1812 : British Capture Fort Mackinac

When:
July 17, 2018 all-day
2018-07-17T00:00:00-04:00
2018-07-18T00:00:00-04:00

On July 17, 1812, a combined force of British, Canadian, and Native American soldiers captured Fort Mackinac from a small, unsuspecting American garrison. The fall of Mackinac, one of the first engagements of the War of 1812, set off over two years of combat between the United State and Great Britain for control of Michigan and the Great Lakes. Both sides knew that Mackinac held the key to the Great Lakes fur trade and the allegiance of Native American tribes across the region. This struggle reached a climax in the summer of 1814, when the United States dispatched seven warships and nearly 1,000 men on a two-month expedition to recapture the island. British and American troops actually met in battle on Mackinac Island on August 4, resulting in American defeat. Only the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812, restored peace to Mackinac. American soldiers took possession of Fort Mackinac from the British garrison on July 18, 1815, three years and one day after the post had been captured.

Today, Mackinac State Historic Parks is commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Special 1812 demonstrations and tours take place every day at Fort Mackinac. New exhibits in the East Blockhouse present the compelling story of the American attempts to recapture the fort in 1814. A series of special events between August 2 and August 4 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Mackinac Island. Just some of the exciting special events happening this weekend include a battle reenactment, concerts of patriotic music, and special bicycle tours around the island, highlighting points of interest pertaining to the War of 1812.

For more information, visit http://www.mackinacparks.com/war-of-1812/ .

Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites — which are accredited by the American Association of Museums — include Fort Mackinac, Historic Downtown Mackinac, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present the parks’ rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of future generations. Visitor information is available at (231) 436-4100 or on the web at http://www.MackinacParks.com .

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