16 June

Fort Beauséjour, 1775

Governor Vergor Surrenders Fort Beauséjour

Before the Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755, they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. There might be some argument about which side was which! Some of the Acadians lived in Cape Breton and what is now New Brunswick, belonging to France, while the others lived in the remainder of Nova Scotia, which was British.

The French governor at Quebec issued a proclamation commanding all Acadians to take an oath of allegiance to the King, and enrol in the French militia. Britain made similar demands on the 9,000 Acadians in her territory, although not requiring them to join the militia.

There was a French fort at Beauséjour (which had been preserved as a historic site), while the British had Fort Lawrence, not far away. Governor Vaudreuil at Quebec sent instructions to Governor Vergor at Beauséjour to devise a plan of attack against Fort Lawrence.

The British had a spy in Beauséjour, who revealed the plan to Governor Lawrence of Nova Scotia and who also got in touch with Governor Shirley in Massachusetts. Shirley, with his usual enthusiasm, raised a force of 2,000 men. When they embarked to sail to Nova Scotia they were instructed: "The men will behave very orderly on the Sabbath Day, and either stay on board their transports, or else go to church, and not stroll up and down the streets."

The force landed at Fort Lawrence on June 4, 1755. Governor Vergor had his men .set all the houses on fire between Fort Lawrence and Beauséjour, while a famous Roman Catholic priest, Father Le Loutre, had his Acadians working on the fortifications. In the meantime, Vergor had sent an urgent message to Louisburg for help, but learned on June 14 that none would be coming. The British had been firing their guns at Beauséjour for several days when a shell fell through a roof and killed three officers. That was enough for Vergor and he surrendered the fort on June 16.

As the New England troops could only be kept for one year, and the French were expected to try to recapture Nova Scotia, it was decided to expel the Acadians. Their exodus took place later in the year.


16 June

-1659    François-Xavier Laval-Montmorency arrived at Quebec as the Bishop of Petraea in the Holy Land. Canada was not important enough to have a bishop.

-1890    Newfoundland ordered a railway from Placentia to Hall's Bay-262 miles.

-1891    Sir John Abbott succeeded Sir John A. Macdonald as Prime Minister.

-1892    The Edmonton Bulletin reported an indication of oil in Alberta.