Little Bits of History

October 13

Posted in History by patriciahysell on October 13, 2017

1710: The Siege of Port Royal comes to an end. It was also known as the Conquest of Acadia. Acadia was part of New France and included parts of eastern Quebec, what is today New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island of Canada and part of the US State of Maine. The British and French were contesting control over the area where Port Royal was the capital. The British were joined by the Iroquois and led by Francis Nicholson while the French and the Wabanaki Confederacy were led by Daniel d’Auger de Subercase. Port Royal had been the main city in the region since the French arrived in 1604 and was often the focal point during British/French confrontations. The British burned it to the ground in 1613 and after it was rebuilt, they again captured it in 1690 although it was restored to the French by the Treaty of Ryswick.

The War of the Spanish Succession began in 1702 and both British and French colonists were again thrust into European wars. Port Royal began building a fort even before war broke out and it was nearly finished by 1704. The French raided Deerfield on what was then the Massachusetts frontier in February 1704 and the British retaliated with an expedition to the region in May. Their first point of attack was not Port Royal. Subercase became governor of Acadia in 1706 and went on the offensive and encouraged Natives to raid British targets in New England. He also supported privateering or legalized piracy against British ships. Boston and Port Royal had long been trading partners and for some time, trade managed to continue.

Over the next few years, battles went back and forth between the two powers. Finally, a British fleet sailed north and by October 5, the fleet had arrived at Goat Island, about 6 miles below Port Royal. One ship was lost as they gathered. The next day, marines landed both north and south of Port Royal and they were joined by four regimens of New England troops. The men surrounded the fort and laid siege with support from the cannons of the ships in the harbor. Land weaponry was able to advance under cover of the cannon from the water and by this date, they were with 300 feet of the fort and opened fire. They demanded Subercase surrender. Negotiations for a surrender began and by nightfall, the details were worked out.

The men in the garrison were given permission to leave with the “honours of war”. The British took occupancy of the fort and renamed it Annapolis Royal. It was one of the key issues in the treaty negotiations between France and Great Britain. It led to the conquests by British forces of both Louisbourg and Quebec and it was one of the precipitating factors of the end of French power in North America in a more general state. By taking over the region, a new colony was created – Nova Scotia. The final attempt to take the city profoundly affected the region for at least the next 50 years.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. – Sun Tzu

You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. – Napoleon Bonaparte

We make war that we may live in peace. – Aristotle

Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge. – Meir Kahane