Isthmus of Chignecto
The Isthmus of Chignecto is an isthmus bordering the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that connects the Nova Scotia peninsula with North America. The isthmus separates the waters of Chignecto Bay, a sub-basin of the Bay of Fundy, from those of Baie Verte, a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait, an arm of the Gulf of St. Lawrence; the isthmus stretches from its northerly point at an area in the Petitcodiac River valley near the city of Dieppe, New Brunswick to its southerly point at an area near the town of Amherst, Nova Scotia. At its narrowest point between Amherst and Tidnish, the isthmus measures 24 kilometres wide; because of its strategic position, it has been important to competing forces through much of its history of occupation. The name "Chignecto" derives from the Mi'kmaq name Siknikt, meaning "drainage place"; the majority of the lands comprising the isthmus have low elevation above sea level. Several prominent ridges rise above the surrounding low land and marshes along the Bay of Fundy shore, namely the Fort Lawrence Ridge, the Aulac Ridge, the Sackville Ridge, the Memramcook Ridge.
In contrast to the Bay of Fundy shoreline in the west, the Northumberland Strait shoreline in the east is forested, with serpentine tidal estuaries such as the Tidnish River penetrating inland. The narrowest point on the Northumberland shoreline is opposite the Cumberland Basin at Baie Verte. If sea levels were to rise by 12 meters, the isthmus would be flooded making mainland Nova Scotia an island; as the Isthmus of Chignecto was a key surface transportation route since the 17th century and British colonists built military roads across it to the Tantramar Marshes and along the strategic ridges. In 1872, the Intercolonial Railway of Canada constructed a mainline between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick across the southern portion of the isthmus, it skirted the edge of the Bay of Fundy while crossing the Tantramar Marshes between Amherst, Nova Scotia and Sackville, New Brunswick. In 1886 a railway line was built from Sackville across the isthmus to Port Elgin and on to Cape Tormentine.
The latter was a port for the iceboat service. In 1917 Canadian National Railways established a rail ferry service to Prince Edward Island to connect with the Prince Edward Island Railway. In the mid-1880s, the isthmus was the site of one of Canada's earliest mega-projects: construction of a broad-gauge railway from the port of Amherst to the Northumberland Strait at Tidnish for carrying small cargo and passenger ships; this ship railway was never operational, construction was abandoned shortly before completion. In the 1950s, while construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway was underway, a group of industrialists and politicians from the Maritimes called for a Chignecto Canal to be built as a shortcut for ocean-going ships travelling between Saint John and U. S. ports to the Great Lakes to avoid travelling around Nova Scotia. The project, while endorsed by the both the second Flemming government of New Brunswick and the Robichaud government that succeeded it, never progressed beyond the survey stage.
In the early 1960s, the Trans-Canada Highway was built on the isthmus to connect with Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Route 2 in New Brunswick and Highway 104 in Nova Scotia were built parallel to the existing Canadian National Railway trackage. Route 16 in New Brunswick was built from an interchange with Route 2 in Aulac to the ferry terminal at Cape Tormentine; this was subsequently modified in 1997 to connect with the Confederation Bridge at Cape Jourimain. The first European settlements on the isthmus were French; the isthmus was the location of a growing Acadian farming community called Beaubassin. The isthmus became in 1713 the site of the historic dividing line between the British colony of Nova Scotia and the French territory. French military forces established Fort Beauséjour on the Aulac Ridge in 1749 in response to the British construction of an outpost called Fort Lawrence on the ridge to the east. Between the two ridges was a tidal stream called the Missaquash River, which France accepted to be the boundary between the territories.
