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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada


Louisbourg: A Focus of Conflict 

H E 13


Peter Bower

March 1970

Fortress of Louisbourg

CHAPTER II: War and the Scheme to Attack Louisbourg

On March 18, 1744, France declared war on England. A merchant vessel from St. Malo arrived at Louisbourg on May 3 with news of the event. Twenty days later this information reached Boston. French privateers took advantage of their earlier warning and in short order captured or destroyed at least ten Massachusetts fishing vessels. The ease with which these vessels were taken persuaded the Louisbourg-based privateers to prey on the Boston shipping lanes further to the south. By early July, the mere three French corsairs which were operating had seriously disrupted the maritime trade of Massachusetts. New England was not long in retaliating, and by August the threat to Massachusetts had largely been eliminated. A month later, the activities of New England privateers had greatly diminished French shipping to and from Louisbourg. [1]

Governor Du Quesnel of Ile Royale acted promptly on receiving news of the war by dispatching a force of about 370 men and a number of vessels to take and occupy the English fishing post at Canso. Captain Patrick Heron with 120 men at Canso was caught by surprise and offered no resistance, capitulating on May 24. Five months earlier, Captain Young of the Kinsale had described the defenceless state of Canso while he was investigating the commerce of the region: "there is not one gun mounted, no powder, but for the Musquetry, no cannon shot, no appearance of so much as a Battery, no castle, or fort, no Barracks, but a Small square wooden place run up with the old lumber of a Ship cast away near Canso, & a few wooden hutts . . . . " [2] The French burned the post, allowing the women and children to return to Boston, but took the soldiers as prisoners to Louisbourg. In September, the prisoners were sent to Massachusetts after agreeing not to take up arms against the French for a period of twelve months. [3] The soldiers released from Louisbourg were soon to provide valuable information to Governor Shirley concerning the state of the fortress and its garrison. [4]

Following the capture of Canso, Du Quesnel embarked on a scheme to reduce the last strong hold of British authority in Nova Scotia, Annapolis Royal, which was inadequately fortified and manned. However, the fort was under the command of a shrewd and resolute officer, Lieutenant Governor Paul Mascarene. [5] Furthermore, Shirley viewed Annapolis Royal as an essential link in the northern trade and fisheries. [6] When the news of the fall of Canso reached Boston, Shirley redoubled his efforts to convince the General Court to reinforce Annapolis Royal. In mid-July Shirley was able to send more than 70 men to Annapolis Royal, where they arrived on July 16. [7] Shirley informed Newcastle that he had been anxious to get reinforcements to Mascarene for he had intelligence from Louisbourg "that the French from that place have raisd a party of five hundred Indians at Menies [Minas] to be join'd by other forces in order to attack Annapolis Royal by land...."[8] 

Shirley's information proved to be essentially correct. Du Quesnel had planned an attack by the combined forces of Indians and Acadians supported by troops and ships from Louisbourg. On July 12, 1744, 300 Indians "with a French Priest & Officer at their head...." appeared before Annapolis Royal. [9] The attack was not pressed with much resolution, and when Shirley's first contingent of reinforcements arrived, the force withdrew to Minas apparently to await the reinforcements from Louisbourg which had been delayed. [10] The expedition from Louisbourg, led by Captain Du Vivier, did not reach the vicinity until August. In the meantime, Shirley had sent 53 more soldiers to assist Mascarene. [11] Du Vivier found the response to his call for help from the Micmacs and Acadians disappointing. Although bound to France by emotional ties, the Acadians were reluctant to risk their settlements and farms by giving whole-hearted support to the siege of Annapolis Royal. The Micmacs did not join the expedition en masse apparently because the French had lost face in the previous attempt to take Annapolis Royal, and their missionary priest Le Loutre took no part in the second attempt. [12]

When Du Vivier finally appeared before Annapolis Royal in September, he called on Mascarene to capitulate, arguing that the garrison could not resist the force before the fort, which he said was soon to be joined by three warships, regular troops and artillery. Despite pressure from his officers to accept Du Vivier's terms, Mascarene refused to surrender. [13] Meanwhile, Du Quesnel had received instructions from Maurepas to use the ships at his disposal to protect the French fishery and commerce, and to disrupt English shipping. The depredations of the New England privateers in the waters about Ile Royale convinced the Commissaire-Ordonnateur, François Bigot, and influential Louisbourg merchants to urge the governor to use the warships at his disposal to keep the Louisbourg trade lanes open, for if the supply ships from Canada were intercepted, Louisbourg might face starvation that winter. Du Vivier's ships did not arrive in time, and he was compelled to withdraw from Annapolis in early October. [14]

Annapolis Royal seemed to be out of immediate danger. Shirley obtained information on Louisbourg from members of the former garrison at Canso, who had been released from Louisbourg and arrived in Boston October 2, 1744. The next day, Shirley wrote to Newcastle passing on the information that the officers from Canso believed Annapolis Royal would not be attacked again until the spring of 1745. The officers also told Shirley that, 

the French at Louisbourg have been under Apprehensions all this year of a Visit from England and are in great want of provisions, which appears to have been the Case also of their Countrymen at Canada by undoubted advice from thence and from Old France from whence Store Ships were sent in May and June last to supply 'em with Flower & ca., but have been one of 'em at Least intercepted by our Privateers as have been three or four Provision Ships bound for Louisbourg. It is I suppose owing to this Scarcity of Provisions at Louisbourg and my Refusal to supply the Canso Troops with Provisions from hence during their Imprisonment at Louisbourg and the very small Quantity which I allow'd Ensign Bradstreet for the Officers to carry from hence for their Subsistence that the Governour of Cape Breton has released the English Officers and Soldiers from their Confinement at Louisbourg .... [15] 

Shirley anticipated the French would take Annapolis Royal in the spring with a naval force from Louisbourg. To prevent this occurrence, which he believed would be a severe blow to the trade and commerce of Old and New England, and an invaluable strategic acquisition to France, Shirley asked the Admiralty to station some British warships off the coast of Nova Scotia. Shirley explained that the trade and fisheries of Massachusetts were exposed and might well be blockaded unless protected in the spring by one or two warships when' the London merchant ships were due. [16] To make matters worse, Shirley had received creditable information from Massachusetts men who had been prisoners of war at Louisbourg, that Du Vivier and three French pilots familiar with the coast of New England had sailed for France to bring back supplies and recruits for Louisbourg. Worse yet, they were expected to return possibly as early as February with warships not only to attack Annapolis Royal, but also to cruise off the coast of New England. Shirley begged the Admiralty to intercept these store ships in February, which "would be a killing blow to the Enemy...." [17]

By November 21, Shirley was contemplating not only the importance of Canso and Annapolis Royal to Britain and her colonies, but also "the great consequences of the acquisition of Cape Breton .... [18] Before the year was out, the governor was formulating a scheme for the reduction of Louisbourg. [19] On January 20, 1745, Shirley addressed the General Court of Massachusetts at an unprecedented secret session: 

As we must expect in the course of the present War the utmost annoyance of our Navigation and Trade in general and frequent captures of our provision vessels, and the destruction of our Fishery in particular from the Harbour of Louisbourg, it is evident that nothing would more effectually promote the interests of this Province at this juncture that a reduction of that place .... [20]

Governor Shirley did not originate the idea of taking Louisbourg, but it was his special grasp of the whole imperial Problem in North America and his vigourous and influential leadership which brought the project to fruition. [21] The plan for taking Louisbourg was still "rough, inaccurate, and Imperfect by early February, 1745, [22] but the reasons necessitating an attack were clearly apparent in Shirley's mind. Defence of Massachusetts had been one of the governor's preoccupations since war had broken out in 1739. The governor early recognised that the war with Spain could easily expand into a general European conflict, and if France became the active ally of Spain, Massachusetts would border on hundreds of miles of enemy territory. [23] Shirley's concern for Annapolis Royal derived largely from his belief that Nova Scotia was an essential buffer region protecting his own province. The loss of Nova Scotia to the French, Shirley wrote to Newcastle, 

besides being attended with the Loss of the New England Fishery, the Destruction of it's Trade, and the breaking up of all its Eastern Settlements, and very probably of the Province of New Hampshire itself by the Addition of five or six thousand fighting men (which the Enemy would gain by that Conquest) in Conjunction with the Indians of all Tribes, would, as it is a Country fruitful. of provisions and nearly contiguous to Canada in which the French have increas'd their Numbers exceedingly within these few years, not only strengthen tem so greatly in Cape Breton as to bid fair to give 'em the whole Fishery and chief Navigation of those Seas, but afford 'em such a Footing upon the Northern Continent of America as might possibly in time make 'em think of disputing the Mastery of it with the Crown of Great Britain. [24] 

