Don­ald Trump, the War of 1812 and Hal­i­fax — here’s the con­nec­tion

Pres­i­dent’s com­ments show he ‘doesn’t know his his­tory’ at

StarMetro Halifax - - FRONT PAGE - HA­LEY RYAN

The man who helped burn down the White House, an event ap­par­ently top-of-mind for U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, can be found in down­town Hal­i­fax.

Bri­tish Army Maj.-gen. Robert Ross, orig­i­nally from North­ern Ire­land, is most fa­mous for his role in the Burn­ing of Washington dur­ing the War of 1812.

The de­tails might be foggy for Cana­di­ans who stud­ied the war in mid­dle school or re­mem­ber the 200-year an­niver­sary in 2012, but the mil­i­tary con­flict was brought up on the world stage this week by Trump.

On Wed­nes­day, CNN re­ported that Trump men­tioned the at­tack dur­ing a May 25 conversation with Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau on his de­ci­sion to im­pose tar­iffs on met­als im­ported from Canada, Mex­ico and the European Union. Ac­cord­ing to CNN’S sources, Trump asked Trudeau: “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” The CBC has con­firmed the CNN re­port.

John Boileau, Hal­i­fax author and his­to­rian, would like to set Trump straight. “It was purely a Bri­tish op­er­a­tion; any Cana­di­ans there just hap­pened to be ones who had joined the Bri­tish navy or the Bri­tish army but didn’t even pass through Canada,” Boileau said in an in­ter­view Thurs­day. “So for Pres­i­dent Trump to say, ‘Didn’t you guys burn the White House?’ He doesn’t know his his­tory.”

It wasn’t un­til the end of the war, which lasted from 1812-14, that the Bri­tish were re­ally able to “go on the of­fen­sive.”



A plaque com­mem­o­rat­ing Bri­tish Maj.-gen. Robert Ross by the front gates of the the Old Bury­ing Ground on Bar­ring­ton St., where Ross is buried. Ross is cred­ited with set­ting fire to what is now the White House dur­ing the War of 1812.

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