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Laura Secord

Laura Secord was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812.

Laura Ingersoll was born to a Loyalist family in Massachusetts in 1775. In 1795 the family moved to Canada, and in 1797 she married a fellow Loyalist, James Secord. During the War of 1812 James was a member of the Canadian militia and was wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights in 1812. In May of 1813 the American army invaded again and the Secord home was forced to billet three American officers. On June 21, Laura overheard them discussing plans for a suprise attack on Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon[?] at Beaver Dams, which would have allowed the Americans to control the Niagara Peninsula[?].

She walked 32 kilometers, including a six-hour climb over the Niagara Escarpment, before she met a group of Mohawks allied with the British, who led her the rest of the way to Fitzgibbon's camp. A small British force was then ready for the American attack, and almost all of the American soldiers were taken prisoner in the ensuing battle.

The story has become something of a myth in Canada. An older version said that Laura brought a cow with her as an excuse to leave her home; another version, more likely to be true, is that she told the American officers she was going to visit her brother. It is also said that she walked barefoot, at least part of the way.

In 1860, when she was 85, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), heard of her story while travelling in Canada. He visited her and gave her a gift of 100. She died in 1868 at age 93.

Today her house is a museum, and there is a monument to her in a Niagara Falls churchyard. A Canadian chocolate manufacturing company was also named in her honour.

Her father, Thomas Ingersoll, founded the town of Ingersoll, Ontario.

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