Sieges of Louisbourg, 1745 and 1758

Sieges of Louisbourg, 1745 and 1758

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2269521)

Fortress of Louisbourg, 1996 Canadian postage stamps.

         Four periods of war had dominated life in North America during the late 17th and early part of the 18thcenturies.  King William’s War was fought between 1689 and 1697 and was followed only five years later by Queen Anne’s War fought between 1702 and 1713.  Less than a dozen years later, Governor Dummer’s War was fought between 1722 and 1725, followed by the fourth conflict, King George’s Wars which took place between 1744 and 1748.  By this time, the people of Massachusetts had contributed more than their share of blood and treasure in support of England’s worldwide conflict with France.  The Seven Years War would see the cost rise even higher for the New England colony.[1]

When France lost Port Royal (in what is present day Nova Scotia) in the Treaty of Utrecht, it proceeded to spend six million in gold building the “impregnable” fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island.[2]

The French came to Louisbourg in 1713, after ceding Acadia and Newfoundland to the British by the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession. France's only remaining possessions in what is now Atlantic Canada were the islands of Cape Breton and Prince Edward, which were then called Isle Royale and Isle Saint-Jean. The French used these islands as a base to continue the lucrative cod fishery off the Grand Banks. In 1719 they began to construct at Louisbourg a fortified town which was only completed on the eve of the first siege in 1745. The town and settlement along the harbour shore soon became a thriving community.

The cod fishery accounted for most of Isle Royale's prosperity. Dried before export, the fish was salted and laid on stages which lined the beaches of Louisbourg and its outports. Louisbourg became a hub of commerce, trading in manufactured goods and various materials imported from France, Quebec, the West Indies and New England.

The Fortress of Louisbourg was the capital for the colony of Île-Royale, and was located on the Atlantic coast of Cape Breton Island near its southeastern point. The location for the fortress was chosen because it was easy to defend against British ships attempting to either block or attack the St. Lawrence River, at the time the only way to get goods to Canada and its cities of Quebec and Montreal. South of the fort, a reef provided a natural barrier, while a large island provided a good location for a battery. These defences forced British ships to enter the harbour via a 500-foot (150 m) channel. The fort was built to protect and provide a base for France's lucrative North American fishery and to protect Quebec City from British invasions. For this reason, it has been given the nicknames ‘Gibraltar of the North’ or the ‘Dunkirk of America.’ The fort was also built to protect France's hold on one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, the Grand Banks. One hundred and sixteen men, ten women, and twenty-three children originally settled in Louisbourg.

One might think that the fortress would be prepared for any onslaught. Yet, while the harbour was well defended, the main landward defences were commanded by a series of low hills, some dangerously close to the fortifications. All provided excellent locations for siege batteries.

The first attack came in 1745 following a declaration of war between Britain and France. Charged with the fervour of a religious crusade, and informed that the fortress was in disrepair with its poorly supplied troops on the verge of mutiny, the New Englanders mounted an assault on Louisbourg. Within 46 days of the invasion the fortress was captured. To the chagrin of the New Englanders, only three years later the town was restored to the French by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. In 1758 Louisbourg was besieged a second time. Without a strong navy to patrol the sea beyond its walls, Louisbourg was impossible to defend. Attacking with 13,100 troops supported by a 14,000 crew on board 150 ships, a British army captured the fortress in seven weeks. Determined that Louisbourg would never again become a fortified French base, the British demolished the fortress walls.

(Nova Scotia Tourism Photo)

In many ways, the great fortress of Louisbourg was a memorial to the fortress-designing genius of Vauban.  This is because two of his pupils, Verville and Verrier, made extensive use of Vauban’s ideas and designs to make the fortress one of the greatest strongholds of New France.  

Louisbourg was also known for its fortifications, which took the original French builders 28 years to complete. The engineer behind the project was Jean-Francois du Vergery de Verville. Verville picked Louisbourg as his location because of its natural barriers. The fort itself cost France 30 million , which prompted King Louis XV to joke that he should be able to see the peaks of the buildings from his Palace in Versaille. The original budget for the fort was four million livres. Two and a half miles of wall surrounded the entire fort. On the western side of the fort, the walls were 30 feet (9.1 m) high, and 36 feet (11 m) across, protected by a wide ditch and ramparts.

