Port Royal, Nova Scotia

Port Royal, Nova Scotia

Port Royal is a small rural community in the western part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It is located on the north shore of the Annapolis Basin, a sub-basin of the Bay of Fundy, near the town of Annapolis Royal. Port Royal was the first permanent European settlement in North America north of Florida, having been founded in 1605 by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain.

De Monts built the Habitation at Port-Royal in 1605 as a replacement for Champlain's initial attempt at colonising Ile Ste. Croix, located on the border between what is now Maine and New Brunswick. The Ile Ste. Croix settlement had failed due to the lack of food, water, and fuel wood on the island.

The actual buildings of the Habitation were burned to the ground in 1613 by an English invasion force from Virginia led by sea marauder Samuel Argall.

King William's War

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Port Royal (1690)
partof=King William's War
date=May 19 1690
place=Port Royal, Nova Scotia
result=Massachusetts Bay victory
combatant1=Massachusetts Bay Colony
combatant2=French Colony of Acadia
commander1=William Phips
strength1=7 warships with 78 cannon, 736 men (446 of them being militiamen)
strength2=80 soldiers, 2 cannon(none mounted)
casualties2=garrison of 80 surrendered, 58 plus 2 priests taken into captivity
Port Royal was the scene of major fighting during King William's War. Port Royal served as a safe harbor for French cruisers and supply point for Indians hostile to the New England colonies. In 1690 Port Royal was attacked and destroyed by an overwhelming force sent from New England. The force was commanded by William Phips and consisted of "7 ships, armed with 78 cannon and carrying 736 men, 446 of them being militiamen." The French garrison consisted of only 80 soldiers and the fortifications were in a state of disrepair with the cannon that were available not even being mounted.

Realizing the hopelessness of the situation the local French commander negotiated an honorable surrender. Though in spite of the terms under the surrender, the New Englanders soon broke into 12 days of looting and pillaging. The cannon were removed and anything that could be deemed a fortification was levelled. William Phips also ordered the Acadian peasantry to swear an oath of allegiance to William and Mary of England. Phips then determined to install a new government, he organized a provisional government by personally selecting French Acadian leaders to form a council.

In addition to his assault on Port Royal, Phips dispatched additional forces to destroy other French posts at the head of the Bay of Fundy at Castine, La Havre, Chedabucto.

Queen Anne's War

Port Royal was attacked three times by the British and their colonists during Queen Anne's War.

On September 24, 1710, 36 ships and 3,600 men laid siege. The French held out until October 13 when the 150 defenders of the fort surrendered. This ended French rule of Acadia.

Present Day

In the 1930s the site of the Habitation was located and underwent archaeological excavation. The results of the excavation fed public interest in the period of the original French settlement, interest that was already increasing due to the publication of "Quietly My Captain Waits", an historical novel by Evelyn Eaton set in Port Royal in the early 17th century.

The discovery of a duplicate set of plans in France for the original Habitation, together with public and political interest, led to the reconstruction in 1939-1941 of the Habitation on the original site. This reconstruction made the Habitation the very first National Historic Site in Canada to have a replica structure built. Today, the replica of the Habitation is considered a milestone in the Canadian heritage movement. Open to the public and staffed by historical interpreters in period costumes, it is a major tourist attraction.

ee also

* Monarchy in Nova Scotia


*John Mack Faragher, "A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland" (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005).

External links

* [http://ns1763.ca/annapco/portroyal.html Photographs of historic plaques at the Port Royal Habitation National Historic Site, Nova Scotia]
* [http://ns1763.ca/annapco/scotchfort.html Photographs of the Scotch Fort historic monument at Port Royal, Nova Scotia]

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