The War of 1812
in the West

The Oregon Country Legacy

Facsimile of the proclamation declaring war by the United States against Great Britain. For reproduction of original see:



The War of 1812, fought between Great Britain and the United States from 1812 to 1815, had little direct consequence for the Pacific Northwest. The majority of military action took place around the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Valley and the East Coast.

The war would eventually find its way to the Pacific Northwest, but no battle was fought here. Instead, two curious events took place – the sale of Fort Astoria by an American fur trading company to a British fur trading company, and its subsequent symbolic capture by a British warship’s captain.

These two events led to a geopolitical struggle culminating in the boundary settlement along the 49th parallel between British and American possessions in the West — today’s Canada-U.S. border.

The Battle of Queenston Heights (the subject of this painting by John David Kelly published in 1896) represents one of the pivotal events of the War of 1812 in what is now Eastern Canada. Courtesy Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1954-1, C-000273.

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Panel 1