Century of Conflict

By Joseph Lister Rutledge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIX
"A PROJECT OF WILD AUDACITY"

Conflicting claims to the Austrian succession involve Europe in further war. Duquesnel, governor of Louisburg, entangles Canada by destroying the English settlement at Canseau. Attack on Annapolis repulsed by Mascarene. New England aroused. William Vaughan urges attack on Louisburg, and Governor Shirley of Massachusetts takes up the cause. William Pepperrell appointed commander of expedition. Commodore Warren commands the navy. Death of Duquesnel and Duchambon's succession. Investment of the fortress. The problems of amateur soldiering. Royal Battery taken and the attack on Island Battery a disastrous failure. Its last capture sets stage for final assault. Duchambon capitulates. New mutiny follows capture. France's retort the calamitous D'Anville expedition. Peace and its historic mistake.

If Louisburg might stand for the nadir of the French spirit in the New World, there were few knowing or willing enough to admit the fact. To the French, Louisburg was a great gesture, a new guardian of the gates of Canada. To the English it was a challenge in part to their vanity but, more importantly, to their trade with the American continent. To the American colonies it was a never-ending threat, to their lives, to their seagoing commerce, and to the fisheries that were the backbone of that trade.

For the peoples of the New World threat was nothing new. Antagonism began with the advent of the English on this continent. Their presence was looked upon as an encroachment on lands that the French considered their own. The English, never a people to submit tamely to authorities that appeared ill founded, were far from ready to accept the broad generalization that the French owned a continent be

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