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1755 Soldiers Payment Enlisted “...for the Expedn to Nova Scotia” the First French & Indian War British Offensive

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April 18, 1755-Dated French and Indian War Period, Payment for Soldiers Enlisted, “...for the Expedn to Nova Scotia” Manuscript Document Signed, “Nathaniel Perry”, Fine.

This French and Indian War Payment Document records 203.8.0 (Pounds) paid by “His Excellency William Shirley Esqr.” (Royal Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay), “To the Bounty money paid 113 Men Enlisted into His Majesties Service for the Expedn. to Nova Scotia at 36/”. This rare payment is 1 page, measuring 11.75” x 4”, on fine laid period paper with a British Crown watermark, Signed“Nathaniel Perry” at Boston in his small, tight signature at lower right. Some short edge separation splits at folds, minor scattered age and minor paper loss at fold intersections, clearly written in brown ink on watermarked period laid paper.

The successful British military expedition to Nova Scotia was the first British offensive in the French and Indian Wars which eventually led to the end of the French Empire in North America. Nathaniel Perry, who signs this form, took part in the successful Capture of Fort Beausejour from the French. On June 4, 1755 the British conquest of all of France’s North American territory began when a force of British regulars and New England Militia attacked Fort Beausejour. The British-led force took control of the French fort by June 16, 1755, after which they named in Fort Cumberland. Capt. Perry died of illness at Fort Cumberland in 1756.
Fort Beausjour is a large, five-bastioned fort on the Isthmus of Chignecto in eastern Canada, a neck of land connecting the present-day province of New Brunswick with that of Nova Scotia.

The site was strategically important in Acadia, a French colony that included primarily the Maritimes, the eastern part of Quebec, and northern Maine of the later United States. The fort was built by the French from 1751 to 1752. They surrendered it to the British in 1755 after their defeat in the Battle of Fort Beausjour, during the Seven Years' War. The British renamed the structure as Fort Cumberland.

The French position may have been undermined by Thomas Pichon, a clerk at the fort. The British commandant at Fort Lawrence paid Pichon for information about French activities. Pichon provided accounts of French activities, plans of forts and an outline of the steps necessary for capture, which Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton later used in the attacks. Pichon delayed the strengthening of Beausjour by advising that the British would not attack that year.

Fort Beausjour and cathedral by John Hamilton (1755): A convoy of 31 transports and three warships left Boston on 19 May 1755, carrying nearly 2,000 New England provincial troops and 270 British regulars, and dropped anchor near the mouth of the Missaguash River on 2 June.

The next day the troops, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton of the regular army, disembarked a few kilometres from Fort Beausjour. To defend the fort, Commander Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor had only 150 soldiers from the Compagnies franches de la Marine and a dozen canonniers-bombardiers.

On June 16, a large English bomb went through the roof of a casemate and killed many of its occupants. Vergor laid down his weapons. The fort was surrendered, and renamed Fort Cumberland. The next day Fort Gaspereau was surrendered without being attacked. The fall of these forts settled the boundary dispute in favour of the British and marked the beginning of the Expulsion of the Acadians.

The minister of Marine, Machault, had good reason to believe the forts had been "very ill defended" and Vergor was summoned before a court martial at Quebec in September 1757 but was acquitted.

The fort was strategically important throughout the Anglo-French rivalry of 1749-63, known as the French and Indian Wars by British colonists. Less than a generation later, it was the site of the 1776 Battle of Fort Cumberland, when the British forces repulsed sympathisers of the American Revolution.

Since 1920 the site has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada, named the Fort Beausjour - Fort Cumberland National Historic Site. Portions of the fort have been restored, and a museum and visitor facilities were added to the site. It attracts about 6000 visitors annually.
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