On today’s date in 1812, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock issued a proclamation to the citizens of Upper Canada, announcing U.S. Congress had declared war on Britain on June 17.
Known as the “Hero of Upper Canada”, Brock has been honoured since his death in October 1812 with several stamps issued by Canada Post and other countries around the world, including Guernsey, where Brock was born on Oct. 6, 1769.
On July 6, 1812 (that’s 204 years ago today), Brock proclaimed a state of war after U.S. Congress’ decision to declare war on Britain. Later that year, he was responsible for quick victories at Fort Mackinac and Detroit but would eventually be killed at the battle of Queenston Heights on Oct. 13, 1812. Despite the monumental loss, the Canadian defensive would prove successful against the ensuing American attack.
On June 15, 2012, Canada Post released stamps (Scott #2554-55) honouring the two most important leaders during the War of 1812: British Major-General Sir Isaac Brock and War Chief Tecumseh. The two-stamp issue–the first in a series marking the war’s 200th anniversary–depicted the two men face to face.
The issue was printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using seven-colour lithography and released as panes of 16 permanent-rate stamps, each measuring 40 mm x 32 mm (horizontal). Each of the stamps have general tagging along three sides.
In the two-stamp se-tenant format, illustrated by Suzanne Duranceau, the two men are seen in profile, their facial expressions depicting mutual respect.
According to Alain Leduc, stamp design manager: “The stamp is printed in lithography but with an intaglio feel, a technique that gives the two men equal weight.”
The background of the Brock stamp (SC #2554) shows a European settlement as it would have looked in 1812. Chief Tecumseh is shown with encampments scattered around him, indicating more than one tribe has taken to arms under his command.
“The setting is a visual representation of the motivation for each man—this is what they were fighting for,” said stamp designer Susan Scott. “And the body of water speaks to the dominance of the British naval power.”
The official first-day cover was cancelled in Tecumseh, Ont.
Brock was also commemorated on a six-cent stamp (SC #501) in 1969. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, the stamp commemorates the 200th anniversary of Brock’s birth. In addition to his portrait, the stamp features Brock’s Monument, which was completed in 1856 and marks his grave and is located near Queenston, Ont. The statue of Brock stands atop a 56-metre column overlooking the territory his troops successfully defended.
“To all whom these Presents shall come, greeting. Whereas on the seventeenth day of June last the congress of the United Slates of America declared that war then existed between those States and their territories, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the dependencies thereof; and whereas, in pursuance of such declaration, the subjects of the United States have actually committed hostilities against the possessions of his majesty and the persons and property of his subjects in this province: now, therefore, by and with the advice of his majesty’s executive council in the affairs of the province, I do hereby strictly enjoin and require all his majesty’s liege subjects to be obedient to the lawful authorities, to forbear all communication with the enemy or persons residing within the territory of the United States, and to manifest their loyalty by a zealous co-operation with his majesty’s armed force in defence of the province, and repulse of the enemy. And I do further require and command all officers, civil and military, to be vigilant in the discharge of their duty, especially to prevent all communication with the enemy, and to cause all persons suspected of traitorous intercourse to be apprehended and treated according to law.
“Given under my hand and seal at arms, at York, in the province of Upper Canada, this sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve, and in the fiftysecond of his majesty’s reign.”