Oswego War of 1812 Symposium Adds Underwater Archaeologist to Roster

SURVEYING THE REMNANTS OF WAR – Dive into history at the third annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7 at the Lake Ontario Conference and Event Center, 26 East First Street, Oswego, N.Y. Jonathan Moore, senior underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada, discusses the archaeological exploration of two shipwrecks from the war. Pictured is the figurehead of the armed schooner USS Hamilton, formerly the merchant schooner Diana, which was launched at Oswego, N.Y. in 1809. Photo by Emory Kristof appears courtesy of the City of Hamilton, Ontario, CA.

SURVEYING THE REMNANTS OF WAR – Dive into history at the third annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7 at the Lake Ontario Conference and Event Center, 26 East First Street, Oswego, N.Y. Jonathan Moore, senior underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada, discusses the archaeological exploration of two shipwrecks from the war. Pictured is the figurehead of the armed schooner USS Hamilton, formerly the merchant schooner Diana, which was launched at Oswego, N.Y. in 1809. Photo by Emory Kristof appears courtesy of the City of Hamilton, Ontario, CA.

OSWEGO – Come to the Lake Ontario Conference and Event Center on East First Street in Oswego for the third annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium. Hear compelling stories about the war along the New York-Canadian border from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 7. There will be a meet-and-greet social with cash bar, a presentation of the painting of the U.S. Brig Oneida by Oswego artist Tim Ames, and early registration from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 5.

Eleven speakers will explore a variety of War of 1812 topics, including military training and battle analysis; maritime and military archeology; naval history; wartime society and commerce; espionage; and the art of war.

On Saturday, April 6, Jonathan Moore, senior underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada, presents his fascinating report, “USS Hamilton and USS Scourge: Archaeological Exploration of Two Shipwrecks from the War of 1812,” which describes the archaeological surveys that were completed on the 1812-era shipwrecks from 2007 to 2009.

“Our team took the archaeological lead during the fieldwork research of these two ships that, together make up the Hamilton and Scourge National Historic Site of Canada; which is owned and managed by the city of Hamilton in Ontario,” said Moore. “We’ll explore the preparatory studies that lead up to the survey as well as the archaeological results we uncovered. We’ll also discuss each of the wrecks and their fascinating history; such that the USS Hamilton was originally launched at Oswego in 1809 as the merchant schooner Diana.”

Moore began his involvement in underwater archaeology at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he completed his undergraduate work. He finished his master’s degree in maritime studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and began working with Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Service in 1994. Since then, he has worked on more than 50 projects across Canada, including directing the two-year survey of the U.S. Navy shipwrecks USS Hamilton and USS Scourge that were wrecked in Great Lake Ontario in 1813.

Symposium participants will also discover engaging exhibitors, living history demonstrators and historical authors who will present and sign their works. Living history presenter Ted Schofield returns to the symposium this year. For one day only, Saturday, April 6, he and Bill Bamann will present a display dressed in the appropriate garments of the time. The exhibit also features period uniforms and clothing that a sailor aboard the U.S. Brig Oneida would have worn, along with the typical attire of a North Country militia man. Authors Dr. Peter Rindlisbacher and Hope Marston will be at hand to sign copies of their books, “War of 1812: Sea Battles on the Great Lakes” and “Sackets Harbor Powder Monkey: The War of 1812.”

Local media will be present at the symposium as well. WCNY-TV will be at hand to interview speakers and participants about the War of 1812, including its significance to local history, its ties to modern-day warfare, and the importance of battlefields and cemeteries. The material gathered will be included in the station’s upcoming documentary about War of 1812 battlefields along the Northern frontier.

The symposium is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Ontario, Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance, Old Fort Niagara Association, Oswego County Tourism Advisory Council, NBT Bank, The Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, Pathfinder Bank, SUNY Oswego Office of Business Relations, IHeartOswego, C & S Engineers, The Palladium-Times, H. Lee White Marine Museum, Man in the Moon Candies, City of Oswego, and the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

Registration for both days is $75 per person or $35 for students with a valid ID. The registration fee includes Saturday’s lunch 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.

Advance registration is required and may be paid by check or credit card through the Friends of Fort Ontario. Contact Franshisca Cedillo at 315-343-4711 for credit card payments Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Checks should be made payable to “Friends of Fort Ontario – 1812” and mailed to the Fort Ontario State Historic Site, 1 East Fourth Street, Oswego, N.Y. 13126.

Special room rates for symposium attendees are available at the Best Western Plus Captain’s Quarters Hotel, 26 East First Street, Oswego. Please call the hotel at 315-342-4040 and mention the Oswego War of 1812 Symposium.

For symposium details, visit www.fortontario.com. For visitor information, go to www.visitoswegocounty.com or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322. To follow other War of 1812 commemoration activities or to learn more about the history of Oswego County, go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/historical-info/war-of-1812/.