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Canada 2012 War of 1812 Bicentennial 200th Anniversary Heroes #2 - Sir Isaac Brock $4 Pure Silver Proof with Color

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04156
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Product Description

Commemorate the heroes of the War of 1812, the second war of American Independence, with this eminently affordable, pure silver proof - second in the series!

The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing a multi-coin program to remember the War of 1812, which was, in effect, a second War of Independence for the nascent United States (that's right, we had to fight for our freedom twice!). For Americans, mention of the War of 1812 conjures up images of the Star Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry, frigate duels on the high seas, the burning of Washington, D.C. (and the White House), and Andrew Jackson's smashing victory at the Battle of New Orleans. For Canadians, the war helped begin to establish a national identity, as Native Americans and Canadian militia fought alongside British regulars to repel multiple American incursions into Canada. Commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with this low mintage, pure silver military-themed proof!

Click here for the entire Heroes of the War of 1812 Program!

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Old Glory, the Star-Spangled Banner, waves over Fort McHenry at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor while the British fleet bombards the fort by night, in the scene witnessed by Francis Scott Key, who penned the national anthem of the United States.Sir Isaac Brock - Hero of Upper Canada
Part of the ongoing War of 1812 program, from the Royal Canadian Mint, this coin design (an original work of art by Bonnie Ross) features a three-quarter profile portrait of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock in his high-collared 19th-century military coat and scarf. Brock’s portrait is set against an intricately engraved background comprised of the bilingual text “The War of 1812  /La guerre de 1812.” This background is horizontally bisected by a polished silver band featuring the embossed word “Brock” in historical, cursive lettering. Beneath this is the official Government of Canada War of 1812 logo, composed of the date “1812” (in period, handwritten lettering) overlaid on a red maple leaf with swords crossing behind it.

Please see the article at the end of this presentation for more about Sir Isaac Brock.

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War of 1812 Bicentennial Program
The Mint has released an outstanding program of coins in honor of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, including several numismatic silver dollars. All feature a dynamic, military design. The silver dollar design is available in 3 different varieties, included among these program options:

    • Silver Dollar #1 - A Brilliant Uncirculated Pure Silver Dollar in presentation case
    • Silver Dollar #2 - A Proof Pure Silver Dollar in presentation case
    • Proof Set #1 - The low mintage, 8-Coin Silver Dollar Proof Set
    • Proof Set #2 - The even-lower-mintage 8-Coin Pure Silver Proof Set with special gold-plated War of 1812 silver dollar
    • Gold Proof! The mintage of 2,000 War of 1812 Coat of Arms $10 Pure Gold Proof
    • Silver Kilogram - Ultra-rare, mintage of 700 Battle of Queenston Heights Ultra High Relief Kilogram
    • 99.999% Pure Gold Proof! $350 Gold Proof weighs 1-1/8 troy ounces (of the purest gold on the planet)
    ...and more to come!

...and don't forget the U.S.S. Constitution Pure Silver Dollar with Color - the victor of several War of 1812 battles against British ships, during which she earned the nickname "Old Ironsides"!

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The War of 1812 - The Canadian Perspective
The famous naval duel of the War of 1812 between the American frigate USS Constitution and the British ship HMS Guerriere, which ended in a smashing American victory!In the United States, battles such as the Battle of New Orleans of 1815 and the Battle of Baltimore of 1814 (which inspired the lyrics of the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner") produced a sense of euphoria over this "Second War of Independence" against Great Britain. It ushered in the "Era of Good Feelings" in which partisan animosity nearly vanished.

For Canadians, the War of 1812 does not figure as large on the national landscape, but still represents a rich historical moment steeped in both fact and myth, complete with heroes and villains, glorious victories and disastrous defeats. While the conflict did not predestine the emergence of Canada as a nation, outcomes like the sustained sovereignty of British North America and the collaborative experience of resisting American forces would eventually help to feed Canada’s transition from British colony to dominion to independent nation.

English colonists, French Canadiens and Native Americans alike recognized that American invasion threatened their own independence and way of life. They had good reason to fret: the United States continued to expand relentlessly southward and westward throughout the nineteenth century, eventually annexing Hawaii and the Philippines by century's end.

