1760-louisbourg-demolition

THE DEMOLITION OF THE FORTRESS OF LOUISBOURG

FOREVER SEALED THE FATE OF THE FRENCH IN AMERICA

A Journal Containing the Manner, Method, and Execution of the Demolition of the Fortifications  of Louisbourg from June 1; to November 10, A.D. 1760, by the direction of D. Muckell, Commandant of the Company of Royal Miners, and carried on by John Gowan, Lieut. of Miners.

Original manuscript journal with the above title and 130 numbered pages, folio, neatly written in a copperplate hand to rectos only, giving diary details of the progress of the work made, “numbers of miners and attendants employed, Serjeants 13, Corporals 13, Miners 50, Additional Miners 7, Smiths 5, Carpenters 42, etc., carpenters’ work done,” “durns 20, oak wedges 200, sausage boxes 8, wheel barrows 21”, measurements and figures including some in table form (ramming bars, priming needles, etc.). Some worm damage to gutter margins of approx. first thirty leaves but only badly affecting first few leaves and legibility of a few words. The journal ends September 6th with maybe some 30/50 leaves missing from rear. Paper watermarked with a crown over a shield with a hunting horn in the middle and the letters L V G[errevinck] and a bell, alternate folios with the watermark AVI, contemp. plain wrappers, covers and title detached, spine deficient, soiled and worn, preserved in a modern morocco protection box with binder’s title “Journal of the demolition of Louisbourg” in label on front, and separate label at front bottom with binder’s date “1760”.

After the British regained control of the Fortress under Major-General James Wolfe in September 1759, William Pitt and King George II ordered the Fortress’s destruction in order to prevent the French from ever gaining such a strategic hold again. For archival purposes, more than one copy of the journal was prepared, and the location of another copy is identified at the Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich, England (MS6, 193 p.).

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