The capture of Detroit, 1812 by Lt-General Jonathon Riley




This is a Zoom talk and will take place at 6pm on Friday 11th February 2022.

In 1812, Great Britain was fully extended in a war of survival with Napoleonic France. A series of miscalculations then brought her into a new war with the United States. Although these miscalculations had been at sea, the issue was to be decided on land – on the frontier with British North America or what we now call Canada. For many in the USA, the conquest of Canada would be ‘a mere matter of marching’. There were many British colonists who feared the same thing and when an American force under general William Hull seized the small town of Sandwich, their fears seemed confirmed.


For the British commander in Upper Canada, Isaac Brock, however, this was an opportunity to take the fight to the enemy. He at once set out with a small force of British regulars, Canadian militia and native American allies under the great chief Tecumseh. Against all the odds, they turned defeat into victory and changed the course of the war.