The War of 1812 was hard fought on both sides for two more years, over which time some of Canada’s proudest moments arose. The hard lessons learned in the War further strengthened the physical and economic ties between Upper and Lower Canada, promoting greater colonial unity. More viscerally, the conflict spawned shared stories and heroes that represent a common thread in the histories of all of Canada’s founding peoples.

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Technology Note - Color
The RCM leads the world with its proprietary colorization technology, in which the color is actually sealed on the coin. The intricate detail, smooth gradients, and extreme precision of the technology create a stunning, full-color portrait on each coin.

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Canada 2012 War of 1812 $4 Silver Sir Isaac Brock in packageTechnology Note - Purity
The Royal Canadian Mint refines the purest silver in the world. The RCM is also the only mint in the world to issue commemorative coins in a .9999 fineness. This silver proof coin is 99.99% pure!

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Obverse
Designed by Canadian artist Bonnie Ross, a finely detailed portrait of Sir Isaac Brock. The official logo of the Government of Canada's commemoration of the War of 1812 and the denomination also appear.

 

Reverse
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in profile facing right. This portrait, the fourth effigy of the queen to appear on Canadian Coinage, was executed by the artist Susanna Blunt. The date and legend ELIZABETH II D. G. REGINA ("Elizabeth II, Queen by the Grace of God") also appear.

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Packaging

The coin is encapsulated inside a burgundy leatherette, clamshell-style presentation case, lined with black velvet and protected by a full color outer box. An individually-numbered certificate of authenticity is included.

Specifications
Country Canada
Year of Issue     2012
   
Face Value 4 Dollars
Weight 7.96 g
Diameter 27 mm
Mintage Limit 10,000
   
Finish Proof with Color
Composition .9999 Fine (Pure) Silver
Edge Serrated (reeded, milled)
   
Artist Bonnie Ross
Certificate Individually Numbered


Complete Certificate Text

 

Heroes of the War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a fundamental turning point in Canada’s history: it profoundly influenced British North America’s (Canada’s) sense of identity and united French settlers, English settlers, Indigenous communities, farmers, soldiers, artisans, and others, in an effort to preserve their ways of life from American invasion.

From the struggle emerged exceptional accounts of some of Canada’s proudest moments. These stories and the heroes that arose from them, exemplified the extraordinary characteristics required to defend British North America, and have become important symbols and enduring narratives in the history and evolution of today’s Canada.

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The “Hero of Upper Canada:”
Sir Isaac Brock (1769-1812)

Sir Isaac Brock was born on Guernsey, one of Britain’s Channel Islands. The eighth son of a middle-class family, he was reputed to be a hard-working young man keen to better himself. Brock became an ensign in the British Army in 1785 and later saw action in the Revolutionary wars, where, among other things, Brock observed the Royal Navy’s destruction of the Danish fleet at Copenhagen in 1801, from the deck of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s flagship.

Brock was sent to Lower Canada in 1801 to serve as Lieutenant-Colonel, landing in Québec City in August of 1802. Once settled, he made several military improvements that would prove critical when war came in 1812. These included bringing the Provincial Marine under military direction, which allowed it to become an effective fighting force on the Great Lakes, strengthening the fortification of Québec City’s citadel, and constructing an imposing battery on the south side of the St. Lawrence River.

In 1811, after a series of promotions, Brock became Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, making him simultaneously the colony’s civilian and military leader. In the period that followed, he would navigate the difficulties of balancing his interests in improving the defence of Upper Canada with those of his political colleagues who were not interested in military matters. As relations between Britain and the United States deteriorated, Brock continued to strengthen fortifications and improve military structure in Upper Canada. His preparations proved critical when war broke out on June 18, 1812.

In July 1812, as they marched to confront the American forces at Fort Detroit, Brock met Tecumseh, the famous Shawnee warrior. Their mutual admiration was almost instant. Brock’s understanding of the important role played by the Aboriginal people in the conflict was one of the distinguishing features of his leadership.

In their campaign to take Fort Detroit, Brock and Tecumseh only counted 700 troops and 800 Aboriginal warriors in their offensive force. As such, they were outnumbered nearly two to one by their American opponents. Deceptive tactics, though, won the day. By visibly parading his small force and that of his indigenous allies in a continual circuit to increase the appearance of their numbers, Brock duped his American counterpart, Brigadier-General William Hull, into surrendering Detroit without firing a single shot.

