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War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week - September 28, 2012

Silhouette Portrait of an Officer of the 100th Regiment of Foot

This miniature silhouette portrait, circa 1804-1818, is one of very few images of British or Canadian soldiers who served on the Niagara frontier during the War of 1813, and in particular, at Fort George National Historic Site of Canada. Based on the partially legible inscription on the back of the portrait, this is thought to be the image of Brevet Major John Martin, who belonged to the 100th Regiment of Foot. Martin distinguished himself in the dramatic midnight assault on Fort Niagara on December 19, 1813, where he led troops to capture the North Redoubt of the fort. The capture of Fort Niagara helped the British to secure the mouth of the Niagara River, and also allowed them to repair Fort George and construct Fort Mississauga.

The 100th Regiment of Foot was raised in Ireland in 1804, for service in the Napoleonic wars, though they were transferred to Nova Scotia in 1805. During the War of 1812 the regiment served on the Niagara frontier, and were present at the Battle of Sackett’s Harbour (1813) and the Battle of Chippewa (1814). The regiment disbanded in 1818, and many of its soldiers decided to stay in Canada. They established the settlement of Richmond, Ontario.

To learn more about Fort George, visit Fort George National Historic Site of Canada on the Parks Canada website. To see more artwork from the War of 1812, visit previous artefacts Miniature Portrait of Edward Cotton and View of Amherstburg, watercolour by Margaret Reynolds.

Silhouette Portrait of an Officer of the 100th Regiment of Foot Silhouette Portrait of an Officer of the 100th Regiment of Foot
© Parks Canada