Shirley placed Louisbourg within a mercantilist context in a letter to Newcastle, urging British support for an expedition against the fortress. According to the governor, the French used their commodious harbour at Louisbourg not only to interrupt British trade with New England, but also to "supply their own Colonies with provisions from the vessells of his Majesty's Northern Colonies, to the very great Distress of all his Sugar Colonies in particular...." [25] Shirley was convinced that possession of Nova Scotia and the recovery of the Canso fishery could not be secured without the reduction of Cape Breton. In fact, the expense of maintaining these regions while the French held Cape Breton would probably equal the cost "of his Majesty's reducing and holding that Island...." In addition, the acquisition of Cape Breton would in great measure cut off French navigation to and from Canada, and in time permit 

an easy Reduction of that Country also by the joint Forces of his Majesty's Northern Colonies assisted with a few of his Ships of War and some few Troops, which event would give his Majesty's subjects the whole Furr Trade, now chiefly in the possession of the French of Canada, and render 'em Masters of an entire Territory of about eighteen hundred miles extent upon the Sea Coast, (reckoning from Georgia to Newfoundland inclusive) which from it's production of Naval Stores and it's Fisheries, it's Demands for Woollen and other British Manufactures (that must increase in proportion to increase of it's Inhabitants , who from the general Healthfulness of the greatest part of it's Climate make a very quick progress in the Growth of their Numbers, to which it would be difficult to set limits in so large and healthful a Country) and from the Support it yields by supplies of provisions and Lumber to his Majesty's Sugar Colonies, (without which they could not subsist) if the Value of a Territory to the Mother Country may be computed by the Increase of her Natural Wealth and power, which it occasions, may be reckon'd a more valuable Territory to Great Britain than what any Kingdom or State in Europe has belonging to it. [26]

Shirley wished to set the expedition afoot as soon as possible, for his information from prisoners released from Louisbourg and from merchants who had traded at Ile Royale in peace time indicated that the fortress was in a weakened condition. [27] Furthermore, "the Fishermen in particular and the People of this Province in general [are] so well spirited for such an Enterprize that it seem'd no difficult matter at this Juncture to raise that number of Men upon the Occasion in a very short time ...", [28] Shirley immediately suggested to the General Court and to Newcastle, Secretary of State for the Southern Department, that two thousand men, "with the blessing of Divine Providence....", might take Louisbourg by surprise if they arrived before reinforcements came from France. [29] He was convinced the opportunity to reduce Cape Breton should not be missed, 

on account of it's present scarceness of provisions and probably of Military Stores; The Garrison, which has not yet receiv'd any Recruits since the Commencement of the War, does not exceed seven hundred men, one hundred and forty of which being Swiss and their best Troops are greatly discontented, and did not scruple to talk in a very mutinous manner when some of our people were prisoners there.... [30]

Shirley presented his proposal to the Massachusetts General Court which was sworn to secrecy. The amazed members wondered if there were any rational prospect for success. However, out of deference to the governor, a committee of the two Houses was struck to consider the proposal. Supporters of the scheme, advanced the various arguments for attacking the fortress, which included the information that the garrison was openly mutinous, that there was a scarcity of provisions, that the fortifications were mouldering and decayed and that the French governor was an old man, unskilled in the arts of war. There was, of course, a risk of failure, but glorious success would provide Britain with an acquisition of great importance and might even bring peace to Europe. Furthermore, it was imperative that such an expedition be launched at once, for in another year the place could be impregnable. Should Massachusetts fail, the province might have to bear the whole expense of the expedition, but success would guarantee reimbursement by Britain. [31] Opponents of the scheme questioned the reports of the poor condition of the fortress and its garrison, and suggested that probably some arrangement could be made with the French "to leave the fishery unmolested." They doubted that sufficient volunteers could be raised in New England; furthermore, the Louisbourg garrison included experienced regular troops who would be more than a match for even a much larger force of inexperienced volunteer militia sent from the British colonies. They wondered if any naval support from Britain could really be expected and doubted that Massachusetts was in a position to finance such an expedition. Success would bring great national benefit, but Massachusetts would find the returns far short of the vast expenditure of treasure and perhaps lives required to reduce the fortress. Failure would mean "such a shock would be given to the province that half a century would not recover us to our present state."

The committee reported against the scheme and the General Court endorsed the report on January 23. [32] Shirley was downcast, but persevered in his attempts to convince the General Court to accept his scheme. [33]

On Saturday, January 30, Shirley renewed his pressure on the General Court, placing before the members a strongly-worded petition in favour of the expedition signed by more than 100 leading fishermen from Marblehead. [34] The following Wednesday, Shirley addressed the General Court:

As I am persuaded, I say that Three thousand men, if  landed as soon as possible after they can be raised, would remain at least Masters of the Field against the enemy, tho any scheme for a surprise and all other attempts for reducing the Town of Louisbourg should fail of success (which yet thro the blessing of Divine Providence upon our arms might in the meantime be expected) till they could be supported by a Naval Force and troops from England sufficient to secure the reduction of the whole Island to the obedience of His Majesty; which succour I think, could not be reasonably doubted of, if His Majesty is seasonably apprized of our attempt. [35] 

A second committee was struck to reconsider the Louisbourg project. After hearing persuasive evidence from men who had been prisoners at the fortress, and from merchants familiar with Louisbourg, the committee urged that this favourable moment for the reduction of Cape Breton not be lost. The recommendation was furiously debated in the House, but finally passed by a majority of one vote. Approval of the scheme was secured through the influence and active campaigning of supporters of the expedition, which included merchants, fishermen, lumbering interests and office-holders who would benefit from the new sources of patronage to be opened by the expedition, and from the reduction of French power on the Atlantic if Cape Bret on were conquered. It was whispered that the resolution passed only because some known opponents of the scheme stayed away from the House. Another account, probably apocryphallic, reported that one member hurrying to the House to vote in opposition, slipped and broke his leg. [36]

Shirley immediately wrote to various New England governors urging all possible aid be lent to the project. [37] He took all Frenchmen in the province into custody and placed a general embargo on Massachusetts shipping to prevent news of the expedition reaching Louisbourg and to ensure an adequate supply of seamen and transport vessels for the expedition. [38] He proposed to write "pressingly by the first Conveyance to the ministry at home & to the Commanders of the Squadrons in the West Indies to send a Naval Force to meet us & support us in our Design.... [39]

The governor accordingly wrote to Sir Chaloner Ogle, commander of the Jamaica squadron, and to Peter Warren, commander of the Leeward Islands squadron, requesting naval support. Ogle passed Shirley's letter on to his successor, Admiral Thomas Davers, with the comment: "I am of the opinion that it is not in Your power to comply with Mr. Shirleys request. [40] Davers sent the information to John Corbett, secretary to the Admiralty, declaring that he was unable to spare any ships for the venture. [41] Commodore Warren's response to Shirley's letter was entirely different.

Warren received Shirley's letter on March 5, nearly three weeks before Ogle received his letter from the governor. [42] He was quite receptive to a suggestion that Cape Breton Island be attacked. Two years earlier, he had confided to someone at the Admiralty, probably Corbett, that should a war with France ensue,

I think I could make it appear that the dispossessing them of Canada, and Cape Brettoon, would be of greater consequence to great Brittain, than any other conquest that we may hope to make in a Spanish or French War, and our Northern Collony's are in a much better situation now, for such an attempt then when It was formerly made, the Increase of the French Subjects since that time bearing no equality with that of our Collony's. [43]

In September, 1744, Warren recommended to Corbett that Britain capture Cape Breton and Canada, thus securing the fish and fur trade to Britain alone as a source of immense treasure. The total value of these trades, now shared by Britain and France, would be even greater "for the Constant Feuds, and Animosity's, which they [the French] politically Sow among the Indians, prevents their application to Hunting for Furrs , and other valuable Commodity's...." Furthermore, the conquest would secure "all his Majesty's Subjects, upon the Continent, in the quiet, and peaceble possession of their lives, Liberty's, and Estates, which must ever be thought very precarious while so Artfull, and designing a people as the French are surrounding us .... " and stirring up the Indians to favour the French Interests, "which if once accomplished will drive us into the sea .... [44] Warren had expressed substantial doubts about the chances of a successful attack on Cape Breton and Canada, on account of "the dangerous navigation, the shortness of the Summers, the want of good Pylotes, and the mistakes people ate liable too (who have not very good Intelligence) in making a disposition for such an undertaking .... if Nevertheless, he recommended the governors and legislatures of the colonies be consulted in the utmost secrecy to discover their opinions and the assistance they would provide for the conquest. These opinions should be incorporated into a general scheme to be laid before the ministry, which would decide if an expedition were practicable. "I am of the opinion", wrote Warren, "the Collonys upon proper application, wou'd all Assist in proportion to the good Effect, they shou'd conceive it wou'd have on each of them, they certainly are all interested in it, tho those to the Northward, and Eastward of Virginia, are more immediately so at present then the Southern Ones." [45] Warren observed that although Cape Breton was reputedly very strong,

tis said they are oblig'd to keep people continually repairing their Fortifications, their summers being so short; and their water with which they make their Cement, Brackish, that it has not time to dry, before the Severe Frosts comes upon them, and Moulders all away. [46]

