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Landmarks of the American Revolution SECOND EDITION

Library of Military History

Editorial Board


Michael Bellesiles Ph.D., Independent Scholar, Decatur, Georgia Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy Sanders Director, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello

Barnet Schecter Independent Scholar, New York, New York RESEARCH

Donald Lowe

Landmarks of the American Revolution SECOND EDITON

Library of Military History

Mark M. Boatner III Introduction by Barnet Schecter

Landmarks of the American Revolution, Second Edition Library of Military History Mark M. Boatner III Introduction by Barnet Schecter

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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Boatner, Mark Mayo, 1921Landmarks of the American Revolution : library of military history / Mark M. Boatner ; foreword by Barnet Schecter. – 2nd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-684-31473-8 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Historic sites – United States – Guidebooks. 2. United States – History – Revolution, 1775-1783. I. Title. E159.B67 2006 917.304’931—dc22 2006002325

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Editorial and Production Staff




Stephen Cusack

Michael Levine

Mary Beth Trimper




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XNR Productions (Madison, Wisconsin)

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Randy Bassett Dean Dauphinais Lezlie Light Mike Logusz Christine O’Bryan COPYEDITORS


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Kate Scheibel

Stephen Wasserstein


Margaret Chamberlain-Gaston Shalice Shah-Caldwell Lori Hines


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Preface List of Articles Landmarks of the American Revolution Index

IX XV 1 421



Books, television, and the Internet provide a wealth of images and information relating to the landmarks of the American Revolution, but there is still no substitute for being there. Whether one makes the pilgrimage to Concord’s North Bridge on a glorious autumn day, walks the ramparts of Fort Ticonderoga, or soaks up the atmosphere of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, the sites that together constitute the birthplace of the United States offer a living connection to a great watershed in human history. This revised, expanded, and updated edition of Mark Boatner’s Landmarks of the American Revolution is an invitation, in his words, to discover ‘‘America’s outdoor archives, the new dimensions of history that lie in seeing, smelling, touching, and walking through famous places.’’ Even where these sites have been paved over, a bronze tablet or steel panel marking the spot—and the guidance of this book—can enable us to marvel at the contrast between the modern urban fabric and the bucolic landscape directly beneath the asphalt, where the Revolutionary War once raged. Reading a plaque at Park Avenue and 37th Street in Manhattan, once the center of a rural estate where Mary Murray served cakes and Madeira to the invading British generals in 1776, one imagines the roar of the subway underfoot to be the British naval bombardment at Kips Bay a few blocks to the east. Did the patriotic Mrs. Murray really interrupt the invasion and save thousands of American soldiers? Landmarks, in conjunction with the two companion volumes that make up the Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, sorts out military history from colorful lore, providing a definitive guide to locating and knowing what happened at the sites of independence. When Boatner set out to write Landmarks in 1968, nothing so comprehensive had been attempted since 1848, when Benson Lossing embarked on an 8,000 mile journey through the original thirteen states and Canada gathering local history and lore from elderly eyewitnesses of the Revolution and producing more than 1,000 drawings of relevant scenery and buildings for his monumental Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution. With the benefit of Lossing’s opus and in the same spirit, Boatner produced a book he described as part travel guide, part regional history, and part geographical dictionary. In writing Landmarks, Boatner also relied on the in-depth entries about people, places and events in his own Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, first published in 1966. Revised, expanded, and updated, the onevolume encyclopedia now constitutes the two companion volumes to this set. Determined not to omit an important site ‘‘merely because it had been destroyed by real estate development or ignored by earlier writers of historic guides,’’ Boatner compiled his long list of landmarks from general histories of the Revolution and then plotted them



onto modern maps. Relying on primary sources, the expertise of regional historians, and visits to the sites, Boatner pinpointed skirmish and battle sites, as well as taverns, bridges, graves, historic houses, churches, and monuments. He included well-established tourist attractions like the Saratoga and Yorktown battlefields, architectural treasures such as the Chew Mansion and Mount Vernon, and historic districts in Annapolis, Philadelphia, and Schenectady. However, he also examined an extraordinary variety of less traveled routes, including the trail of Benedict Arnold’s expedition through Maine and Canada and the network of settlements in Tennessee where Patriots gathered to march into the Carolinas in support of the local militia, leading to the pivotal victory at Kings Mountain. He even tracked down sites that had ended up on private property or were unknown to local residents. Urging readers not to confuse history with patriotism, Boatner examined Florida’s role in the Revolution, neglected by most guidebooks because British and Loyalist leaders dominated events there. If we ‘‘shake our nationalistic vanities and concede that we should be interested in what happened in both camps during the Revolution,’’ Boatner wrote, ‘‘there is more to be found . . . than you might have suspected.’’ Similarly, Boatner includes the Simsbury Copper Mines in Connecticut, where the Americans kept prisoners of war and Loyalists in dismal underground cells, in retaliation for the horrific conditions on British prison ships in Brooklyn’s Wallabout Bay, and in New York City’s jails. With the same vigor he applied to tracking down the sites of American victories, Boatner located the scenes of disastrous American defeats, including the Brier Creek battlefield in Georgia, where ‘‘the amateur American generals’’ were overwhelmed by ‘‘the British professionals’’ and their classic maneuvers. Published in 1971, Landmarks evaluated local efforts to preserve and mark historic sites and served as Boatner’s pulpit for exhorting federal, state, and local authorities to prepare for the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence by improving their management of tourism information and destinations. At the same time, Boatner condemned an ‘‘epidemic of skyscraper building’’ in one part of the country and ‘‘a land development orgy of record proportions’’ in another. A soldier-scholar and ardent preservationist, Boatner was acutely concerned about overdevelopment and the disappearance of landmarks. A native of Virginia, Mark M. Boatner III is a descendant of prominent statesmen and soldiers of the Revolution. After graduating from West Point in 1943, he served as a combat infantryman in Italy and Korea before earning a masters degree in international affairs from George Washington University. His other books, Military Customs and Traditions, Civil War Dictionary, and Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, were all published before he retired from the Army in 1969. A groundbreaking project, Landmarks catalogued and described places connected to the Revolution across an area that now encompasses twenty-seven states, Washington, D.C., and Canada. Picking up where Boatner left off, this expanded and updated version of Landmarks includes the work of various scholars and researchers enlisted by Stephen Wasserstein, Scribner senior editor, and by historian Harold Selesky, editor of the two companion volumes, the Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. An extensive chapter on the Caribbean by Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies near Monticello, is a new and unusual feature of the present volume which identifies the wealth of surviving landmarks in this important theater of the American Revolution. Writer and journalist Donald Lowe put his skills to work in the service of the entire volume, painstakingly bringing the chapters up to date by contacting local historical societies, museums, tourism directors, and town clerks to check on the current condition of each landmark and any change of ownership. Lowe also provides new contact information for government agencies and historic sites, including telephone numbers, websites, street addresses, and local directions.




Honoring Boatner’s careful eye for the details of landscape, Lowe checked, for example, if a particular tree was still standing on a given site. In the case of Battlefield State Park in Princeton, New Jersey, Lowe discovered that after nearly 300 years, the solitary white oak, known since the Revolution as the Mercer Oak, had collapsed in 2001. It was to this tree, according to legend, that the mortally wounded General Hugh Mercer was brought after the battle. In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, tourists might simply pass by the Greene Inn on Durham Road, home of Edna’s Antiques, with its yard full of old radiators and bathtubs, not knowing, as Lowe informs us, that this was General Nathanael Greene’s headquarters before the attack on Trenton in December 1776. This new edition of Landmarks provides a great deal of additional information about the role of African Americans and Native Americans in the Revolution as well as resources for exploring these topics further. Lowe points out, for example, that the members of the Old First Church near the Bennington Battle Monument in Vermont, were early opponents of slavery and supporters of racial equality. In 1780 they became the first white congregation in American history to have an African American minister, Revolutionary War veteran Reverend Lemuel Haynes. Most of the numerous gaps in coverage of Native Americans and African Americans were filled by historian Michael Bellesilles, author of Revolutionary Outlaws: Ethan Allen and the Struggle for Independence on the Early American Frontier, who was enlisted to edit and update material throughout Landmarks, particularly the chapter on Vermont. One of his most striking additions is the Black Heritage Trail in Boston, which includes the home of George Middleton, the leader of an all-black militia company that received a flag from John Hancock for its outstanding service in the Revolutionary War. Also on this trail is the African Meeting House, the oldest surviving black church in America. Along with a heightened awareness of American diversity among historians (and greater diversity in the ranks of the profession), much has changed in the field of historic preservation since Landmarks was first written in 1971, when the preservation movement had not fully picked up steam. The destruction of Pennsylvania Station in 1963 was a catalyst for New York City’s formation of a Landmarks Preservation Commission, which became a model for others around the country. First Lady Ladybird Johnson’s report, ‘‘With Heritage So Rich,’’ warned that historic sites were vanishing under the onslaught of overdevelopment and led to the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966. Without adequate funding, the law’s impact was not immediate, however, and the criteria for inclusion in a National Register of Historic Places were developed gradually. The movement gained momentum in the late sixties and early seventies. The National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 gave teeth to the 1966 law by creating fines for violators. An executive order signed by President Richard Nixon, followed in 1974 by the Moss–Bennett Act and in 1979 by the Archeological Resources Protection Act, unleashed an explosion of research and preservation activity. State Historic Preservation Offices were established and provided with matching funds by the federal government. Through grants to researchers, the National Park Service expanded its focus and mission to take stock of battlefields and their condition, as did the Department of Defense. Private sector archeologists also joined the effort to inventory the nation’s military heritage sites. At the same time, however, relic collectors, armed since the 1950s with increasingly sophisticated metal detectors, were combing through Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites, taking home bullets, swords, and buttons. More recently, these artifacts have entered the Internet marketplace through E-Bay. Only in the last few years have archeologists, who once shunned such collectors, begun enlisting them as partners, interviewing them about the precise locations where artifacts were discovered and using that knowledge to map entire battlefields. In the late 1990s, the American Battlefields Protection Program, run by the National Park Service, launched a broad effort to make a national inventory of Civil War sites and a LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION



