Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

Jodoin spent a good part of 2009 speaking about the topic and signing his book at various heritage organizations and events in Quebec, Ontario, Vermont and New York, home territory for historic figures in “Shadow Soldiers” such as Joseph Brant, Mary Hoople and Simon Fraser. Jodoin made extensive visits to northern border states to gather his material -- research that continues for a planned sequel on Loyalists from Vermont. Jodoin emphasized that regional history enjoys some of the best growth in the publishing market. He says opportunities abound for would-be authors and urges those interested to take the plunge.

In his talk, Jodoin provided thumbnail sketches of Captain John Deserontyon, Major Edward Jessup, Dr. George Smyth, and Sir John Johnson, with photos illustrating their American home towns, their bold adventures when the American colonies rebelled and the places they founded or influenced after war and expulsion forced them into Canada.

RTHS members hardly need reminding that history is full of wonderful stories, and that many aspects of Canada's past could be better explored. Jodoin was especially struck by the warm camaraderie of the heritage community on both sides of the border. Wherever he went, Jodoin said he was met by “smiling faces and helpful hands” among people genuinely interested in understanding the region's common history.  Most certainly, Jodoin's book and talks help advance that worthy goal.  

Mark presenting, second picture

Mark is displaying the points where battles were fought in the revolutionary war. Unlike the War of 1812 the protagonists in this war were Britain and the USA. The British were trying to recover their colonies. In the War of 1812 Canadian territory was threatened.  

RTHS past-president Mark Jodoin spoke to an appreciative audience of 32 about activities promoting his first book “Shadow Soldiers of the American Revolution: Loyalist Tales from New York to Canada” (History Press, 2009)

    Mark presenting

Mark Jodoin describing his summer 2010 activities at the April 2010 meeting of the RTHS. He had a very interesting summer promoting his book both north and south of the border. The level of interest that he found in local and regional history was truly gratifying.  

Jodoin was introduced by recently-elected RTHS President Bill Tupper, who was leading his inaugural meeting  after wintering in Florida. (Welcome back, Bill!)

A graduate of Carleton's school of journalism, Jodoin's initial careers included TV, high tech and international marketing and consulting before pursuing his growing interest in North American Colonial history.

Jodoin's book focuses on the tumultuous events that led to the settlement of English Canada and the key figures who founded many towns in our own area. Jodoin began with a series of articles entitled “Rideau Warriors” for  Esprit de Corps Magazine -- material he expanded into “Shadow Soldiers”. David Wilkins, United States Ambassador to Canada (2005-2009) wrote the book's forward, including the wry observation that “most Canadians think they know everything about America, and most Americans think they know enough about Canada.”  

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Speaker: Mark Jodoin

Article by Lucy Martin