|Part of Boston Campaign
|Commanders and leaders
Thompson's War was an early American Revolutionary War confrontation between Samuel Thompson's patriot militia and loyalists supported by HMS Canceaux. The confrontation ended without fatalities, but provoked the retaliatory Burning of Falmouth five months later. Falmouth is now known as Portland, Maine, but Maine was part of Massachusetts at the time.
Brunswick, Maine tavern owner Samuel Thompson had been elected to the Brunswick Board of selectmen in 1768, 1770, and 1771. He was elected commander of the Brunswick militia in 1774 and headed the local enforcement committee for the Continental Association created by the First Continental Congress to boycott all goods from Great Britain. The Continental Association attempted to enforce the boycott on 2 March 1775 against a shipload of sail, rope, and rigging for loyalist shipbuilder Captain Samuel Coulson of Portland by demanding the delivery ship leave port. Coulson requested delay while the English sloop completed needed repairs after its trans-Atlantic voyage. HMS Canceaux was dispatched from Boston while the repairs were in progress; and, following its arrival on March 29, Coulson proceeded to offload his British goods under the protection of the British warship. km) to the south while Canceaux lay at anchor in Casco Bay. When news of the battle reached Brunswick on April 21, the Brunswick militia laid plans to capture Canceaux.The battles of Lexington and Concord took place 90 miles (150
Fifty Brunswick militiamen wearing a sprig of spruce in their hats as a uniform arrived in Portland secretly aboard small boats carrying a spruce tree with the lower branches cleared away as a battle ensign.Canceaux was prepared to prevent the small boats from boarding; but Thompson's militia captured the warship's captain, Lieutenant Henry Mowat, on 9 May 1775 while he was ashore arranging church services for his crew. The first lieutenant aboard Canceaux discharged two cannon salutes (gunpowder charges without shot) toward Portland and threatened to shell Portland unless the captain was released. Six hundred militiamen from surrounding communities gathered as Portland residents negotiated to prevent their community from becoming a battleground. Mowat was allowed to return to his ship, but his demand to arrest Thompson was refused, and the assembled militia forced Canceaux to leave port on May 15.
Disappointed militiamen vented their frustration by looting the homes of Coulson and loyalist Sheriff Tyng before returning to their inland communities. News of Thompson's attempt encouraged Machias, Maine militiamen to capture the British armed schooner Margaretta a month later in the Battle of Machias. Mowat brought Canceaux back to Portland in October to set fires which left Portland's population homeless as winter approached. The Massachusetts House of Representatives promoted Samuel Thompson to Brigadier of the Cumberland County, Maine militia on 8 February 1776 in recognition of his initiative following the battles of Lexington and Concord; and the spruce trees his men carried provided inspiration for adoption of the Pine Tree Flag as the Massachusetts naval ensign in April 1776.
Thompson moved to Topsham, Maine in 1783, and was regularly elected to the Massachusetts General Court until his death in 1798 at the age of 63. Thompson donated part of his significant real estate holdings to Bowdoin College when the school was chartered in 1794.
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James Bowdoin II was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution and the following decade. He initially gained fame and influence as a wealthy merchant. He served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court from the 1750s to the 1770s. Although he was initially supportive of the royal governors, he opposed British colonial policy and eventually became an influential advocate of independence. He authored a highly political report on the 1770 Boston Massacre that has been described by historian Francis Walett as one of the most influential pieces of writing that shaped public opinion in the colonies.
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The Battle of Kemp's Landing, also known as the Skirmish of Kempsville, was a skirmish in the American Revolutionary War that occurred on November 15, 1775. Militia companies from Princess Anne County in the Province of Virginia assembled at Kemp's Landing to counter British troops under the command of Virginia's last colonial governor, John Murray, Lord Dunmore, that had landed at nearby Great Bridge. Dunmore was investigating rumors of Patriot troop arrivals from North Carolina that turned out to be false; he instead moved against the Princess Anne militia, defeating their attempt at an ambush and routing them.
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American colonial marines were various naval infantry units which served during the Revolutionary War on the Patriot side. After the conflict broke out in 1775, nine of the rebelling Thirteen Colonies established state navies to carry out naval operations. Accordingly, several marine units were raised to serve as an infantry component aboard the ships of these navies. The marines, along with the navies they served in, were intended initially as a stopgap measure to provide the Patriots with naval capabilities before the Continental Navy reached a significant level of strength. After its establishment, state navies, and the marines serving in them, participated in several operations alongside the Continental Navy and its marines.
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Minutemen were members of the organized New England colonial militia companies trained in weaponry, tactics, and military strategies during the American Revolutionary War. They were known for being ready at a minute's notice, hence the name. Minutemen provided a highly mobile, rapidly deployed force that enabled the colonies to respond immediately to military threats. They were an evolution from the prior colonial rapid-response units.
The St. John River expedition was an attempt by a small number of militia commanded by John Allan to bring the American Revolutionary War to Nova Scotia in late 1777. With minimal logistical support from Massachusetts and approximately 100 volunteer militia and Natives, Allan's forces occupied the small settlement at the mouth of the Saint John River in June 1777.
HMS Canceaux was a sloop active in both the hydrographic exploration of the Atlantic Canada and New England coastline and in the American Revolutionary War. She played an integral role in the battle for control of Maine, in particular at the Burning of Falmouth. She began her life as a merchant vessel and would eventually be transformed to a military vessel for the Royal Navy, equipped to command the razing of major settlements. After leaving the Saint Lawrence River estuary in 1771, Canceaux actively shaped the maritime history of the American Revolution.
Henry Mowat (1734–1798) was an officer of the Royal Navy commanding ships in northern New England during the American Revolutionary War. He was the son of Captain Patrick Mowat of the post ship HMS Dolphin. He was born in Scotland and went to sea at the age of 18.
New Ireland was a Crown colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain twice established in modern-day Maine after British forces captured the area during the American Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812. The colony lasted four years during the Revolution, and eight months during the War of 1812. At the end of each war the British ceded the land to the United States under the terms of the Treaty of Paris and the Treaty of Ghent, respectively.
The Raid on Saint John took place on 27 August 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. The raid involved American privateers from Machias, Massachusetts Bay attacking Saint John, Nova Scotia. The privateers intended to stop the export of supplies being sent to the loyalists in Boston. This raid was the first hostile act committed against Nova Scotia and it resulted in raising the militia across the colony.
The Province of Nova Scotia was heavily involved in the American Revolutionary War (1776–1783). At that time, Nova Scotia also included present-day New Brunswick until that colony was created in 1784. The Revolution had a significant impact on shaping Nova Scotia, "almost the 14th American Colony". At the beginning, there was ambivalence in Nova Scotia over whether the colony should join the Americans in the war against Britain. Largely as a result of American privateer raids on Nova Scotia villages, as the war continued, the population of Nova Scotia solidified their support for the British. Nova Scotians were also influenced to remain loyal to Britain by the presence of British military units, judicial prosecution by the Nova Scotia Governors and the efforts of Reverend Henry Alline.