Early American Flags and British Plans to Extricate Themselves from War of 1812

OSWEGO, NY –  The stories of two early 19th century American flags, and British plans for ending the War of 1812, will be explored Saturday morning,April 5, at the fourth annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium in Oswego.

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Textile conservator Deborah Trupin

Textile conservator Deborah Trupin and North Country historian Keith Herkalo are two of the 12 speakers who will share their research on aspects of the conflict, also known as the Second War for Independence, April 4, 5 and 6 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., Oswego.

Trupin will present her work on two War of 1812-era flags Saturday morning at 10:50. She had the rare opportunity to treat the 1809 Fort Niagara Garrison flag captured by the British in 1813, and the September 1813 “Don’t Give up the Ship” flag flown on the USS Lawrence during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Her presentation, “A Tale of Two Flags: How History, Ownership and Treatment Affected the Conservation of Two Early Nineteenth Century Flags,” looks at the historical record, similarities and differences between the two flags and their treatments.

Since 1986 Trupin has been textile conservator for New York State’s Bureau of Historic Sites, Peebles Island, in Waterford NY. She is responsible for the conservation of the textile and upholstery collection of the 35 state-run historic sites and has supervised the conservation work for the New York State Battle Flag Preservation Project since 2000. Trupin received her MA in art history and diploma in conservation from the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She has published several articles on flag treatments and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation.

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North Country historian Keith Herkalo

Although the British diverted their attentions to the Chesapeake, Sackets Harbor and the infamous Battle of New Orleans as the War of 1812 drew to its conclusion, the largest British offensive of the war was focused at Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain. 1812 re-enactor Keith A. Herkalo, historian and retired City Clerk, will present “Plattsburgh and Lake Champlain: Bathurst’s plan to end the war with the United States,” at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5.

“Both Roosevelt and Churchill recognized the importance of the land and naval battles of Plattsburgh,” said Herkalo. “Many other, more famous engagements were ruses meant to divert U.S. troops away from the prize Plattsburgh would afford – a clear pathway into New England. The British government’s plan to end the conflict with the United States was first expressed in 1812 but not acted upon before the defeat of Napoleon. The effects of the 1814 Plattsburgh campaign weighed heavily in the negotiations at Ghent and were instrumental in ending the conflict.”

Herkalo is the author of “The Battles at Plattsburgh: September 11, 1814,” and editor of “The Journal of H.K. Averill, Sr.: An Account of the Battle of Plattsburgh and Early North Country Community.” He is a founding member and current president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association and Plattsburgh’s War of 1812 Museum, and a builder and former coxswain of the award-winning bateau “Rooster,” a 37-foot replica 1812-period work boat. He is the research catalyst behind the archeological re-discovery and preservation of the 1812 site Pike’s Cantonment.

The Oswego War of 1812 Symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 6. Oswego State University students will present research papers at the opening of the symposium, Friday evening, April 4.

For a complete schedule and to register, go to www.fortontario.comor http://visitoswegocounty.com/historical-info/war-of-1812/war-of-1812-symposium/.

Registration for both days is $75 per person or $35 for students with a valid ID. The registration fee includes Saturday’s lunch, refreshment breaks on Saturday and Sunday, and workshop materials. One-day registration is also available: $50 for Saturday, including lunch; or $25 for Sunday. For students with a valid ID, one-day rates are $23 for Saturday, including lunch or $12 for Sunday.   SUNY Oswego students who register with Dr. Richard Weyhing of the History Department at least one week in advance will have the reservation fee covered.

Advance registration is required and may be paid by check or credit card through the Friends of Fort Ontario. Contact Lear at 315-343-4711 for credit card payments Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Checks should be made payable to “Friends of Fort Ontario – 1812” and mailed to Fort Ontario State Historic Site, 1 E. Fourth St., Oswego, N.Y. 13126.

Special room rates for symposium attendees are available at the Best Western Plus Captain’s Quarters Hotel, 26 E. First St., Oswego. Call the hotel at 315-342-4040 and mention the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium.   The symposium is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ontario, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, Pathfinder Bank, SUNY Oswego Office of Business Relations, IHeartOswego, The Palladium-Times, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Man in the Moon Candies, WCNY-TV, Dot Publishing, Oswego County Today, City of Oswego, and the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

For visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322.