Oswego, N.Y. - The second annual Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium takes place at the American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego on Saturday, March 31. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., a panel of esteemed speakers will present fresh topics about the War of 1812 on the New York-Canadian border. Fort Ontario State Historic Site Manager Paul Lear is the chairman of the War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee and will emcee the event. "Great Lake Ontario and its people have long played a role in U.S. and New York State history," said Lear. "The region was a major action theatre during the War of 1812, and the seminar is designed to give an overview of the important role that the northern frontier played during the war. We have something for everyone at this year's symposium which features a distinguished line-up of historians. Each presentation offers a unique perspective about the people who lived and fought here as well as the struggle for control of Lake Ontario." Dr. John Grodinski, assistant professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, will talk about the use of sea power on the Great Lakes throughout the campaign, while Col. Clayton Nans, USMC (ret.) will discuss the role of the U.S. Marine Corps in the war. Dr. Gary Gibson, noted historian and author, returns to the symposium with a new presentation, "Society, Sex and Scandal: Sackets Harbor in the War of 1812." There will be an hour break for lunch, followed by a presentation about the sunken ships of Chauncey and Yeo from Dr. Benjamin Ford, assistant professor in maritime and historical archaeology and preservation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Susan Gibson of Sackets Harbor will speak about military and civilian clothing while Anne Davis and Beverly Sterling-Affinati, also of Sackets Harbor, will give an overview of the U.S. Daughters of 1812. Douglas George-Kanentiio, co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association and vice-president of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, will close the symposium with a presentation about the Iroquois in the War of 1812. "The Friends of Fort Ontario welcomes the return of the Oswego County War of 1812 Symposium," said Charles Harrington, president of Friends of Fort Ontario, Inc. "This is a great opportunity for the audience to learn more about the role that people in this region played in this piece of American history." This year's seminar is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ontario, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, and Fort Ontario State Historic Site with support from the Daughters of the War of 1812, City of Oswego, The Palladium-Times, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Heritage Foundation, Oswego County Historical Society, Half-Shire Historical Society and Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. Registration is $25 per person and $15 with valid student ID. The registration fee includes lunch and workshop materials. Advance registration is required and may be paid by credit card through the Fort Ontario State Historic Site. Contact Jon Zella at 315-343-4711 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks should be made payable to Friends of Fort Ontario Inc. and mailed to Fort Ontario State Historic Site, 1 East Fourth Street, Oswego, N.Y. 13126. For accommodations and visitor information, go to http://www.visitoswegocounty.com/ or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322.
###PHOTO CAPTION: "Attack on Fort Oswego, on Lake Ontario, North America." May 5, 1814. Drawn by Captain Steele and engraved by R. Havell & Sons, London, England, c. 1814. From the Collection of the Public Archives of Canada.