The powers had never agreed to an official boundary. France constructed Fort Gaspereau on the shores of the Northumberland Strait to control travel on the isthmus. Raid on Chignecto During King William's War, the first of the four French and Indian Wars, the English colonial militia leader Benjamin Church led a devastating raid on the Isthmus of Chignecto at Beaubassin, in retaliation for an earlier French and native raid against Pemaquid, Maine earlier that year. Church and four hundred men arrived offshore of Beaubassin on September 20, they managed to surprise the Acadians. Many fled while one confronted Church with papers showing they had signed an oath of allegiance in 1690 to the English king. Church was unconvinced, he burned a number of buildings, killed inhabitants, looted their household goods, slaughtered their livestock. Governor Villebon reported that "the English stayed at Beaubassin nine whole days without drawing any supplies from their vessels, those settlers to whom they had shown a pretence of mercy were left with empty houses and barns and nothing else except the clothes on their backs."
Raid on Chignecto Major Church returned to Acadia duri
The Dummer's War, was a series of battles between New England and the Wabanaki Confederacy who were allied with New France. The eastern theater of the war was fought along the border between New England and Acadia in Maine, as well as in Nova Scotia; the root cause of the conflict on the Maine frontier concerned the border between Acadia and New England, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. Mainland Nova Scotia came under British control after the Siege of Port Royal in 1710 and the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, but present-day New Brunswick and Maine remained contested between New England and New France. New France established Catholic missions among the four largest Indian villages in the region: one on the Kennebec River, one farther north on the Penobscot River, one on the Saint John River, one at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. New France established three forts along the border of New Brunswick during Father Le Loutre's War to protect it from a British attack from Nova Scotia.
The Treaty of Utrecht ended Queen Anne's War, but it had been signed in Europe and had not involved any member of the Wabanaki Confederacy. The Abenaki signed the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth, but none had been consulted about British ownership of Nova Scotia, the Mi'kmaq began to make raids against New England fishermen and settlements; the war began on two fronts as a result of the expansion of New England settlements along the coast of Maine and at Canso, Nova Scotia. The New Englanders were led by Massachusetts Lt. Governor William Dummer, Nova Scotia Lt. Governor John Doucett, Captain John Lovewell; the Wabanaki Confederacy and other Indian tribes were led by Father Sébastien Rale, Chief Gray Lock, Chief Paugus. During the war, Father Rale was killed by the British at Norridgewock; the Indian population retreated from the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers to St. Francis and Becancour and New England took over much of the Maine territory. In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the treaty that ended Father Rale's war marked a significant shift in European relations with the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet tribes.
The War of the Spanish Succession ended with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The colonial borders of northeastern North America were reshaped as a result, but the treaty did not account for Indian claims to the same area. French Acadia was ceded to Great Britain which established the province of Nova Scotia, although its borders were disputed; the area disputed by the European powers consisted of land between the Kennebec River and the Isthmus of Chignecto. This land was occupied by a number of Algonquian-speaking Indian tribes loosely allied in the Wabanaki Confederacy, which claimed sovereignty over most of this territory and had occupancy preceding that of the Colonists. Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley organized a major peace conference at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In negotiations there and at Casco Bay, the Wabanaki present orally objected to British assertions that the French had ceded their territory to Britain in eastern Maine and New Brunswick, agreed to a confirmation of boundaries at the Kennebec River and the establishment of government-run trading posts in their territory.
The Treaty of Portsmouth was ratified on July 13, 1713 by eight representatives of the Wabanaki Confederacy, which asserted British sovereignty over their territory. Over the next year, other Abenaki tribal leaders signed the treaty, but no Miꞌkmaq signed it or any other treaty until 1726. Following the peace, New England settlements expanded east of the Kennebec River, significant numbers of New Englanders began fishing in Nova Scotia waters, they established a permanent fishing settlement at Canso which upset the local Mi'kmaq, who began raiding the settlement and attacking the fishermen. In response to Wabanaki hostilities, Nova Scotia Governor Richard Philipps built a fort at Canso in 1720. Massachusetts governors Joseph Dudley and Samuel Shute built forts around the mouth of the Kennebec River: Fort George at Brunswick, Fort Menaskoux at Arrowsic, St. George's Fort at Thomaston, Fort Richmond at Richmond; the French built a church in the Abenaki village of Norridgewock in Madison, Maine on the Kennebec River, maintained a mission at Penobscot on the Penobscot River, built a church in the Maliseet village of Meductic on the Saint John River.
