Two-hundred years after Laura Secord’s famous nocturnal walk through the woods and fields near Queenston, Upper Canada to warn British forces of a planned American attack, the Royal Canadian Mint has launched a circulating coin in her honour. The launch, held at the Secord homestead in what is now southern Ontario’s Niagara region, was conducted by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, and Ian Bennett, master of the Royal Canadian Mint.
The piece is the last of four circulation coins commemorating key historical figures that influenced the fight for Canada from 1812 to 1814. “Honouring the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with this special circulation coin pays tribute to one of our greatest national heroes and reminds us that women and men of all backgrounds played instrumental roles on the road to Confederation,” said Nicholson. “Our government encourages Canadians to take this unprecedented opportunity to learn more about our heroes and history and to take pride in our traditions by collecting this new circulation coin dedicated to War of 1812 hero Laura Secord.”
The War of 1812 paved the way for Confederation. It was the fight for Canada and a defining moment in our country’s history that saw British regular forces, English and French-speaking militia, First Nations and Métis allies join together to defend our borders. Without their courage and sacrifice, and the support of ordinary citizens like Secord, Canada as we know it would not exist.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is committed to preserving memories of the people, places and events which tell the story of the Canadian experience and the remembrance of the heroes of the War of 1812 is a wonderful way to celebrate our proud values,” Bennett said. “Laura Secord is celebrated as a hero of the War of 1812 for valiantly supporting our troops in a spirit which survives to this day and the Mint is delighted to have issued a 25-cent circulation coin which Canadians can collect in celebration of her nation-building achievement.” Limited to a mintage of 12.5 million coins, the piece began circulating June 22. The Mint has also released a number of precious metal collector coins since the official launch of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the War of 1812 on June 18, 2012.
On June 11, the Mint issued a .9999 Fine silver $4 coin featuring a portrait of Secord set against a background consisting of the bilingual text “The War of 1812/La guerre de 1812.” The coin, emblazoned by the engraved and painted Government of Canada War of 1812 logo, is limited to a mintage of only 10,000. Secord is also celebrated in recently launched commemorative gift sets and special edition Uncirculated sets featuring the Mint’s War of 1812-themed circulation coins.