Thomas Mathew, who farmed on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, remembered the year 1675 as beginning with all manner of fearful portents: a blazing comet, an invasion of millions of carrier pigeons, and a biblical plague of locusts. But it was Mathew himself who helped bring on the calamity thus foretold. He had cheated nearby Doeg Indians, and they responded by stealing his pigs. Mathew and his friends took revenge by attacking the pig thieves. When, several weeks later, another settler was found murdered, suspicion fell on the Doegs. The Stafford County militia was called out to punish Indians they thought were Doegs. However, it turned out they were not Doegs but Susquehannocks, a friendly tribe allied with Virginia.Read more
Francis Scott Key and the rockets’ red glare at Fort McHenry. Dolley Madison rescuing Washington’s portrait from the sack of the White House. Andrew Jackson’s lopsided victory at New Orleans after the Treaty of Ghent. These are colorful episodes that people at least hazily associate with the unfortunately named first war declared by the young American republic. But if incidents from the War of 1812 nurtured a sense of national identity, few Americans realize that the same could be said for Canada. J. C. A.Read more
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