The Battle of Ridgeway was fought in the vicinity of the town of Fort Erie near the village of Ridgeway, Canada West June 2, 1866, between Canadian troops and an irregular Fenian army of Irish Americans.

by Michael Whittaker

At Merrickville’s Royal Canadian Legion, Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2 pm, discover the history of the Fenian Brotherhood’s raids (1866 to 1871) from the United States into British North America. If freedom from English rule couldn’t be won in Ireland, then capture Canada to trade for Ireland’s independence.

Ross Jones, a member of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, will present on the disaffected Irish and their allies’ unsuccessful invasions into Southwestern Ontario, the Niagara Region, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

The American branch of Irish Republican or Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, known as the Fenian Brotherhood, failed to seize Canada. The organization did succeed in promoting an independent Canada, Canadian disaffection with the British Government for failing to press the US government for reparations, and a general anti-Americanism.

Ross’ main area of expertise is Canadian and American weapons used during the Fenian Raids. He consults with local heritage organizations regarding the care and identification of firearms, and he builds and restores flintlock rifles and muskets.

This is one of 15 special events organized by the Merrickville and District Historical Society to help commemorate Merickville-Wolford 225.

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