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The 1839 Memorial of Jacob Franks for services during the War of 1812

In this month's Findings/Trouvailles, Peter Davis examines a petition by fur trader Jacob Franks that lifts a veil on the activities of Canadians, indigenous peoples, and British forces in the northwestern Great Lakes region during the War of 1812.

The document also reflects the tightly networked fraternity of fur traders, and sheds light on the close cooperation between the military and the merchant community in Lower and Upper Canada during the war.

Findings/Trouvailles, edited by the award-winning author Douglas Hunter, presents an intriguing piece of the Canadian past each month that offers a new surprise: an archival document, a piece of correspondence, a baptismal record, an old newspaper report, film footage, a work of art, an object of material culture. The Findings will be the subject of a learned discussion (in either official language) that, in the typical style of Champlain Society publications, will illuminate the content and context of the new “find”. Findings/Trouvailles will provides an outlet for history lovers to share their passion for the people of the past and explain how these artifacts speak to them. The items need not be in a Canadian collection, but will enhance our understanding of Canadian history.

For more information on how to become a contributor to “Findings/Trouvailles”, contact Mr. Hunter at