Sunday, January 8, 2017

Gone for Soldiers? Sailors? Marines? William T. Slater (About 1794 - 1847)

This morning the Library of Congress* reminded me that today is the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Family history gives this date (or sometime near it)** as the moment when one of my maternal third great grandfathers Yorkshireman William T. Slater*** decided he didn't want to be English any more.

[Battle of New Orleans…the 8th of January 1815. William Edward West, artist; Philadelphia: Published and sold by J. Yeager, engraver, [1817]. Popular Graphic Arts. Prints & Photographs Division]

Three years later he was applying for citizenship in Jefferson County, Indiana.

*Through their Digital Collections' Today in History which is my home page.
**You can find an excellent overview of the War of 1812 leading up to the two-month long campaign now known as the Battle of New Orleans here. I had never considered the terrain my great great great grandfather faced upon leaving his post, but this National Park Service photo of a Louisiana bayou included by the author makes it clear that it must have been daunting--even without taking into account the wildlife that's found there.

[Alligator crossing the road, Jean Lafitte National Park
Both photos courtesy of the National Park Service]

And he wouldn't have had the benefit of the safety information currently distributed by the Park Service--an example:
Think like an alligator. Alligators are surprisingly fast: on land they can move quickly over short distances and in the water they're unstoppable. Remember to keep your distance and stand tall. Alligators judge their prey by its size, and if you are kneeling down to take a picture, you're a much more tempting target than if you're standing up.
***Allegedly part of the British invasion forces, you can read more about William T. Slater in my original post and see what more Christine was able to find out about him here.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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