War of 1812 has Galt roots


  • Jul 30, 2012


This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812 – June 18 – to the signing of the treaty of Ghent on Dec. 24, 1814. Few Cambridge residents are aware of this city’s connection with that war.

William Dickson, the founder of Galt, arrived here from Dumfries in Scotland in the late 1700s along with his two brothers Robert and Thomas. William became a prominent lawyer in Newark, Thomas later served as a militia officer in the war and Robert began a career as a fur trader. It was during this period that Robert married the daughter of a Santee Dakota Chief, therefore cementing his alliance with the western tribes.

On the day that the U.S. declared war on Great Britain, Robert received a request from Isaac Brock to bring as many native allies as he could muster to St. Joseph island, a British military post in northern Lake Huron where a successful assault was launched on the American island fortress of Michilimackinac.

The fort was captured without a shot being fired, Brock repeated this technique along with the help of Dickson and his native friends to capture Fort Detroit and cause the surrender of an American army.

For more information on the war of 1812, go to www.bid-1812.com.

Roy Winders
(British Indian Dept. re-enactment group)

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