The Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to honour the Hero of Châteauguay; Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry on its newest 25-cent circulation coin commemorating the heroes of the War of 1812, unveiled today by Mr. Guy Dancosse of the Royal Canadian Mint Board of Directors and Mr. Guy Vadeboncoeur, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Stewart Museum at the Stewart Museum in Montreal, Quebec. It is the third of four circulation coins which commemorate key historical figures which influenced the fight for Canada from 1812 to 1814.
“The Royal Canadian Mint is committed to preserving memories of the people, places and events which tell the story of the Canadian experience and the remembrance of the heroes of the War of 1812 is a wonderful way to celebrate our proud values,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “Lieutenant Colonel de Salaberry and his Voltigeurs militia loom large among the many heroes who valiantly defended Canada 200 years ago and the Mint is delighted to have issued a special 25-cent circulation coin which allows Canadians to learn more about their importance to our history as they discover and collect this new coin.”
The War of 1812 paved the way for Confederation. It was the fight for Canada and a defining moment in our country’s history that saw British regular forces, English and French-speaking militia, First Nations and Métis1 allies join together to defend our borders2. Without their courage and sacrifice, Canada as we know it would not exist.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles-Michel de Salaberry served as an officer of the British army in Lower Canada (now Quebec). As war loomed in the spring of 1812, he helped raise a unit of militia corps, known as the Canadian Voltigeurs, from among his primarily French Canadian compatriots. These new forces would help defend Lower Canada against the imminent attack.
He is best known for the Battle of Châteauguay in October of 1813, where about 1,700 Canadians helped repel around 3,000 American troops and Montreal was saved from a large-scale attack.