Stonington Explores the War of 1812


By The Press Staff

STONINGTON – The Stonington Historical Society will present “The Rockets’ Red Glare Over Stonington”, an exploration of the War of 1812 in Connecticut and of the Battle of Stonington, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the La Grua Center.

This discussion will be presented by four of the contributing authors of “The Rockets’ Red Glare: The War of 1812 and Connecticut,” recently published in conjunction with the exhibit “The Rockets’ Red Glare: Connecticut and the War of 1812,” which is on display at the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London through Jan. 5.

The four presenters at the Aug. 15 program are: James Boylan (author, historian, and former president of the Stonington Historical Society); Meredith Mason Brown (lawyer, author, historian, and a director and former president of the Stonington Historical Society); James Tertius de Kay (author of many books, including the definitive book on the Battle of Stonington); and Nancy Steenburg (historian and professor at University of Connecticut – Avery Point). Steenburg discovered and studied a number of interviews a New London historian, Frances Manwaring Caulkins, conducted in 1828 with men and women who were at the Battle of Stonington in August 1814. In that battle, a major British naval squadron bombarded Stonington for four days and, despite possessing vastly superior firepower, was forced to withdraw.

America is now commemorating the bicentennial of the start of the War of 1812. The Aug. 15 program will explore such key issues of the war, the Battle of Stonington, and their effect on Stonington as: why America declared war on Britain; why Connecticut initially opposed the war; what was at stake in the Battle of Long Island Sound (including the American use of privateers, torpedoes and submarines); why the British blockaded Connecticut and why they attacked Stonington; and what the results of the War of 1812 were, both locally and nationally. Admission to the program is free and open to the public.

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