Warren was an ambitious man, most desirous of being appointed governor of one of the continental colonies, preferably New York. [47] Perhaps an impressive military exploit would earn him the reward he sought. [48] Thus Shirley's proposal was probably doubly attractive to Warren, to whom Shirley wrote: "I must acknowledge that the hopes I have Entertain'd of ... [your assistance] have been no small Encouragement to me in forming this Expedition and if the Service in which you are Engag'd would permit you to come yourself and take upon you the Command of the Expedition, it would I doubt not be a most happy Event for His Majesty's Service and your own honour." [49] Warren called together the captains of his squadron the day after receiving Shirley's letter to discuss the request for naval assistance. Since the expedition appeared to have been formulated without first obtaining the King's approbation and since no orders had been received from the Admiralty to send ships to assist the expedition, the consulting officers decided the dispatch of any ships would seriously weaken the West Indies, especially since a French squadron was expected daily at Martinique. Warren's squadron should remain on its station and the Commodore await the Admiralty's reply to his express sent to England containing the information he had received from Shirley. [50] Warren had reservations for the scheme proposed by Shirley. "I fear it was Concerted to hastily," he wrote to Corbett, 

and with too little force, for place of such Strength, and Consequence ... but if after the Receipt of my answer, he [Shirley] continues his preparations, .... I hope to give that scheme all the Countenance, & Assistance in my power.... [51] 

Warren also sent a dispatch to Shirley explaining the situation which prevented him from sending naval assistance. [52] 

In the meantime, the Admiralty had received letters from Shirley who suggested a valuable French merchant fleet gathering at Louisbourg to be convoyed to France might be intercepted if some warships were sent to the area by early November when the convoy was expected to sail. He also warned the Admiralty that he had reports from prisoners of war recently released from Louisbourg that Annapolis Royal would probably be attacked from Louisbourg in the spring. [53] In mid-January, the Admiralty, completely ignorant of Shirley's scheme to attack the fortress, sent orders to Warren to proceed with four of his ships to Boston. Warren apparently received these instructions on March 19. [54] Newcastle also instructed Shirley and various other colonial governors to assist Warren, who was to protect the trade and fishery of the colonies, especially Nova Scotia, and where possible to harass French trade and fishery, and even to attack their forts and settlements. [55] The general nature of these instructions removed the most serious obstacle as far as Warren was concerned from taking ships to assist Shirley's expedition. He left the West Indies on March 24 in his 60-gun flagship the Superbe, no doubt fully realising his initiative risked his career, for the instructions made no mention of the Louisbourg expedition, and his departure weakened British naval strength in the West Indies at a time when a French fleet was expected at any time. [56] 

On March 27, the Duke of Newcastle's staff received a packet of letters from Shirley dealing mainly with the proposed attack on Louisbourg. Shirley stressed the need for timely naval assistance from Britain, for he had been unable to raise a force in New England which he was sure would be superior to the convoy expected from France for Louisbourg in the spring. [57] Newcastle was out of town, so his private secretary, Andrew Stone, "instantly lay'd my [Shirley's] letters before his Majesty, who upon reading them, was pleas'd to express his approbation of the Expedition, and referr'd the Letters to the Lords of Admiralty, whereupon a Board was call'd at Eleven o'Clock at Night." [58] At half-past twelve the Board sent orders by express to Captain Edwards of the Princess Mary, 60-guns, to prepare to leave at once with the Hector, 40-guns, and place himself under Warren's command. [59] The Admiralty's orders to Edwards and the hasty meeting of the members of the Board indicate considerable importance was attached to the expedition. Furthermore, by April 15, the Admiralty had ordered at least four more men-of-war to join Warren's force before Louisbourg. [60] J.S. McLennan astutely observes in his history of Louisbourg that the "vigour of Pitt ... [has] been so often contrasted with the sloth of Newcastle, that it is interesting to note that in this matter Newcastle's Government acted with the greatest promptness." [61]

On March 29, Corbett wrote to Warren expressing the hope that he was "in a good way of executing the Project mentioned in your Letter of the 8th of September, for dispossesing the French of Cape Breton and Quebec." [62] Warren's earlier proposals may not have been entirely forgotten, and may account in part for the sudden burst of activity by the Admiralty in providing ships for the expedition. When the Admiralty was informed that the New England forces probably would have already departed for Louisbourg by the time Newcastle received Shirley's letters, they were not entirely taken aback by the boldness of the scheme and were able to organize assistance in unusually short order. The Admiralty was aware that the success of the project would probably depend on a complete blockade of Louisbourg while the attack was under way. [63] Any doubts the Admiralty might have had that the colonies would mount an attack on the fortress were dispelled by the receipt of Shirley's letters to Newcastle.

While Shirley awaited Warren's reply concerning naval assistance, he diligently applied himself to the arduous task of selecting officers to lead the expedition, soliciting assistance from other colonial governments and making preparations in his own province for the attack. The selection of a commander and senior officers for the New England forces was a critical element in the planning of the expedition, for these officers had to be not only acceptable to the majority of the colonials who were to enlist, but also be politically influential to secure the support and confidence of the Massachusetts legislature. Furthermore, the British ministry had never solved the chronic problem of providing some machinery whereby the various colonies could be required to unite their efforts for military purposes. The American colonies had a long tradition of provincialism and disunity, which flourished in the generally neglectful and indifferent administration of the colonies by the ministry. The particularism of the colonies was engendered and reflected by the lack of contact between the masses of the different colonies, by differing life-styles and habits, by religious antipathies, political rivalries and commercial competitiveness, and by the usually short-sighted concentration on internal problems, ambitions and narrow provincial priorities of each colony by its leaders. Having secured the sanction of his General Court, Shirley's attempt to wrest the war initiative from the French in North America by means of the expedition now hinged to a large extent upon his ability to overcome local and provincial barriers by encouraging widespread enlistment for the expedition in Massachusetts and to obtain the support of neighbouring colonies. 

Notwithstanding his rather vague earlier offer of the expedition's command to Warren, [64] Shirley prevailed on a popular and highly respected merchant of Piscataqua and President of the Council, William Pepperrell, to accept the leadership of colonial forces. Jeremy Belknap, a Congregational clergyman and colonial historian born the year before the expedition, observed that Pepperrell was a colonel of a regiment of militia, 

a merchant of unblemished reputation, extensively known both in Massachusetts and New-Hampshire, and very popular. These qualities were absolutely necessary in the Commander of an army of volunteers, his own countrymen, who were to quit their domestic connexions and employments, and engage in a hazardous enterprise, which none of them, from the highest to the lowest, knew how to conduct. Professional skill and experience were entirely out of the question; had these qualities been necessary, the expedition must have been laid aside; for there was no person in New-England in these respects qualified for the command. Fidelity, resolution and popularity must supply the place of military talents; and Pepperrell was possessed of these. It was necessary that the men should know and love their General, or they would not enlist under him. [65] 

Pepperrell was reluctant to accept the command, pleading his wife's ill-health and his own unsettled business; [66] however, he was unable to resist the pressure exerted by Shirley, the Council and Speaker of the Lower House, who argued that the expedition was vital to the welfare and security of New England and that Pepperrell's personal influence was indispensable as commander. [67] 

Pepperrell turned to his friends for advice, including the evangelist George Whitefield, who was staying with Pepperrell [68] while conducting "a hopeful Revival of Religion." [69] Whitefield told Pepperrell that he did not think the scheme very promising,

that the eyes of all would be upon him, that if it should not succeed, the widows and orphans of the slain would reproach him, -- and if it should succeed, many would regard him with envy, and endeavour to eclipse his glory, -- that he ought, therefore, to go with a single eye, and he would find his strength proportioned to his necessity. [70]

After much soul-searching and praying, and having received the consent of his wife, Pepperrell finally accepted command on February 11. [71]