report on their condition. By 2001—the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—Congress had mandated a similar effort for Revolutionary War sites through the ABPP, and grants were awarded to finance site visits. Without systematic physical inspection, and a central database, the government did not know if a particular site had become a state park or had been buried under a shopping mall. Along with the National Register of Historic Places, Boatner’s Landmarks guided the panel of park service officials and scholars that compiled the list of Revolutionary War sites. In the twenty-first century, the discovery and analysis of Revolutionary War battlefields continue to reshape our perception of the nation’s history. Public-private partnerships to acquire and protect sites, along with advances in archeological techniques, play a major role. The latter include global positioning systems, which use satellites to locate artifacts and map battle sites; computerized, ground-penetrating radar, which finds graves and other disturbances in the soil; and the electronic surveyor’s transit, a laser-equipped device that makes short work of measuring a piece of ground. At the Camden battlefield in South Carolina, for example, archeologists have combined these tools with old-fashioned shovel work, eyewitness accounts, and information from relic collectors to expand the borders of the 300-acre site and to revise the accepted location of the front lines 700 yards to the south. Such work may eventually earn National Park status for the Camden battlefield, and South Carolina is turning to archeologists in other initiatives, including the creation of a Francis Marion Trail, marking the campsites and battlefields associated with the indomitable ‘‘Swamp Fox.’’ New York has also been active in developing a Revolutionary War trail throughout the state, devoting significant resources to archeological work, for example, at Fort Montgomery on the Hudson River. Beyond the condensed narrative developed for schoolchildren and for textbooks to encapsulate the complex eight-year war—Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, Saratoga, Yorktown—Landmarks offers a fuller picture of the American struggle for independence, fleshing out, geographically, the bare bones of the traditional story. Shunning any regional bias, Boatner arranged the chapters in alphabetical order, by state, following the same encyclopedic impulse that had led to his classic one-volume Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1966), the basis for the two companion volumes in this set. The result is a guidebook proportioned by the quantity of historical markers on the ground in a given state, more accurately reflecting where the military action was concentrated during the course of the war. New York State, for example, has the longest chapter, because almost one third of the fighting took place within its borders. Before the Revolutionary War, until the transfer to Massachusetts prompted by the Boston Tea Party, the headquarters of the British military had been in New York City, and after its recapture in the summer and fall of 1776, the city resumed that role for seven years—the rest of the war. Moreover, control of the Hudson River–Lake Champlain corridor, traversing the state from Canada to New York Harbor, was the focus of Britain’s grand strategy for dividing the colonies and ending the rebellion. The revision of the section on New York City’s landmarks draws on three years of research for The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution, during which I spent several weeks exploring the five boroughs by subway, ferry, and on foot, locating the events of the Revolution and the markers commemorating them amid the modern cityscape. Among the local experts I relied on were Dr. Laurence Simpson of the Sons of the American Revolution in the State of New York; Nathan Hale scholar Richard Mooney; William Parry, Herb Yellin, and John Gallagher at the Old Stone House Historic Interpretive Center; Jonathan Kuhn of the Parks Department; and Savona Bailey McClain of the West Harlem Art Fund. Like New York, New Jersey also receives more attention than usual in Landmarks. While Americans are generally familiar with Washington’s victories at Trenton and Princeton, the entire state, located between the rebel capital at Philadelphia and the main British base in




New York, was the scene of extensive military operations and clashes. Washington encamped in the Watchung Mountains at Morristown in order to keep an eye on the roads to Philadelphia and intercept the British. Rhode Island, the smallest state, nonetheless receives a long chapter because of its active resistance to the crown in the run-up to the war and because it was occupied by the British, and headquarters to the French fleet, producing a rich fabric of Revolutionary sites and markers that have been well preserved. The state has more colonial-era houses than all of the other former colonies combined. In Rhode Island, the first regiment of African American troops to fight for the United States distinguished itself in battle, and this chapter, like the others in this revised edition of Landmarks, provides additional information about the service of these troops, the prevalence of slavery in colonial life, including in the North, and resources for learning more about black history in the state. Unlike Rhode Island, South Carolina was the scene of intense fighting. Some 180 battles and skirmishes were triggered by British proclamations that forced Patriots and Loyalists actively to choose sides, producing an atmosphere of civil war. The British attempted to create a second hub for their operations by capturing Charleston, South Carolina in 1780. The ensuing war in the southern states resulted in the British defeat at Yorktown in 1781, commonly remembered as the end of the Revolutionary War. However, the conflict lasted for two more years. On his way back to continue the American vigil around New York City, Washington warned Congress that complacency after the allied victory was the country’s worst enemy. Indeed, ever since their defeat at Saratoga and the advent of the Franco-American alliance, the British had begun shifting their focus to include the Caribbean, and in a major naval battle there in 1782, Admiral de Grasse, the victor of Yorktown, was captured and his fleet badly damaged. Andrew O’Shaughnessy’s chapter on the Caribbean is a reminder that the American Revolution was a global war, a clash of superpowers (the British and the French) in a contest not only for North America but for the profitable sugar-producing islands of the Caribbean as well. The picturesque forts of St. Barts and San Juan also attest to the Dutch and Spanish presence in the area over the centuries and their supporting roles in the effort to undermine Britain’s grip on the hemisphere. Additionally, American privateers prowled the Caribbean, preying on British shipping. However, the ruined fortresses overlooking aquamarine harbors and the sun-drenched sugar plantations with their sprawling great houses and cramped slave huts reveal the moral shadows and contradictions of America’s ‘‘Glorious Cause.’’ While Americans protested their political enslavement to Parliament and a tyrannical King George III, they made the enslavement of Africans and African Americans the centerpiece of their economy, not only in the South, but in the northern states as well. The West Indies were an enormous slave market, because of the demand for labor to harvest sugarcane. During the colonial period, New York and New England earned bills of exchange, redeemable in England, by exporting food to the islands, freeing up land to cultivate the cash crop exclusively. Sugar and molasses were turned into rum in New England and exported to buy more slaves. In adopting the Constitution in 1787, the United States would include protections for slaveholders’ rights, a devil’s bargain in the eyes of abolitionists, but a necessary compromise according to Federalists bent on keeping sectional differences from shattering the country. To its credit, Congress banned slavery in the Northwest territories, the modern Midwest, areas which George Rogers Clark conquered during the Revolution, clearing the way for American settlement of the region. Landmarks includes Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, illuminating another important theaters of the war and its impact on the future of the United States. The campaigns in the Old Northwest also introduce the role of Native Americans in the Revolution, as they formed alliances with both sides and were drawn into the frontier fighting. This revision of Landmarks includes more detail about a massacre of Moravian LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION



Indians by American forces in 1782 in eastern Ohio, ‘‘one of the most horrific scenes in American military history,’’ and the memorial to its victims. Also included throughout this edition is more information about tourism sites that preserve Native American culture and history through authentically reconstructed buildings, costumed interpretation, and craft demonstrations. The updated chapter on Connecticut notes that the Pequot tribe, decimated by white settlers in the seventeenth century, has made a comeback, ironically through its wildly successful gambling casinos, the bane of preservationists in various states trying to save historic landmarks. While economic development threatens historic sites, recent scholarship has eroded the saintly image of America’s Founding Fathers. Some owned slaves and are known to have sired children out of wedlock, sometimes with those very slaves. Indeed the colonial economy, both North and South, was heavily dependent on African American slave labor and the profits of the slave trade. The launch of the greatest democratic experiment in human history in 1776 was also accompanied by the officially sanctioned slaughter or removal of Native American tribes. On the other hand, while the American Revolution excluded Native Americans, blacks, poor whites, and women from its credo of human equality, it created a society in which meaningful protest and reform were possible. The United States remains a work-in-progress, still struggling with deep divisions of race and class. As we balance in our minds these two versions of America’s founding—the celebratory and the critical—the more we learn about the Revolutionary generation as real people rather than icons, and the more compelling it becomes to preserve and to visit the homes, statehouses, and battlefields where they lived, worked, and died for the ‘‘Glorious Cause’’ of self-government. Barnet Schecter, New York City