In a meeting at Arrowsic, Maine in 1717, Governor Shute and representatives of the Wabanakis attempted to reach some agreement concerning encroachment on Wabanaki lands and the establishment of provincially operated trading posts. Kennebec sachem Wiwurna objected to Colonists establishing settlements on the land and to their constructing forts; the Wabanakis were willing to accede to existing settlements if a proper boundary was delineated, beyond which settlement would not be allowed. Shute responded, "We desire only what is our own, that we will have."Over the next several years, New England Colonists continued to settle in Wabanaki lands east of the Kennebec River—and the Wabanakis responded
Lawrencetown, Halifax County, Nova Scotia
Lawrencetown is a Canadian rural community in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Route 207. The settlement was established during the eve of Father Le Loutre's War and at the beginning of the French and Indian War. Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749. By unilaterally establishing Halifax, the Mi'kmaq believed the British were violating earlier treaties, which were signed after Father Rale's War; the British began to build other settlements. To guard against Mi'kmaq and French attacks on the new Protestant settlements, British fortifications were erected in Halifax, Dartmouth and Lawrencetown. In 1754, Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence, offered land grants to twenty families, who referred to their settlement as Lawrence's Town, which became Lawrencetown; the Acadians and natives resisted the British occupation of Nova Scotia and Acadia by raiding the various communities. In late April 1754, at the outbreak of the French and Indian War, Beausoleil and a large band of Mi'kmaq and Acadians left Chignecto for Lawrencetown.
They arrived in the night open fired on the village. Beausoliel scalped four British settlers and two soldiers. By August, as the raids continued, the residents and soldiers were withdrawn to Halifax. By June 1757, the settlers had to be withdrawn again from the settlement of Lawrencetown because the number of Indian raids prevented settlers from leaving their houses, it is located on 8 kilometres due east of the entrance to Halifax Harbour. The community name of Lawrencetown was adopted on October 4, 1921, but changed to'East Lawrencetown' on July 3, 1952, it was reinstated as Lawrencetown on April 5, 1961. Lesley Choyce, professor, TV host. Captain Parker of the Welsford-Parker Monument TextsGrenier, John; the Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia, 1710-1760. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-3876-3. Griffiths, N. E. S.. From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-2699-0. Murdoch, Beamish. A History of Nova-Scotia, Or Acadie.
Vol. II. Halifax: J. Barnes. Wicken, William C.. Mi'kmaq Treaties on Trial: History and Donald Marshall Junior. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-7665-6. LinksExplore HRM Lawrencetown on Destination Nova Scotia
Military history of the Acadians
Acadian militias were units of Acadian part-time soldiers who fought in coordination with the Wabanaki Confederacy and French forces during the colonial period, to defend Acadia against encroachment by the English. Some other Acadians provided military intelligence and logistical support to the resistance movement; the Acadian militias achieved effective resistance for more than 75 years and through six wars before their eventual demise. According to Acadian historian Maurice Basque, the story of Evangeline continues to influence historic accounts of the deportation, emphasising neutral Acadians and de-emphasising those who resisted the British. While Acadian militia was active during the American Revolution, the militias were dormant throughout the nineteenth century. After confederation, Acadians joined the Canadian War efforts in World War I and World War II; the most well-known colonial leaders of these militias were Joseph Broussard and Joseph-Nicolas Gautier. The first war to influence the Acadians is now known as King William's War, began in 1688.