The city had four gates that led into the city. The Dauphin Gate, which is currently reconstructed, was the busiest, leading to the extensive fishing compounds around the harbour and to the main road leading inland. The Frederick Gate, also reconstructed, was the waterfront entrance. The Maurepas Gate, facing the narrows, connected the fishing establishments, dwellings and cemeteries on Rocheford Point and was elaborately decorated as it was very visible to arriving ships. The Queen's Gate on the sparsely populated seaward side saw little use. Louisbourg was also home to six bastions, two of which have been reconstructed: the Dauphin bastion, commonly referred to as a 'demi-bastion' because of its modification; the King's bastion; the Queen's bastion; the Princess bastion; the Maurepas bastion; and the Brouillon bastion. On the eastern side of the fort, 15 guns pointed out to the harbour. The wall on this side was only 16 feet (4.9 m) high and 6 feet (1.8 m) across.

Louisbourg was one of the "largest military garrisons in all of New France", and many battles were fought and lives lost here because of it. The fort had the embrasures to mount 148 guns; however, historians have estimated that only 100 embrasures had cannons mounted. Disconnected from the main fort, yet still a part of Louisbourg, a small island in the harbour entrance was also fortified. The walls on the Island Battery were 10 feet (3.0 m) high, and 8 feet (2.4 m) thick. Thirty-one 24-pound guns were mounted facing the harbour. The island itself was small, with room for only a few small ships to dock there. An even larger fortified battery, the Royal Battery, was located across the harbour from the town and mounted 40 guns to protect the harbour entrance. (Wikipedia)

The Louisbourg hospital was the finest hospital in North America and the second-largest building in the fort town. The hospital had a tall spire that would rival that of the King's bastion.

(Nova Scotia Tourism Photo)

Louisbourg was built on a narrow headland, with water on three sides. The sea itself provides a moat, and on nine days out of ten the surf pounds hard on the rock-strewn Nova Scotia shore. Beyond the shore there is a string of shoals and islands that reduces the harbour entrance to a mere 400 yards, and this in turn offers the defender numerous well-sited positions for gun emplacements that would command the roadway and the only channel entrance into Louisbourg’s harbour.

(Nova Scotia Tourism Photo)

In its heyday, a marsh lay to the landward side of the fortress, and this would have caused any heavy artillery that the British needed to employ to bog down. Even then, there are only a few low hillocks that offer would offer a useful position to mount and site the guns that had been dragged into position. Using Vauban’s principles, the fortresses walls were ten feet thick, and faced with fitted masonry that rose thirty feet behind a steep ditch.  This defence in turn was fronted by a wide glacis, with an unobstructed sloping field of fire that could rake a designated killing ground at point blank range with cannon and musket shot.

(Mike1979Russia Photo)

French bronze 12-pounder gun, 1744)

(PHGCOM Photo)

De Vallière 24-pounder guns.

The fortress was equipped with 148 cannon, including 24-pounder and 42-pounder smoothbore muzzleloading guns, and positioned to allow all-round fire or massive concentrations at selected danger points. The defenders were also sheltered inside the fortress with “covered ways,” which protected them from bombardment splinters.[3]

Embarkation of New England troops under Governor Pepperell during the expedition against Louisburg, Cape Bretonand Nova Scotia, 1745.

In spite of its solid design, however, on the 20th of April 1745 (during King George’s War), the English conducted a successful amphibious landing and siege of the fortress of Louisbourg.  The operation was conceived by Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts and carried out by the New England militia led by William Pepperell, a merchant of Kittery, Maine, and the Royal Navy, which supported him with a blockading squadron under Admiral Sir Peter Warren.

Colonial Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts.

William Pepperell.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 2895486)

English landing on Cape Breton Island to attack the fortress of Louisbourg in 1745. Following a six-week siege, the French commander surrendered the fortress (at a time when it was known as “the Gibraltar of the New World”), on the 16th of June 1745.[4]

New Englanders marching to lay siege to Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in 1745.

(Croatian Conservation Institute Photo)

Bronze smoothbore muzzleloading cannon underwater.

