Far from the frontlines of the War of 1812, the Cape and Islands still endured conflict along their shores.
Less than 30 years after gaining independence from the British Empire, the still fledgling United States found itself in conflict with its former rulers once again. The British interfered with trade, sovereignty, and the territorial expansion of the United States, pushing President James Madison to bring a list of grievances to Congress on June 1, 1812. Within two weeks, the United States was at war.
At the time, the War of 1812 was especially unpopular. Though it gathered great support from southern and western states (Tennessee and Kentucky were the westernmost states at the time), the war was almost unanimously opposed in New England, and the war declaration narrowly passed the House and Senate. Compared to the riots in Baltimore and the burning of Washington, D.C., Cape Cod largely remained out of the line of fire. But 100 years after the conflict began, our region’s role merits a place in history.
Born in “Tonset” (East Orleans) around 1758, Isaac Snow served in two of the United States’ major wars. As a young man, Snow served as a privateersman out of Boston during the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1776, when he was captured by the British. Snow miraculously escaped the British prison ship he was held on that was just off Lisbon, Portugal, and walked to France where he worked a passage home with French troops bound for the U.S. Back at sea in 1780, the British captured Snow once again and this time imprisoned him in Plymouth, England. After two years he was repatriated and returned home to Orleans.
- Posted in History