List of Articles

































What is now the state of Alabama was an area where many national interests competed from the earliest period of European exploration and colonization. The region was home to the Alabama, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Koasati, and Muskogee, or Creek, nations. In the sixteenth century both the Spanish and English claimed the Gulf Coast area, though the French established the first European settlements in the vicinity of modern Mobile. The French pushed north along the wide rivers and established a number of outposts among the Indians. Meanwhile, the grant of Georgia to Oglethorpe in 1732 included part of what is now northern Alabama, bringing into the region additional competitors, many of whom mixed freely with the Indians, producing a number of famous leaders (see MCGILLIVRAY PLANTATION SITE ). Under the Treaty of 1763 ending the Seven Years’ War, France gave Britain rights to all its territory east of the Mississippi except the Isle of Orleans, and much of today’s state of Alabama was then in British West Florida. During the Revolution this region was a refuge for Loyalists, a base for Indian raids against the American frontier, and the objective of Spanish expeditions from Louisiana. The capture of Mobile by the Spanish in 1780 was part of a program to establish a claim on the vast territory of British Florida. The Treaty of 1783 put the northern boundary of Spanish West Florida at the thirtyfirst parallel, but until 1798 Spain persisted in claiming a boundary on the parallel running through today’s Vicksburg (at the mouth of the Yazoo River). To protect its interests Spain also undertook intrigues with American settlers in the Ohio Valley to establish independent governments that would be a buffer between Spanish colonies

and the newly created United States. The so-called Spanish Conspiracy, 1786 to 1809, involved many men who had been officers on the Patriot side during the Revolution. During the War of 1812, Alabama was the site of U.S. actions against the Spanish in Mobile as well as against the Creek Indians. Tourist information is issued by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, 401 Adams Avenue Suite 126, P.O. Box 4927, Montgomery, Ala. 36103. Website:; phone: (334) 242-4169. The Alabama Department of Archives and History is at 624 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, Ala. 36130. Phone: (334) 242-4435. Fort Tombigbee Site, Tombigbee River, Sumter County. The French built a fort here in 1735 as an advance base during the Chickasaw War. It developed into a supply depot, permanent trading post, and outpost against British encroachment. The British took over in 1763 and renamed the place Fort York, but abandoned it five years later. Spain claimed that its northern boundary of West Florida, fixed at the thirty-first parallel by the Treaty of 1783, should be recognized as running much farther north (through modern Vicksburg), and pushed beyond this line to build Fort Confederation on the site of Forts Tombigbee and York. Occupying this place during the brief period 1794 to 1797, the Spanish finally accepted United States title to the Mississippi Territory and withdrew. Fort Confederation became an American post but lost its importance and fell into ruins after being the site of final negotiations with the Indians (1802–1803) for surrender of their lands in the region. The marked location of the forts is just off U.S. 11 near Epes.





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Fort Toulouse (Jackson) State Park, near Wetumpka in Montgomery County. The French built this fort in 1717 and surrendered it in 1763 to the British, who held it until the end of the Revolution. At the head of the Alabama River and on the edge of Creek country near the site of Montgomery, it was of little significance as a British outpost but important during the War of 1812. General Andrew Jackson built a strong fort on its site in 1814, making his peace treaty here with the Creeks in August of that year. A Registered National Historic Landmark relating primarily to the French period, the a 6-acre tract in the park has remains of the fort. The Alabama Historic Commission owns the entire 165-acre park. Adjoining private property has a large Indian mound and the site of a prehistoric village. Another adjoining tract includes the Isaac Ross Cemetery, which contains many graves dating


from the War of 1812 (about two hundred of these were relocated to the national cemetery in Mobile in 1897); there may be some French graves. Proper archaeological exploration began in 1971 and continued for fifteen years. That exploration resumed in 2001, and more is planned as remains of the fort and adjoining farmsteads are being discovered. Phone: (334) 567-3002. The Alabama Historical Commission can be contacted by phone at (334) 242-3184. McGillivray Plantation Site, near Wetumpka, Elmore County, also known as Little Tallassee Plantation. The Creek leader Alexander McGillivray is important enough to merit a long sketch in the Dictionary of American Biography, but this colorful and influential man is little remembered. He was born about 1759, son of a prominent trader and Georgia politician by a French-Creek wife. After spending his first fourteen years at his father’s trading post on the Tallapoosa River, he then lived in Charleston and Savannah. Father and son became Loyalists, losing their property by confiscation, after which the father returned to his native Scotland and Alexander became a renowned chief among his mother’s people. During the Revolution, Alexander was a British agent, sending out war parties to attack the frontier settlements. He also formed ties with Panton and Leslie and Company (see PENSACOLA under Florida), and after the Revolution was a power in the complex politics of the Old Southwest. When he died at Mobile of stomach trouble and pneumonia he was in his early thirties. Better educated by far than most Americans of the region, he left three plantations and about sixty slaves. During the period of his greatest influence he lived on a plantation whose site is marked on County Road 47 about 4 miles north of Wetumpka. Here, on privately owned farmland, where no traces of the plantation buildings remain, is a commemorative plaque on a boulder. Interestingly, an internet site on lost treasures lists the McGillivray Plantation as a possible cache for gold coins and other treasure loot. Mobile, Mobile Bay. Founded in 1702 by the French, originally at Twenty-seven Mile Bluff about 20 miles up the Mobile River from the present site, Mobile was the seat of French government in the province of Louisiana until 1720 (when it was transferred to Biloxi). Meanwhile, the French had also established a short-lived settlement on Dauphin Island, the sand spit at the mouth of Mobile Bay, and had built Fort Conde´ (1711) in Mobile. The British acquired Mobile in 1763, established a garrison, and renamed the French work Fort Charlotte. During the Revolution, Mobile and Pensacola were subsidiary to Jamaica as bases for military operations, both of the unhealthful outposts being in the backwaters of the war. LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


Governor Bernardo de Galvez took Mobile with a small force on 14 March 1780, capturing the British garrison of about three hundred men. Spain’s possession was confirmed in the Treaty of 1783, and the United States seized the city in 1813. Across the bay from Mobile on the eastern approach to the city and in the place now called Spanish Fort is Old Spanish Fort, built by Galvez after taking Mobile in 1780. The site of the French, British, and Spanish works known successively as Forts Conde´, Charlotte, and Carlotta is occupied by the Fort Conde´-Charlotte House (open) on Theatre Street between St. Emanuel and Royal Streets. Here a jail and courthouse were built in the early 1700s. The colonial structure was blown up in 1819 and the rubble was used to fill the marsh nearby. Picturesque little Bienville Square, in the business district, preserves the name of Mobile’s founder and has a French and a British cannon from the forts mentioned above. At the entrance to Mobile Bay are Fort Morgan State Park and the state monument on Dauphin Island. These places continued to figure prominently in the defenses of Mobile after the colonial and Revolutionary eras, but some


of the early landmarks survive. In the 410-acre Fort Morgan State Park are remains of the Spanish fort built in 1559 by colonists under Tristan de Luna. Phone: (251) 540-5257. Fort Gaines was begun in 1821, figured prominently in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay, and is being restored. But Dauphin Island, where it is located, was a landmark in the history of French settlement of the Gulf Coast; here the French set up their first colony in the Louisiana Territory. The island is reached by a bridge and is a popular recreational area. Phone: (334) 861-5524. The Fort Conde Historic Museum, which shares space with the Mobile Welcome Center, is the partial reconstruction of the 1724 French fort which the British captured during the Seven Years’ War. Located in downtown Mobile, the fort offers period-costumed guides and demonstrations of cannon and musket firing. The fort is operated by the Museum of Mobile; admission is free. It is located at 150 South Royal Street, Mobile, Ala. 36652. Phone: (251) 208-7569; website: http:// (Mobile Historic Development Commission, Box 1827, Mobile, Ala. 36601. Phone: (251) 208-7965.



