Despite the lock-down, our Museum-Archives has been working diligently to produce exciting new material for visitors.
This past week the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada launched an unusual historical exhibit on its website www.lithuanianheritage.ca/digitalgallery. It portrays a period in history that is important to the Lithuanian Canadian Community and to all Canadians interested in this country‘s past. “European Traces in the War of 1812“ explores the story of Lithuanians who fought for Canada‘s independence in the war against the US waged between 1812-1815. On the website you can also hear about the evolutions of this exhibition, in an interview with LMAC director Danguolė Juozapavičius-Breen and the exhibition‘s researcher Peg Perry. She spent many months on this fascinating quest, which resulted in this exhibition and an e-book as well. One of her own ancestors fought in the same battles as the Lithuanians who were in the British army at the time.
This is the story of soldiers born in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, who fought under Napoleon, became British prisoners of war, then bought their freedom by serving the British in troops stationed overseas. Then – 209 years ago – they were brought to Canada to fight in battles at Fort Erie, Oswego and other places. Most of them died in battle and were buried at those locations. Others were captured by the Americans and stayed in USA, while some returned to Europe without taking the land they were offered in the country they had defended. The Lithuanians were known for their bravery in battle and their ability to survive the worst of circumstances. We can be proud of their contribution to the history of the Canadian nation. The story of these 99 soldiers, the very first Lithuanians in Canada, is certainly worth a visit. The narrative and illustrations are mounted on stands created by graphic designer Akvilė Minkevičienė. Lithuanian texts are also provided.
Another interesting feature is the e-book by researcher Peg Perry containing further details and highlights of the research, with images of original documents, illustrations and sources. Be sure to read this authentically Canadian-Lithuanian story.