Northeast Coast Campaign (1723)

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For other uses, see Northeast Coast Campaign.
Northeast Coast Campaign (1723)
Part of Father Rale's War
Date April 19, 1723 – January 28, 1724
Location Berwick, Maine to Mount Desert Island
Result French and Wabanaki Confederacy victory
Belligerents
 English colonists  French colonists
 Abenaki
Commanders and leaders
Colonel Thomas Westbrook Father Sébastien Rale
Strength

unknown
Casualties and losses
20-30 killed or taken prisoner[1] unknown

The Northeast Coast Campaign (1723) occurred during Father Rale's War from April 19, 1723 – January 28, 1724. In response to the previous year, in which New England attacked the Wabanaki Confederacy at Norridgewock and Penobscot, the Wabanaki Confederacy retaliated by attacking the coast of present-day Maine that was below the Kennebec River, the border of Acadia. They attacked English settlements on the coast of present-day Maine between Berwick and Mount Desert Island. Casco (also known as Falmouth and Portland) was the principal settlement. The 1723 campaign was so successful along the Maine frontier that Dummer ordered its evacuation to the blockhouses in the spring of 1724.[2]

Historical context[edit]

The war occurred as a result of an expansion of New England settlements along the Kennebec River (in present-day Maine) and of the movement of more New England fishermen into Nova Scotia waters. The border between Acadia and New England, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine.[3] The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which ended Queen Anne's War and included the cession of peninsular Nova Scotia to Great Britain, had facilitated this expansion. The treaty, however, had been signed in Europe and had not involved any member of the Wabanaki tribes. None had been consulted about the expansion of British settlements, and they protested through raids on British fishermen and settlements.[4] In response to Wabanaki hostilities toward the expansion, the governor of Massachusetts Governor Samuel Shute built forts on traditional Abenaki territory around the mouth of the Kennebec River: Fort George at Brunswick (1715),[5] St. George's Fort at Thomaston (1720), and Fort Richmond (1721) at Richmond.[6] The French claimed the same territory by building a church in the Abenaki village of Norridgewock (present-day Madison, Maine) on the Kennebec River, maintaining a mission at Penobscot on the Penobscot River, and building a church in the Maliseet village of Medoctec on the St. John River.[7][8] These fortifications and Catholic missions escalated the conflict.

The Campaign[edit]

Throughout 1723 Father Rale and the Wabanaki Confederacy of Acadia orchestrated a total of fourteen raids on the New England settlements in present-day Maine. In April 1723, there was a raid on Falmouth (present-day Portland) in which the raiders mistook Chubb to be Captain Harmen and killed him. On April 19, 1723, Scarborough was raided. They attacked the garrison house of Roger Deering. Captain Hammond and seven other were killed. They took prisoner three adults and three of Deering's children.[9]

In May 1723, the natives killed two people in a raid on Berwick, one at Wells and two on the way to York.[9]

In the summer of 1723, Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from St. Francis again attacked Arrowsic. Incited by Father Rale, they burned 37 dwellings and killed 300 cattle. The 40 inhabitants fled to the garrison, with only a child lost.[9] In August and September 1723, there were also raids on Saco, Maine and Dover, New Hampshire.[9] Captain Heath and 13 men including two Mohawks met with 30 natives in the battle at Richmond. They killed two and drove off the rest. One New Englander was killed and two wounded.[10]

In an October raid at Mount Desert, one Capt. Cogswell and his crew were surprised and taken as they were stepping ashore; and about the same time, Smith and Bailey were killed at Cape Porpoise, one on Vaughan's Island, and the other on the seashore, not far from the site of the old meeting-house.[11]

On December 25, 1723, 60 natives again laid siege to St. George's Fort for thirty days. But Capt. Kennedy, the commanding officer, held out till Col. Westbrook arrived and put the enemy to flight.[11] The Indians killed another man, Reverend Willard.

Aftermath[edit]

During the winter, Massachusetts assigned 300 more troops to border in Maine.[12] The government put a bounty was put on Father Rale's head.[12] The Native campaign was so successful along the Maine frontier that Dummer ordered its evacuation to the blockhouses in the spring of 1724.[2] The Confederacy waited until spring and then began another campaign against the Northeast Coast in 1724.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources
  • William D. Williamson. The history of the state of Maine: from its first discovery, A.D ..., Volume 2. 1832.
  • Haynes, Mark. The Forgotten Battle: A History of the Acadians of Canso/ Chedabuctou. British Columbia: Trafford. 2004
  • John Grenier. The Far Reaches of Empire. University of Oklahoma Press. 2008
  • John Grenier. The first way of war: American war making on the frontier, 1607-1814. 2003. 47-52.
  • William Wicken. Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial. University of Toronto Press. 2002.
  • John Mack Faragher. A Great and Noble Scheme. New York; W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.
  • William Wicken. "Mi'kmaq Decisions: Antoine Tecouenemac, the Conquest, and the Treaty of Utrecht". In John Reid et al. (eds). The Conquest of Acadia, 1710: Imperial, Colonial and Aboriginal Constructions. University of Toronto Press. 2004.
  • Cyrus Eaton. Annals of the town of Warren
  • The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600-1800: War, Migration, and the survival of an Indian people, by Colin G. Calloway (University of Oklahoma Press, 1990)
  • The Original Vermonters: Native Inhabitants, Past and Present, by William A. Haviland and Marjory W. Power (University Press of New England, 1994)
  • In Search of New England's Native Past: Selected Essays, by Gordon M. Day (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998)
  • Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
Endnotes
  1. ^ Williamson p. 122
  2. ^ a b Grenier. 2003. p. 49
  3. ^ William Williamson. The history of the state of Maine. Vol. 2. 1832. p. 27; Griffiths, E. From Migrant to Acadian. McGill-Queen's University Press. 2005. p.61; Campbell, Gary. The Road to Canada: The Grand Communications Route from Saint John to Quebec. Goose Lane Editions and The New Brunswick Heritage Military Project. 2005. p. 21.
  4. ^ William Wicken. "Mi'kmaq Decisions: Antoine Tecouenemac, the Conquest, and the Treaty of Utrecht". In John Reid et al (eds). The Conquest of Acadia, 1710: Imperial, Colonial and Aboriginal Constructions. University of Toronto Press. 2004. p. 96.
  5. ^ Fort George replaced Fort Andros which was built during King William's War (1688).
  6. ^ The history of the state of Maine: from its first discovery, A.D ..., Volume 2, by William Durkee Williamson. 1832. p.88, 97.
  7. ^ "Meductic Indian Village / Fort Meductic National Historic Site of Canada". Parks Canada. Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ John Grenier, The Far Reaches of Empire. University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, p. 51, p. 54.
  9. ^ a b c d (William Williamson, p. 123)
  10. ^ Williamson, p. 123
  11. ^ a b (William Williamson, p. 125)
  12. ^ a b Williamson, p. (124)