A handful of British heroes frustrated all American efforts during the Revolution to bring Canada into the Patriot camp. Royal Governor Guy Carleton (1724–1808), who took over his duties in 1767 after having distinguished himself as an army officer, was primarily responsible for the enlightened political policies that kept the French Canadians loyal, although he badly erred in assuming that these people would extend this loyalty to active military support. Carleton’s brilliant defense of Canada in 1775 to 1776 against the mismanaged American invasion was achieved with a handful of regulars, including naval personnel, and the recently raised Royal Highland Emigrants under Allan Maclean. Patriot forces endured incredible hardships in Canada before being driven back in confusion, a disease-ridden skeleton of an army. Two fine American generals were left behind in Canadian graves, Richard Montgomery at Quebec and John Thomas at Fort Chambly. Among the many Patriots in Canadian jails were Ethan Allen (captured at Montreal) and Dan Morgan (taken prisoner at Quebec). Canada subsequently was the base for major counteroffensives along the Lake Champlain waterway and for the sustained frontier warfare waged by the Loyalists and Indians throughout the Revolution. The ‘‘fourteenth colony’’ also became the new home not only for Iroquois refugees from western New York but also for most of the estimated 100,000 Loyalists who left the Thirteen Colonies, many of them to escape persecution by the Patriots. A Canadian historian has written that these fugitives were ‘‘the makers of Canada,’’ a claim that is certainly extreme and would lead one to expect that in modern Canada there would be many interesting landmarks associated with these Loyalists. But this is not the case. Some

will be found in the Great Lakes region and many in the Maritime Provinces. With the exception of places associated with Loyalists and Indians displaced by the American Revolution, most Revolutionary War sites in Canada are in the province of Quebec. The United Empire Loyalists’ (UEL) Association of Canada appears to be oriented toward genealogy and social activity. The UEL has branches throughout Canada, with a museum at Adolphustown, Ontario. Its headquarters is located in the historic George Brown House in Toronto, 50 Baldwin Street, Suite 202, Toronto, Canada M5T 1L4. Phone: (416) 591-1783. Tourism is a major industry in Canada, and an abundance of well-organized and beautifully presented information for visitors is available on the Canadian Tourism Commission website at This commission is located at 55 Metcalfe Street, Suite 600, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6L5, and it provides information on every aspect of travel in Canada, including historic sites. The Canadian government administers the historic sites and designations under the Parks Canada Agency. Its office is located in Gatineau, Quebec at 25 Eddy Street. A good website for obtaining further information is at http:// Similar to the state of Maine, much of Canada’s Revolutionary War history deals with Arnold’s March to Quebec. Any of the books cited in the entry on Maine will serve this entry well as extra reference material. The Arnold Expedition Society is still functioning, although less so than when it did valuable research on the Arnold Trail in preparation for the American bicentennial. The Society is difficult to contact, and information on the Canadian portion of the Arnold Trail is not easily accessed via the



internet. Consequently, the aforementioned books may be the best source for garnering information on this captivating, albeit ill-fated, trek north led by Benedict Arnold. The Abenaki Museum in Odanak, Quebec, is devoted to the history and culture of the Abenaki people, who once lived in northern New England. Driven further north by the British in the early eighteenth century, the Abenaki had settled mostly around what is now the United States / Canada border and sided with the French in the various colonial wars aimed at halting British expansion. With the Revolution, though, the Abenaki mostly sided with the British, leading to their expulsion from the United States. The museum includes the reconstruction of an eighteenthcentury frontier fort. The museum is located west of the St. Francois bridge at Pierreville on Highway 226, and is open every day. Phone: (514) 568-2600. Annapolis Royal (PORT ANNE and PORT ROYAL Parks.


Nova Scotia. See FORT National Historic


Arnold Trail. The section on the Arnold Trail in the entry on Maine, and its numerous cross-references, traces the route of the Arnold Expedition of 1775 to the Canadian border. The final leg of the trip is covered below under Chaudie`re River. Historic sites in the Lake Megantic area have not yet been located with certainty, but the Arnold Expedition Historical Society (AEHS) has done a considerable amount of field work in conjunction with a few Canadian members of the Society. Major landmarks such as Lake Megantic and Spider Lake (Lac aux Araigne´es) preserve their original names and can be easily found on modern maps. The ‘‘Beautiful Meadow,’’ as it was called by Arnold’s men when they made their first camp in Canada after crossing ‘‘Height of Land,’’ can be viewed from Route 34 about a mile north of Woburn and to the east. Large-scale modern maps show a house in this area that may have been used by Arnold’s troops and where the AEHS hopes to conduct a thorough archaeological search. A view of the Height of Land from the Canadian side is of particular interest for reasons given in the Maine entry. For the closest view from a major road, follow Route 34 north from Woburn a few miles to the point where this road shows on highway maps as a sharp right-angle turn from east-west to north-south. From this point and in the direction east-southeast (i.e., slightly south of east), at a range of about a mile, is the low saddle in the Height of Land through which the Arnold expedition probably passed. Brantford, Ontario. One of the most intriguing men of the Revolutionary period was Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea),


the scholarly Mohawk warrior. An influential leader among the Iroquois, he brought the Mohawk, Cayuga, Seneca, and Onondaga to the British side, leading Indian contingents in some of the fiercest battles of the Revolution. With the end of the war, as the victorious United States seized more and more Iroquois land, Brant led many of his people into British Canada, settling primarily along the Grand River in modern Ontario. In the town of Brantford, at the ford of the Grand River, Brant built the Chapel of the Mohawks, the oldest existing Protestant Church in Ontario and the only ‘‘Royal Indian Chapel’’ in the world. Brant’s tomb is next to the church. The church is on Mohawk Street, southwest of the town center. Further up the street is the Woodland Indian Cultural Centre, dedicated to the history and culture of the Iroquois Indians and home to the Indian Hall of Fame. The Centre is open every day; phone: (519) 729-2650. Thirty miles east on Lake Ontario (via Highway 403), in the town of Burlington, is the Joseph Brant Museum, a reconstruction of the house where he spent his last seven years translating the Bible into Mohawk. The house contains artifacts from Brant’s life as well as displays on Iroquois culture. The Museum is located at 1240 North Shore Boulevard East, south of Highway 403, and is open Tuesday to Friday, 10 A . M . to 4:30 P . M ., and Sunday, 1 P . M . to 4:30 P . M . Phone: (416) 634-3556. The Cedars (Les Ce`dres), about 25 miles above Montreal on the north bank of the St. Lawrence. An American outpost at this place surrendered in mid-May 1776 without putting up any real resistance to a force of about 650 British and Indians. A relief column walked into an ambush about 4 miles from the Cedars a day or so later, and one hundred men surrendered after holding out for less than an hour. When General Benedict Arnold approached with a larger relief force, he was informed that the captured American commander at the Cedars, Major Isaac Butterfield, had agreed to give up the post in return for a guarantee that the prisoners would be protected from the Indians. After some negotiating, Arnold agreed to take the captured Americans back to Montreal for later exchange, and there was no further fighting. Little research has been done into this interesting affair, and not even the dates are known for sure. Les Ce`dres remains a little dot on today’s highway maps. It is on Route 2 between Pointe des Cascades and Coteau du Lac a few miles southeast of Autoroute 20. Coteau du Lac, 40 miles southwest of Montreal, was a major portage site for the Native Americans that bypassed the Coteau Rapids between Lake St. Franc¸ois and Lake St. Louis, the narrowest section of the St. Lawrence River. In 1779 the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, a Loyalist unit commanded by William Twiss, began work on the first lock canal in North America. Completed in 1781, the canal had three locks over a space of 100 meters, facilitating transport to the LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


Gulf of St. Lawrence

N ort h er

la n


Chaudie`re River. Route 24 follows the Chaudie`re from Lake Megantic to Jersey Mills, where the Rivie`re du Loup (now Rivie`re Linie`re) joins the St. Lawrence. The drive provides a good view of the river along which the Americans struggled in their few surviving bateaux. In forming an opinion of what the river was like when Arnold’s famished and exhausted troops followed this route in November 1775, during a winter of exceptional cold and immediately after a hurricane of record-breaking proportions, the visitor should bear in mind that the present water level may be far different from what the American expedition experienced. The falls that caused such difficulties are around the mouth of Stafford Creek, and they stretch for almost a mile from a point about 2.5 miles above the center of the village of Le Grand Sault. The village of Sartigan mentioned in contemporary journals of the expedition, the first little settlement reached in Canada, was at the mouth of the Rivie`re Famine. The latter shows on modern highway maps a short distance down the Chaudie`re from St.-Georges. In 1775 the place had very few French settlers, some traders, and an Indian village. But this was the edge of the wilderness from which the Americans had finally emerged, and Arnold was waiting at Sartigan with provisions assembled by his advance detachment. Three men died after an orgy of stuffing themselves with cooked food. It was here that the mysterious Nantais joined Arnold’s force, and about fifty local Indians also were enlisted with their canoes for the remainder of the journey. Arnold’s force remained strung out for several more days as it struggled on to the place that is still called Ste.-Marie. Adjoining the Chapelle de Ste.-Anne, 0.75 mile northwest of the center of town and near the motel called La Seigneurie de Ste.-Marie, is a handsome house dating from 1809. Still in the family of the original seigneur, it is on the site of the one visited by Arnold’s troops on their march to Quebec and looted by them later in the winter. Other surviving structures in the area were built after the Americans passed through, but the site of the existing village remains an important landmark of the Arnold Expedition. Here they rallied before leaving the Chaudie`re and striking out overland through the snow, mud, and knee-deep water toward Point Levis. Deschambault, St. Lawrence River. The puny American army that besieged Quebec was forced to withdraw early in May 1776 when British reinforcements were able to resume navigation. Without waiting for all these fresh troops to arrive, General Guy Carleton made a sortie from his fortress LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Cape Brenton Island

Prince Edward Island




Great Lakes. This rock-hewn canal is beautifully sited and worth a detour. A blockhouse was built on the site in 1813 in anticipation of invasion from the United States and is open to the public 14 May to 9 October.








a it

New Glasgow





Truro St. John


o ay





y nd






4 10




8 101 103













0 0

1. Fort Anne N.H.P. 2. Fort Beauséjour N.H.P.



30 30

60 mi.

