October

Officer’s Coatee, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock

Object: Officer’s Coatee, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock

Manufacturer: unknown, probably made by a London tailor

Materials: Fine red wool with dark navy blue wool collar and cuffs. The lining is a fine cream coloured wool with cotton sleeve linings. Buttons are gilded brass and the epaulettes are made of woven gold wire (bullion).

Date of Creation: 1812

Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Canada

EMu user since 1997

Officer’s Coatee, Major-General Sir Isaac BrockBritish Major-General Sir Isaac Brock was wearing this coat when he was killed during the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. The hole made by the fatal musket ball is visible just below his left lapel.

Americans had declared war on Britain in response to British interference with American ships at sea and British contacts with First Peoples who were resisting American expansion. Americans attacked Canada to strike at the British Empire and to conquer new land for settlement. Between 1812 and 1814 the British Army and Royal Navy, First Peoples warriors, and Canadian regulars and militia repelled American invasions and saved Canada from annexation.

Issac Brock was serving as the civil administrator and military commander of Upper Canada (present-day Ontario, Canada) when war broke out. Although short of troops and resources, Brock successfully defended the British colony from American invasion during the first months of the war and captured Detroit, Michigan in August 1812.

On 13 October 1812, an American army crossed the Niagara River into Canadian territory and occupied Queenston Heights, near Niagara Falls. Brock was killed leading the British counter-attack. Following his death, First Peoples warriors led by John Norton pinned down the Americans until British reinforcements arrived. The Americans quickly surrendered.

Acknowledgements

Canadian War Museum 19670070-009