The Fenians – Unintended Fathers of Confederation

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The Fenians — Irish-American veterans of the American Civil War — hoped to conquer Canada and trade it for Irish independence from Britain. Instead, Britain’s North American colonies united against them in mutual defence, thereby contributing to the achievement of Confederation. Twenty three rare and historical watercolour paintings portray the battles of Ridgeway and Fort Erie, where Fenian invaders clashed with Canadian militia.

An exhibition developed by the Canadian War Museum in partnership with the Fort Erie Historical Museum.

Watercolour by Alexander von Erichsen, around 1866
Fort Erie Historical Museum 994.085.008