A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  Recent ActivityRecent Activity  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  SearchSearch  

Share | 
 

 Fort William Henry

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Fort William Henry   Tue 01 May 2018, 13:04

With Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans appearing elsewhere, I thought it might be worth taking a look at the events of August 1757, which inspired James Fenimore Cooper to write his stories.

Fort William Henry sits at the southern end of Lake George. It was built in 1755 to block any French advance down the Hudson Valley towards the New York State Capital at Albany:


modern day map



Movement in the 18th century was mush easier by water and the route Richelieu River-Lake Champlain-Lake George-Hudson River provides a ready made highway running North and South through what was then largely wilderness.

For their part, the French had built a fort of their own, Fort Carillon, now Ticonderoga.

In August 1757, the French commanded by the Marquis de Montcalm, shipped heavy artillery down Lake George and laid siege to the garrison there.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Tue 01 May 2018, 13:07

Fort William Henry as it would have looked in 1757:



The fort was designed to withstand Indian attack but would be severely tested by heavy artillery.

In the event, the siege lasted for 5 days, from the 3rd to the 8th of August, at which point, with no relief expected from British Forces at Fort Edward, the garrison of around 2,300 men under Colonel Munro surrendered on terms.

What happened next entered into American folklore as Montcalm's Indian Allies began firstly harassing the prisoners then robbing them then killing them. Certainly the wounded in the Fort hospital were killed and scalped, as were a number of soldiers at the rear of the column. Several women and children were carried off in addition to those killed, however modern research estimates the actual number killed or missing at around 200, not the wholesale massacre that was portrayed. Colonel Munro reached Fort Edward and did not have his heart eaten.

The Fort William Henry Massacre


Last edited by Triceratops on Tue 01 May 2018, 13:24; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Tue 01 May 2018, 13:22

Having captured the Fort, the French proceeded to demolish it.

In the 20th Century a reconstruction of the Fort was built.

Fort William Henry Museum



The reconstructed Fort William Henry with Lake George in the background.

Back to top Go down
PaulRyckier
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2729
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Tue 01 May 2018, 21:58

Very interesting Triceratops, and I wanted to comment but the whole evening with the Islam religion and the separation of religious institutions and the secular state.

Kind regards from Paul.
Back to top Go down
Nielsen
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 404
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Denmark

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 05:35

Very interesting, Trike, nice to be reminded that in those days ths was a part of the wild west frontier.

As a slight tangent, the name "Wall Street" in New York reportedly was the street running along inside as part of the town's fortified wall against the wilderness.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 6139
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 05:51

And still is, Nielsen. Nowadays though it separates ordinary citizens on one side from a large contingent of wild stags, bears, pigs, vultures, swines, rats, sharks, snakes, leeches, jackasses, sheep, wolves and - every now and again - lemmings on the other side.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com
Nielsen
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
avatar

Posts : 404
Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Denmark

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 06:00

Somehow this gives a new meaning - or just another one - to the word "wildebeest".

Btw., Nordmann, do you care to say on which side of the wall the baddies are?
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 6139
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 07:26

Baddies are found on both sides of the divide, Nielsen. On one side is found the feral rapacious kind, on the other the (more dangerous) civilised kind.
Back to top Go down
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 10:16

This is based on a real story:



This is just a song;

Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 10:21

Map of 1660 showing the Wall on the right hand side, running across Manhattan;


Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Wed 02 May 2018, 10:24

Wiki:

There are varying accounts about how the Dutch-named "de Waalstraat"] got its name. A generally accepted version is that the name of the street was derived from a wall (actually a wooden palisade) on the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement, built to protect against Native Americans, pirates, and the British. A conflicting explanation is that Wall Street was named after Walloons— the Dutch name for a Walloon is Waal. Among the first settlers that embarked on the ship "Nieu Nederlandt" in 1624 were 30 Walloon families. While the Dutch word "wal" can be translated as "rampart", it only appeared as "de Walstraat" on English maps of New Amsterdam. However, even some English maps show the name as Waal Straat, and not as Wal Straat.
According to one version of the story:
Quote :
The red people from Manhattan Island crossed to the mainland, where a treaty was made with the Dutch, and the place was therefore called the Pipe of Peace, in their language, Hoboken. But soon after that, the Dutch governor, Kieft, sent his men out there one night and massacred the entire population. Few of them escaped, but they spread the story of what had been done, and this did much to antagonize all the remaining tribes against all the white settlers. Shortly after, Nieuw Amsterdam erected a double palisade for defense against its now enraged red neighbors, and this remained for some time the northern limit of the Dutch city. The space between the former walls is now called Wall Street, and its spirit is still that of a bulwark against the people.
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Fri 04 May 2018, 13:34

I took a look at the only book I have on the subject last night:



and was reading about an ambush that occurred on the Lake on the 23rd July.

