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.
The siege of Boston was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War. New England militiamen prevented the movement by land of the British Army, which was garrisoned in what was then the peninsular town of Boston, Massachusetts Bay. Both sides had to deal with resource, supply, and personnel issues over the course of the siege. British resupply and reinforcement was limited to sea access, which was impeded by American vessels. The British abandoned Boston after eleven months and transferred their troops and equipment to Nova Scotia.
The Penobscot Expedition was a 44-ship American naval armada during the Revolutionary War assembled by the Provincial Congress of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The flotilla of 19 warships and 25 support vessels sailed from Boston on July 19, 1779 for the upper Penobscot Bay in the District of Maine carrying an expeditionary force of more than 1,000 American colonial marines and militiamen. Also included was a 100-man artillery detachment under the command of Lt. Colonel Paul Revere.
Peleg Wadsworth was an American Patriot officer during the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from Massachusetts representing the District of Maine. He was also grandfather of noted American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Captain Jeremiah O'Brien (1744–1818) was an Irish-American captain in the Massachusetts State Navy. Prior to its existence, he commanded the sloop Unity when he captured the British armed schooner HMS Margaretta in the Battle of Machias, the first naval battle of the American Revolutionary War. He also led the first American attack on Nova Scotia in the Raid on St. John (1775). Six United States ships were named in his honor.
The Boston campaign was the opening campaign of the American Revolutionary War, taking place primarily in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The campaign began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, in which the local colonial militias interdicted a British government attempt to seize military stores and leaders in Concord, Massachusetts. The entire British expedition suffered significant casualties during a running battle back to Charlestown against an ever-growing number of militia.
The Battle of Fort Cumberland was an attempt by a small number of militia commanded by Jonathan Eddy to bring the American Revolutionary War to Nova Scotia in late 1776. With minimal logistical support from Massachusetts and four to five hundred volunteer militia and Natives, Eddy attempted to besiege and storm Fort Cumberland in central Nova Scotia in November 1776.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. The battles were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy, and Cambridge. They marked the outbreak of armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in America.
Jonathan Eddy was a British-American soldier, who fought for the British in the French and Indian War and for the Americans in the American Revolution. After the French and Indian War, he settled in Nova Scotia as a New England Planter, becoming a member of the General Assembly of Nova Scotia. During the American Revolutionary War, he was strongly supportive of the rebellion against the Crown. He encouraged the residents of Nova Scotia to join in open revolt against King George III and England. He led a failed attempt to capture Fort Cumberland in 1776 and was forced to retreat to Massachusetts, the place of his birth. The following year, he led the defense of Machias, Maine during the Battle of Machias (1777). After the war, he established the community now known as Eddington, Maine in 1784, where he died.
The Burning of Falmouth was an attack by a fleet of Royal Navy vessels on the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts. The fleet was commanded by Captain Henry Mowat. The attack began with a naval bombardment which included incendiary shot, followed by a landing party meant to complete the town's destruction. The attack was the only major event in what was supposed to be a campaign of retaliation against ports that supported Patriot activities in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War.
The Battle of Gloucester was a skirmish fought early in the American Revolutionary War at Gloucester, Massachusetts on August 8 or 9, 1775. Royal Navy Captain John Linzee, commanding the sloop-of-war HMS Falcon, spotted two schooners that were returning from the West Indies. After capturing one schooner, Linzee chased the second one into Gloucester Harbor, where it was grounded. The townspeople called out their militia, captured British seamen sent to seize the grounded schooner, and recovered the captured ship as well.
The Battle of Machias was an early naval engagement of the American Revolutionary War, also known as the Battle of the Margaretta, fought around the port of Machias, Maine.
Battle Road, formerly known as the Old Concord Road and the Bay Road, is a historic road in Massachusetts, United States. It was formerly part of the main road connecting Lexington, Lincoln and Concord, three of the main towns involved in the American Revolutionary War. It was on Battle Road that thousands of colonial militia and British regulars fought during the redcoats' retreat from Concord to Boston on the morning and afternoon of April 19, 1775.
Minutemen were members of the organized New England colonial militia companies trained in weaponry, tactics, and military strategies, comprising the American colonial partisan militia 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 war 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.
Machias is a town in and the county seat of Washington County in Down East Maine, United States. As of the 2020 census, the town population was 2,060. It is home to the University of Maine at Machias and Machias Valley Airport, a small public airport owned by the town. The word Machias roughly translates in Passamaquoddy as "bad little falls", a reference to the Machias River. Machias is best known as the site of the first naval battle of the American Revolution.
The Raid on St. John took place on 27 August 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. The raid involved American privateers from Machias, Maine attacking St. 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.