A crowd gathered at 8 a.m. Monday morning in front of the Tuscarora Heroes Remembrance to observe the 203rd anniversary of the British attack on Lewiston. Participants recognized the efforts of brave Tuscarora warriors who helped men, women and children escape the War of 1812 attack that saw Lewiston burned.
Lee Simonson organized the event. On behalf of the Daughters of 1812, he presented Tuscarora Nation Chief Leo Henry, Tuscarora Council member Neil Patterson Sr. and Clan Mother Francene Patterson with a copy of "1812-opoly." Simonson said the game is modeled after the popular "Monopoly" board game, but also serves as an educational tool and resource. He noted one card reads, "Tuscarora Heroes Save Lewiston Citizens, move ahead 3 spaces."
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Neil Patterson placed a wreath at the monument and reminded guests that the Tuscaroras' determination to protect non-Indians from other Native Americans was unprecedented. He noted the Tuscaroras also worked to save Mohawks living in Lewiston.
On Dec. 19, 1813, the Tuscaroras were outnumbered 30-to-1 by the enemy, but were able to delay the attack long enough to enable dozens of Lewiston citizens to escape down Ridge Road. About a dozen people were killed during the attack.
Francene Patterson offered a Tuscarora prayer and thanked Lewiston for the memorial - and for subsequently changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People Day.
Susan Geissler created the Tuscarora Heroes monument, located at the corner of Center Street and Portage Road. The memorial is the largest 1812 bicentennial monument project in the U.S. It was dedicated on Dec. 19, 2013, as part of the "Flames Through Lewiston" historical re-enactment ceremony.
Above, Lee Simonson (far right) presents "1812-opoly" to Tuscarora Nation Chief Leo Henry, Tuscarora Council member Neil Patterson Sr. and Clan Mother Francene Patterson. Below, he plays Apple smartphone application Siri describing the events in Lewiston and the efforts of the Tuscaroras to save lives.