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Books and Publications

War 1812: The United States and Great Britain at Mackinac, 1812-1815


George S. May



50 pages, 1962, Second Revision Edition 2004



Completely redesigned in 2004, with new images, layout and cover. Highlights the surprise capture of Fort Mackinac by the British in the first major military encounter of the War of 1812.

from the book: “Although 1812 was a bad year for the fur business, even this year there were a few vessels in he harbor in July, and others, loaded with furs and pelts, were due in from Chicago momentarily. Some fur traders and French-Canadian voyageurs, too, had arrived to conduct their business and enjoy this brief contact with the civilized world. Indian men and their families drifted in and out, for this was the season when they received from the white men the presents. . .

The Indian’s attitude this summer puzzled the young commander of the fort, Lieutenant Porter Hanks. Until recently they had been friendly, but now some of the Ottawa and Chippewa chiefs had grown almost hostile to the Americans. Then there were the reports of large numbers of Indians gathering at the British post on St. Joseph Island, forty-five miles to the east, to plan an attack on Mackinac Island. Finally Hanks talked with leading American citizens on the island, and the decision was made to send ‘a confidential person’ to keep a watch on the St. Joseph situation.

The date was July 16, 1812. The Americans were blissfully unaware that the United States had been at war with Britain since June 18. Now time was running out. In a few hours the war would engulf Mackinac Island, and within a month Porter Hanks would be dead.”

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