In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint marked the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with a special release of four $4 silver coins called the Heroes of 1812. These coins featured four people who played important roles in the war and helped to secure Canada’s future. Without the exploits of these four people, the Canada that we know and love today may not exist. That is certainly worthy of commemorative Canadian coins!
Canada in the War of 1812
The War of 1812 was fought between the newly independent United States of America against Great Britain in North America. The main battleground was Canada, a British colony. The end result of the war was largely inconclusive. Both sides won significant victories against the other. The USA and Great Britain ultimately decided to return territories to their status quo ante bellum – how they were before the war.
Part of the reason for this was the successful halting of American invasions of Canada. Thanks to the valiant efforts of people such as Charles-Michel de Salaberry, Laura Secord, Sir Isaac Brock and Tecumseh, Canada would remain part of the British Empire, helping to lay the groundwork for Canada becoming an independent nation, an event that may not have occurred had the invasions been a success. Thus, it is very appropriate for the RCM to celebrate the exploits of some of the war’s heroes.
The Heroes of 1812
The set of $4 Canadian coins features the faces of four heroes. Tecumseh, Sir Isaac Brock, Charles-Michel de Salaberry and Laura Secord are each featured in the reverse designs of their coins.
The most important part of this coin set is the people it celebrates. These are the four people featured:
- Tecumseh: Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior who wanted to prevent US expansion in the Northwest Territory and preserve Native American control of the area. He organized a confederacy of tribes to fight against the US and support Great Britain in the war (Britain was more open to Indigenous territory claims). Although Tecumseh was ultimately killed during the war and the confederacy did not achieve its aim, Tecumseh is hailed as a hero by many Native Americans. He is also a hero for Canada because his efforts helped to prevent American conquest.
- Sir Isaac Brock: Sir Isaac Brock was a British major general and colonial administrator who commanded the forces of Upper Canada. He led the Siege of Detroit that helped to stymie American ambitions along the Canadian border. Additionally, he perished in a final, successful battle at Queenston Heights in the Niagara Falls area. Without question, he helped to secure the future of Canada.
- Charles-Michel de Salaberry: Charles-Michel de Salaberry was a Canadian military officer who fought as a lieutenant colonel in Lower Canada during the War of 1812. He fought in several battles that are considered central to protecting Canada. Most famously, he helped to turn back the advance on Montreal at Chateauguay in 1813. Thus, he is considered one of the most central figures in the successful conclusion of the war for Canada.
- Laura Secord: Of course, not all heroes of war are military commanders. Laura Secord is a perfect example of this. She famously walked 30 kilometres from Queenston to Beaver Dams so that she could warn the commander of the outpost there that the American forces were planning an attack. Her story of heroism and selflessness has inspired Canadians for generations.
Expand Your Coin Collection Today
Whether you are interested in Canadian history or just love collecting coins, these Royal Canadian Mint commemorative coins could be ideal additions to your collection. Check them out at Colonial Acres Coins today. Alternatively, you could browse the rest of our selection of Canadian coins. Find the perfect additions for your collection!