60 km

3. Louisbourg Fortress N.H.P. 4. Port Royal Habitation N.H.P.


on 6 May. The Americans under General John Thomas mustered only 250 effectives, and these retreated in disorder to Deschambault, 40 miles upstream from Quebec, before Thomas could rally them for the march back to Sorel. The name of the old French settlement is preserved in the picturesque modern village of Deschambault. The village dates back to 1674 and has several noteworthy historic sites (unrelated to the Revolutionary War) in addition to an extremely scenic countryside. Fort Anne National Historic Park, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Open 15 May through October. Phone: (902) 5322397. Scots settlers founded Nova Scotia near this site, then were replaced in the 1630s by the French, who made Port Royal the capital of Acadia and constructed a fort on the current location. The British captured the fort in 1710 during the War of the Spanish Succession, renamed it Annapolis Royal, and restored the colony’s name of Nova Scotia. British troops occupied the fort until 1854. The deportation of the Acadians in 1755 was orchestrated from the fort, which became Fort Anne in the early nineteenth century. Operations against American privateers were conducted from the fort during the Revolution.The earthen ramparts of the seventeenth-century fort, to which additions were made by the British after taking the place in 1710, are part of the site restored by the Canadian government. A large building dating from 1797, originally the officers’ quarters, has been renovated, preserving the floor plan but using modern materials to make the structure as nearly fireproof as possible. In addition to the office of the park superintendent it includes a fine historical library and museum exhibits pertaining to the stormy past of this region.



Fort Chambly. Built in the early 1700s on the banks of the Richelieu River in Quebec, Fort Chambly protected New France from attacks by the British. The fort was surrendered to the British in 1760, and briefly came under the control of American forces at the start of the Revolutionary War. Ó EARL & NAZIMA KOWALL/CORBIS.

Fort Beause´jour is located at the head of the Bay of Fundy near Aulac, New Brunswick. Built by the French in 1751 in response to the British Fort Lawrence in Nova Scotia, Fort Beause´jour fell to the British in 1755. Many Acadians passed through the fort in the next few years during their forced deportation. Renamed Fort Cumberland, the fort was attacked by an alliance of local English- and Frenchspeaking settlers and a small force of New England patriots in 1776. The British defeated the rebels, taking many prisoners. Expanded during the War of 1812, the fort was abandoned in 1835 and declared a National Historic Site in 1926. It is open 9 A . M . to 5 P . M . from 1 June to 15 October. Fort Chambly National Historic Park, Chambly Rapids, Richelieu River near the junction of Highways 112 and 223, province of Quebec. Phone: (450) 658-1585. Probably the first historic site to be preserved by the Canadian government, this is now an exceptionally attractive and interesting landmark. Alterations made during the long period of occupation by French and British forces have materially changed the original appearance, but


vestiges remain of the stone fort built around 1710. The cemetery a short distance to the southwest has many old graves, including that of General John Thomas (see below). A display room and audiovisual program interpret the history of the site. The first French fort here was built of logs in 1665 by four companies of regulars commanded by a young captain, Jacques de Chambly. He was later granted a seigneury, on which he established the settlement that grew into the modern town bearing his name. Fort Chambly had been created because it controlled a critical point on the strategic waterway through Lake Champlain from the St. Lawrence to the Hudson River. Long before the French and British arrived to fight over their colonial frontiers the Hurons and Iroquois had sent war parties past the rapids at Chambly. Samuel de Champlain opened a new era by accompanying a Huron expedition up the Richelieu River in 1609 to give the Iroquois their first taste of European warfare, but the effect was unfortunate: for the next half-century the Iroquois so thoroughly ravaged the Canadian frontier that Huron power was destroyed and LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


French settlements on the St. Lawrence almost wiped out. What is now the Richelieu was better known then as ‘‘la rivie`re des Iroquoise`.’’ Establishment of Fort Chambly in 1665 brought two decades of relative security from Iroquois raids, but in 1687 the nineteen-man garrison of the fort and about eighty local settlers fought off 150 Mohawks. After a disastrous fire in 1702 the wooden fort was rebuilt in stone. The surrounding settlement prospered for half a century, undisturbed by major military operations. In 1760 the fort surrendered to superior British forces, and all of Canada passed to British control shortly thereafter. At the start of the American Revolution the British lacked the strength in Canada to man the extensive system of frontier fortifications. General Guy Carleton concentrated the bulk of his few regulars about 10 miles south of Chambly at Fort St.-Jean. The latter fell after a heroic defense, but only after the American invaders had slipped past in two bateaux and quickly captured Chambly. In one of the ‘‘most discreditable’’ surrenders in the history of the British army, the local commander not only failed to put up a proper fight but also, more importantly, failed to destroy his stores. Large stocks of food and much important mate´riel were captured, enabling the invaders to renew successfully their siege of St.-Jean. Chambly was a base for the Americans during the next months of their ill-fated invasion of Canada. The American commander in chief, Major General John Thomas (1724–1776), died of smallpox at Chambly during the retreat (2 June); as mentioned above, he lies in the cemetery near the fort. In the ensuing British counteroffensive Chambly became an important logistical base, a function it served again during the War of 1812. But by this time the fort itself was deteriorating. By 1882 the federal government had started making efforts to preserve what survived of the crumbling walls. In 1921 the 2.5-acre national park was created. The high stone walls have been rebuilt on three sides; on the river side only the buttresses of the wall have been restored. Remarkably good judgment and taste have been exercised in creating a park of beauty and recreational value (a great spot for local fishermen) that is also of exceptional historic interest. Restoration is ongoing, and several buildings within the site are refurbished and restored. Fort Prince of Wales, Churchill Harbor, Hudson Bay, Manitoba. Phone: (204) 675-8863. Open daily 1 P . M . to 5 P . M . and 6 P . M . to 9 P . M . from June through 10 November. A large masonry work measuring about 300 feet between the tips of the four corner bastions, this fort was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company between 1733 and 1771. It surrendered on 8 August 1782 to three French warships without firing a shot; the thirty-nineman garrison was not only unaware that there was a war LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

on in their part of the world (where a French ship had not been seen in more than forty years) but also unprepared to defend a fortress designed for about four hundred men. The French spent two days destroying as much as they could, burning the wooden buildings, using demolitions to destroy the forty-two cannon and to blow in the walls of the stone barracks, but doing little damage to the outer walls, which measured up to 40 feet thick. The fort is being restored by the Canadian government as a National Historic Site, and visitors are greeted by a costumed staff. Interpretive programs and guided tours are available. Perhaps the most powerful fortification in North America and certainly its most northerly one, Fort Prince of Wales is across the harbor from the town of Churchill. It can be visited by boat in summer and by dogsled and over-snow vehicles in winter. The Canadian army base of Fort Churchill is about 6 miles down the coast. Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The history of the ill-fated French fortress of Louisbourg belongs to the colonial era exclusively. Construction was started in 1720 and completed in 1745 after many difficulties; from that time until its demolition by the British in 1760 the ‘‘impregnable fortress’’ was fighting a losing battle against the elements even more than against the Anglo-Saxons. Badly sited, built by unskilled workmen and corrupt contractors, and lacking adequate naval support, Louisbourg was captured by a New England expedition in 1745 and by a British expedition in 1758. In 1928 the Canadian government designated the fortress area a National Historic Site. In 1961 it undertook a remarkable program of restoring the fortress to its 1745 condition. The undertaking began with the idea of providing work for unemployed coal miners of the region. But a tremendous amount of research by archivists and archaeologists had to be done before actual reconstruction could be started. The result is a valuable collection of some 350,000 items in the Louisbourg archives excavated from the site. About fifty buildings and massive defensive works are included in what is now (2005) the largest reconstructed eighteenth-century French fortified town in North America. The park was fully operational in 1972, by which time the Citadel and Magazin Ge´ne´ral had been reconstructed. Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Park is therefore of exceptional interest in the field of historic preservation. Having trained a local workforce in such crafts as stonecutting, stone masonry, wrought iron work, carpentry, timber hewing, and slating, the project managers have since developed a costume department that produces authentic garments of the period. Many of the staff are adorned in these costumes as they perform living histories and lead tour groups.