On October 13, 1812, Brock—having been warned an attack on the Niagara Peninsula was imminent—was not surprised by the American attack on Queenston, near Fort George. Rising from his bed the moment he heard shots, he rode alone to Queenston to join the battle, already underway. Leading a charge to retake a gun battery, he was shot through the heart by an American sharpshooter, and died instantly. Nonetheless, the British went on to win the battle.

Brock’s initiative and bravery immediately made him a hero and arguably the most well-known military figure of the War of 1812. His actions during the War of 1812 earned him a knighthood, membership in the Order of Bath, and a host of other posthumous accolades, including the title: “Hero of Upper Canada.”

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Canada was able to develop as a transcontinental nation thanks to Major General Sir Isaac Brock’s successful defense of Upper Canada in 1812. The loss of this British North American province to the Americans would have blocked Canada’s future expansion westward. Once the United States’ congress had declared war on the British Empire in July 1812, the loss of the interior province — now Southern Ontario — seemed inevitable, because of the numerical superiority of the American army. By bold action and confident leadership, Brock proved to his outnumbered British and Canadian troops, and to a dispirited colonial population, that American troops could be defeated and that the colony could be saved. Long after his death in October 1812, Brock’s example inspired the Canadian militia, British regular troops, and their native allies who resisted later American invasions. Sharing in resistance to an external enemy also gave the colonists of different origins a common, unifying experience. The foundation for a wider Canadian nationalism had been laid.

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Sir Isaac Brock (1769-1812), The Hero of Upper Canada
Sir Isaac Brock was born in Britain’s Channel Islands, the eighth son in a hard-working middle-class family. He joined the British Army as an ensign in 1785 and advanced quickly. Brock was sent to Lower Canada in 1801 to serve as Lieutenant-Colonel in Québec City. By 1811 he was Upper Canada’s military commander and the acting head of its civilian government.

With most of Britain’s army and navy involved in a war against the Napoleonic empire, the Americans could be expected to take advantage of the situation to seize the remaining parts of British North America — colonies that had not joined the American Revolution in the 1770s. Brock had decided that taking the offensive was the best defence and, as soon as he heard of the American declaration of war, he dispatched a force to capture fortified Mackinac Island. This early victory in the Upper Great Lakes attracted aboriginal allies who had already lost territory to the expanding United States. Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnees, a charismatic leader who had been resisting the Americans, was impressed by Brock who, in return, admired his native ally. Their combined forces compelled an invading American army to withdraw from western Upper Canada to Fort Detroit, which they besieged. By bravado and courage, the attacking force of British regulars, colonial militiamen, and native warriors forced the larger American force of General Hull to surrender in August 1812. This triumph rallied the colonial population and supplied the defenders with much-needed weapons and ammunition.

The next American invasion came two months later, across the Niagara River to the Canadian village of Queenston, astride the portage road between Lakes Ontario and Erie. The date was October 13, 1812. The village was defended by a small British detachment but, as soon as he heard the sound of cannon fire, Brock rode from Fort George, at the river’s mouth, to lead a counter-attack against the American landing party. Supporting troops and native allies followed. Leading a charge to retake a gun battery on the heights above Queenston, Brock was shot by an American sharpshooter and died instantly. Without reinforcements from the American shore, the invaders were pushed back to the riverbank by Iroquois warriors, British and colonial troops commanded by General Roger Sheaffe. There the Americans surrendered. Although Brock did not live to see this victory, thanks to his daring strategy, the year’s end saw Upper Canada cleared of enemy forces and the colony’s defenders in possession of a large part of the Americans’ Michigan territory.

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The Brock Commemorative Half-Penny Tokens
Brock’s initiative and bravery immediately made him a hero in the annals of Canadian history and one of the most well-known Canadian military figures of the War of 1812. His actions earned him a knighthood in the Order of Bath (although he died before receiving notice of this honour) and many posthumous accolades, including the formal title “The Hero of Upper Canada.”

Beginning in the year following Brock’s death, private companies struck tokens to commemorate the Hero of Upper Canada’s exceptional commitment and ultimate sacrifice. The light copper coins circulated in Upper Canada at a contemporary value of half a penny; it was common at the time for such coins to trade as currency. Several versions of the Brock token were struck and circulated between 1812 and 1816. Having become quite common during that time-span, they were eventually devalued in 1820.

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