Raid on Dartmouth (1751)

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Not to be confused with Raid on Dartmouth (1749).
Raid on Dartmouth
Part of Father Le Loutre’s War
Joseph Broussard Beausoleil acadian HRoe.jpg
Joseph Broussard (Beausoleil)
Date May 13, 1751
Location Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Result Acadian and Mi’kmaq victory
Belligerents
Mi'kmaq militia
Acadian militia
British America
Commanders and leaders
Joseph Broussard (Beausoleil) Captain William Clapham
Lt. Clark, Warburton's Regiment[1]
Strength
60 Acadian and Mi'kmaq[2] 60 British regulars and rangers
Casualties and losses
6 Mi'kmaq 20 killed (including a Sgt from the 45th), 7 wounded (including Lt. Clark, commander of the 45th[3]), six prisoners

The Raid on Dartmouth (also referred to as the Dartmouth Massacre) occurred during Father Le Loutre’s War on May 13, 1751 when a Mi’kmaq and Acadia militia from Chignecto, under the command of Acadian Joseph Broussard, raided Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, destroying the town and killing twenty British villagers and wounding British regulars. The town was protected by a blockhouse with William Clapham's Rangers and British regulars from the 45th Regiment of Foot. This raid was one of seven the Natives and Acadians would conduct against the town during the war.

Historical context[edit]

Blockhouse overlooking Dartmouth Cove[4]

Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. To prevent the establishment of Protestant settlements in the region, Mi'kmaq raided the early British settlements of present-day Shelburne (1715) and Canso (1720). A generation later, Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749.[5] By unilaterally establishing Halifax the British were violating earlier treaties with the Mi'kmaq (1726), which were signed after Father Rale's War.[6]

Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq. By the time Cornwallis had arrived in Halifax, there was a long history of the Wabanaki Confederacy (which included the Mi'kmaq) protecting their land by killing British civilians along the New England/ Acadia border in Maine (See the Northeast Coast Campaigns 1688, 1703, 1723, 1724, 1745, 1746, 1747).[7]

The British quickly began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi'kmaq, Acadian and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax (Citadel Hill) (1749), Bedford (Fort Sackville) (1749), Dartmouth (1750), Lunenburg (1753) and Lawrencetown (1754).[8] There were numerous Mi'kmaq and Acadian raids on these villages such as the Raid on Dartmouth (1751).[9]

There was a raid on those in the Dartmouth area in 1749 (See Raid on Dartmouth (1749)). In response to the raids, Governor Edward Cornwallis offered a bounty on the head of every Mi'kmaq. The British military paid the Rangers the same rate per scalp as the French military paid the Mi'kmaq for British scalps.[10]

As well, to carry out this task, two companies of rangers were raised, one led by Captain Francis Bartelo and the other by Captain William Clapham. These two companies served alongside that of John Gorham's company. The three companies scoured the land around Halifax looking for Mi'kmaq.[11]

In July 1750, the Mi'kmaq killed and scalped 7 men who were at work in Dartmouth.[12] In August 1750, 353 people arrived on the ship Alderney and began the town of Dartmouth. The town was laid out in the autumn of that year.[13] The following month, on September 30, 1750, Dartmouth was attacked again by the Mi'kmaq and five more residents were killed.[14] In October 1750 a group of about eight men went out "to take their diversion; and as they were fowling, they were attacked by the Indians, who took the whole prisoners; scalped ... [one] with a large knife, which they wear for that purpose, and threw him into the sea ..."[15]

In March 1751, the Mi’kmaq attacked on two more occasions, bringing the total number of raids to six in the previous two years.[16]

The raid[edit]

