Tuscarora Heroes Monument
Dedicated on Thursday, December 19, 2013
on the 200th Anniversary of the brave Tuscarora action
Lewiston, New York
You can see construction photographs of daily progress by photographer Bill Carpenter at this website:
You can see a slide show of photographs of the bronzing process at Bronze Services of Loveland, Inc, (Loveland, CO) here: http://www.bronzeservicesofloveland.com/current-projecttuscarora-heroes.html
Honoring Forgotten Native American Heroes
It's one of the most remarkable stories in American history, and yet, it became a forgotten action during the "Forgotten War" of 1812.
While it is a rare example of Native Americans saving the lives of American citizens during a foreign attack, it wasn't until recently that the scope of the Tuscarora intervention in the attack was fully researched and recognized.
Surprisingly, there has never been any official expression of gratitude from the United States, New York State, Niagara County or the Town of Lewiston to the Tuscarora Nation. Until recently, most government officials had never heard the story.
In fact, Chief Elias Johnson writing about the courageous actions of the Tuscaroras in 1881, expressed resignation by saying, "But who cares anything about that?"
Well, it may have taken close to 200 years to care -- but the volunteers from the Historical Association of Lewiston (NY) are determined that the Tuscarora Heroes story will never be forgotten again. A monument will be constructed in the center of town that will showcase the brave actions of the Tuscaroras while reminding future generations that the friendship and guardianship of the Tuscaroras will be forever appreciated.
It's the least we can do...
About Tuscarora Heroes
In the early morning of December 19, 1813, the citizens of Lewiston, New York, awoke to unimaginable horrors. The small frontier village, situated on the Niagara River on the border between the United States and Canada, suddenly found itself on the front line of a vicious international war -- the War of 1812.
The British-Canadians, along with their allies from the First Nations, ran down River Road toward Lewiston, armed with torches, guns and tomahawks -- intent on retribution and turning Lewiston into a pile of ashes.
Poorly defended, Lewiston citizens were on their own. They could only run for their lives through the snow and mud in hopes of escaping the atrocities. Civilians were murdered in the rampage and tormented parents found themselves helpless in trying to save their children -- one 7-year-old was shot and scalped in front of his mother’s eyes.
At the moment when Lewiston citizens had lost hope and thought they would all become victims of a bloody and merciless massacre, local Tuscarora men ran down from their village atop the Escarpment and offered the first resistance the enemy had seen. Their ingenious and diversionary tactics gave the impression that “their numbers were legion.”
Fearing a trap, the enemy stopped in its tracks. Despite being outnumbered 30 to 1, the Tuscaroras were able to buy the escaping residents enough time to get out of harm’s way, saving dozens of American lives.
Be a Part of History
The Tuscarora Heroes Monument will be unveiled at 6:30pm, on December 19, 2013, and will offer American citizens a tremendous and rare opportunity to directly participate in honoring Native Americans who risked their lives to save ours.
This is the largest War of 1812 Bicentennial monument project in the U.S., and could be the only monument constructed by a community in thanksgiving and gratitude to Native Americans. The project will cost a few hundred thousand dollars and every penny raised toward that goal will be put into the project. This is a 100% volunteer effort.
The bulk of the costs will be allocated toward the over-lifesize bronze sculptures, brickwork and landscaping, colorful interpretive plaques, bronze plaques, flagpoles, and lighting and security cameras.
Meanwhile, local governments and business have stepped up to the plate and we have already obtained a very strong foundation of committed support from the Town of Lewiston and Niagara County (Greenway funds), KeyBank Foundation, The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, and the National, State, NY City and Local chapters of the Daughters of 1812. The Village of Lewiston donated the land.