Sometimes an almost ridiculous element of chance had a major role to play in the successful outcome of a siege.  During the first siege of Louisbourg on the 28th of May 1745, the combined forces of William Pepperell and Admiral Warren lacked the heavy cannon needed to reduce the fortifications of the Gabarus island battery blocking access to the harbour defences.  During a reconnaissance by a landing party, a sharp-eyed man looking down into the clearwater saw what incredibly appeared to be a whole battery of guns half hidden in the sand below.  This is exactly what it was, ten bronze cannon which had slid from the deck of a French “Man o’ War” years earlier and had been left in the water by the profligate Governor.

The Siege of Louisbourg by Domenick D'Andrea and Rick Reeves for the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, 1745.

The men swiftly raised the guns, scoured them off, hoisted them onto the headland and were soon blasting shot across the half-mile gap onto the French battery.  When one shot finally hit the island’s powder magazine, the French Commander d’Aillebout had to give up.  With this position in hand the siege was then brought to a successful conclusion after 46 days.  

(Cranston Fine Arts Photo)

Battle of Louisbourg, 1745.

Etoile du Roy, a wooden replica of a three-masted sixth-rate frigate, warship of 1745 frigate, originally the Grand Turk, based at Saint Malo, France.

After Louisbourg’s surrender, Admiral Warren put the French flag back up.  Thus, French ships kept sailing into Louisbourg’s harbour, including one carrying a cargo of gold and silver bars.  850 guineas were given to every sailor as prize money.[5]

(Library and Archives Canada Photo)

1745, Map of Fortress Louisbourg.

Capturing Louisbourg and holding it were two different matters in the world of European politics. Diplomacy lost what valour had won, and in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, which concluded this war with France and Spain, Louisbourg was returned to the French.  This meant that Louisbourg had to be retaken during the Seven Years War.[6]

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3018872)

A view of Louisbourg from the Lighthouse when the fortress was under siege in 1758.

The British government realized that with the Fortress of Louisbourg under French control, the Royal Navy could not sail up the St. Lawrence River unmolested for an attack on Quebec. After an expedition against Louisbourg in 1757 led by Lord Loudon was turned back due to a strong French naval deployment, the British under the leadership of William Pitt resolved to try again with new commanders.

Pitt assigned the task of capturing the fortress to Major General Jeffery Amherst. Amherst's brigadiers were Charles Lawrence, James Wolfe and Edward Whitmore, and command of naval operations was assigned to Admiral Edward Boscawen. The chief engineer was John Henry Bastide who had been present at the first siege of Louisbourg in 1745 and was chief engineer at Fort St Philip, Minorca, in 1756 when the British had surrendered the fort and island to the French after a long siege.

As they had in 1757, the French planned to defend Louisbourg by means of a large naval build-up. However, the British blockaded the French fleet sailing from Toulon when it arrived in Cartagena, and defeated a French relief force at the Battle of Cartagena.

The French consequently abandoned their attempt to reinforce Louisbourg from the Mediterranean, and only 11 ships were available to oppose the British off Louisbourg. Most of the cannons and men were moved inside the fort and five ships (Appolon, Fidèle, Chèvre, Biche, Diane) were sunk to block the entrance to the harbour. On 9 July, Echo tried to slip out of the harbour under the cover of a dense fog, but was intercepted and seized by HMS Scarborough and HMS Junon. This left the French with only five half-empty ships in the harbour : Célèbre, Entreprenant, Capricieux, Prudent, and Bienfaisant.

British forces assembled at Halifax, Nova Scotia where army and navy units spent most of May training together as the massive invasion fleet came together. After a large gathering at the Great Pontack, on 29 May, the Royal Navy fleet departed from Halifax for Louisbourg. (Wikipedia)

The fleet consisted of 150 transport ships and 40 men-of-war. Housed in these ships were almost 14,000 soldiers, almost all of whom were regulars (with the exception of four companies of American rangers). The force was divided into three divisions: Red, commanded by James Wolfe, Blue, commanded by Charles Lawrence and White commanded by Edward Whitmore. On 2 June the British force anchored in Gabarus Bay, 3 miles (4.8 km) from Louisbourg.

The French commander (and governor of Île-Royale (New France)), the Chevalier de Drucour, had at his disposal some 3,500 regulars as well as approximately 3,500 marines and sailors from the French warships in the harbour. However, unlike the previous year, the French navy was unable to assemble in significant numbers, leaving the French squadron at Louisbourg outnumbered five to one by the British fleet. Drucour ordered trenches to be prepared and defended by some 2,000 French troops, along with other defences, such as an artillery battery, at Kennington Cove.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4126614)

Plan view of Louisbourg and its harbour, Isle Royale in 1758

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4134078)

Plan view of the fortress at Louisbourg, Isle Royale in 1758. It was unsuccessfully attacked by the British on 7 Sep 1757. The fortress finally surrendered after a well-coordinated siege completed on 26 July 1758.