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Military history of
Nova Scotia
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Events
Battle of Port Royal 1690
Conquest of Acadia 1710
Battle of Jeddore Harbour 1722
Northeast Coast Campaign 1745
Battle of Grand Pré 1747
Dartmouth Massacre 1751
Bay of Fundy Campaign 1755
Fall of Louisbourg 1758
Headquarters established for Royal Navy's North American Station 1758
Burying the Hatchet ceremony 1761
Battle of Fort Cumberland 1776
Raid on Lunenburg 1782
Halifax Impressment Riot 1805
Establishment of New Ireland 1812
Capture of USS Chesapeake 1813
Battle at the Great Redan 1855
Siege of Lucknow 1857
CSS Tallahassee Escape 1861
Departing Halifax for Northwest Rebellion 1885
Departing Halifax for the Boer War 1899
Imprisonment of Leon Trotsky 1917
Jewish Legion formed 1917
Sinking of HMHS Llandovery Castle 1918
Battle of the St. Lawrence 1942–44
Sinking of SS Point Pleasant Park 1945
Halifax VE-Day Riot 1945
Walter Callow Wheelchair Bus established 1947
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Three months later, on May 13, 1751 before sunrise, Broussard led sixty Mi'kmaq and Acadians to attack Dartmouth again, in what would be known as the "Dartmouth Massacre".[17] Broussard and the others killed twenty settlers and more were taken prisoner.[18] [19] They burned 36 homes.[20] Captain William Clapham and sixty soldiers were on duty and fired from the blockhouse, which was located at the point overlooking Dartmouth Cove.[21] The raiding party tortured and mutilated the sergeant and wounded three other soldiers.[22]

Captain Alexander Murray along with about 40 soldiers left Halifax in three vessels and tried to track them down for miles but most of the raiding party had dispersed.[23] The British killed six Mi'kmaq warriors, but were only able to retrieve one scalp that they took to Halifax.[24] Those at a camp at Dartmouth Cove, led by John Wisdom, assisted the settlers. Upon returning to their camp the next day they found the Mi'kmaq had also raided their camp and taken a prisoner.

All the settlers were scalped by the Mi'kmaq. The British took what remained of the bodies to Halifax for burial in the Old Burying Ground.[25]

Aftermath[edit]

Wooden palisade erected along Dartmouth in response to the Raid, opposite side of the harbour from the Great Pontack (Lower left corner), present-day Historic Properties[26]

The British retaliated by sending several armed companies to Chignecto. A few French defenders were killed and the dikes were breached. Hundreds of acres of crops were ruined which was disastrous for the Acadians and the French troops.[27]

Immediately after the raid, a wooden palisade was erected around the town plot.[28] Mi'kmaq and Acadian attacks continued throughout the French and Indian War which ended fourteen years after Dartmouth was first settled. (For example, in the spring of 1759, there was another attack on Fort Clarence, in which five soldiers were killed.)[29] After the initial raid, no new settlers were placed in Dartmouth again for the next thirty years. Of the 151 settlers who arrived in Dartmouth in August 1750, only half remained two years later.[28] By the end of war (1763), Dartmouth was only left with 78 settlers.[30]

Similar raids happened in response to the British founding of Lawrencetown and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, such as the Raid on Lunenburg (1756).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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History of
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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History
Town of Halifax (1749–1842)
City of Halifax (1842–1996)
Halifax (amalgamated) (1996–present)
Events
Citadel Hill built 1749
Dartmouth Massacre 1751
Headquarters established for Royal Navy's North American Station 1758
Sambro Lighthouse built 1759
Burying the Hatchet ceremony 1761
Naval battle off Halifax 1782
Prince Edward arrives 1794
Halifax Impressment Riot 1805
Capture of USS Chesapeake 1813
Cornwallis Street Baptist Church established 1832
Halifax School for the Deaf established 1856
Halifax Volunteer Battalion established 1860
CSS Tallahassee Escape 1861
Mic-Mac hockey stick sold commercially 1863
Departing Halifax for Northwest Rebellion 1885
Local Council of Women established 1894
Departing Halifax for the Boer War 1899
Dingle Tower created 1912
Halifax Explosion 1917
Halifax VE-Day Riot 1945
Bedford Magazine Explosion 1945
Second Amalgamation 1996
Hurricane Juan 2003
Africville Apology 2010
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Primary Sources

