Local connection to White House burning

District of Kent has English connection, hence the name

 

There has been a recent fuss in the media about The British celebrating the burning of Washington’s White House on Aug 24, 1814 (200 years ago). There is a strong local connection.

Our local Agassiz family was granted a coat of arms containing a burning torch in recognition of the efforts of the British officer, Lewis Agassiz, in burning down the White House and much of Washington in retaliation for the burning of Canada`s parliament at York. His son, Lewis Nunn Agassiz, came here from England and founded the town of Agassiz. Though not large, the Swiss-English Agassiz family has left its mark in the realms of science (Lake Agassiz), watchmaking (Longines), military and religion. Even beer drinkers should appreciate the fact that Agassiz pioneered the production of hops in BC. The municipality is called the “District of Kent” in recognition of the English origins of that crop in the County of Kent, often called “the Garden of England”. We should be proud that the town is named after such a distinguished family.

John Allen

Harrison and Agassiz

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