Order of Battle

British forces

Commanded by General Jeffery Amherst (appx. 11,000 regulars and 200 American rangers (colonials)).

3 companies of Rogers' Rangers

Gorham's Rangers (only 1 company) – Colonial Massachusetts

Louisbourg Grenadiers (composite, made up of grenadiers from the 22nd, 45th, and 40th regiments)

Commander Artillery & Engineers

Captain Ord's Company, Royal Artillery

11 Miners

11 Engineers

100 Carpenters

Royal Train of Artillery (324 men)

Brigadier Whitmore's Brigade under Brigadier General Edward Whitmore

1st Battalion, 1st Regiment of Foot

22nd Regiment of Foot

40th Regiment of Foot

48th Regiment of Foot

3rd Battalion, 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot

Brigadier Wolfe's Brigade under Brigadier General James Wolfe

17th Regiment of Foot

35th Regiment of Foot

47th Regiment of Foot

2nd Battalion, 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot

Brigadier Lawrence's Brigade under Brigadier General Charles Lawrence

15th Regiment of Foot

28th Regiment of Foot

45th Regiment of Foot

58th Regiment of Foot

78th Regiment (Fraser's Highlanders)

Royal Navy

100 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Namur

84 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Royal William

80 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Princess Amelia

74 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Invincible

74 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Terrible

70 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Northumberland

70 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Vanguard

70 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Orford

70 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Burford

70 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Somerset

70 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Lancaster

66 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Devonshire

64 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Bedford

64 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Captain

64 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Prince Frederick

60 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Pembroke

60 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Kingston

60 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS York

60 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Prince of Orange

60 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Defiance

60 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Nottingham

54 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Centurion

59 Gun Ship-of-the-Line HMS Sutherland

HMS Prince, before the Wind.

French forces

Ground troops

The French garrison based within the Fortress of Louisbourg was commanded by Augustin de Boschenry, Chevalier de Drucour. Between 1755 and the time of the siege, the French garrison expanded from 1,200 troops to around 6,000 troops. Troops forming the garrison included:

2nd Battalion, Regiment of Artois — 2éme Bataillon du Régiment d'Artois (520 Troops)

2nd Battalion, Regiment of Burgundy — 2éme Bataillon du Régiment de Bourgogne (520 Troops)

2nd Battalion, Regiment of Cambis — 2éme Bataillon du Régiment de Cambis (650 Troops), Battalion arriving just before the siege, based in Port-Dauphin and marched to Louisbourg due to the town being blockaded by the Royal Navy

2nd Battalion, Regiment of Foreign Volunteers — 2éme Bataillon du Régiment des Volontaires Étrangers (660 Troops)

1,000 Compagnies Détachées (mostly from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine)

120 gunners from Bombardiers de la Marine

700 "burgher militia"

Tribe of unknown Natives

Crews from the French fleet

Naval forces & reinforcements

Many naval forces were sent from France to Louisbourg, but the majority of them didn't arrive in time. The divisions and squadrons sent to assist included:

Naval Division of the Marquis Charry des Gouttes (departed from Île-d'Aix on 9 March, arrival date in Louisbourg unknown)

74 Gun Ship-of-the-Line Prudent — Captured then set on fire 26 July

64 Gun SoL Raisonnable — Collided with Messager on 13 March, captured after a brief fight 29 April

56 Gun SoL L'Apollon, only 20 or 22 cannons — Scuttled 28 June

24 Gun Frigate Diane — Scuttled 29 June

24 Gun Frigate Mutine — Fate unknown

24 Gun Frigate Fidèle — Scuttled 28 June

24 Gun Frigate Galatée — Captured in April by the English as it left Bordeaux, escorting a convoy of twelve transports to supply the town but all captured

6 or 12 Gun Fluyt Messager — Collided 13 March with Raisonnable probably later returned to Rochefort

10 Gun Fluyt Chèvre — Scuttled 28 June

Naval Division of Beaussier de l'Isle (departed Brest 10 April, unknown arrival date)[

