Born in Massachusetts in 1775, Laura Ingersoll had a tough childhood. Her mother died when Laura was 9, and her father soon remarried. Her father was a public official and an officer in the army. He spent most of his time at work. As the oldest child, Laura would have been expected to help raise her younger brothers and sisters.
In time, Laura’s father heard the Canadian government was offering land to settlers. Canada at that time was still a part of the British Empire. After what must have been a difficult decision, her father moved the family to Ontario. Two years later, at the age of 22, Laura met and married James Secord, a Canadian with strong ties to the King of England. After the wedding, Laura and her new husband moved away to another town.
Unfortunately, arguments were growing between the United States and Great Britain. Eventually the arguing led to war. In 1812, the United States army invaded Canada. Laura’s husband James joined the army, yet was soon wounded in battle. He returned home to recover. While he rested, the Americans occupied Laura's new town.
The American army forced Laura to quarter some soldiers in her home. One day, while serving a meal for American officers, she overheard them discussing plans for an attack. The Americans expected to take the British army by surprise and destroy it. This would allow them to drive the British from Canada, and possibly cause Laura’s new country to lose the war. Laura felt she had to do something.
That night, she left her husband alone and snuck out to warn the British army. As she was leaving, an American guard stopped Laura and demanded to know where she was going. Thinking quickly, Laura told the guard that she was going to milk a cow. The American believed her, and she was able to slip away.
The journey was long and difficult. Laura had to avoid American scouts. She traveled many hours in the dark before stumbling into a camp of Native warriors. Luckily, the Natives were friends of the British. They gave Laura shelter then led her to the British camp. With the help of Laura and the Natives, the British ambushed the Americans and defeated them. Laura’s new home was safe. Though she received little reward for her devotion and bravery, Laura Secord still is considered a folk hero by many Canadians.