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Organization > National Defence

Subject > Strategy and Tactics > Fortifications

Resource Type > Image

Date > 1700

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

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

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

Quebec as seen from the north shortly after the 1759 siege of the city

Type: Image

This engraving, published in 1761, shows the walls of Quebec as seen from the north. The large white building seen at right centre is the Orphan's and Ursulines Nunnery. The convent was home to some 50 nuns who taught (according to a 1753 document) about 60 boarders and 150 day students. (Library and Archives Canada, C-000358)

Site: National Defence

Fort Chambly

Type: Image

The third fort on this site, construction began on Fort Chambly in 1709. It was made of stone and looked rather like a castle. This made it different from the low-lying, bastioned fortresses of Europe. The fort was built to be impressive and all but impregnable to Indian enemies and raiding American colonials. The fort wall facing the Richelieu River was pierced for artillery. During the War of 1812, Fort Chambly was the HQ for British and Canadian troops guarding the area south of Montreal against an advance by American armies. The complex fell into ruins during the 19th century. Its walls were stabilized in 1885 when it was made a Canadian government historic park. Recognized as a unique surviving example of military architecture, Fort Chambly was given a major restoration in the 1980s by Parks Canada. This returned the fort to its appearance of the mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

Fort Frontenac in 1758

Type: Image

Fort Frontenac in 1758, now Kingston, Ontario. Founded in 1673, this fort was also called Cataraqui (several possible spellings) but eventually retained the name of its founder, Governor General Count Louis de Buade de Frontenac et de Palluau. It was the most important French fort on Lake Ontario until Fort Niagara was built in the 1720s. Fort Frontenac was taken by a large force under Lt. Col. Bradstreet in 1758 and thereafter abandoned. The site was later used for military purposes by the British and Canadian armies. This sketch shows at the upper left the Anglo-American batteries put up during the 1758 attack.

Site: National Defence

Trois-Rivières, 1704

Type: Image

Trois-Rivières was founded in 1634. In 1653, a palisade, guardhouse and redoubt were completed to provide a strong defence against the Iroquois. The Iroquois threat became far less acute by the end of the 1660s but the palisade wall was kept up. An order of the Intendant from January 1706 called for cedar logs for use in the palisade and they could be seen still in good repair in 1721. The logs were 10 to 12 inches in diameter and some 12 feet in height. They enclosed the town until 19 to 21 May 1752 when a major fire consumed several buildings and the town’s log palisade. The palisade was not rebuilt. (Library and Archives Canada, C-015784)

Site: National Defence

Fort Chambly as shown in a plan of 1718

Type: Image

This was the third Fort Chambly. It was built of stone in an impressive castle-like design. (Library and Archives Canada, C-015885)

Site: National Defence

Plan of the fortifications at Île-aux-Noix 1759-1760

Type: Image

The fortifications shown on this plan of Île-aux-Noix were not completed, notably to the north. In the south, the bottom half of the fort shown with six bastions was built by the French in 1760 as a large semi-circular artillery battery instead. The British batteries (not shown) were built on the eastern shore (left) of the Richelieu River and bombarded the French works from 16 to 20 August 1760. The French troops then slipped away at night.

Site: National Defence