The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion
Conflict in the Far North and South
Laperouse at Hudson Bay
Caption: Officer of the régiment Armagnac at Hudson Bay in 1782
On the other hand, French raids on distant territories were still possible. On August 8, 1782, the employees of the Hudson's Bay Company occupying Fort Prince of Wales saw three sails on the horizon. As the ships approached, the employees realized, to their great surprise and distress, that they were not the usual merchant ships arriving from England to collect furs, but a 74-gun warship, the Sceptre, accompanied by two 36-gun frigates. And they were flying the French flag! Not only were there several hundred seamen on board, but 250 soldiers of the Armagnac and Auxerrois regiments, a colonial artillery detachment with field guns as well as marines and naval artillery. All were under the command of Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de Lapérouse, a daring navigator who was to become one of the great explorers of the Pacific. His expedition had left from Cap Haïtien with the intent of pillaging the lucrative English Hudson's Bay establishments.
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