If Pepperrell's appointment and popularity were important factors in winning support and volunteers for the expedition, the appointment was no less important to Shirley in uniting the warring political factions and competing interests in his own government. A masterful manipulator of patronage, Shirley exploited the opportunity presented by the Louisbourg expedition to broaden the base of his own support if Massachusetts. Other men named to senior commands or engaged in supplying the forces reflected Shirley's adroit political management and distribution of patronage. For example, Samuel Waldo, a member of the Massachusetts Council, powerful merchant, capitalist and land speculator, and Joseph Dwight, an influential landholder and militia leader from western Massachusetts, were named as brigadier generals. Robert Hale and John Choate, who represented the non-Bostonian interests of coastal Massachusetts, which sought increased trade and soft money policies, were named as colonels of the Fifth and Eighth Massachusetts Regiments respectively. Charles Apthorp and Thomas Hancock, among the principal merchants of Boston, were engaged in the supply contracts, as were Nathaniel Sparhawk, Pepperrell's son-in-law, and Benjamin Colman, Sparhawk's business associate and son of Reverend Benjamin Colman, soon to take Pepperrell's sister Mary as his third wife. Such appointments, representing various interests and geographic regions, further entrenched Shirley in office and enlarged his political support and authority. [72]

However, Shirley did not exercise the authority and influence of his office and exploit the opportunities of wartime simply to secure his own position and prestige or to acquire a personal fortune, although these motives cannot be entirely discounted. Much more important to him was the chance presented by war to eliminate the French and Indian menace and to spread British influence, through the agency of New England and himself, northward and westward over the continent. The taking of Louisbourg was but the first step. Of course, such an accomplishment would probably bring enormous political and personal rewards to the man who inspired the successful effort, as Shirley well knew, but this does not reduce the magnitude of his vision, the accomplishment of which he lived to see. [73] In some of his correspondence, there is a distinct sense of grandeur and pride in the sheer extent of territory available, in which the potential for development appears unlimited. While basing his arguments for conquest on the possibilities of immediate gain, which appealed to prevailing concepts of an empire of trade, there are signs in his correspondence of a sense of a great British dominion, a concept of empire not totally commercial in origins and justification, but which did not emerge clearly in British policy until after the first empire in North America collapsed with the American Revolution. [74]

When Pepperrell, in the name of the Massachusetts Committee of both Houses, had reported in favour of the expedition on February 5, Shirley was advised "That Application be forthwith made to the Governments of New York, the Jerseys, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut & Rhode Island to furnish the respective Quotas of Men & Vessels to accompany or follow the Forces of this Province...." [75] Four days later, Shirley prepared a circular letter to be sent to the governors as far south as Pennsylvania. [76] He outlined briefly the reasons why Louisbourg should be attacked and urged full participation "for the Honour of his Majesty and the safety of the trade and navigation of all those Colonies and Provinces ...." [77] In addition to the circular letter, he wrote personally to various governors stressing the common interest and duty the colonies had in checking the French menace in North America. [78]

The expedition received little support from the southerly colonies to which Shirley applied. The most substantial aid from these provinces came from New York, which sent ten 18-pound cannon and some other equipment, plus some money raised by private subscription. Shirley was disappointed, but gratefully accepted what he could get, especially the cannon from New York, for he feared the artillery provided for the expedition was inadequate. However, in June New Jersey voted £2,000 for a fund to provide provisions for the expedition and the next month Pennsylvania supplied £4,000, also for provisions. [79]

As for the New England colonies, [80] where proximity to French territories was expected to inspire considerable enthusiasm for the scheme against Louisbourg, only Connecticut responded with relatively unqualified willingness to the appeal for assistance from Massachusetts. The Connecticut Assembly, spurred by the zeal of the popular 67-year old deputy governor, Roger Wolcott, determined at a special session to raise a land force of 500 men, if Wolcott were made second-in-command of the expedition. Shirley agreed to the condition and commissioned Wolcott as major general. Rhode Island, resentful of Shirley's lack of consultation in planning the expedition, proved particularly refractory especially since it was believed New England lacked the means and expertise necessary to besiege a fortress of Louisbourg's reputation. However, the Assembly agreed to contribute the colony's armed sloop Tartar, manned by 130 seamen. Only Shirley's insistence that the colony provide at least a token land force and that British naval support could probably be expected convinced Rhode Island to promise 150 men and to permit Shirley to recruit up to 350 volunteers to serve in the Massachusetts contingent. Despite generous enlistment bounties and higher pay than that offered in other New England colonies, it proved difficult to raise Rhode Island's quota, partly because the privateers operating from the colony were more attractive as potential sources of wealth to the captains and crew. The 150 volunteers provided by Rhode Island ultimately arrived too late to participate in the siege.

Shirley expected New Hampshire would join the expedition willingly, particularly because the colony bordered on Nova Scotia, which if lost to the French would greatly endanger the frontier. [81] However, a standing dispute between the governor and Assembly over the issue of provincial bills of credit became so bitter that deadlock ensued when Governor Benning Wentworth refused to violate his instructions by permitting an inflationary issue by the Assembly. Shirley attempted to convince Wentworth to modify his stand, implying that since the British ministry had permitted a suspension of the Massachusetts limit on the issue of bills to meet the extraordinary expenses of wartime, similar action could be expected for New Hampshire, even if the extraordinary issue preceded explicit instructions to that effect. [82] After nearly two weeks of acrimonious debate between the governor and Assembly, the deadlock broke. A petition in favour of the expedition, signed by some residents of the colony, had been placed in the meantime before the provincial government, and Pepperrell had spoken to the House concerning the scheme. Neither the Assembly nor the governor wished to appear culpable for the delays in offering support to the expedition. [83] Wentworth agreed to the emission of  £13,000 and the Assembly agreed to raise 350 men. Shirley, who had despaired of a resolution of the impasse and considered requesting permission to raise five or six companies from New Hampshire under his own commission and at the expense of the Massachusetts government, [84] breathed a sigh of relief.

In general terms, Shirley appealed to the colonial desire to expand and to protect their trade and fisheries, and to acquire frontier security against the French and Indian menace. Shirley and other colonial officials and entrepreneurs envisaged the possibility of developing provincial and personal interests in regions disputed with or possessed by France. However, the colonies other than Massachusetts, which was being directed by Shirley's aspiring and enterprising leadership, displayed their traditional introversion by being reluctant to join wholeheartedly in the effort against a common enemy. Some of the assemblies used the wartime situation to assert their claims against governors and the royal authority. For instance, the governors of New Hampshire and New Jersey believed the assemblies were simply utilizing the call to arms to extract inflationary issues of bills of credit from the governor, in contravention of royal instructions. In New Hampshire, at least, this ploy was successful, for only part of the money issue finally permitted by Wentworth for the expedition was in fact used for that purpose. [85] Shirley also tried to stimulate the interest of other colonial governments by citing the support expected of or promised by their neighbours. [86] He was no doubt aware that while the colonies watched the activities of each other closely lest one contributed more or less than its share to the war effort, a colony could generally not afford to be put in the position of obviously contributing too little, thereby courting the accusations of more active neighbours and royal disfavour. [87] Even so, some colonies, such as New York, believed their own security was best sustained by keeping their forces intact within the colony to protect exposed frontier regions. [88]

Notwithstanding recent reports of the poor condition of the fortress, Louisbourg had the reputation of an elaborate, expensive and awe-inspiring French stronghold. The knowledge that the British government had not yet sanctioned the expedition or provided naval support, or promised to reimburse what was sure to be a bloody and expensive undertaking, gave colonies such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island plausible arguments against the scheme in general. The Rhode Island Assembly wondered if even the people of Massachusetts would support this premature enterprise, wherein failure would weaken New England defences and possibly inhibit colonial assistance to Britain should the Crown later decide to attack the fortress. [89] In Pennsylvania and to some extent in New Jersey, the pacifistic principles of the Quakers inhibited support for the scheme. [90] Even in Massachusetts, at least one cleric warned that many volunteers might go to Louisbourg "[91] Colonial unregenerate, "dye there & be damn'd to[o]..." rivalries and disputes, such as the boundary controversy between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, complicated the situation, [92] and . there seems to have been a degree of resentment in some colonies that Massachusetts should have undertaken the leadership and direction of the expedition without consulting its neighbours during the formulation of the scheme. [93] Nevertheless, through his influence and careful management of affairs, Shirley was able to have about 4,300 men committed to the land forces by early April, plus enough equipment and provisions gathered -- no mean task in itself -- to dispatch the first contingent of volunteer militia from Boston to Cape Breton. 