Much of the local conflict was orchestrated by the Governor of Acadia and Baron de St Castin, who raided Protestant villages along the Acadia-New England border at the Kennebec River in present-day Maine. The crews of the French privateer Pierre Maisonnat dit Baptiste were Acadian; the Acadians resisted during the Raid on Chignecto. Colonel Benjamin Church and four hundred men arrived offshore of Beaubassin on September 20; when they came ashore, the Acadians and Mi’kmaq opened fire on them. Church lost several of his men, they managed to surprise the Acadians. Many fled while one confronted Church with papers showing they had signed an oath of allegiance in 1690 to the English King. Church was unconvinced after he discovered the proclamation heralding the French success at Pemaquid posted on the church door. On October 18 Church and his troops arrived opposite the capital of Acadia, in the Siege of Fort Nashwaak, landed three cannons and assembled earthworks on the south bank of the Nashwaak River.
Pierre Maisonnat dit Baptiste was there to defend the capital. Baptiste joined the Maliseet from Meductic for the duration of the siege. There was a fierce exchange of gun fire for two days, with the advantage going to the better sited French guns; the New Englanders were defeated, having suffered seventeen wounded. The French lost two wounded. Letters from an Acadian official censured and requested the removal of certain priests, called "do nothings", who took no part in the King William's War but attended to their religious duties and were therefore suspected of favouring the British. After the Siege of Pemaquid, d'Iberville led a force of 124 Canadians, Acadians, Mi’kmaq and Abenaki in the Avalon Peninsula Campaign, they destroyed every British settlement in Newfoundland, killed more than 100 British and captured many more. They deported 500 British colonists to Britain or France. During Queen Anne's War, the members of the Wabanaki Confederacy from Acadia raided Protestant settlements along the Acadia/ New England border in present-day Maine in the Northeast Coast Campaign.
Mi’kmaq and Acadians resisted the New England retaliatory Raid on Grand Pré, Piziquid and Chignecto in 1704. The raid was led by Benjamin Church, fired on by the local militia, who had gathered in the woods along the banks. According to Church, on the first day of the raid, the Acadians and Mi’kmaq "fired smartly at our forces". Church had a small cannon on his boat, which he used to fire grape shot at the attackers on the shore, who withdrew, suffering one Mi’kmaq killed and several wounded. Church was unable to come ashore. Having withdrawn from the village, the next morning the Acadian and Mi’kmaq militia waited in the woods for Church and his men to arrive. At the break of day, the New Englanders again set off toward the village, under orders from Church to drive any resistance before them; the largest body of defenders fired on the raiders' right flank from behind trees and logs, but their fire was ineffective and they were driven off. Acadians joined the French privateer Pierre Maisonnat dit Baptiste as crew members in his victories over British vessels.
Acadians fought alongside the Confederacy and French soldiers to protect the capital in the Siege of Port Royal and the final Conquest of Acadia. Acadians and the Wabanaki Confederacy were successful in the Battle of Bloody Creek; the victory at Bloody Creek rallied the local resistance, prompted many of the Acadians who were nominally under British protection to withdraw to the north. Soon thereafter a force of some 600 warriors, including Acadians, Mi’kmaq, under the leadership of Gaulin and Saint-Castin and blockaded Fort Anne; the defending garrison was small, but the attackers had no artillery and were thus unable to make an impression on the fort, the fort was still accessible by sea. Gaulin went to Plaisance in Newfoundland for supplies and equipment to advance the siege; that same expedition abandoned its goal of attacking Quebec when eight of its ships were lost on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. In the March 1713 Treaty of
King William's War
King William's War was the North American theater of the Nine Years' War known as the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg. It was the first of six colonial wars fought between New France and New England along with their respective Native allies before France ceded its remaining mainland territories in North America east of the Mississippi River in 1763. For King William's War, neither England nor France thought of weakening their position in Europe to support the war effort in North America. New France and the Wabanaki Confederacy were able to thwart New England expansion into Acadia, whose border New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. According to the terms of the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick that ended the Nine Years' War, the boundaries and outposts of New France, New England, New York remained unchanged; the war was caused by the fact that the treaties and agreements that were reached at the end of King Philip's War were not adhered to. In addition, the English were alarmed.