74 Gun Ship-of-the-Line Entreprenant — Burned 21 July during the siege by flaming debris projected by the explosion of Celebre

64 Gun SoL Bizarre — Left Louisbourg on 8 June to help during the siege of Quebec to bring food and ammunition and joined Du Chaffault division. Separated from other ships on 24 September on return, returned to France alone, docked in Lorient

64 Gun SoL Célèbre — Exploded 21 July after being hit by English bomb during siege

64 Gun SoL Capricieux — Exploded 21 July by flaming debris from the explosion of Célèbre

64 Gun SoL Bienfaisant — Captured during the night of 25/26 July during raid, integrated into Royal Navy

30 Gun Frigate Comtète — Left Louisbourg at start of the siege, then returned to France alone

28 Gun Frigate L'Echo — Sent to Quebec to advise arrival of the English squadron in front of Louisbourg, captured by two English frigates on 25 May.

Engraving of the capture of the French ship Bienfaisant (64 guns), during the siege of Louisbourg in 1758.

Weather conditions in the first week of June made any landing impossible and the British were only able to mount a bombardment of the improvised shore defences of Gabarus Bay from a frigate. However, conditions improved, and at daybreak on 8 June Amherst launched his assault using a flotilla of large boats, organized in seven divisions, each commanded by one of his brigadiers. French defences were initially successful and after heavy losses, Wolfe ordered a retreat. However, at the last minute, a boatload of light infantry in Wolfe's division (i.e., members of Rogers Rangers ) found a rocky inlet protected from French fire and secured a  Wolfe redirected the rest of his division to follow. Outflanked, the French retreated rapidly back to their fortress.

Burning of the French ship Prudent and capture of Bienfaisant, during the siege of Louisbourg in 1758.

Continuing heavy seas and the difficulty inherent to moving siege equipment over boggy terrain delayed the commencement of the formal siege. In the meantime, Wolfe was sent with 1,220 picked men around the harbour to seize Lighthouse Point, which dominated the harbour entrance. This he did on 12 June. After eleven days, on 19 June, the British artillery batteries were in position and the orders were given to open fire on the French. The British battery consisted of seventy cannons and mortars of all sizes. Within hours, the guns had destroyed walls and damaged several buildings. On 21 July a mortar round from a British gun on Lighthouse Point struck a 64-gun French ship of the line, Le Célèbre , and set it ablaze. A stiff breeze fanned the fire, and shortly after Le Célèbre caught fire, two other French ships, L'Entreprenant and Le Capricieux, had also caught fire. L'Entreprenant sank later in the day, depriving the French of the largest ship in the Louisbourg fleet.

The next major blow to French morale came on the evening of 23 July, at 10:00. A British "hot shot" set the King's Bastion on fire. The King's Bastion was the fortress headquarters and the largest building in North America in 1758. Its destruction eroded confidence and reduced morale in the French troops and their hopes to lift the British siege.

Most historians regard the British actions of 25 July as the "straw that broke the camel's back". Using a thick fog as cover, Admiral Boscawen sent a cutting-out party to destroy the last two French ships in the harbour. The British raiders eliminated these two French ships of the line, capturing Bienfaisant and burning Prudent, thus clearing the way for the Royal Navy to enter the harbour. James Cook, who later became famous as an explorer, took part in this operation and recorded it in his ship's log book. (Wikipedia

The Second Siege of Louisbourg took place between the 1st and 26thof July in 1758.  On this occasion, the French forces of Governor Augustin de Droucourt defended the fortress with 3080 men and 219 cannon against the combined forces of Major-General Jeffery Amherst and Admiral Edward Boscawen.  With 25,000 men and 1842 guns afloat, some 200 ships left England in February 1758 with orders to take Canada.  Brigadier General James Wolfe was one of the three brigade commanders onboard.  The force conducted amphibious training in Halifax before sailing to Louisbourg where a 49-daysiege was successfully carried out.  The fortress had been bombarded to the point where the defenders were left with only three cannon able to fire, at which point Governor Augustin surrendered.  Shortly afterwards, the task force set off to take Québec, which fell on the 13th of September 1759.  In this case, one successful siege led to the staging of the next, in a domino effect that ultimately resulted in far reaching changes to the nation of Canada.[7]

