The man called the “Hero of Châteauguay,” Lt. Col. Charles-Michel
de Salaberry, now has a new home — Canada’s 25-cent coin.
The Royal Canadian Mint on March 18 released the third of four
circulating commemorative 25-cent coins celebrating Canadian heroes of
the War of 1812. The coin was unveiled March 15 at the Stewart Museum
Lt. Col. de Salaberry and his Voltigeurs militia (a light infantry
unit) famously defended Lower Canada at the Battle of Châteauguay in
October 1813. Outnumbered, he and about 1,700 Voltigeurs forced the
retreat of around 3,000 of American forces attempting to capture the
city of Montreal.
This was the first of several victories that thwarted American
plans to take Montreal, including battles at Crysler’s Farm in
November 1813, and at Lacolle Mills in March 1814.
A portrait of the military leader graces the reverse of the new
25-cent coin, in a design by Bonnie Ross, against a background
composed of multiple appearances of “The War of 1812” in both French
and English. The stylized maple leaf from the Government of Canada War
of 1812 logo also appears on the reverse design.
A total of 12.5 million coins featuring de Salaberry are being
issued, half with red color applied to the maple leaf and the
remainder without any color but with a frosted portrait of de
Salaberry. The finish on the noncolor version is specific to the War
of 1812 series but does not have a name, according to an RCM official.
The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
A noncirculating collector coin — a Proof .9999 fine silver $4
piece with color — was released March 12 with the same design,
For more information, visit the RCM’s website, www.mint.ca. ■