Monday, February 14, 2011

Acadian Forts Fall To The British 1755

At the beginning of the Seven Year War, the French forts in Acadia fell to the British.  Some Acadians were imprisoned in some of these forts as they waited for the ships to come they would take them into exile.  Others remained prisoners at these forts for the duration (1755-1763).

  • Fort Gaspéreau

    (1751 - unknown), Gaspéreau - now Port Elgin
    Also spelled Fort Gaspareaux. Called Baie Verte for the bright green saltwater grasses which grow in the bay, this Acadian community was established in 1690 and was a major center on the overland trade routes between the Bay of Fundy and Quebec City.

    In 1751, the French constructed Fort Gaspareaux at the mouth of the Gaspereau River. After the fall of Fort Beausejour in 1755, the British took possession of Fort Gaspareaux, and renamed it Fort Monckton, after their victorious commander. Tragedy struck in the fall of 1756 when the Fort was burned and abandoned when it proved indefensible against attacks from Indians and Acadian rebels.

    The "Fort" is now a National Historic Site, and home to a marine beacon, known locally as the "Port Elgin lighthouse". The grounds of the Fort contain a small military cemetery, a fieldstone cairn, a reconstructed ditch outlining the basic configuration of the original fort, and the buried ruins of several original French buildings, such as the commandant's residence, a storehouse and the foundation of two blockhouses.

    Following the Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, several waves of immigrants arrived to the Northumberland coastal area: New England planters, Yorkshire settlers, Loyalists, returning Acadians, Irish and Scots. The small hamlet which developed was known as Gaspareaux Town, the name Port Elgin was later adopted in 1847 in honour of Lord Elgin, then Governor-General of Canada.

  • Fort Edward

    (1750 - unknown) Pisiquid - now Windsor
    This is the oldest surviving blockhouse in Canada. Some earthworks are still visible. It was also used in the American Revolution.

  • Fort Halifax [Citadel) 

    [Note: Since 1749, the English flag has flown over the Citadel. On August 15, 2004, the Acadian flag flew over the Citadel for the first time in our history!]

    In 1713, King Louis the 14th of France ordered a huge fort to be built on Cape Breton Island to protect Acadia and the entrance to the St. Lawrence River.

    It was the largest fort ever built in North America, and was named Fortress Louisbourg (pronounced "Louie-burg," accent on the 1st syllable). Part of the fort has been reconstructed and it is one of Canada's national historic sites. Like Williamsburg, Virginia, it is alive in summer with hundreds of folks carefully re-creating the life of French families in the early 1700s.

    In 1745, Britain and France went to war and it spread to the new world. Colonists from New England who were determined to drive the French out of North America attacked and captured Fortress Louisbourg. This gave the British complete control of the Atlantic coast, but not for long. When the war ended, a peace treaty was negotiated between England and France, and the French got Fortress Louisbourg back.

    Having given the great fort back to the French, the British decided that they would have to build one for themselves. In 1749, exactly 25 years before the American revolution, the British sent 2,000 troops and settlers to found the city of Halifax. They started building a huge fort called the Halifax Citadel on top of the highest hill.

    Halifax Citadel, Nova Scotia, Canada. The present hilltop fort was built 1828–1861 and is the fourth to be built on the site; the first as said, was begun in 1749.

  • Fort Beauséjour

    Constructed in 1751, Fort Beauséjour was built in response to the British having built Fort Lawrence across the Missiquash river, which divided British-held Nova Scotia from Acadia.


  • Chedabouctou Fort

    (1659 - unknown), Guysborough
    A French fort was once located here, built by Nicolas Denys. It was rebuilt several times.

  • Fort Shediak

    (1755 - unknown), Shediac
    A French post.

  • Fort St-Jean

  • Fort La Tour

    (1635 - 1654), Saint John A fortified trading post located on Portland Point. Also known as Fort Sainte Marie. In 1645, it was attacked by a rival French trader from Port Royal, NS, while La Tour was absent. His wife led its defense, but she eventually surrendered. All but one of its 47 defenders were executed while Madame La Tour was forced to watch. That one survivor was forced to be the executioner. The post was rebuilt, but captured by the British in 1654. Archaeological excavations were done in the 1950's.

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