Fort Beauséjour/Fort Cumberland

Fort Beauséjour/Fort Cumberland
Aulac Ridge, N.B.
Take Exit 513A off TransCanada Highway 2, and follow Parks Canada signs.
Construction of Fort Beauséjour on the strategic Aulac ridge overlooking the Cumberland Basin began in 1750 after the French abandoned the Acadian village of Beaubassin and withdrew west of the Missiguash River.The two sieges of the fort – one in 1755 successful, the other in 1776 unsuccessful – were decisive events in the history of Canada.The successful siege and capture of Fort Beauséjour from the French by British forces in June 1755 helped ensure that henceforth the present-day Maritime Provinces would be British and not French. The Nova Scotia council used the limited Acadian participation in the defence of Fort Beauséjour as a reason to begin the tragic Deportation of Acadians in the Chignecto region.
The British garrison moved here from Fort Lawrence and the site was renamed “Fort Cumberland.”

The unsuccessful siege of Fort Cumberland in November 1776 by rebels led by Jonathan Eddy helped ensure that the Maritime Provinces would henceforth be Canadian and not American.

During the 1776 siege Captain Thomas Dixson with three companions escaped from the fort and made their way to Halifax to warn the authorities and secure the assistance of a force which helped lift the siege and rout the rebels.

Fort Cumberland was reinforced for the War of 1812, but was abandoned in 1835.

In 1926 the fort was declared a national historic site. In 1936 the Fort Beauséjour Museum was officially opened.
A series of excavations were carried out from 1962 onward.

On 18 June 2005 a series of events was held at the fort commemorating the 250th anniversary of the 1755 siege and the beginning of the Acadian Deportation.

Fort Beauséjour Museum


Fort Beauséjour, built by order of Marquis de la Jonquière, Governor of Canada, in 1750-1. Taken by Lt. Col. Robert Monckton with volunteers from New England, known as Shirley’s Regiment, raised by Lt. Col. John Winslow, aided by men of the Royal Artillery, and other British troops, after a siege lasting from 3rd June to 16th June, 1755.

Renamed Fort Cumberland. Besieged by rebels under Jonathan Eddy from 4th Nov. to 24th Nov. 1776. Defended by the Royal American Fencible Regiment under Lt. Col. Joseph Gorham and relieved by Major Thomas Batt with a body of Royal Marines and Royal Highland Emigrants, who routed the besiegers.

English plaque placed by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, in 1923. Located on exterior wall of Fort Beauséjour Museum.

Fort Beauséjour, construit en 1750-51 par ordre du Marquis de la Jonquière, alors Gouverneur du Canada. Capturé en 1755, après un siège qui avait duré du 3 au 16 juin, par le Lieutenant Colonel Robert Monckton à la tête des volontaires de la Nouvelle Angleterre, connu sous le nom de Régiment Shirley, levé par le Lieutenant Colonel John Winslow, aidé par L’Artillerie Royale et autres troupes anglaises.

Il fut renommé Fort Cumberland. Assiégé du 4 au 24 novembre 1776 par les rebelles sous la conduite de Jonathan Eddy, il fut défendu par le Régiment Royal Americain Fencible, commandé par le Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gorham et relevé par le Major Thomas Batt à la tête du détachement des Royal Marines et Royal Highland Emigrants qui mirent les assiégeants en déroute.

French plaque placed by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, in 1923. Located on exterior wall of Fort Beauséjour Museum.

General works on Fort Beauséjour

Fort Beauséjour, National Historic Site which includes a link to the 30-page PDF version of Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland: Une Histoire/A History.

Bird, Will R., A Century at Chignecto: The Key to Old Acadia (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1928), Chapters VI-XVI.

Hamilton, Bill, “Fort Beauséjour in 2001: Significant Historical Landmark On Our Doorstep,”Sackville Tribune-Post, 9 May 2001.

Hamilton, Bill, “Fort Beauséjour Salutes Summer 2004,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 23 June 2004, p.18.

LeBlanc, Joan, “Fort Beauséjour Plays Large Part In History Of Acadia,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 11 August 2004, p.13.

LeBlanc, Chris, “Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland chronicles area’s early settlers,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 6 August 2008.

The 1755 Siege and the Acadian Deportation

Hand, Chris M., The Siege of Fort Beauséjour, 1755 (Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2004).

Johnston, A.J.B., “Fort Beauséjour’s Role In Acadian deportations,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 13 June 2001.

Johnston, A.J.B., “Fort Beauséjour And The Deportation,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 9 February 2005, p.15.

Hamilton, Bill, “Postscript on expulsion of Acadians,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 1 June 2005, p.5.

On Lt. Col. Robert Monckton (1726-1782), see I.K.Steele,”MONCKTON, ROBERT”, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol.IV, pp. 540-542.

The Eddy Rebellion and the 1776 Siege

Clarke, Ernest, The Siege of Fort Cumberland, 1776: An Episode in the American Revolution (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995).

Snowdon, James D., Footprints in the Marsh Mud: Politics and Land Settlement in the Township of Sackville 1760-1800 (M.A. thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1974; reprinted, Tantramar Heritage Trust, 2000), pp. 74-80.

“Eddy Rebellion: New challenges and old obligations,” (Provided by Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site, Parks Canada Agency), Sackville Tribune-Post, 26 July 2000.

Rawlyk, George A. “EDDY, JONATHAN”, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol.V, pp. 295,296.

18 June 2005 250th Anniversary Commemoration

Tower, Katie, “Upcoming events to commemorate siege at Fort Beausejour,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 8 June 2005.

LeBlanc, Joan, “Reenactment at Fort Beauséjour marks 250th anniversary of Acadian deportation,” Sackville Tribune-Post, 22 June 2005, p.10

Tantramar Heritage Trust | Historic Sites