Massachusetts provided about three-quarters of the volunteers for the land forces going to Louisbourg. A concerted propaganda barrage, as George Rawlyk has expressed it, [94] was mounted in Massachusetts to prepare the way for the recruiting drive. There was some relatively minor opposition based mainly on fears that the undertaking was too great for the colonies to attempt so long as British naval assistance were in doubt, and that the drain of manpower would prove injurious to the welfare of local communities and the defences against marauding Indians. [95] Some New Englanders preferred to await not only the arrival of warships from England, but also some regular troops. [96] A small number of fishing entrepreneurs, and no doubt also traders, sought to preserve crews by discouraging enlistment, so that they might put to sea as soon as Shirley lifted the shipping embargo, taking advantage of the anticipated reduction of French competition as a result of the expedition. [97] However, the fact that the expedition was to be commanded by provincial officers was a distinct advantage to the recruiting campaign, for the colonials had long proven. reluctant to enlist under British officers, particularly after the 1740-'41 disaster before Cartagena in the Spanish Caribbean, where the colonials in the expedition felt they had been misled, ill-treated, unappreciated and unrewarded. [98] Shirley even tolerated some enthusiastic recruiting done without his commission, and usually granted commissions on subsequent demand. [99] In short, despite some obstacles facing the enlistment drive, the response was generally satisfactory in Massachusetts and in the neighbouring New England colonies once their governments had made a commitment to the expedition.

To stimulate enlistment in the other New England colonies and to overcome any resentment these provinces and their small populations might harbour against the dominant position Massachusetts assumed in directing the expedition, Shirley was more than willing to let them name some senior officers to the forces, who would sit on the Council of War advising Pepperrell during the campaign. [100] Shirley also sent representatives to other colonies to explain the scheme and to encourage support and enlistment for the expedition. When it looked as if the New Hampshire government would not be able to agree on a formula for supporting the expedition, Shirley proposed to raise men, with Wentworth's permission, to serve in the pay of Massachusetts and under Shirley's commissions. [101] As we have seen, this ultimately proved unnecessary. However, William Vaughan from Massachusetts, one of the original and most enthusiastic supporters of the expedition, recruited with Wentworth's permission about 150 New Hampshire men to serve in the pay of Massachusetts. These men were eventually placed with the contingent raised and paid by New Hampshire, [102] probably to avoid difficulties arising from having men of one colony serve under officers of another.

The motives prompting New Englanders to enlist in the forces were probably as varied and mixed as were the characters of the volunteers. Anti-Roman Catholicism played a distinct role in the preparation of the expedition. A good many New England ministers and their congregations viewed it as an opportunity to "reduce and pull down that stronghold of Satan, and sett up the kingdome of our exalted saviour." [103] The emotionalism generated by the Great Awakening was readily turned against the ."papists", and the reduction of the fortress would be seen as visible evidence of Divine intervention and favour. [104] Whitefield provided a motto for the expedition, Nil Desperandum, Christo Duce, lending the effort an air of crusade. However, gratifying as the expedition was to some religious zealots, many of the volunteers obviously sought more than to "Destroy proud Antichrist,  Lord, / And quite consume the Whore." [105]

During the enlistment campaign, Louisbourg was represented as being but weakly fortified and feebly garrisoned. Volunteers were attracted by the promise of rich plunder from the wealthy officers and merchants of Louisbourg. [106] They were also enticed to the ranks by the wages, bounties and various other inducements offered by their governments. [107] Not even all the ministers saw the expedition in terms of a crusade. Reverend Andrew Le Mercier of the French Protestant Church in Boston, who was trying to get his son a commission, observed to Pepperrell that, 

what makes people fond of commissions in your army is a hope, well or ill grounded, that if the place be taken they may have their commissions confirmed at home, and so have either a full sterling pay, if they are employed, and if they are dismissed a half-pay. [108]

Other New Englanders enlisted from youthful enthusiasm in the spirit of adventure generated by the expedition. [109] No doubt there were also those men whose principal motive was a real fear of the French and Indian menace, which might be reduced by the scheme, or from patriotic feeling, or as John Shy suggested, out of "admiration for the man who asked him to join ... [or] the chance to escape for a while from parental supervision or indentured servitude...." [110] Furthermore, an authentic military title or an heroic effort might elevate an individual's status in the community, [111] bringing him to a prominence which might lead to future lucrative employment. Others may have envisaged the expedition as an opportunity to obtain land in the attacked territory, either for speculation or as the foundation for a fresh start in life. Nevertheless, whatever was the innermost motive of the individual volunteer, plunder as a road to wealth was undoubtedly a leading inducement common to most of the men. Certainly, when the provincials were disappointed in their expectations of booty, the lack of plunder became a prime complaint contributing to their restlessness and impatience to return home. [112]

The day before the first contingent was to sail for Canso, the appointed rendezvous for the forces, Shirley's determination to send the expedition was sorely tried. He received Warren's refusal of naval aid. However, he kept this disheartening news a secret with the two chief officers of the New England forces, Pepperrell and Wolcott. [113] On April 4, as scheduled, the forces sailed for Canso. [114] With the news at hand that Warren could not bring naval assistance, Shirley took pains to inform Newcastle that, 

though the attempt against the Town of Louisbourg it self should fail, or his Majesty should not be pleased to support the Expedition with any ships and Marines from England, [it] will yet promote his service in other points of such importance as may answer the Expence, which the Enterprize will occasion, and I hope will not be disapprov'd of by His Majesty, as the Motive for my Engaging in this Expedition was my Zeal for His Majesty's Service and in the interest of his British Dominions in the first place & next to that for promoting the particular Interests of this Province and his other northezn Colonies. [115]

Shirley explained that the lack of naval support made the outcome of the enterprise uncertain, but that he had attempted to provide a retreat for the colonial land and sea forces at Canso. Yet he hoped, that with the help of "Providence", the New England forces would prevail. Regardless of the outcome, wrote Shirley, Annapolis Royal might be secured against the French for the time being and some damage be inflicted on the fortress as well as on the small French fishing settlements on Cape Breton Island, 

by that means ruining their fishery there for sometime, and beginning a resettlement at Canso, in case his Majesty shall be pleased to garrison Canso again, and protect it by one Station ship as usual in time of Peace ... [116]

Shirley was trying to secure his position and that of his province against any contingency, no doubt with British reimbursement of the colonial expenditure on the expedition in mind. Shirley is known to have been one of the most politically astute governors, and it would have been quite in character for him to attempt to guard against any eventuality. The French at Louisbourg had sighted the first hostile ships in March, foreshadowing the armada to follow. [117] After a stormy and uncomfortable passage from New England, the transports and cruisers began assembling at Canso in mid-April.

The forces were delayed here for more than three weeks, 

By reason of contrary, Winds, which filled Chapperouge [Gabarus] Bay with Ice, and drove it up on to the Cape-Breton Shoar, all along the Coast, -- so that the Army could not have landed, and the Vessels would have been in the utmost Danger of being dispersed and many of them lost... [118] 

Furthermore, by April 21 "the vessels with the block-house, ammunition, artillery, and the other most material stores...." had not arrived. [119] Later that day, Pepperrell learned that a number of the transports were being detained by contrary winds in a harbour about 45 miles west of Canso and that these adverse winds often prevailed for two or three weeks at this time of year, putting the forces, as Pepperrell described it, "in greater danger of famine than sword." [120]  Even more troublesome to Pepperrell was the very real possibility that the supply system might fail during the siege through some neglect in New England or interception by French ships superior in strength to the small colonial cruisers. The unexpected delay at Canso would also cut deeply into the stockpile of  provisions coming with the volunteer militia. Consequently, he wrote pressingly to Shirley and John Osborne, Chairman of the Massachusetts Committee of War, to ensure supplies reached the forces regularly, even if it meant sending more than was deemed necessary. Pepperrell wrote to Osborne that if "we fail in our attempt [on Louisbourg], for want of the necessaries of life with which our country is so richly supplied, God knows who must bare the blame." [121

However, within a few days, most of the missing transports were able to make Canso, removing any immediate threat of serious shortages. [122] On May 3, to the great delight and relief of the provincials, the 40-gun Eltham arrived at Canso, followed the next day by Warren in the Superbe, and the Launceston and Mermaid, of 40-guns each. On May 5, the Connecticut contingent, which had left New England later than the Massachusetts and New Hampshire forces, arrived bringing Pepperrell's land forces to full strength. [123]

Shirley had welcomed the news that Warren was on his way to join Pepperrell, but he realised his arrival would substantially modify Pepperrell's position as commander of the entire expedition. Fearful of offending the New England general, he carefully explained in a series of letters that Warren's commission and Newcastle's instructions required all the colonial cruisers, but not the transports, be placed under the Commodore's command. Conscious that "It is a general observation, that the land and sea forces when joined in the same expedition, seldom or never agree", he urged Pepperrell not to let the division of command create trouble which might jeopardise the attempt on Louisbourg. [124] Warren arrived at Canso before Shirley's letters; however, Pepperrell willingly turned over his cruisers to the experienced and personable naval officer. The two men quickly established a comfortable rapport and friendship. [125]