On 26 July the French surrendered. Having fought a spirited defence, the French expected to be accorded the honours of war, as they had given to the surrendering British at the . However, Amherst refused, tales of the atrocities supposedly committed by France's native allies at the surrender of Fort Oswego and probably fresh in his mind The defenders of Louisbourg were ordered to surrender all of their arms, equipment and flags. These actions outraged Drucour, but because the safety of the non-combatant inhabitants of Louisbourg depended upon him he reluctantly accepted the terms of surrender. The Cambis regiment refused to honour the terms of surrender, breaking its muskets and burning its regimental flags rather than hand them over to the British victors. Brigadier General Whitmore was appointed the new Governor of Louisbourg, and remained there with four regiments. (Wikipedia)

Louisbourg had held out long enough to prevent an attack on Quebec in 1758. However the fall of the fortress led to the loss of French territory across Atlantic Canada. From Louisbourg, British forces spent the remainder of the year routing French forces and occupying French settlements in what is today Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The British engaged in the Saint John River Campaign, the Cape Sable Campaign, the Petitcodiac River Campaign, the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign, and the removal of Acadians in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Campaign (1758).

The loss of Louisbourg deprived New France of naval protection, opening the Saint Lawrence to attack. Louisbourg was used in 1759 as the staging point for General Wolfe's famous ending French rule in North America. Following the surrender of Quebec, British forces and engineers set about methodically destroying the fortress with explosives, ensuring that it could not return to French possession a second time in any eventual peace treaty. By 1760, the entire fortress was reduced to mounds of rubble. In 1763 the saw France formally cede Canada, including Cape Breton Island, to the British. In 1768 the last of the British garrison departed along with most of the remaining civilian inhabitants.


[1]With the exception of Governor Dummer’s War, these conflicts were all American phases of ongoing European conflicts, which included the War ofthe League of Augsburg ((1689-1697); the War of the Spanish Succession(1702-1713); and the War of Jenkins’ Ear – also known as the War of the Austrian Succession (1739-1748).  Fred Anderson, A People’s Army, Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years’ War,The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 1984, p. 3.

[2]Construction on the fortress was begun by Michel-Philippe on the 7thof March 1719.  The National Post, Toronto, 07 March 2000, History of Nova Scotia.Internet,, p.6.

[3] Leslie F. Hannon, Forts of Canada, The Conflicts, Sieges, and Battles that Forged aGreat Nation, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart Ltd, 1969, p. 30.

[4]Ibid, p. 30.

[5] Leslie F. Hannon, Forts of Canada, p. 30.  

Great Britain reimbursed Massachusetts for the entire cost of the expedition, Á183,649 sterling, which was the largest reimbursement in the history of the province.  The sum was paid in coin, which in 1750 was used to provide a specie base for a reformed provincial currency, the Lawful Money that replaced Massachusetts’ greatly depreciated Old Tenor paper money.  The disbursement of the coins halted the inflation that had plagued the colony for most of the century.  Fred Anderson, A People’s Army, pp. 9-10.

[6]Ibid, p.30.

[7] Ibid, p.30.

Fearing the continuing potential threat posed by the Fortress of Louisbourg, should it again be returned by some unforeseen treaty as it was after the 1745 battle, its fortifications were systematically destroyed by British engineers. The British continued to have a garrison at Louisbourg until 1768.

Beginning in 1961, the government of Canada undertook a historical reconstruction of one quarter of the town and fortifications with the aim being to recreate Louisbourg as it would have been at its height in the 1740s. The fortress and town were partially reconstructed using some of the original stonework. The head stonemason for this project was Ron Bovaird. This reconstruction work provided jobs for unemployed coal miners, but relied on expropriating an entire community known as West Louisbourg. Where possible, many of the original stones were used in the reconstruction.

The history of the expropriation is told on site at the Old Town Trail. The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic site is operated by Parks Canada as a . The site stands as the largest reconstruction project in North America. (National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada, 2nd Edition. National Geographic Society. 2016. p. 49.)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4743370)

View of the ruins of the former Fortress of Louisbourg, c1900-1910.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 16641)

View of the ruins of the former Fortress of Louisbourg, 1927.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 16642)

Cannon from Fortress Louisbourg on display in front of the Louisbourg railway station, 1927.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3305855)

12-pounder SBML cannon, Fortress Louisbourg, c1910-1910.

(Nova Scotia Tourism Photo)

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site.

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