Tuscarora Heroes remembered for bravery 200 years ago

Dec 20, 2013

A dramatic piece of local history was reenacted Thursday night in Lewiston that was a result of the War of 1812.  Two-hundred years ago, the British captured Fort Niagara and then attacked and burned Lewiston.

But a group of about 30 Tuscaroras rushed in to protect and rescue dozens of Lewiston citizens. They were finally being honored with a special Tuscarora Heroes monument.

"We're making up for lost time. We're about 200 years late, in terms of our appreciation, but we are going to make sure that this forgotten moment and a forgotten war will never be forgotten again," said Lee Simonson, director of the Tuscarora Heroes Monument Committee. Simonson is also author of the book Tuscarora Heroes.

A monument will be unveiled at the corner of Portage Road and Center Street Thursday evening, December 19, the date the massacre occurred 200 years ago.  

Simonson tells WBFO News the Tuscaroras were never thanked for their bravery.

"What people don't talk about is the fact that there was retribution against the Tuscarora's for helping us," said Simonson. "When the British found out that the Tuscarora's were on our side, during the attack, afterwards the British burned the Tuscarora Village down." 

The monument was created by sculpture Susan Geissler, who nationally acclaimed for her artwork and lives right in Lewiston. It pays homage to the rescue of citizens by the Tuscarora members and includes three statues

The monument was created by sculpture Susan Geissler.

"A Lewiston woman running with her baby into the arms of a Tuscarora native, who was there to protect her," said Simonson.

The national president of the Daughters of 1812 attended last night’s ceremony.