Transcript of the PoemAbout the PoemThe Life of Samuel WoodworthResourcesSite Authorship
Battle Illustration
Courtesy, The Lilly Library, Indiana University,
Bloomington, Indiana.

The Heroes of the Lake: Samuel Woodworth’s Epic Poem on the Battle of Lake Erie

Samuel Woodworth, American Heroes,
and the War of 1812

Samuel Woodworth’s epic poem The Heroes of the Lake offers a unique perspective on the War of 1812. An epic poem about the Battle of Lake Erie and the Battle of the Thames, The Heroes of the Lake serves as an example of an American author striving to articulate a national voice through literature. The poem depicts two of the most important battles in the War of 1812 and gives a voice to a new generation of American leaders. Perhaps most important, the poem offers a warning about the dangers of political factions, an issue which has unquestionably burdened American politics since the nation’s founding.

By presenting The Heroes of the Lake in an electronic format with an introduction to the poem and overview of Woodworth's life and historical context, I hope to illustrate the cultural and political importance of the War of 1812. I also hope that readers come to remember Samuel Woodworth as an important American intellectual whose literary achievements contributed to the formation of an American cultural identity. Woodworth's epic poem offers a glimpse into how the second generation of American citizens perceived themselves, the War of 1812, and the future of their young nation.



Matthew Allen