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War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week

Watercolour Map of Fort George, circa 1800

Parks Canada: FX.1999.5.1

This watercolour and ink on paper map was acquired from the Sir David William Smith collection. Smith served as Surveyor-General of Upper Canada, 1793-1804. The map shows Fort George as it would have appeared prior to the War of 1812. The defences of the fort consisted of six earthen bastions, in which cannons were mounted, linked with wooden palisades. Inside this defensive perimeter were blockhouses for stores and soldiers, a powder magazine, kitchens, guard house and officers’ quarters.

The plan names the bastions for various dignitaries including one Governor of British North America: Robert Prescott; two Lieutenant-Governors of Upper Canada: John Graves Simcoe and Peter Hunter; one Royal Engineer: Gother Mann (the designer of the fort) and St. George, the patron saint of England.

Fort George, located on the west bank of the Niagara River near where it flows into Lake Ontario, was the headquarters of the Centre Division of the British army in Upper Canada and the scene of the Battle of Fort George on 27 May 1813.

For more information, visit Fort George National Historic Site and the Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site on the Parks Canada Website.

Watercolour Map of Fort George, circa 1800 Watercolour Map of Fort George, circa 1800
© Parks Canada