Shirley had given Pepperrell elaborate instructions for attacking the fortress in which he stressed the desirability of a surprise assault. [126] Consequently the detention at Canso disturbed Pepperrell, for it increased the probability of the French receiving intelligence of the expedition. [127] Yet while the delay caused anxiety, it did give Pepperrell time to concentrate and to organise the strength of his forces, to encourage some basic training for the volunteer militia, to assess the arms and equipment provided for the expedition, to urge upon the Committee of War the need for an adequate and reliable supply of provisions and war materials, and to question some prisoners captured by the provincials near Canso. [128]

The French prisoners supplied some encouraging reports of the weaknesses of the French stronghold and gave information which underlined the desirability of this expedition against Louisbourg. Pepperrell was informed that the French and Indians were assembling at Minas for a descent on Annapolis Royal and that two 20-gun ships from France were expected to join the attack. [129] The prisoners told of a mutiny which had taken place in the Louisbourg garrison only six months earlier, and that the

Governor of Canada had, last fall, sent down large presents to the Cape Sable's and St. John's Indians, inviting them to come up to Canada to be furnished with arms, ammunition, &c. in order to make a descent upon the back of New England .... [130] 

Pepperrell heard that Louisbourg was short of provisions, and this report quickly became current in the New England camp; however, some of the provincials found it to be "too good news (for us) to be true. [131] 

In accordance with Shirley's instructions, Pepperrell began construction of a small fort at Canso, which was completed a few weeks after Louisbourg was invested. Canso was an important element in the scheme against Louisbourg, for it was to be the storage depot for all materials not in immediate use before Louisbourg.; it was the link in communications between Boston and the New England camp at Louisbourg; it was the key to a retreat, being accessible by land and sea and capable of safely harbouring a large number of ships; it was also to receive the sick and wounded during the attack on the fortress. [132]

The delay at Canso also afforded Pepperrell the time to drill his officers and men in their respective parts in the landing operations at Gabarus Bay. [133] Pepperrell deliberately kept his men as busy as possible at Canso, not only to prepare them for the task ahead, but also to keep "them in health and spirits ...."[134] Despite much cold and wet weather at Canso and the unsanitary camp conditions, the men remained reasonably healthy, although some of them caught bad colds and a form of dysentery known to them as the "bloody fluxes". [135]  Pepperrell was successful in keeping their morale high. The only substantial signs of discontent appears to have been an impatience to begin the siege. Some of the volunteers expected the campaign would be short, and one diarist optimistically expressed the opinion that Louisbourg might surrender without bloodshed. [136] The men were anxious to enjoy the fruits of the anticipated victory.

Morale was an important consideration for the leaders of the volunteer militia, who could not be disciplined with the harshness applied to regular British troops. A decline in the morale would entail increasing problems of enforcing discipline among the volunteers, who were more apt to be commanded by inducements and incentives rather than by threats and the whip. After observing the New Englanders in action, Peter Warren offered an interesting and prescient observation on the character of the colonials: 

As they have the highest notions of the Rights and Libertys, of Englishmen; and indeed are almost Levellers, they must know when, where, how, and what service they are going upon, and be Treated in a manner that few Military Bred Gentlemen would condescent to, but if they do the work in which they are Engag'd, every other Ceremony shou'd in my opinion be wink'd at. [137] 

These civilian soldiers were ready to find and voice their grievances both to their officers and to their relations and friends at home. However, for the moment, morale and discipline among the New Englanders were not problems as their attention was absorbed fully by preparations to embark for Louisbourg. Even so, most of the men felt substantial qualms about the task ahead, and many resolved to place their trust in God rather than in the numbers going before the fortress. [138] So high-spirited were some of the provincials that a New England minister felt compelled to give a sermon on Sunday, May 9, the day before the forces sailed for Louisbourg, from I Kings 20, 11: "Tis very unbecoming any when preparing for battle to behave themselves as tho they had got the victory." [139]

Early the next morning with a favourable wind, "the fleet weighed anchor at Canso & sailed for Cape Breton. The fleet consists of about or near an hundred sail, including Commodore Warren's Ships.... [140] The passage to Gabarus Bay was largely uneventful, giving the men time to reflect on the prospect ahead:

After we have tarried 27 Days In this Harbour we Are now Set Sail for Cape Breton, We did Rejoice. But Considering what Our Design was, Might'nt it Justly be with trembling O! [141]

The weather promised fair and pleasant just before sunrise on May 11, but a high surf was running. The French soldiers on the ramparts of Louisbourg sighted the masts of the fleet behind the Isles à Dion, and were convinced they were indeed transports. [142] The New Englanders crowded on the decks of the ships caught their first sight of the lighthouse and steeples of Louisbourg, but the fortifications remained hidden from view. [143] They must have wondered if the French were waiting for them, and some of the men realised the landing on the generally rough and rocky shores nearby would be a difficult and dangerous manoeuvre.


[1] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed, p. 148, Shirley to Newcastle, September 22, 1744; G.A. Rawlyk, Yankees at Louisbourg, (Maine: University Press, 1967) pp. 20-21.

[2] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2732, n.p., Young to Corbett, December 4, 1743.

[3] G.F.G. Stanley, New France: The Last Phase, 1744-1760, (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1968) pp. 1-2; Lanctot, Canada, III, p. 62.

[4] Correspondence of Shirley, 1, Lincoln, ed. , pp. 145-148, Shirley to Newcastle, September 22, 1744.

[5] Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 8-9.

[6] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 122-123, Shirley to the General Court of Massachusetts, May 31, 1744.

[7] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 25.

[8] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 131, Shirley to Newcastle, July 7, 1744.

[9] Ibid., p. 134, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 25, 1744; Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 7-9. This French priest is generally believed to have been the Abbé Le Loutre. However, Father A. David maintained that the leader of these Indians was Abbé Pierre Maillard, not Le Loutre. Lieutenant Governor Mascarene stated that the leader was a "French missionary who resides amongst these Indians....", which would indicate the leader was Le Loutre, the local missionary. Norman McL. Rogers did not even entertain the possibility that the leader was not Le Loutre. See Norman McL. Rogers, "The Abbé Le Loutre", Canadian Historical Review, XI, no. 2, (June, 1930) pp. 110-112; A. David, "Messire Pierre Maillard, apôtre de Micmacs", Bulletin de Recherches Historiques, XXXV, no. 6 (June, 1929) pp. 367-368; Massachusetts Historical Society, Private Letter Book and Journal of Major Paul Mascarene, fol. 46, Mascarene to William Yonge, July 2 [?], 1744.

[10] Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 9-10.

[11] Correspondence of Shirley, 1, Lincoln, ed., pp. 134-135, Shirley to the Lords of Trade, July 25, 1744.

[12] Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 11-12.

[13] Brebner, New England's Outpost, pp. 112-113.

[14] For details of the siege and subsequent withdrawal of Du Vivier from Annapolis Royal, see Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 12-15; McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 114-117. Governor Shirley sent a description of the siege to the Admiralty: P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to the Lords of Admiralty, November 14, 1744.

[15] Correspondence of  Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 146-147, Shirley to Newcastle, September 22, 1744.

[16] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to the Lords of Admiralty, November 14, 1744.

[17] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to the Lords of Admiralty, December 7, 1744.

[18] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 152, Shirley to Wentworth, November 10, 1744.

[19] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 30.

[20] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 159-160, Shirley to the General Court of Massachusetts, January 9, 1745. See also Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 35.

[21] The most up-to-date account of the various schemes and proposals for an expedition against Louisbourg is given in Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 27-40 passim.

[22] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to Warren, January 29, 1745. 

[23] John A. Schutz, William Shirley, (Durham: University of North Carolina Press, 1961) pp. 80-85.

[24] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed.,  pp. 163-164, Shirley to Newcastle, January 14, 1745.

[25] Ibid., pp. 162-163. 

[26] Ibid., p. 163.

[27] Ibid., p. 171, Shirley to Law, January 29, 1744; p. 161, Shirley to Newcastle, January 14, 1745. Interestingly enough, one of the earliest and chief promoters of the expedition, John Bradstreet, claimed he deliberately underplayed the strength of the fortress in order to gain support for the expedition: "I must acknowlidge I did represent the Strength of the place and every other circumstance relating thereto in a worse condition then they realy were, by reason I found the people in General were greatly against undertaking any Expeditions, from the bad Success they always had in them which conduct I thought Justifiable in me, as so favourable an Opportunity for attacking that Place could never be Expected...." Bradstreet, who was Colonel of Pepperrell's own volunteer militia regiment during the siege, listed the reasons for attacking the fortress at this time as being: the shortage of powder and provisions at Louisbourg, a mutinous garrison, an old and infirm governor unversed in the defence of a fortification, the ill-repair of the fortifications, the absence of the engineer, and the presence of civilians unacquainted with the use of firearms, and so on. Tenth Journal, attributed to Bradstreet, Louisbourg Journals, 1745, Louis Effingham de Forest, ed., (New York: Vail-Ballou Press, 1932) pp. 171-173. As de Forest points out in his introduction to this item, it is not properly a journal, but rather a letter, unsigned and without mention of the intended recipient. Internal evidence suggests that it is without much doubt Bradstreet's work.

