, Ontario
Laura Ingersoll was born in Massachusetts but her father refused to live under the US government so they went to live in Upper Canada (Southern Ontario.)

 They were given a land grant near a town called Queenstown. Queenstown was a town near Niagara Falls.

 Laura married James Secord. James Secord was merchant in Queenstown. James was also a volunteer in the militia artillery. They were well off and very comfortable.

 In the battle of Queenstown Heights, James used his small field gun. He fired at the Americans invading Canada. James was wounded in the shoulder and the knee during the battle. Laura escaped to James' sister's house, with her children. It was October 13, 1812.

 The Americans broke into James and Laura's house and looted it. When Laura returned, she found James on the battle field. She brought him home and bandaged his wounds and took care of him.

 The Battle of Beaver Dams took place a year after the battle of Queenstown Heights.

 The Americans invaded Canada. The American army occupied the Niagara Peninsula. The Americans tried to get food from the Canadian farmers to feed their army. The Canadians did not want to give anything to the Americans. The Americans took the food from the Canadians without asking. James FitzGibbon was Lieutenant in the Canadian Militia. He tried to stop the Americans from stealing food from the farmers.

 The Americans decided to ambush Lt. FitzGibbon. The American officers took over James and Laura's house as their Headquarters. While the Americans were making their plans, Laura overheard them talking.

 She asked the American General for a pass to visit her sister-in-law, who was sick. The General gave her a pass to be out after curfew, because she had spent the day serving the American officers. Laura and her oldest daughter took a basket of food to St. David's farm, where James' sister lived.

 Laura told her sister-in-law about the planned ambush. Laura and James's sister left the children at St. David's in the care of Laura's daughter. They decided to go to deClew farm where Lt. FitzGibbon was, and warn him. They could not use the road, because there were American soldiers guarding it. The tried to go through the swamp around Twelve Mile Creek. They got lost in the swamp. Laura lost her shoes in the swamp.

 A Mohawk warrior found them. He brought them to his lodge. Laura told the Mohawk about the American plans. James' sister stayed with the Mohawk women at the lodge. The Mohawk warrior took Laura to find James FitzGibbon. They reached deClew farm in the evening of June 22nd., 1813. Laura warned Lt. FitzGibbon about the American plans. Two days later, the American army was met by the Canadian Militia and their Indian Allies. The Indian warriors won the day, and the Americans were defeated.

 Laura returned home, and kept quiet about what she did, because she was afraid of the Americans returning and arresting her.
Facts and Fictions Fact Fiction
1. The Cow There was no cow. The Cow was made up by a writer later, to make the story more interesting and sell more magazines.
2. The Chocolate Shop There was no chocolate shop. Laura did not make any chocolates to sell in James' store. She did not bribe the American soldiers with chocolate. 
3. The Spy Story Laura was not a secret spy. Laura was not a secret spy for the Americans or the British. She was just mad at what they did to her husband and her house.

This is a painting of Laura being brought to see Lt. FitzGibbon by the Mohawk Warrior.

Laura Secord Meets FitzGibbon

The painting is from the National Archives of Canada and belongs to the Estate of Lorne K. Smith.

The Song

This song is by the musical group, Tanglefoot. (
They wrote it as a tribute to Laura. We like to sing it at our camp fire on historical re-enactments.

Secord's Warning,
©1991 Tanglefoot Media, by Joe Grant and Steve Ritchie

Come all ye brave young soldier lads, with your strong and manly bearing.
I'll tell you a tale of a women brave, and her deed of honest daring.
Laura Secord was American born, in the state of Massachusetts,
But she made her home in Canada and proved so faithful to us.

There's American guns and five hundred men,
So the warning must be given.
Laura Ingersoll Secord is the stalwart heart,
Who braved the heat, and the flies and the swamp,
To warn Colonel FitzGibbon.

Soldiers pounding at the door, they've come from across the boarder.
American officers march inside, it's food and drink they order.
In comfort they have dined and drunk, their own success they've toasted,
But they pay no heed to the woman who hears their plan so widely boasted.


"Oh! James I've overheard it all, a surprise attack their making.
FitzGibbon they intend to smash, his men for prisoners taking.
But James, a warning never you'll take, with your wounded knee and shoulder.
I myself must carry it past the sentries and the soldiers."


It's an all day tramp to the British camp, by way of Shipman's Corners.
With snakes and flies, and sweat in her eyes, there is no respite for her.
She's lost her shoes in the muck of the bog, her feet are torn and blistered,
But there's many a soldier lad to be spared, if the message be delivered.


So all you Yankee soldier lads who dare to cross our boarder,
Thinking to save us from ourselves, disturbing British order,
There's women and men, Canadians all of every rank and station,
To stand on guard and keep us free, from Yankee domination!


Foot Notes: by Jim Keigher
Most of the work above is done by Mathew Keigher. I have helped with spelling and grammer. He is responsible for the content. Most of his research was done "On Campaign," over the summer, while attending historical re-enactments in the Niagara Region.
Mathew is a 9 year old grade 4 student at St. Martins School, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His interests are stamps, Nepoleanic figures, computers, sports, science and music.

 Credit should be given to the following:
Laura Secord House, Niagara Falls, Ontario, for keeping Laura's story alive.
The National Archives of Canada and the Estate of Lorne K. Smith, for the painting.
Tanglefoot Media, Peterborough, Ontario, for giving the children their favorite camp song.

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