Louisbourg Siege collection, 1745-1746
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Sabin, J. F. (Joseph F.), 1846-1926
- The Louisbourg Siege collection documents the New Hampshire contingent of the Louisbourg expedition led by Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren in 1745 and 1746. The collection includes eyewitness accounts of the siege, a contemporaneous copy of the articles of capitulation, and maps of the city and fort at Louisbourg.
- 1 volume
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip, April 2010
- Scope and Content:
The Louisbourg Siege collection (25 items) consists of 19 letters, 2 receipts for goods, 1 memorandum, 1 excerpt from a journal, 2 printed maps, and one engraving. These items all concern the British siege and occupation of Louisbourg from 1745 to 1746. The writers were all part of the New Hampshire contingent of the Louisbourg expedition led by Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren. Of note are a series of nine letters, written by Captain Thomas Westbrooke Waldron (d. 1785), to his father, Richard Waldron, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. These letters form a running narrative of the siege and include a contemporaneous copy of the articles of capitulation. The collection contains two replies from Richard Waldron. Fellow New Hampshire officers and soldiers wrote the remaining letters, including officer Nathaniel Weare, Colonel Samuel Moore, who commanded the New Hampshire troops during the siege, and Colonel William Vaughan.
The maps depict the Harbor of Louisbourg and a plan for the city and fortifications there. The engraving is "A View of the Taking of Louisbourg in North America, by Admiral Boscawen and General Amherst," 1758, printed in London. This represents the second siege of Louisbourg.
Joseph Sabin compiled the collection into a single volume. The final seven pages contain notes on the collection, written by Victor H. Paltsits (1867-1952), the State Archivist of New York and the Chief of the American History Division and Keeper of Manuscripts at the New York Public Library.
- Biographical / Historical:
The 1745 siege of Louisbourg was one of the most important battles of King George's War, the North American conflicts of the War of Austrian Succession, between Britain, France, and Spain. France had heavily fortified Louisbourg (Cape Breton Island, then called Île-Royale) in order to protect its North American land holdings from the British. The French also used Louisbourg as an outpost for its Northern Atlantic fishing fleets, which competed with New England fishermen. Using the European conflict as a justification for war, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut raised a small fleet and over 4,000 troops for an expedition on Louisbourg, led Sir William Pepperrell and Sir Peter Warren. They started the offensive in early March 1745, but cold weather and icy seas delayed the full scale siege until April. Though the French government did not send reinforcements to the fort, the defenders successfully warded off their British attackers until the French surrendered on June 17, 1745.
The British controlled Louisbourg until 1748, when the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war and returned the fort to the French, much to the dismay of the colonists. Ten-years later, however, during the French and Indian War, British colonists recaptured the fort.Prominent military personnel represented in this collection include:
- Samuel Moore, a colonel of the New Hampshire Militia.
- Colonel William Vaughan (1703-1746), a chief organizer of the Louisbourg expedition and son of Lieutenant Governor Vaughan of New Hampshire province.
- T.W. Waldren (1721-1785), a captain of the New Hampshire regiment at Louisbourg.
- Richard Waldren (1694-1753), a member of the New Hampshire Council, Speaker of the Assembly, and Secretary of New Hampshire.
- Meshech Weare (1713-1786), a town moderator, selectman, and representative of Hampton Falls in the Assembly and, in 1776, he became the president of the state until 1785.
- Edward Williams, a captain of a New Hampshire regiment at Louisbourg.
- Reverend Stephen Williams (1693-1782), the chaplain for the New Hampshire Militia.
- Acquisition Information:
- . M-4858 .
- Custodial History:
This collection was previously in George H. Moore's personal library, and was sold in 1893 by Bangs & Co. Auctioneers: Catalog Part II, number 1721.
- Processing information:
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
This collection is a volume of bound manuscripts that are ordered roughly in chronological order.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
Related MaterialsExamples of other Clements Library collections, which contain materials related to the 1745 Louisbourg Siege:
- The George Clinton papers contain a letter from Commanders Warren and Pepperrell to Clinton, January 25, 1746.
- The James Douglas papers include a logbook for the H.M.S. Vigilant, which patrolled the Northern Atlantic between 1745 and 1747.
- The Peter Warren papers contain a series of warrants relating to the siege.
Below is a selection of maps and printed items related to the Siege of Louisbourg. For more books, maps, and other items held at the Clements Library, use the search term "Louisbourg (N.S.) History Siege 1745" in the University of Michigan online catalog.Maps:
- Plan de la ville et du port de Louisbour [sic] de ses batteries avec sa perspective ou l'on voit les ouvrages de fortiffication faites par les Anglois pour lattaque dela place et de ses batteries. [ca. 1745].