The Indians preyed on the English and their fears, by making it look as though they were with the French. The French were played as well; these occurrences, in addition to the fact that the English perceived the Indians as their subjects, despite the Indians' unwillingness to submit led to two conflicts, one of, King William's War. The English settlers were more than 154,000 at the beginning of the war, outnumbering the French 12 to 1. However, they were divided in multiple colonies along the Atlantic coast, which were unable to cooperate efficiently, they were engulfed in the Glorious Revolution, creating tension among the colonists. In addition, the English lacked military leadership and had a difficult relationship with their Iroquois allies. New France was divided into three entities: Acadia on the Atlantic coast; the French population amounted to 14,000 in 1689. Although the French were vastly outnumbered, they were more politically unified and contained a disproportionate number of adult males with military backgrounds.
Realizing their numerical inferiority, they developed good relationships with the indigenous peoples in order to multiply their forces and made effective use of hit-and-run tactics. England's Catholic King James II was deposed at the end of 1688 in the Glorious Revolution, after which Protestants William III and Mary II took the throne. William joined the League of Augsburg in its war against France. In North America, there was significant tension between New France and the northern English colonies, which had in 1686 been united in the Dominion of New England. New England and the Iroquois Confederacy fought the Wabanaki Confederacy; the Iroquois dominated the economically important Great Lakes fur trade and had been in conflict with New France since 1680. At the urging of New England, the Iroquois interrupted the trade between New France and the western tribes. In retaliation, New France raided Seneca lands of western New York. In turn, New England supported the Iroquois in attacking New France, which they did by raiding Lachine.
There were similar tensions on the border between New England and Acadia, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. English settlers from Massachusetts had expanded their settlements into Acadia. To secure New France's claim to present-day Maine, New France established Catholic missions among the three largest native villages in the region: one on the Kennebec River. For their part, in response to King Philip's War, the five Indian tribes in the region of Acadia created the Wabanaki Confederacy to form a political and military alliance with New France to stop the New England expansion; the New England and Newfoundland Theatre of the war is known as Castin's War and Father Jean Baudoin's War. In April 1688, Governor Andros plundered Castine's village on Penobscot Bay. In August, the English raided the French village of Chedabouctou. In response and the Wabanaki Confederacy engaged in the Northeast Coast Campaign of 1688 along the New England/Acadia border, they began August 1688, at New Dartmouth, killing a few settlers.
A few days they killed two people at Yarmouth in the first battle. At Kennebunk, in the fall of 1688, members of the Confederacy killed two families; the following spring, in June 1689, several hundred Abenaki and Pennacook Indians under the command of Kancamagus and Mesandowit raided Dover, New Hampshire, killing more than 20 and taking 29 captives, who were sold into captivity in New France. In June, they killed four men at Saco. In response to these raids, a company of 24 men was raised to search for the bodies and pursue the natives, they were forced to return. In August 1689, Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin and Father Louis-Pierre Thury led an Abenaki war party that captured and destroyed the fort at Pemaquid; the fall of Pemaquid was a significant setback to the English. It pushed the frontier back to Maine. New England retaliat
Military history of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is a Canadian province located in Canada's Maritimes. The region was occupied by Mi'kmaq. During the first 150 years of European settlement, the colony was made up of Catholic Acadians, Maliseet and Mi'kmaq. During the latter seventy-five years of this time period, there were six colonial wars that took place in Nova Scotia. After agreeing to several peace treaties, this long period of warfare ended with the Burial of the Hatchet Ceremony between the British and the Mi'kmaq and two years when the British defeated the French in North America. During these wars, Acadians, Mi'kmaq and Maliseet from the region fought to protect the border of Acadia from New England, they fought the war on two fronts: the southern border of Acadia, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. The other front was in Nova Scotia and involved preventing New Englanders from taking the capital of Acadia, Port Royal, establishing themselves at Canso. During the French and Indian War, Halifax was established as the British Headquarters of the North American Station.