About 23 square miles are included in the park. A reception center has an orientation program, and buses leave from this point on tours of the fortress area. From Sydney the park is 26 miles to the southeast on Route 22 through the town of Louisbourg; it is about a mile farther on the same highway to the reception center. Phone: (902) 733-2280; website: Halifax, Nova Scotia, was the headquarters of British naval operations during the American Revolution. Central to these defensive operations was the massive Halifax Citadel. There have been forts on this site overlooking the city and harbor since 1749, though the current fortifications, intended to defend Halifax from a possible United States invasion, were completed in 1856 after nearly thirty years of construction. The Army Museum, dedicated to Canadian military history, is located in the Cavalier Building. The grounds are open year round, 9 A . M . to 5 P . M .; the museum, guided tours, living-history displays, and orientation film are offered from 7 May to 3 October. Phone: (902) 426-5080. L’Iˆle-aux-Noix, Richelieu River, province of Quebec. A swampy island in the river between the outlet of Lake Champlain and St.-Jean was the logical place for defensive works in this strategic route between Canada and the English colonies to the south. But the site presented several problems. First, it was horribly unhealthful because of poor drainage and malarial swamps. Second, it could be easily bypassed or attacked by troops moving overland. The island was uninhabited until a mustered-out French soldier leased it in 1753 for an annual rent of one bag of walnuts (noix), from which the 210-acre island derived its name. A year later the French decided to fortify the island, but they lacked the troops to garrison the major work they wanted to build there. When the British advanced for their final conquest of Canada, forcing the overextended French defenders to abandon Ticonderoga and Crown Point (see under NEW YORK), l’Iˆle-aux-Noix was little more than a patrol base. But 3,000 troops under General Franc¸ois de Bourlamaque arrived on 5 August 1759 to organize the defenses of the island. Less than four months later he had completed a star-shaped earthwork covering about half the island. The energetic and ingenious Frenchman handled the problem of defense against amphibious attack by putting log barriers across the channels on both sides of the island. These not only served as physical barriers but also raised the water level so that many potential landing sites were denied to an enemy approaching downstream from the outlet of Lake Champlain, 12 miles away. The final work at l’Iˆle-aux-Noix was directed by a man whose name would gain world fame in other fields,


Colonel (later Admiral) Louis Antoine de Bougainville. (He made an important voyage of exploration around the world in 1767 to 1769. The largest island of the Solomon group, two straits, and the Bougainvillaea genus of vines are named for him.) But l’Iˆle-aux-Noix proved to be untenable in the Seven Years’ War. Soon after Bougainville took command in the spring of 1760 his troops helped frustrate two attempts by Major Robert Rogers and his Rangers to surprise Fort St.-Jean, about 12 miles down the river from the island. The long-expected British attack started on 16 August, when seven thousand men and forty cannon commanded by Colonel William de Haviland invested Bougainville’s isolated position. After four days and nights of an artillery duel Bougainville complied with orders to abandon the position to save his troops. The withdrawal to the west bank was successful, but Bougainville reached Montreal, only to surrender with the rest of the French troops in Canada on 8 September 1760. The British destroyed the works on l’Iˆle-aux-Noix. When American troops made it their base in 1775 as they advanced toward Montreal, the desolate island had a single farm. Nature had reclaimed what the British had left of the fortifications, and the island’s trees presumably had been razed for construction of the latter. The horrors of the American occupation of the island, particularly during the Rebels’ retreat from Canada in June 1776, are dramatically portrayed in histories and novels of the Revolution. Some eight thousand haggard troops were crowded on the island, which then was about 400 yards wide and a mile long. Smallpox, malaria, and dysentery killed up to twenty men a day. In July 1776 a detachment of Hessians occupied the island, which became a fortified British base for subsequent counteroffensives into New York. Work on stone fortifications was started by four thousand troops in 1782 but soon was discontinued. L’Iˆle-aux-Noix became an important naval base in the War of 1812. During the years 1819 to 1828 Fort Lennox was built to protect the vital shipyard that had evolved. Fort Lennox National Historic Park preserves massive stone structures and other landmarks of the years following the American Revolution, but the site remains important and interesting for its associations with that war. A museum has exhibits of the colonial and Revolutionary periods. It is located at 1 61st Avenue, Saint-Paul-de-l’Iˆle-aux-Noix, Quebec, Canada JOJ 1GO. Phone: (450) 291-5700. Sir John Johnson’s House in Williamstown, Ontario. Johnson was a prominent leader of the Loyalists during the Revolution and played a pivotal role in persuading many of them to settle in Ontario after the war ended. As commander of the King’s Regiment of New York, LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION






14 15



11 73



Lac St-Pierre



17 Sorel


20 20

40 mi.

40 km


15 20


3 5

Lake Mégantic 10

6 87






t. L




e R. renc aw


7 8 9


Richelieu R. Lake VT Champlain

1. Fort Prince of Wales 2. The Cedars 3. Montréal 4. Fort Chambly 5. St. Jean (St. John’s) 6. L’Île-aux-Noix 7. Sir John Johnson’s House, Ontario 8. Chapel of the Mohawks, Ontario





9. Joseph Brant Museum, Ontario 10. Chaudière River (Arnold Trail) 11. Chaudière River (Arnold Trail) 12. Québec 13. Point aux Trembles, Neuville 14. Deschambault 15. Trois-Rivières 16. Sorel 17. Abenaki Museum


Johnson led a number of military actions against the rebels, losing all his possessions in New York as a consequence. A general by the end of the war, Johnson worked to settle Loyalists in the St. Lawrence River valley and along the north shore of Lake Ontario. He founded the town of Williamstown, named for his father, beginning construction of his home there in 1784. The house is off County Road 17 and is open during the summer from 10:00 A . M . to 4:00 P . M . Phone: (613) 925-2896. Montreal (Montre´al), St. Lawrence River. At the head of ocean navigation nearly 1,000 miles up the St. Lawrence, Montreal is also near the head of the strategic waterway through Lake Champlain to the Hudson River. Montreal’s growth was favored not only by its importance as a natural communications hub and its climate, which is less harsh than elsewhere in Quebec, but also by its unusual arrangement of two wide terraces. Formerly beaches of an inland sea, these terraces protect the city from flooding while giving easy access to the river. But the outstanding topographic feature is the 753-foot-high Mount Royal, whose crest is only 2 miles from the riverbank; it gives the city its name. An exceptionally large Indian village called Hochelaga was located on the northern slope of this mountain when Jacques Cartier discovered it in 1535. The village had disappeared by the time Samuel de Champlain arrived three-quarters of a century later to establish a trading post (1611). After careful prior planning, including selection of the first colonists on the basis LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

of their good character as well as their qualifications as skilled workers, the first permanent settlement of Montreal was established in 1642. The first Iroquois attack came a year later, and others followed for many decades. But Montreal’s population was about two thousand at the turn of the century, when the Indians finally made peace (1701). The natural advantages of the location as a gateway to the west then overshadowed the disadvantage of being easily accessible to Iroquois war parties. Despite its many natural defensive features and its economic importance, Montreal was never a military stronghold. It was taken by the British in 1760. American troops met little resistance in occupying the city in midNovember 1775, and they stayed seven months. Old Montreal is a section of the present city where the original settlement, Ville Marie, was located. This 95-acre historic area should be visited on foot. The most important landmark pertaining to the American Revolution is the little Chaˆteau de Ramezay, 280–290 Notre Dame Street East. Phone: (514) 861-3708. Built in 1705 by Governor Claude de Ramezay, the one-and-one-halfstory stone structure qualifies as a chaˆteau only in the most basic definition of that French word: ‘‘habitation royale ou seigneuriale.’’ But it is certainly an important American landmark, having been used by the top French, English, American, and Canadian authorities in the city. It was headquarters of the American occupying force (see above). The ‘‘Congressional Committee to Canada,’’ composed of Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll, used the building for several weeks in the spring of 1776 before returning to Philadelphia in early June to report on the ‘‘shocking mismanagement’’ of military operations. Now an attractive and important historical museum, the Chaˆteau de Ramezay has scores of portraits spanning three centuries and exhibits pertaining to the colonial and Revolutionary era. Old Fort in Ste. He´le`ne’s Island Park is the site of early French military works. In the surviving facilities, dating from 1822, drill exhibitions are presented frequently by La Compagnie Franche de la Marine and the Fraser Highlanders. (The latter regiment figured prominently in battles of the Colonial Wars and the Revolution.) Canadian military history over an extensive period is represented in the collections of the Montreal Military and Maritime Museum in the arsenal. Other historic landmarks of cultural importance if not of direct relevance to the subject of this guide are the Maison St. Gabriel (1698), Notre Dame de Bon Secours (1771), the Seminary of St. Sulpice (1710), the Hoˆtel Dieu (a hospital founded in 1644), the Grey Nuns’ Mother House and Museum (1738), and Mount Royal Park. Sites of several important skirmishes with the Iroquois are marked in and around Montreal. Longueuil, a name familiar to students of the period, is a maze of autoroute