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Footnotes

  1. ^ http://archive.org/stream/cihm_20153#page/n19/mode/2up
  2. ^ Beamish Murdoch. A History of Nova Scotia. Vol. 2. p. 201 indicates there were 60 Mi'kmaq and Acadians.
  3. ^ Lt. Clark was carried to Halifax and took weeks to recover before leaving with Gorham on the Osborn Galley to England (See John Wilson's journal)
  4. ^ Location of Dartmouth Blockhouse
  5. ^ Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008; Thomas Beamish Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  6. ^ Wicken, p. 181; Griffith, p. 390; Also see http://www.northeastarch.com/vieux_logis.html
  7. ^ John Reid.“Amerindian Power in the Early Modern Northeast: A Reappraisal.” in Essays on Northeastern North America: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) ; Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2008.
  8. ^ John Grenier. The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. Oklahoma University Press.
  9. ^ Grenier pp. 154–155. For the Raids on Dartmouth see the Diary of John Salusbury (diarist): Expeditions of Honour: The Journal of John Salusbury in Halifax; also see A genuine narrative of the transactions in Nova Scotia since the settlement, June 1749, till August the 5th, 1751 [microform] : in which the nature, soil, and produce of the country are related, with the particular attempts of the Indians to disturb the colony / by John Wilson. Also see http://www.blupete.com/Hist/NovaScotiaBk1/Part5/Ch07.htm
  10. ^ Thomas Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 19; While the French military hired the Mi'kmaq to gather British scalps, the British military hired rangers to gather French and Mi'kmaq scalps. The regiments of both the French and British militaries were not skilled at frontier warfare, while the Mi'kmaq and Rangers were. British officers Cornwallis, Winslow, and Amherst both expressed dismay over the tactics of the rangers and the Mi'kmaq (See Grenier, p.152, Faragher, p. 405;, Hand, p.99).
  11. ^ Thomas Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 19; The first recorded encounter between the Mi'kmaq and these rangers happened on March 18, 1750 in the Battle at St. Croix.
  12. ^ Thomas Atkins. History of Halifax City. Brook Hiouse Press. 2002 (reprinted 1895 edition). p 334
  13. ^ Akins, p. 27
  14. ^ John Grenier (2008). The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. p.159
  15. ^ John Wilson A Genuine Narrative of the Transactions in Nova Scotia since the Settlement, June 1749 till August the 5th 1751. London: A. Henderson, 1751 as recorded by Archibald MacMechan in Red Snow on Grand Prepp. 173-174
  16. ^ For the two raids that happened in March 1751 see John Grenier (2008). The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. p.160
  17. ^ Atkins, p. 27-28
  18. ^ John Grenier (2008). The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. p.160; Cornwallis' official report mentioned that four settlers were killed and six soldiers taken prisoner. See Governor Cornwallis to Board of Trade, letter, June 24, 1751, referenced in Harry Chapman, p. 29; John Wilson reported that fifteen people were killed immediately, seven were wounded, three of whom would die in hospital; six were carried away and never seen again" (See A genuine narrative of the transactions in Nova Scotia since the settlement, June 1749, till August the 5th, 1751 [microform] : in which the nature, soil, and produce of the country are related, with the particular attempts of the Indians to disturb the colony / by John Wilson); John Salusbury recorded in his diary that approximately twenty were killed (See Expeditions of Honour: The Journal of John Salusbury in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1749-53. Edited by Ronald Rompkey. Newark: University of Delaware Press. 1982.p. 111)
  19. ^ https://archive.org/stream/journalofcaptain00pote#page/52/mode/2up
  20. ^ Logs of the Dead Pirates Society: A Schooner Adventure Around Buzzards Bay By Randall S. Peffer. p. 49
  21. ^ Akins, p. 27-28
  22. ^ John Wilson, p. 16
  23. ^ Wilson, p. 17
  24. ^ See anonymous private letter printed by Harry Chapman, p. 30.
  25. ^ A genuine narrative of the transactions in Nova Scotia since the settlement, June 1749, till August the 5th, 1751 [microform] : in which the nature, soil, and produce of the country are related, with the particular attempts of the Indians to disturb the colony / by John Wilson; Harry Chapman, p. 29; Douglas William Trider list the 34 people who were buried in Halifax between May 13 - June 15, 1751. Four of whom were soldiers. (See History of Halifax and Dartmouth Harbour: 1415-1800. vol. 1, p. 69).
  26. ^ Wilson's account
  27. ^ Faragher, p. 272
  28. ^ a b Harry Chapman, p. 31
  29. ^ Harry Chapman, p. 32; John Faragher, p. 410
  30. ^ Harry Chapman, p. 32

Coordinates: 44°41′34.5″N 63°36′0″W / 44.692917°N 63.60000°W / 44.692917; -63.60000