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Isthmus of Chignecto, a neck of land connecting present-day New Brunswick with Nova Scotia, Canada. Portions of the fort have been restored. A museum at the site depicts the conflicts between France and Britain in the 1700s, and the later struggle between America and Britain. During the 1600s and 1700s, European monarchies were almost permanently at war with each other.
The threat of Anglo-American invasion of New France was constant, and Acadia was particularly vulnerable. In the mid-1700s France and Britain were about to clash worldwide and in North America in the Seven Years’ War. In the middle of the 1700s, over one million British colonists occupied a limited area along the Atlantic coast, while in the European population of what is now The Maritimes was 18,544, part of a total New France population of 70,000. In 1750 the French added to the military personnel in their colony.
In April of that year Governor Edward Cornwallis sent British Major Charles Lawrence with a small force to establish British authority in the isthmus of Chignecto. There was not agreement in London as to how far troops should go in establishing claims during a time of peace. However, Lawrence was eventually sent to the Missaguash River with a stronger force and routed a group of Indians led by Father Le Loutre, a French agent provocateur. Construction began in April 1751 under the direction of Lieutenant Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry. In 1754, Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor became the commander of Fort Beausejour. Events eventually revealed that he was unfit for military command.
The French position may have been undermined by Thomas Pichon, a clerk at the fort. The British commandant at Fort Lawrence paid Pichon for information about French activities. Pichon provided accounts of French activities, plans of forts and an outline of the steps necessary for capture, which Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton later used in the attacks. A convoy of 31 transports and three warships left Boston on 19 May 1755, carrying nearly 2,000 New England provincial troops and 270 British regulars, and dropped anchor near the mouth of the Missaguash River on 2 June.