interchanges and a metro stop on today’s maps. No mention is made in current popular guides of sites associated with the abortive American attack of 24 to 25 Sepember 1775 by Ethan Allen and John Brown. The latter did not manage to get across the river for the proposed double envelopment (that delight of amateur strategists), but Allen shuttled his 110 troops over in canoes during the night and was captured along with forty men. The muchdreaded Walter Butler played a decisive role in both the Allen-Brown attack and the operations connected with the Cedars (see CEDARS, THE , above, and BUTLERSBURY under New York). A good website for information on touring Montreal is Pointe Aux Trembles (Neuville), St. Lawrence River. On the north bank of the river about 20 miles upstream from Quebec, this is the place to which General Benedict Arnold’s seven hundred troops withdrew from the Plains of Abraham on 19 November 1775. Here Arnold waited for General Richard Montgomery’s column, which arrived from Montreal on 2 December. Three days later the combined force of about one thousand Americans resumed the siege of Quebec. Interesting to students of the American Revolution only as a map location, Pointe aux Trembles is now the village of Neuville on Route 2, which follows the old road used by the Americans in marching between Montreal and Quebec in 1775 to 1776. Port Royal Habitation National Historic Park, near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. After founding Canada’s oldest European settlement in 1605 at what became Annapolis Royal, the French pioneers under the Sieur de Monts constructed the Habitation. This group of buildings around a central courtyard has been reconstructed on the original foundations with scrupulous fidelity by the Canadian government (1938–1939). In 1985 a monument was erected honoring Membertou, the heroic Mi’kmaq chief who aided the French settlers and converted to Christianity in 1610. Phone: (902) 532-2898. Quebec (Que´bec), St. Lawrence River. Although few man-made structures of the eighteenth century remain standing in the picturesque city of Quebec, the topography of this historic place is virtually unchanged. Although such now-famous and dominating landmarks as the Citadel and the ramparts overlooking the lower town (not to mention the hotel Chaˆteau Frontenac) are posteighteenth-century features of the city, they are generally in consonance with the original character of the colonial stronghold that guarded the front door to Canada. The so-called Diorama of Quebec Military History, a brief presentation involving a 400-square-foot model of


the city and its outskirts, is the logical starting place for a tour of Quebec. The diorama is upstairs in the Muse´e du Fort, 10 rue Ste.-Anne (opposite Chaˆteau Frontenac). Phone: (418) 692-1759. Programs are presented continually (alternately in French and English) throughout the year, and you may have a long wait to get in during the summer. A taped narrative covers ‘‘the six sieges of Quebec.’’ More than 5 miles of wiring, 2,000 tiny light bulbs, slide projections, dramatic sound effects including music, and miniature smoke ejectors are used. Events of the American Revolution, including the night attacks by Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery on New Year’s Eve of 1775, pass swiftly at the end of this interesting program. There is nothing to be learned here about this abortive military action of the Revolution other than that it took place. But there is much for the serious student of the Revolution to learn from the splendid panoramic model of the city as it appeared in the eighteenth century. Remarkable historical accuracy is possible because of the scale model constructed between 1806 and 1808 by the Quebecois military engineer, Jean-Baptiste Duberger. With the Duberger model in mind, let’s move immediately to the landmarks associated with the ArnoldMontgomery assault. The spot where the latter was killed is at the base of the bluff on which the Citadel (1822– 1823) now stands. Boulevard Champlain now runs along the river edge, and on the rocky face of the bluff is a plaque indicating the location of the Pre`s-de-Ville Barricade, where Montgomery died at the head of the column from Cape Diamond (Plains of Abraham) that was to link up in the lower town with Arnold’s column. This ended the promising career of the man who had left the British army and come to America only two years before the Revolution started. He had bought a 67-acre farm at Kings Bridge, New York, and married the daughter ( Janet) of Robert R. Livingston. With great reluctance he left his happy personal affairs to join General Philip Schuyler’s wing of the Patriot invasion of Canada. As a brigadier general he took over from Schuyler when ill health forced the latter to drop out. Montgomery showed first-class military ability in leading his low-quality troops and squabbling subordinate officers forward, capturing St. Jean and Montreal, then pushing down the St. Lawrence to link up with Arnold at Quebec. Montgomery probably was better known to the British than to his own new countrymen, and they buried him with respect. In 1818 his body was moved from the St. Louis Bastion (where there is a marker) to St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. Arnold’s column (see CHAUDIE` RE RIVER ) approached the lower town from the north. The wonderful name ‘‘Sault au Matelot’’ was applied from earliest colonial times to the northeastern tip of the bluff overlooking LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


the mouth of the St. Charles River. The Duberger model shows that some twenty-five years after Arnold’s attack there was a narrow street extending the entire distance around the east and north shorelines that was the American line of advance. But the Sault au Matelot Street in which Arnold’s column was trapped and forced to surrender could not have included the stretch now bearing that name between St. James and St. Paul Streets. The place where the Americans encountered (and overcame) the first barricade, at what was then the head of Sault au Matelot Street, is marked at the junction of St. Jacques and Sous le Cap Streets, a few feet west of today’s Sault au Matelot Street. Here Arnold was seriously wounded in the leg. Dan Morgan succeeded Arnold as overall commander of the desperate enterprise, personally leading his troops over the barricade, taking a large number of prisoners, and entering Sault au Matelot Street. They proceeded only a few hundred yards before encountering a second defensive position that barred the way to Mountain Hill, the road to the upper town. Although this could have been taken, Morgan permitted subordinates to talk him into delaying until stragglers closed up and Montgomery’s column made contact from the opposite direction. The British recovered from their brief setback, stiffening their resistance and sending out a large force through the Palace Gate to cut off Morgan’s retreat. Montgomery’s column had turned back after he was killed, and Morgan’s men realized too late that they were trapped. The British took more than four hundred prisoners with a loss of fewer than twenty killed and wounded on their own side. The thirty officers and five ‘‘gentlemen volunteers’’ were confined in the upper floors of the North Tower of the Bishop’s Palace. Later, the central structure around which the Seminary and Laval University were developed, the Bishop’s Palace, was badly damaged by a fire, in 1865. The rooms were rearranged and a fifth floor added in the subsequent reconstruction; so it is not certain exactly where the American officers were held. American journals report that enlisted men were imprisoned first in the Recollects Monastery and later in the Dauphin Jail. The former site is now occupied by the English (Anglican) Cathedral on the Place d’Armes. The second is said to have been about 150 yards from St. John’s Gate, which the prisoners were able to study on moonlit nights while planning their unsuccessful escape attempt in mid-March 1776. Presumably the site is where the Morrin College building was put up (c. 1810–1812). The Plains of Abraham as recently as 1908 were defaced by a jail and a rifle factory. Since then the extensive and handsome Parc des Champs de Bataille has been developed. Wolfe’s Cove has been obliterated by landfills extending several hundred yards into the river, but the site LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

is easy to locate, being a major road junction on Boulevard Champlain; it is almost 2 miles southwest of the lower town. General James Wolfe met with a bloody defeat about 6 miles northeast of Quebec at Montmorency Falls when he made a frontal attack against the French on 31 July 1759. He then surprised the defenders of the strongly fortified city of Quebec by landing during the night of 12 to 13 September at several places along the river and using a small, virtually undefended path to reach the Plains of Abraham. (British troops landed at three places, on a fairly wide front, between the Anse des Me`res, where the Notre Dame de la Garde is now located on Boulevard Champlain opposite the Transatlantic Wharf, and the Anse du Foulon, since called Wolfe’s Cove.) A landscaped roadway now traces Wolfe’s general route up the bluff. Large monuments mark the spots where Wolfe died and where Montcalm was mortally wounded. Other monuments and eighteen historic tablets are located in the 235-acre park. Panoramic views of the St. Lawrence are provided at several points along the drive that follows the edge of the bluff. On Cape Diamond southeast of the Citadel are vestiges of earthworks built in 1783. The house in the suburb of Ste.-Foy used by General Montgomery survived in altered form for many years as Holland House. Its site is near Bellemont Cemetery. The site of the Intendant’s Palace, destroyed by bombardment after Benedict Arnold tried to use it for troops quarters, is privately owned. Outside the palace gate, this was where Intendant Talon had vaults constructed in about 1670 to establish a brewery. The worthy enterprise did not prosper, and the official residence of the intendant of New France was subsequently built on the Talon Vaults. Three centuries later the site serves its originally intended purpose. Standard tourist guides lead visitors to Notre Dame des Victoires (1688), the Old Jesuit House (c. 1700), and other important landmarks outside the scope of this guide. Much remains to be done in locating all the sites associated with the Arnold-Montgomery expedition. The author is indebted to the Abbe´ Honorius Provost, archivist of the Se´minaire de Que´bec and past-president of the Socie´te´ Historique de Que´bec, for sympathetic assistance. As the only remaining walled city in North America, a tour of Quebec’s fortifications is well worthwhile. A guided walking tour covering the nearly 3 miles of remaining walls and adjacent fortifications lasting ninety minutes can be taken from the Fortifications of Que´bec Interpretation Centre, 1 June to 9 October. The center is located at 100 Saint-Louis Street; phone: (800) 463-6769. A fine extant example of eighteenth-century architecture is the Maillou House, 17 Saint-Louis Street, built