[28] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, p. 161, Shirley to Newcastle, January 14, 1745.

[29] Ibid., p. 160, Shirley to the General Court of Massachusetts, January 9, 1745; p. 161, Shirley to Newcastle, January 14, 1745.

[30] Ibid., pp.164-165, Shirley to Newcastle, January 14, 1745.

[31] Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay, II, L.W. Mayo, ed. , (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963) pp. 311-312; Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 35-36.

[32] Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, II, p. 312; Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 36-37.

[33] A Boston Merchant of 1745 or, Incidents in the Life of James Gibson, by one of his descendants, (Boston: Redding and Company, 1847) p. 16.

[34] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 37. The petition was organized by William Vaughan, a man with extensive lumbering and fishing interests in Maine, which was part of the Massachusetts Bay colony. Vaughan was also one of the early and principal promoters of an expedition against Louisbourg.

[35] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 168, Shirley to the General Court of Massachusetts, January 23, 1745.

[36] Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, II, p. 313; Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 169-170, Report of the Committee of both Houses, January 25, 1745. This committee was presented by William Pepperrell "In the Name & by Order of the Committee" . See also McLennan, Louisbourg, p. 133 and p. 145, reprinted letter, Governor Wanton to Rhode Island Agent in London. December 20, 1745; Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 39; John Fiske, New England and New France, (New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1902) p. 251.

[37] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 170, Report of the Committee of both Houses, January 25, 1745; p. 171, Shirley to Law, January 29, 1745; p. 172, Shirley to Greene, January 29, 1745; p. 177, Shirley to Wentworth, January 31, 1745; p. 179, Shirley to Thomas, February 4, 1745.

[38] Ibid., p. 172, Shirley to Law, January 29, 1745; pp. 196-199, Shirley to Newcastle, March 27, 1745. See also P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, Shirley to Warren, January 29, 1745.

[39] Correspondence of Shirley, I. Lincoln, ed., p. 172, Shirley to Law, January 29, 1745.

[40] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 233, fols. 635-636, Shirley to Ogle, January [?], 1745; fol. 646, Ogle to Davers, March 14, 1745.

[41] P.R.O., Adm. 1. vol. 233, fol. 653v, Davers to Corbett, April 1, 1745.

[42] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 55.

[43] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2653, Warren to [Corbett ?], February 6, 1743.

[44] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2654, n.p., Warren to Corbett, September 8, 1744.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Sussex Archaeological Society, Lewes, Peter Warren Papers, Private Letter Book, 1746, G/AM/6, Warren to Corbett, June 2, 1746; Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 55.

[48] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 55.

[49] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 3817, n.p., Shirley to Warren, January 29, 1745.

[50] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2654, n.p., Consultation held on the Launceston, February 23, 1745.

[51] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2654, n.p., Warren to Corbett, March 10, 1745.

[52] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 197-198, Shirley to Newcastle, March 27, 1745.

[53] Ibid., Pp. 145-148, Shirley to Newcastle, September 22, 1744.

[54] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2654, n.p., Warren to Corbett, March 10, 1745; Adm. 2, vol. 63, fol. 55, Admiralty Board to Captain Innis, January 5, 1745; Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 155-156, Newcastle to Shirley, January 3, 1745. 1 have been unable to locate the Admiralty's dispatch to Warren, but the items cited in this footnote probably give the gist of the instructions.

[55] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 155-156, Newcastle to Shirley, January 3, 1745.

[56] P.R.O., Adm. 1, vol. 2654, n.p., Warren to Corbett, March 10, 1745. For further details on Warren's departure from the West Indies, see below, pp. 252-254, and footnote 106, chapter six.

[57] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 800, fols. 157-162, Shirley to Newcastle, February 1, 1745.

[58] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 215, Shirley to Pepperrell, May 5, 1745.

[59] P.R.O., Adm. 2, vol. 63, fols. 257-259, Admiralty Board to Captain Edwards, March 16, 1745.

[60] P.R.O., Adm. 2, vol. 63, fols. 416-417, Admiralty Board to Captain Brett, April 4, 1745; fols. 417-418, Admiralty Board to Captains Hore, Boys, Geary, April 4, 1745.

[61] Newcastle, McLennan, Louisbourg, p. 143.

[62] P.R.O., Adm. 2, vol. 487, fol. 513, Corbett to Warren, March.18, 1745.

[63] P.R.O Adm. 2, vol. 63, fols. 357-359, Admiralty Board to Captain Edwards, March 18, 1745.

[64] See above p. 55.

[65] Jeremy Belknap, The History of New Hampshire, II, (Boston: Bradford and Read, 1813) p. 158.

[66] Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Sixth Series, X, (Boston: Published by the Society, 1899) p. 392, Pepperrell to Silas Hooper, November 9, 1745.

[67] Ibid.; Usher Parsons, The Life of Sir William Pepperrell, Bart., (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1856) p. 51..

[68] Parsons, Pepperrell, p. 51.

[69] Boston Gazette, January 22, 1745, quoted in Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 44.

[70] Parsons, Pepperrell, pp. 51-52.

[71] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 44.

[72] Schutz, Shirley, pp. 80-85, 92, 124-125; See also, Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 306n, 504, 510.

[73] Shirley died in 1771.

[74] For example, see: Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 162-164, Shirley to Newcastle, January 14, 1745.

[75] Ibid., p. 170, Report of the Committee of both Houses, January 25, 1745.

[76] Ibid., pp. 171-172, Shirley to Jonathan Law, January 29, 1745.

[77] Ibid., p. 171.

[78] Ibid., p. 170, Report of the Committee of both Houses, January 25, 1745; pp. 171-172, Shirley to Law, January 29, 1745; pp. 172-173, Shirley to William Greene, January 29, 1745; p. 177, Shirley to Benning Wentworth, January 31, 1745; pp. 179-180, Shirley to George Thomas, February 4, 1745.

[79] Discussing the problems of providing for the defence of Pennsylvania in relation to the pacifistic principles of the Quakers, historian Daniel Boorstin relates an amusing anecdote: "Not until 1745 did Governor Thomas finally secure an appropriation for the purposes of the war: a grant of £4,000 for 'Bread, Beef, Pork, Flour, Wheat or other Grain' for the garrison at Louisbourg, which was now in the hands of the English. The 'other Grain' was apparently intended to be gunpowder. The Quakers had earlier actually aided the defense of the colony but then too only by subterfuge or by appropriations made for unspecified purposes." The Americans: the colonial experience, (New York: Random House, 1966) p. 52. Details of the response of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania may be found in a variety of secondary sources, including Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 49-50; Wood, Shirley, pp. 269-272; Osgood, American Colonies, III, pp. 520-522; McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 137-138.

[80] Details of the response of the New England colonies may be found in Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 50-54; Wood, Shirley, pp. 268-269, 272-278; Osgood, American Colonies, III, pp. 520-521; McLennan, Louisbourg, p. 137, and pp. 144-146, letter reprinted from Governor Wanton to the Rhode Island agent in London, December 20, 1745.

[81] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., p. 177, Shirley to Wentworth, January 31, 1745.

[82] The details of this conflict may be followed in Documents and Records Relating to the Province of New Hampshire, Provincial Papers, from 1738-1749, V, Nathaniel Bouton, ed., Journal of the House, (Nashua: Orren C. Moore, 1871) pp. 273-291, passim. See also Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 178-179, two letters, Shirley to Wentworth, February 2 and 3, 1745.

[83] New Hampshire Provincial Papers, V, Bouton, ed., Journal of the House, pp. 286-287, petition of various persons that provision be made for 500 men for the expedition against Louisbourg, February 11, 1745; p. 288, February 12, 1745; p. 289, answer to Wentworth's message, February 12, 1745; p. 279, Wentworth's message to the Assembly, February 5, 1745.

[84] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 184-185, Shirley to Pepperrell, February 14, 1745.

[85] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 54.

[86] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, pp. 179-180, Shirley to Thomas, February 4, 1745; pp. 178-179, Shirley to Wentworth, February 3, 1745; pp. 171-172, Shirley to Law, January 29, 1745.

[87[ J.C. Miller, Origins of the American Revolution, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1943) pp. 41-45.

[88] Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 49-50.

[89] Wood, Shirley, pp. 271-272; Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 49-51; McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 144-145, letter reprinted from Governor Wanton to the Rhode Island agent in London, December 20, 1745.

[90] Wood, Shirley, pp. 270-272.

[91] M.H.S., Belknap Papers, n.p., Waldo to Pepperrell, February 19, 1745.