As a result, Nova Scotia was active throughout the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the Victorian Era, Nova Scotians played prominent roles in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny; the province participated in the Northwest Rebellion and the Second Boer War. During the twentieth century the province produced numerous people who fought in World War I and World War II. There was a small number of Nova Scotians who participated in the Spanish Civil War, the Korean War and the war in Afghanistan; the first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established in 1605. The French, led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal, Nova Scotia. Other than a few trading posts around the province, for the next seventy-five years, Port Royal was the only European settlement in Nova Scotia. Port Royal remained the capital of Acadia and Nova Scotia for 150 years, prior to the founding of Halifax in 1749. Seventy-five years after Port Royal was founded, Acadians migrated from the capital and established what would become the other major Acadian settlements before the Expulsion of the Acadians: Grand Pré, Chignecto and Pisiguit.
The English made six attempts to conquer the capital of Acadia which they did in the Siege of Port Royal in 1710. Over the following fifty years, the French and their allies made six unsuccessful military attempts to regain the capital. From 1629 to 1632, Nova Scotia became a Scottish colony. Sir William Alexander of Menstrie Castle, Scotland claimed mainland Nova Scotia and settled at Port Royal, while Ochiltree claimed Ile Royale and settled at Baleine, Nova Scotia. There were three battles between the Scottish and the French: the Raid on St. John, the Siege of Baleine as well as Siege of Cap de Sable. Nova Scotia was returned to France via the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye; the French defeated the Scottish at Baleine and established settlements on Ile Royale at present day Englishtown and St. Peter's; these two settlements remained the only settlements on the island until they were abandoned by Nicolas Denys in 1659. Ile Royale remained vacant for more than fifty years until the communities were re-established when Louisbourg was established in 1713.
Acadia was plunged into what some historians have described as a civil war between 1640 and 1645. The war was between Port Royal, where Governor of Acadia Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnisay was stationed, present-day Saint John, New Brunswick, where Governor of Acadia. Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour was stationed. In the war, there were four major battles. La Tour attacked d'Aulnay at Port Royal in 1640. In response to the attack, D'Aulnay sailed out of Port Royal to establish a five-month blockade of La Tour's fort at Saint John, which La Tour defeated. La Tour attacked d'Aulnay again at Port Royal in 1643. D'Aulnay and Port Royal won the war against La Tour with the 1645 siege of Saint John. After d'Aulnay died, La Tour re-established himself in Acadia. In 1674, the Dutch conquered Acadia, renaming the colony New Holland. During King Philips War, the governor was absent from Acadia and Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin was established at the capital of Acadia, Pentgouet. From there he worked with the Abenaki of Acadia to raid British settlements migrating over the border of Acadia.
British retaliation included attacking deep into Acadia in the Battle off Port La Tour. In response to King Phillips War in New England, the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet people from this region joined the Wabanaki Confederacy to form a political and military alliance with New France; the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet were significant military allies to New France through six wars. During King William's War, the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet participated in defending Acadia at its border with New England, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. Toward this end, the Maliseet from their headquarters at Meductic on the Saint John River, joined the New France expedition against present-day Bristol, Salmon Falls and present-day Portland, Maine. In response, the New Englanders retaliated by attacki
Canso, Nova Scotia
Canso is a community in Guysborough County, on the north-eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia, next to Chedabucto Bay. In January 2012, it ceased to be a separate town and as of July 2012 was amalgamated into the Municipality of the District of Guysborough; the area was established in 1604, along with Nova Scotia. The British construction of a fort in the village, was instrumental in contributing to Dummer's War; the town is of national historic importance because it was one of only two British settlements in Nova Scotia prior to the establishment of Halifax. Canso played a key role in the defeat of Louisbourg. Today, the town attracts people internationally for the annual Stan Rogers Folk Festival; the community is located on the southern shore of Chedabucto Bay. The southern limit of the bay is at Cape Canso, a headland 3 km southeast of the community. Canso is the southeastern terminus of Trunk 16, an important secondary highway in Antigonish and Guysborough counties; as the community is situated on the end of a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, Canso experiences fog during the warmer summer months when continental air temperatures collide with cooler ocean temperatures offshore.
