Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia




Louisbourg, a fortress erected by the French government on what was origin-ally known as English harbour (now Louisburg harbour), on the west side of Ile Royale (Cape Breton island), between the years 1720 and 1734. It was intended to guard the entrance to the St. Lawrence, and was planned on a most extensive scale. It was the strongest fortress in North America ; and the sums expended on its construction were so great that the French king inquired "if its streets were paved with gold." It was captured in 1745 by a New England force under William Pepperell, acting in conjunction with the British navy; but was handed back to France by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. It was a second time captured by a British force under General Amherst in 1758, again in conjunction with the British fleet. It was occupied by the British for a few months after its capture; but its demolition was then ordered. Only a few vestiges of the fortress now remain [A significant portion of the fortress has been reconstructed and is operated by the National Historic Parks of Canada]; but these have been preserved and marked by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. See J. S. McLennan, Louisb ourg from its foundation to its fall (London, 1918), William Wood, The great fortress (Toronto, 1915), and J. P. Edwards, Louisbourg (Coll. Nova Scotia Hist. Soc., 1895).

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Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 400p., p. 139.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College