[92] Osgood, American Colonies, III, p. 521.

[93] This was certainly the case with Rhode Island where Governor Wanton complained of this very matter. Shirley's willingness to have the other colonies name senior officers, most particularly Wolcott of Connecticut, suggests he was aware the other colonies would not be content simply to send forces under Massachusetts leadership. The senior officers of the expedition were to comprise a Council of War at Cape Breton and Shirley instructed Pepperrell that "On all emergencies it will be necessary for you to convene a council of war; and most expedient to act agreeably to their advice...." After the expedition, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island all sought to maximize before the British ministry the part they had played in the effort and suggested that Shirley, Pepperrell and Warren had not given these provinces enough prominence in dispatches to London. The Correspondence of the Colonial Governors of Rhode Island, 1723-1775, 1, G.S. Kimball, ed., (Boston, 1902) pp. 364-365, Governor Wanton to Richard Partridge, July 26, 1745, cited in Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 50-51; Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 11, Shirley to Pepperrell, March 19, 1745; McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 144-146, letter reprinted from Governor Wanton to the Rhode island agent in London, December 20, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, pp. 418-420, Shirley to Wentworth, January 1, 1746; p. 406, Sparhawk to Pepperrell, December 6, 1745; Law Papers, II, Bates, ed., pp. 22-26, Connecticut's address to the King concerning Connecticut's part in the expedition against Louisbourg, signed by Law, August 16, 1745.

[94] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 44.

[95] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 109, Jotham Odiorne to Pepperrell, February 27, 1745; M.H.S., Belknap Papers, n.p., Waldo to Pepperrell, February 19, 1745.

[96] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 109, Jotham Odiorne to Pepperrell, February 27, 1745.

[97] M.H.S., Belknap Papers, n.p., Waldo tc Pepperrell, February 19, 1745.

[98] On the Cartagena expedition see W.A. Foote, The American Units of the British Regular Army, 1664-1772. (Texas. Western College: unpublished Master's thesis, 1959) pp. 126158, passim.

[99] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 43.

[100] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 184-185, Shirley to Pepperrell, February 140 1745; pp. 193-1942 Shirley, to Wolcott, March 8, 1745.

[101] Ibid., pp, 172-173, Shirley to Greene, January 29, 1745; p. 179-180, Shirley to Thomas, February 4, 1745; pp. 184-185, Shirley to Pepperrell, February, 14, 1745; p. 192, Shirley to Wentworth, March 2. 1745; New Hampshire Provincial Papers, V, Bouton, ed., p. 288, Journal of the House, February 12, 1745.

[102] Shirley credited Vaughan, who had lumbering and fishing interests in the Maine region of Massachusetts, with being the first projector of the scheme to attack Louisbourg. Vaughan had obtained, at his own expense, considerable information regarding the fortress by interviewing traders and prisoners from Louisbourg. He stimulated interest in such an expedition and urged petitions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to be sent to the two colonial governments in favour of the scheme. He served, apparently by his own wish, at Louisbourg as a lieutenant colonel without pay or a formal command. He was placed on the Council of War by Shirley's specific order, undoubtedly because of his special knowledge of the scheme to attack the fortress. He acted directly under Pepperrell and was given commands apparently on an ad hoc basis as the need arose. See McLennan, Louisbourg, pp. 361-368, various testimonies reprinted concerning Vaughan's activities concerning the expedition. H.S. Burrage, Maine at Louisbourg in 1745, (Augusta: Burleigh & Flint, 1910) p. 28; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 170, Waldo to Pepperrell, May 14, 1745; p. 122, Shirley to Pepperrell, March 23, 1745; Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, p. 192, Shirley to Wentworth, March 2, 1745; Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 54.

[103] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 106, John Gray to Pepperrell, February 25, 1745.

[104] M.H.S., Belknap Papers, n.p., Pepperrell, FebruLry 19, 1745; John Carter Brown Library, The Great Importance of Cape Breton, Anonymous, p. 64; Thomas Prince, Extraordinary Events, pp. 31-32; William Douglass, A Summary, I, p. 336; II, pp. 12-13.

[105] J.C.B.L., "Moses Pleading with God for Israel ... With a Word to our Bretheren gone and going out on the present Expedition against Cape-Breton, 1745", quoted in Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 45.

[106] Rawlyk, Yankees, p. 44. Also see above p. 46, footnote number 27.

[107] Rawlyk, Yankees, pp. 47, 51, 54, summarizes the pay scales, bounties and other enducements offered to the New Englanders by the various governments.

[108] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, Le Mercier to Pepperrell, February 8, 1745.

[109] M.H.S., Gilman Papers, n.p., John Payne to Robert Hale, April 24, 1745; First Journal, Anonymous, Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 2.

[110] John Shy, Toward Lexington: The Role of the British Army in the Coming of the American Revolution, (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1965) p. 15.

[111] Ibid.

[112] Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, p. 260, Shirley to Pepperrell, July 29, 1745.

[113] Correspondence of Shirley, 1, Lincoln, ed., p. 196, Shirley to Newcastle, March 27, 1745; Parsons, Pepperrell, pp. 55-58.

[114] H.M. Chapin, New Eng1and Vessels in the Expedition against Louisbourg, 1745, (Boston: Reprinted from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register for January and April, 1923) p. 4.

[115] Correspondence of Shirley, 1, Lincoln, ed. , p. 199, Shirley to Newcastle, March 27, 1745.

[116] Ibid., pp. 198-199.

[117] Lettre d'un Habitant de Louisbourg, Anon., Wrong, trans. and ed., p. 36; Chapin, New England Vessels, p. 4.

[118] Fourth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 67.

[119] Colls.,M.H.S., 1, 10 p. 14, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 10, 1745.

[120] Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 125, Pepperrell to John Osborne, April 10, 1745.

[121] Ibid.; Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 16, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 10, 1745.

[122] Benjamin Green's Journal, American Antiquarian Society Proceedings, XX, (October, 1909) pp. 144 [This journal was incorrectly published as "The Sir William Pepperrell Journal", as noted in the bibliography of de Forest, Louisbourg Journals, p. 235. De Forest believed the journal was kept by Benjamin Green, Pepperrell's secretary in the expedition]; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg journals, de Forest, ed. p. 7.

[123] Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., pp. 146-147.

[124] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 17, Shirley to Pepperrell, April 10, 1745; p. 19, Shirley to Pepperrell, April 22, 1745.

[125] Ibid., p. 27, Pepperrell to Shirley, May 11, 1745.

[126] These instructions may be found printed in Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 5-11, Shirley to Pepperrell, March 19, 1745; pp. 11-12, Shirley to Pepperrell, March 22, 1745.

[127] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, pp. 23-24, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 28, 1745.

[128] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 5; Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 15, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 10, 1745; p. 24, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 28, 1745; Colls. M.H.S., 6, X, p. 125, Pepperrell to Osborne, April 10, 1745.

[129] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p.15, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 10, 1745.

[130] Ibid., p. 24, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 28, 1745.

[131] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 7.

[132] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 24, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 28, 1745; An Accurate Journal and Account of the Proceedings of the New-England Land-Forces, During the late Expedition ... To the Time of the Surrender of Louisbourg, attested to by William Pepperrell, Samuel Waldo, Samuel Moore, Simon Lothrop and Richard Gridley, (London: A. and S. Brice,.1746) pp. 7-8; Correspondence of Shirley, I, Lincoln, ed., pp. 175-176, Shirley to the Lords of Admiralty, January 29, 1745.

[133] Colls. M.H.S., 1, 1, p. 15, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 10, 1745.

[134] Ibid., p. 22, Pepperrell to Shirley, April 28, 1745.

[135] Ibid., p. 25; First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., Pp. 6-7; Fifth Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 73; "Craft's Journal of the Siege of Louisbourg", Historical Collections of the Essex Institute, VI, no. 5, (October, 1864) pp. 184-185.

[136] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 8; Journal and Letters of the late Samuel Curwen, George Atkinson Ward, ed., (London: Wiley and Putnam, 1842) p. 12.

[137] P.R.O., CO5, vol. 44, fol. 53v, Warren to Newcastle, June 18, 1745.

[138] First Journal, Anonymous, Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed. , p. 9.

[139] "Expedition to Cape Breton: Journal of the Rev. Adonijah Bidwell, Chaplain of the Fleet", New England Historical and Genealogical Register, XXVII, (April, 1873) p. 153. The text in the King James Authorized Version reads: "And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off."

[140] Ibid.

[141] First Journal, Anon., Louisbourg Journals, de Forest, ed., p. 9.

[142] A.C., F3, vol. 50, fol. 275v, Du Chambon to Maurepas, September 2, 1745.

[143] Green's Journal, A.A.S. Procs., p. 149.