in 1736. Also of note is the Artillery Park, 2 D’Auteuil Street, Que´bec, which includes the Arsenal Foundry, Officers’ Quarters, and Dauphine Redoubt. The buttresses of the latter structure were built in 1712; most of the rest of the site was reconstructed in the nineteenth century. These buildings were central to Quebec’s defense throughout the eighteenth century. The site is open every day from 1 April to 9 October, 10 A . M . to 5 P . M . Phone: (800) 463-6769. The official website of Quebec tourism is www. Toll-free phone: (877) BONJOUR. St. Johns (St.-Jean), Richelieu River. General Guy Carleton’s decision to adopt a ‘‘forward strategy’’ in defending Canada against the American invasion of 1775 resulted in the concentration of most of his regulars at this place. From their base on l’Iˆle-aux-Noix the Americans needed two months to take the position, which was finally surrendered by Major Charles Preston on 2 November 1775. This delaying action cost Carleton most of his best troops, but it may well have been decisive in saving Canada. St. Johns, as it is known in American accounts, was strategically located near the head of navigation from Lake Champlain. A marker on Champlain Street says the original fort was built here in 1666. (Most authorities give a later date for establishment of the first true military fortification.) Montcalm had work done here in 1758, and Carleton enlarged and strengthened the place in 1775. By that time St. Johns comprised a barracks, some brick buildings, and a stone house with two redoubts located to guard the approaches to the complex. The first Revolutionary War action here occurred in May 1775 when Colonel Benedict Arnold, with fifty men in the schooner Liberty, a vessel captured at Skenesboro, surprised the fifteen-man British garrison. (This was seven days after the American capture of Ticonderoga, New York.) Arnold destroyed five bateaux and withdrew with the large sloop George III, four bateaux, the fifteen prisoners, and some supplies. Colonel Ethan Allen had followed Arnold from Ticonderoga with about sixty men in bateaux. Meeting Arnold as the latter withdrew from his highly successful raid, Allen foolishly decided to occupy and hold St. Johns. He was driven back by the British relief column from Chambly (see FORT CHAMBLY NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK ). When the American column under General Philip Schuyler approached St. Johns in September 1775 the place was defended by 500 British regulars of the Seventh and Twenty-sixth Foot Regiments, later reinforced by an ensign and 12 sailors, 100 Canadian militia, and 70 men of the newly raised unit of Royal Highland Emigrants. Lieutenant John Andre´ was among the


prisoners taken by the Americans when they captured the fort. (He was exchanged a year later after spending his period of parole in Pennsylvania.) All that remains of historic interest in the modern industrial city of St.-Jean is a vestige of the old fort on the campus of the military college. Sorel, St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Richelieu River. Named after the first commander of the French fort built here in 1665 to guard the northern terminus of the strategic waterway through Lake Champlain to the Hudson River, Sorel was an important point during the Colonial Wars and the first years of the American Revolution. Subsequent development as a manufacturing and shipbuilding center has eradicated historic landmarks of the eighteenth century. Trois Rivie`res, St. Lawrence River. Now a thriving industrial metropolis, Trois Rivie`res is the second oldest European city in Canada. It was founded in 1634 as an outpost on the Iroquois frontier. During the eighteenth century it was famous for its iron works, the site of which is now a public campground on the Maurice River about 8 miles from the center of town. Although a National Historic Site, Vieilles Forges is difficult to find and is not worth the effort. A major American defeat took place on 8 June 1776 when 2,000 troops under General William Thompson attempted to take Trois Rivie`res. Believing the settlement to be defended by only 800 troops, the Patriots discovered too late that General John Burgoyne’s regulars had started arriving there, and that about 6,000 men under General Simon Fraser were already on the ground. Thompson landed about 3 miles upstream of the town, about where the huge bridge now spans the river from Trois Rivie`res Ouest. Leaving a guard of 250 men with the bateaux and with a native guide who failed (perhaps intentionally) to lead them under cover of darkness to the river road, the Americans were quickly in trouble. But Thompson and his four regimental commanders—Arthur St. Clair, William Irvine, William Maxwell, and Anthony Wayne—happened to be outstanding military leaders. Still unaware of the odds, they defied the fire of three British vessels in the river and pressed on. Wayne routed a superior force on the outskirts of Trois Rivie`res, but the Americans were soon stopped by superior forces defending from behind entrenchments and supported by artillery. General Guy Carleton, the British commander in Canada, could have cut off and captured the entire force, but declined to do so because he did not want the burden of so many prisoners. The 1,100 survivors of this expedition got back to Sorel only after surviving great physical hardship and the danger of ambush in the swamps. (The boat guard made off with the bateaux.) Total American losses in this operation LANDMARKS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


were about 400, including General Thompson and 235 others taken prisoner. The British lost fewer than 20 killed and wounded. Several historic buildings survive in the older section of the city. The Anglican Church, at the east end of Notre Dame Street, evolved from the Recollet Monastery (1699).


Generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold are said to have used the building in their operations from Montreal to Quebec (1775) and Arnold used it again during the subsequent retreat (1776). The nearby Ursuline Convent on Rue des Ursulines (open on a limited schedule) dates from 1697.



The Caribbean was a major theater of the American Revolutionary War. This was because the islands were economically important as the principal market for the slave trade in the Americas and as the primary source of sugar and rum consumed in Europe and America. Furthermore, they were divided among the colonial powers of Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands, which were all belligerents at some stage of the Revolutionary War. The French, Spanish, and Dutch islands were vital sources of the military supplies and gunpowder that sustained the Continental army. The American flag was first saluted in the Danish and Dutch islands of the Caribbean. American privateers swarmed these seas and were likened to an infestation of fleas by the British. The Caribbean was also the location of critical naval battles that had major implications for the war in North America, and the defense of the British colonies in the Caribbean deflected military resources from the British commanders in America. The islands were all variously affected by the war, with large-scale military preparations and economic disruption. However, the small islands of the eastern Caribbean were the scenes of the most dramatic military events, and are therefore given particular consideration here. American Loyalists from Georgia and South Carolina settled in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominica, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Belize. Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Crispus Attucks, and John Paul Jones all spent time in the Caribbean before 1776. The war’s surviving relics in the Caribbean convey the interconnection between the history of the islands and the revolutionary history of the United States.


Antigua was a British colony between 1632 and 1981. The 108-square-mile island had close ties with America before the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Franklin sent his nephew, Benjamin Meacom, to set up a printing press in Antigua. The captain of one of the ships whose cargo was destroyed in the Boston Tea Party was involved in a bar fight in Antigua after leaving Boston. The island had relied on food imports from North America before 1775, and the war caused severe shortages that led to the deaths of an estimated one-fifth of the slave population. Antigua led the other Caribbean islands, together with Tortola, in fitting out privateers against the Americans, beginning with the sloop Reprisal, which had captured three American vessels by January 1777, and whose owners declared that they were ‘‘zealously disposed to assist in reducing his Majesty’s rebellious colonies in America to lawfull obedience.’’ Antigua alone among the British Leeward Islands escaped conquest by the French. Its defense was a high priority owing to the presence of English Harbour, which was the main British naval base in the eastern Caribbean. Like Virginia, Antigua had strong royalist ties during the English Civil War, and the local rum is called ‘‘Cavalier.’’ Clarence House, overlooking English Habour, was built for Prince William Henry, a younger son of George III who later became duke of Clarence and King William IV. He had served in the Caribbean and visited New York during the American Revolution. He was captain of the Pegasus when he visited Antigua in 1787. Clarence House is now the official residence of the governor-general



of Antigua, and it is open to visitors when he is not in residence. Falmouth is at the foot of Monk’s Hill. St. Paul’s Church has a graveyard with the tomb of the Honorable James Charles Pitt, son of the earl of Chatham and commander of H.M.S Hornet, who died at the age of twenty at English Harbour on 13 November 1780. The epitaph reads: ‘‘The genius that inspired / and the virtues that adorned the parent / were revived in the son / whose dawning merit / bespoke a meridian splendor / worthy of the name Pitt.’’ St. Paul’s, originally fortified in 1676, was the first church building on the island. It doubled as a courthouse. Fig Tree Hill commands views of Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Kitts. Fort Barrington on Goat Hill is on the promontory at the northern beach side of Deep Bay. It was named after Admiral Sir Samuel Barrington and was completed on the site of an earlier structure in 1779. It was a signal station which reported movements of ships by flag and light signals to Rat Island. It has views of St. John’s Harbour, St. Kitts, and Nevis. It is accessible via Five Islands near the Royal Antiguan Resort. Fort James is on a promontory at the northern end of St. John’s, and was first fortified in 1704 to 1705. It contained barracks for about seventy-five men for the regiment of British troops stationed on the island since the 1730s. The walls are in good condition and there is a kitchen building with a seventeenth-century open-fire range. Ten of the original cannon with 5.5-inch bores remain. They weigh 2.5 tons, have a range of 100 yards, and fired 4-pound shot. They were manned by a team of twelve. The fort commands an extensive view of the harbor of St. John’s. It can be reached from Fort Road. Monks Hill and Fort George overlook English Harbour and Falmouth. The fortress was erected on the 669-foot summit of the hill between 1689 and 1705. The outer walls surrounded an area of about 7 acres which were intended as a refuge for the inhabitants in the event of an invasion. They are largely intact, together with the ruins of powder magazines, including the west magazine built in 1731, the original gun sites for thirty-two cannon, a water cistern, and a stone inscription to King George II. It was too large and exposed to be defended as a regular fort. It is accessible by car by following signs from Liberta off the main road through the village of Table Hill Gordon. It can also be reached by foot from Cobbs Cross at Falmouth Harbour. Further west is the fort on Johnstone Point.


Landmarks of the American Revolution SECOND EDITION Library of Military History Editorial Board CONTRIBUTING EDITOR...

Author: Mark Mayo Boatner

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