by John M. Bassett and A. Roy Petrie
Born in Massachusetts, Laura came to Upper Canada at the age of 18 and married James Secord. Their happy life in Queenston was disrupted by the outbreak of the War of 1812. At first the war went well for the British, but after General Brock was killed at Queenston, American forces advanced, and some offices were billeted with the Secords.
When Laura overheard American soldiers planning a surprise attack she unhesitatingly set out on a dangerous 32 km trek across enemy lines in order to warn the British general, Fitzgibbon. Her brave action made the battle of Beaver Dams a British victory.
Secord's role was not immediately acknowledged. In fact, she and her family suffered a great deal more at the hands of American troops, and they were strained by the economic turmoil war brings for many years after the peace. Recognition did come to her in later years, however. Her biography gives a rich impression of life in Upper Canada in the early nineteenth century.