Title: Louisbourg Siege collection Creator: Sabin, J. F. (Joseph F.), 1846-1926 Inclusive dates: 1745-1746 Extent: 1 volume Abstract:
The Louisbourg Siege collection documents the New Hampshire contingent of the Louisbourg expedition led by Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren in 1745 and 1746. The collection includes eyewitness accounts of the siege, a contemporaneous copy of the articles of capitulation, and maps of the city and fort at Louisbourg.
Language: The material is in English Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190 Phone: 734-764-2347 Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
The 1745 siege of Louisbourg was one of the most important battles of King George's War, the North American conflicts of the War of Austrian Succession, between Britain, France, and Spain. France had heavily fortified Louisbourg (Cape Breton Island, then called Île-Royale) in order to protect its North American land holdings from the British. The French also used Louisbourg as an outpost for its Northern Atlantic fishing fleets, which competed with New England fishermen. Using the European conflict as a justification for war, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut raised a small fleet and over 4,000 troops for an expedition on Louisbourg, led Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren. They started the offensive in early March 1745, but cold weather and icy seas delayed the full scale siege until April. Though the French government did not send reinforcements to the fort, the defenders successfully warded off their British attackers until the French surrendered on June 17, 1745.
The British controlled Louisbourg until 1748, when the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war and returned the fort to the French, much to the dismay of the colonists. Ten-years later, however, during the French and Indian War, British colonists recaptured the fort.
Prominent military personnel represented in this collection include:
Samuel Moore, a colonel of the New Hampshire Militia.
Colonel William Vaughan (1703-1746), a chief organizer of the Louisbourg expedition and son of Lieutenant Governor Vaughan of New Hampshire province.
T.W. Waldren (1721-1785), a captain of the New Hampshire regiment at Louisbourg.
Richard Waldren (1694-1753), a member of the New Hampshire Council, Speaker of the Assembly, and Secretary of New Hampshire.
Meshech Weare (1713-1786), a town moderator, selectman, and representative of Hampton Falls in the Assembly and, in 1776, he became the president of the state until 1785.
Edward Williams, a captain of a New Hampshire regiment at Louisbourg.
Reverend Stephen Williams (1693-1782), the chaplain for the New Hampshire Militia.
The Louisbourg Siege collection (25 items) consists of 19 letters, 2 receipts for goods, 1 memorandum, 1 excerpt from a journal, 2 printed maps, and one engraving. These items all concern the British siege and occupation of Louisbourg from 1745 to 1746. The writers were all part of the New Hampshire contingent of the Louisbourg expedition led by Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren. Of note are a series of nine letters, written by Captain Thomas Westbrooke Waldron (d. 1785), to his father, Richard Waldron, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These letters form a running narrative of the siege and include a contemporaneous copy of the articles of capitulation. The collection contains two replies from Richard Waldron. Fellow New Hampshire officers and soldiers wrote the remaining letters, including officer Nathaniel Weare, Colonel Samuel Moore, who commanded the New Hampshire troops during the siege, and Colonel William Vaughan.
The maps depict the Harbor of Louisbourg and a plan for the city and fortifications there. The engraving is "A View of the Taking of Louisbourg in North America, by Admiral Boscawen and General Amherst," 1758, printed in London. This represents the second siege of Louisbourg.
Joseph Sabin compiled the collection into a single volume. The final seven pages contain notes on the collection, written by Victor H. Paltsits (1867-1952), the State Archivist of New York and the Chief of the American History Division and Keeper of Manuscripts at the New York Public Library.
Examples of other Clements Library collections, which contain materials related to the 1745 Louisbourg Siege:
The George Clinton papers contain a letter from Commanders Warren and Pepperrell to Clinton, January 25, 1746.
The James Douglas papers include a logbook for the H.M.S. Vigilant , which patrolled the Northern Atlantic between 1745 and 1747.
The Peter Warren papers contain a series of warrants relating to the siege.
Below is a selection of maps and printed items related to the Siege of Louisbourg. For more books, maps, and other items held at the Clements Library, use the search term "Louisbourg (N.S.) History Siege 1745" in the University of Michigan online catalog.