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The 'French Gate' at Fort Niagara.

Type: Image

Construction of the so-called 'French Gate' began at Fort Niagara in 1756. Note the coat of arms - from 1725, the royal coat of arms of France was ordered to be put up over the main gates of towns and forts in New France. The fort itself dates back to the 1720s, and was expanded substantially at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. Several of the original French structures still stand, incorporated within later British and American works. The whole site is now a New York state park.

Site: National Defence

The battle of Long-Sault, in May 1660

Type: Image

This early-20th century engraving shows the climax of the legendary 1660 defence of Long-Sault against the Iroquois by Adam Dollard des Ormeaux and his men. One of the French defenders is shown holding a keg of gunpowder above his head. This makeshift bomb would fall back inside the fort and kill much of the garrison.

Site: National Defence

Fort Montgomery - the American fort built inside Canada

Type: Image

The United States Corps of Engineers began building Fort Montgomery in 1816, after the War of 1812. It was sited near Rouses Point, New York, at the northern end of Lake Champlain at the mouth of the Richelieu River. In the case of another war, it was to guard the northern American border against British and Canadian incursions and provide a base for United States armies invading Canada in that area. However, construction had to be abandoned after two years when the fort was found to be slightly inside Canada’s boundaries. Fort Montgomery got the nickname ‘Fort Blunder’ and was never completed. The site later reverted to the United States in 1842 as a good will gesture between Britain, Canada and the United States, nations that have since been allies in the great struggles of the 20th century.

Site: National Defence

Fort York, Toronto, August 1839

Type: Image

The fort at Toronto, also known as Fort York, was rebuilt after its destruction by the Americans in 1813. As can be seen in this 1839 painting by P.J. Bainbridge, the fort was on the waterfront, at the entrance to Toronto harbour. The figure in the foreground is a soldier of the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot. (Library and Archives Canada, C-002801)

Site: National Defence

Fort Niagara, 1814

Type: Image

Fort Niagara was built by the French in 1726, and fell to the British in 1759. In 1796, it was turned over to the United States following Jay’s Treaty. The fort was captured during a surprise assault by British and Canadian troops on 31 December 1813. It was returned to the United States after the end of the War of 1812. This view appeared in the Philadelphia magazine 'The Port Folio' of April 1814. Note the British civil ensign (red with the Union flag in the canton) flying over the fort.

Site: National Defence

Fort Frontenac, 1758

Type: Image

At the upper left are the British trenches dug during the short 1758 siege of Fort Frontenac. A portion of the foundations of the fort are still to be seen in present-day Kingston, Ontario.

Site: National Defence

Typical town of the north-eastern Amerindians

Type: Image

These towns nearly always featured long bark covered houses encircled by a log stockade wall for protection. Print inspired from John White’s late 16th century renderings.

Site: National Defence

General Montcalm at the battle of Carillon, 8 July 1758

Type: Image

This early-20th century view of the Battle of Carillon is taken from a Quebec primary school text familiar to generations of children. It gives a romantic view of General Montcalm inspiring his men. The clouds of smoke are quite realistic, even if some other details of costume and terrain are not. Smoke filled the air whenever gunpowder was used to fire muskets. There was no cannon firing from the French abbatis lines during the battle, although some were put in during the following days.

Site: National Defence

Fort La Présentation in the 1750s

Type: Image

Established in about 1718, Fort La Présentation was rebuilt from 1748. This was an important base for French allied Indians on the upper St. Lawrence River who were much influenced by Father Piquet, a Sulpician missionary. In 1752, it was described by John Defever as having ‘a town of about forty wigwams, and have a French priest among them’ next to the fort. It was taken by the British in 1760 and is now the town of Ogdensburg, NY.

Site: National Defence

Plan of Fort Erie in September 1814

Type: Image

The British post at Fort Erie was extensively rebuilt by the Americans who captured it during the summer of 1814. The view here shows the rebuilt fort surrounded by the American camp as in September 1814.

Site: National Defence