Colonel Munro dispatched a reconnaissance in force to investigate the Lake. The force comprised the provincial regiment of New Jersey with some men from the New York regiment, totalling about 350 men commanded by Colonel John Parker.

Parker's troops moved up the lake in whaleboats, with an advance detail of 3 boats well ahead. On the 23rd of July, Parker's men saw the advance guard boats on the beach at Sabbath Day Point, and rowed in to meet them.
Unknown to the British, these 3 boats had been captured and were now the bait in a trap.
Approaching the shore, the British force came under heavy musket fire and also found Indian canoes bearing down on them from behind.
Totally surprised, resistance was limited, no French or Indians were killed and only a handful wounded. About 100 men including Parker escaped into the brush and made it back to the Fort while 150 were killed or drowned and the remainder taken prisoner.( at least one of these unfortunates was killed, cooked and eaten)

The French victory effectively pinned the British inside their walls & entrenchments at Fort William Henry, unable to contest the French advance Lake George.

The Battle of Sabbath Day Point
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3451
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Fri 04 May 2018, 13:43

@Triceratops wrote:

... at least one of these unfortunates was killed, cooked and eaten.

Well yes, as long as there's enough butter, cream and garlic, the French will eat anything ... even rosbif. Rolling Eyes
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Fri 04 May 2018, 13:52

It was actually the Indians who ate him, Meles. Don't go giving the French ideas!!!

Seriously though, the Iroquois and the Ottowa did practice ( ritualised ???) cannibalism at this time. Some of the victims of the Fort William Henry massacre ended up the same way.

Not that it was all one-sided. Rogers Rangers on their way back through the wilderness of what was then Massachusetts, now Maine, after a raid on the Abenaki village at St Francis*, killed and ate one of their female captives when supplies ran out.

* the subject of the Spencer Tracy film " Northwest Passage".
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Fri 04 May 2018, 14:01

Situated on the land between Lake Champlain and Lake George, the impressive French Fort Carillon.

Carillon was captured later in the War and renamed Fort Ticonderoga, as which it featured in the War of Independence.


Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3451
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Fri 04 May 2018, 14:06

Roger's Rangers! ... Blimey that brings back memories of a long-running, illustrated cartoon-style, history feature in 'Look & Learn', from about 1970. I know almost nothing about the Anglo-French wars in N. America, but I do remember Roger's Rangers and their all-green uniforms.



I can't believe they actually ate anyone ... they were always the honourable victorious (and British) heroes!


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 04 May 2018, 15:36; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : found a bigger/clearer image)
Back to top Go down
Triceratops
Censura
avatar

Posts : 3371
Join date : 2012-01-05

PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   Fri 04 May 2018, 14:18

Yes, the Rangers were at Fort William Henry earlier in the year and were involved in ambush and counter-ambush which became known as the Battle on Snowshoes.

Battle on Snowshoes

EDIT:

the ambush/ counterambush occurred the following year at a Second Battle on Snowshoes.

Battle on Snowshoes 1758






The Spencer Tracy filmed did have one of the Rangers indulge in cannibalism, but this individual was portrayed as lunatic.

from the wiki entry on the St Francis Raid;

One widely reported account of cannibalism was recounted to historian Thomas Mante by Lieutenant George Campbell, in which his party of men came upon scalped remains trapped in logs on a small river, "devouring part of them raw" because they were too impatient to wait for a fire. Robert Kirkwood, in a relatively unadorned account, tells how Rogers killed one of their prisoners, an Indian woman, butchered the remains, and divided them among his men.

On November 2, French scouts on the shores of Missisquoi Bay heard English voices. Investigating in force, they discovered five English survivors of the St. Francis raid, whom they took prisoner. These men reported that at least one more small company was in the area; three more men were found, whose throats were slit when they were found to be carrying human flesh.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Fort William Henry   

Back to top Go down
 

Fort William Henry

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of people ... :: War and Conflict-