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Jake Breadman


Jake Breadman is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Queen’s University. He has proposed to write an environmental history of the War of 1812 in the Niagara region under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey L. McNairn and Dr. Scott Berthelette. His dissertation will assess how non-human historical actors affected combatants and the war in Niagara, from the tiniest microbes to the largest draught animals. Special consideration will be given to food and drink, sickness and disease, weather and climate, and animals to understand how these non-human historical actors impacted soldiers and Indigenous warriors on the ground. Jake seeks to depart from the historiographical focus on warring nation-states by focusing on historical actors that do not respect national, racial, or ethnic boundaries.

Breadman is from St. Catharines, Ontario, a city in the Niagara region. His interest in the War of 1812 stems from his ancestors that served in the 4th Regiment of Lincoln Militia during the war. He has worked at various historical sites in Niagara, particularly Fort George, Brock’s Monument, Old Fort Erie and, most recently, The Brown Homestead. Last year, he was a Research Assistant for Dr. Keri Cronin’s Niagara Animal-Human Histories Project at Brock University, where he transcribed digitized War of 1812 loss claims held at Library and Archives Canada to explore what role animals played in Niagara during the War of 1812.

Selected Publications


“Calories and Culture: Food, Drink, and the British Army in Early-Nineteenth Century Upper Canada,” Ontario History (Accepted with Minor Revisions, Spring 2023)

“‘The Most Determined Spirit of Hostility’: The Brown Family in the War of 1812,” The Brown Homestead’s Journal, 10 June 2022

“Usable Pasts: Omissions in The Journal of Major John Norton, 1816 and the Fight for Haudenosaunee Sovereignty in the Early Nineteenth-Century,” The Canadian Journal of Native Studies Vol. 40, No. 2 (2020): 239-259

Looking at the Grain: An Environmental Analysis of Edward Walsh's Old Fort Erie,” Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE), 21 April 2021

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.