- A Plan of Cape Breton, & Fort Louisbourgh, &c. Boston, 1745.
- Bastide, John Henry. A Plan of Louisbourg: Intended Only to Shew by Strong Red the Publick Buildings Lately Erected; And by the Faint Red Such As Have Had a Thorough Repair. 1745.
- Cole, Benjamin. A prospect of the city of Lewisbourg also the harbours and garrisons on the island of Gaspey or Cape-Breton in North America surrender'd to the New England land troops on the 17 June 1745 after a siege of 48 days: Lieut General Pepperril esqr. commander of the land troops and Commodore Petr. Warren esqr. commander of his majesties fleet there to guard ye coast. London, 1745.
- Durell, Phillip, and John Henry Bastide. Plan of the Harbour And Fortifications of Louisbourg: The Harbour Survey'd by Capt. Phillip Durell: the Town And Fortifications by I: H. Bastide Engineer for Nova Scotia. 1745.
- Gridley, Richard, and P Pelham. A Plan of the City And Fortress of Louisbourg With a Small Plan of the Harbour. Boston: T. Smibert in Queen Street, 1746.
- Jefferys, Thomas. A Plan of the City And Harbour of Louisbourg, With the French Batteries That Defended It, And Those of the English, Shewing That Part of Gabarus Bay, In Which They Landed, And the Ground On Which They Encamped During the Siege In 1745. [London]: Thos. Jefferys, geographer to the Prince of Wales at Charing Cross, 1757.
- Leth, Hendrik de. Plan Des Fortifications De La Ville De Louisbourg Dans L'isle De Cap-Breton. Amsterdam: de Visser, 1755.
- Turner, James. A Plan of the Town And Harbour of Louisbourgh, &c. Boston, 1745.
- By His Excellency Benning Wentworth, Esq; Captain General And Governour In Chief ..: A Proclamation. Whereas His Majesty Has Been Graciously Pleased to Order a Number of Troops, Under the Command of the Honourable Lieutenant-General St. Clair, to Proceed From Great-Britain to Louisbourg... [Signed] B. Wentworth [and] T. Atkinson, Secr... Boston: Printed by Thomas Fleet, 1746.
- Considerations On the State of the British Fisheries In America, And Their Consequence to Great Britain: With Proposals for Their Security, by the Reduction of Cape-Breton, &c. Which Were Humbly Offer'd, by a Gentleman of a Large Trade of the City of London, to His Majesty's Ministers, In January 1744-5. London: Printed for W. Bickerton, in the Temple-Exchange, near the Inner-Temple-Gate, Fleet-street, 1745.
- Gibson, James, and Lorenzo Dow Johnson. A Boston Merchant of 1745: Or, Incidents In the Life of James Gibson, a Gentleman Volunteer At the Expedition to Louisbourg; With a Journal of That Siege, Never Before Published In This Country. Boston: Redding and company, 1847.
- N., B. L. Lettre D'un Habitant De Louisbourg: Contenant Une Relation Éxacte & Circonstanciée De La Prise De L'Isle-Royale, Par Les Anglais. A Quebec: Chez Guillaume le Sincere, À l'image de la vérité, 1745.
- Pepperrell, William. An Accurate Journal And Account of the Proceedings of the New- England Land-forces, During the Late Expedition Against the French Settlements On Cape Breton: to the Time of the Surrender of Louisbourg. Containing a Just Representation of the Transactions And Occurences, And of the Behaviour of the Said Forces. Exon: printed by and for A. and S. Brice, 1746.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Austrian Succession, War of, 1740-1748.
Prints (visual works)
New Hampshire. Militia.
Moore, Samuel, fl. 1745.
Paltsits, Victor Hugo, 1867-1952.
Sanborn, Ebenezer, 1712-1794.
Vaughan, William, 1703-1746.
Waldron, Richard, 1694-1753.
Waldron, Thomas Westbrook, 1721-1785.
Weare, Meshech, 1713-1786.
Weare, Nathaniel, fl 1745.
Williams, Edward, fl. 1745.
Williams, Stephen, 1693-1782.
Cape Breton Island (N.S.)
Gabarus Bay (N.S.)
Louisbourg (N.S.)--History--Siege, 1745-1746.
United States--History--King George's War, 1744-1748.
Gabarus Bay (N.S.)
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (N.S.)--Maps--Early works to 1800.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Louisbourg Siege Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan