Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pratt Stories - The Burr Family V

Here is another story of historical significance in which one of our ancestors was involved. There are others such as the New England Indian wars, the Pequot War and King Phillips War, in which several Pratt and Woodruff ancestors were involved (including two who were killed) that I have skipped over. I will probably cover them at a later time.
The account below is extracted from "The Acadian Exiles. A Chronicle of the Land of Evangeiline"  by Arthur G. Doughty (1916). Acadia was the French name for what is now Canada's Nova Scotia peninsula and that part of New Brunswick adjacent to the Bay of Fundy. French colonists first setteld there in 1604 only to abandon it in 1607 The French were back by 1654. Then the Dutch took control in 1674 but never settled. British colonists captured Acadia during King William's War (1690-97) but it was returned to France in the peace settlement. In 1702 Queen Anne of England declared war on France and Spain. The fortress of Port Royal on the Bay of Fundy side of the peninsula always had been the key to control of Acadia. In 1607 the French beat off two violent attacks on Port Royal by the British. This is from Doughty:
"In the spring of 1710 Queen Anne placed Colonel Francis Nicholson, one of her leading colonial officers, in command of the troops intended for the recovery of Nova Scotia (Acadia). An army of about fifteen hundred soldiers was raised in New England (including our ancestor then Maj. John Burr and 400 Connecticut troops), and a British fleet gathered in Boston Harbour. On October 5 this expedition arrived before Port Royal. The troops landed and laid siege once more to the much-harassed capital of Acadia. The result was a foregone conclusion. Five days later preliminary proposals were exchanged between Nicholson and Subercase (the French commander). The starving inhabitants petitioned Subercase to give up. He held out, however, till a cannonade of the enemy told him that he must soon yield to force. He then sent an officer to Nicholson to propose the terms of capitulation. It was ageed that the garrison should march out with the honours of war and be transported to France in English ships...Then to the roll of the drum...the French troops marched out and the New Englanders (including Maj. Burr) marched in. The British flag was raised, and in honor of the Queen of England, Port Royal was renamed Annapolis Royal" (the name that it retains to this day).
My note: In 1755, during the French and Indian War, the British accused the Acadians of disloyalty for never having taken an oath of loyalty to the British crown and for guerrilla action. Those who still refused to swear loyalty then suffered what is referred to as the Great Upheaval, when over the next three years some 6,000-7,000 Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia. Some went as far as Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem "Evangiline" chronicals that sad affair. 
Next: Capt. John Burr                                             

Emailed Sept. 20

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