The significant, but little-known skirmishes along Lake Erie's Chautauqua County shore are the subject of "Salt Boats Are A-Comin'" just one of a series of articles appearing in "The War of 1812: Volume 1," which was released in early October by Western New York Heritage Press.
The not-for-profit publisher of Western New York Heritage magazine plans to release three such annual special editions to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, with each focusing on a specific year of the conflict.
Volume 1, "The Conflict Ignites," features the work of regional and international authorities, as well as evocative full-color illustrations. "Salt Boats Are A-Comin'" was authored by SUNY Fredonia Professor Emeritus Jacqueline Trace, with research assistance from her colleague Douglas H. Shepard.
A three-part series of annuals will commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 with spotlights on skirmishes in Chautauqua County.
"A lot of people don't know much about the War of 1812, but it had a tremendous impact on the history of the United States, Canada and the Native peoples on both sides of the border," Western New York Heritage's executive editor Douglas DeCroix said.
With its three-part commemorative series, Western New York Heritage will examine this conflict, its impact on the region and why it deserves to be remembered 200 years later.
Volume 1 specifically explores the first year of the war, while two subsequent volumes will tackle 1813 and 1814 when they are released in 2013 and 2014, respectively. In addition to Trace's article on Chautauqua County and what some believe to be the first skirmish of the war at the mouth of Canadaway Creek, readers can discover other regional battles, as well as important figures like Major General Isaac Brock and John Norton, a Six Nations War Chief. Volume 1 also includes new research on Betsy Doyle, a local heroine who loaded red hot cannon balls amidst heavy fire at Fort Niagara, a look at the landscape paintings of Surgeon Edward Walsh and a step-by-step itinerary for exploring the war's legacy through regional historic sites, markers and museums.
"We are extremely grateful to the Baird Foundation and Dual Printing for their generous support of this first volume," DeCroix said. "It is gorgeous, and we are looking forward to the next two."
Since 1997, Western New York Heritage Press has published its award-winning quarterly magazine, Western New York Heritage, which strives to foster a pride of place through the knowledge and appreciation of the history, art and architecture of Western New York. Copies of "The War of 1812: Volume 1" cost just $10 and are available by visiting the Western New York Heritage website, or by calling its office at 893-4011. It will also be available at select retail outlets throughout Western New York.