Niagara Falls' Military History

There is more than meets the eye here.

This is print #7 of Morgan's Improved Protean Scenery. Protean images are scenes that are altered or transformed when illuminated from behind.

To quote the caption of this work, "This print at first represents the Great Fall of Niagara by day; and upon holding it before the light, it will present to your view the American Steamer, Caroline, on fire as it appeared a few seconds before it was launched into the awful abyss on the night of the 29th of Dec'r 1837."

On that night, the Canadian militia under British orders boarded the Caroline which was being used to supply Canadian rebels on Navy Island. An American was killed in the skirmish and the ship was sent upon the Niagara River in flames. This became a tense international incident between England and the U.S. News spread fast because this protean print was published just two months later on February 24 in London, England. This print can be found in the Brock University Archives.

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