Canso Harbour is protected by the Canso Islands, a small archipelago lying north and east of the mainland, with Durells Island, Piscataqui Island, George Island, Grassy Island being the largest. The islands were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1925 due to their role as an important fishing base for the French in the 16th century and the British during the 18th century, as the staging point for the 1745 expedition against Louisbourg. "Grassy Island Fort", the remains of early 18th-century British fortifications on Grassy Island, was individually designated as a National Historic Site in 1962. Since the 16th century, Canso has been a strategically important fishery base, it is said that the harbour of Canso was frequented by European fur traders and fishermen within a dozen years of the arrival of Columbus in America, an attempt at settlement was made here as early as 1518. Acadian Governor Razill built a fortified post, Fort Saint-Francois at Canso with Nicholas Le Creux, Sieur du Breuil as lieutenant.
Shortly after Cyprian Southack established himself at Shelburne, Nova Scotia, the Mi'kmaq raided the station and burned it to the ground. In response, on September 17–24, 1718, Southback led a raid on Canso and Chedabucto in what became known as the Squirrel Affair. Southack laid siege for three days to Fort St. Louis at Chedabucto, defended by Acadians. There were 300 Acadians in the area. On board HMS Squirrel, Southack imprisoned others. On September 18, British marines landed on Lasconde's Grave and seized the entrance to Chedabucto Harbour; the following day Squirrel landed troops at Salmon River who proceeded to the rear of the village. Squirrel made he first attempt to enter the harbour but was beaten back by the Acadian cannon fire from the fort. In the day the village was captured by the land troops. On September 20 Squirrel made a second, successful, attempt to enter the harbour. Once in the harbor, the ship fired upon the fort. On September 23, Southack burned the village; the pillaged goods were loaded onto several French ships, captured in the harbor.
The following day, September 24, Southack released the Acadian prisoners onto the Canso Islands without any provisions or clothing. Others fled to Petit-de-Grat, Nova Scotia, he seized two French ships, encouraged Governor of Nova Scotia Richard Philipps to fortify Canso. On August 7, 1720, 60–75 Mi'kmaq joined French fishermen from Petit de Grat, attacked the fortification as it was being built; the Mi ` kmaq wounded four more and caused significant damage. The New Englanders took 21 prisoners; the raid on Canso was significant because of the involvement of the Mi'kmaq and was a chief factor leading up to Father Rale's War. In the Fall of 1720, the New Englanders finished building Fort William Augustus. Construction of such a permanent facility was a violation of long-standing agreements between the Mi'kmaq and the fishermen, helped to precipitate Father Rale's War. In 1721, the Governor of Massachusetts took a proprietary attitude toward the Canso fisheries, sent HMS Seahorse to patrol the waters off Nova Scotia.
With the arrival of British troops, the Mi'kmaq were discouraged from attacking until the following year. HMS Seahorse was replaced in 1721 by the first naval ship of Nova Scotia, William Augustus, under the command of Cyprian Southack. In the lead up to Father Rale's War, in July 1722, the Mi'kmaq and some Abenakis began a major offensive against New England fishermen and traders in an attempt to blockade the Nova Scotia capital of Annapolis Royal. Natives captured eighteen trading vessels in the Bay of Fundy and an additional eighteen New England fishing schooners between Cape Sable and Canso; as a result, the New England Governor declared war on the Mi ` kmaq. The ship William Augustus led ships from Canso to protect the fisheries, which resulted in the battle at Jeddore Harbour, Nova Scotia. Only five native bodies were recovered from the battle and the New Englanders decapitated the corpses and set the severed heads on pikes surrounding Canso's new fort. On July 23, 1723, the village was raided again by the Mi'kmaq and they killed three men, a woman and a child.
In this same year, the New