The Gate to Quebec is Wide Open

Colonel John Bradstreet left New York with 3,000 troops, only to discover that because of desertion he had only 600 troops left. On reaching Fort Frontenac (Kingston Ont.), he found it almost deserted. Against 600 Americans the 80 French did not have a chance and they surrendered causing only the twin forts of Fort Lévis and La Galette to block the march to Montreal.

In the west, John Forbes with 7,000 men (all of New France would have trouble resisting him) marched to Fort Duquesne. A Braddock like mistake almost happened, and did to his advance guard, but outnumbered 70 - 1, the French burnt Duquesne. On the still smoking ruins, Forbes built Fort Pittsburgh, named after William Pitt who was the true drive behind the war effort.

1759 opened with rumours that France was preparing to invade England, but Pitt sent reinforcements to America. Pierre Paced newly commanding at Fort Niagara, woke up one morning to find there were 5,900 men besieging his 640. Fort Niagara was now British and one American commented that "One would not say that those people had lived on horse."

Actually since 1757, the people of New France had no choice but to eat horse with widespread famine. Intendant Bigot milked the situation for all it was worth: filling his pockets with cash taken from the government, with holding the supply of food for himself and the merchants and organizing gambling - which was illegal.

Fort Presqu' Isle, Fort Le Boeuf and Fort Venango were abandoned. Also Montcalm had to abandon Fort Carillon and Fort St. Frédéric. Admiral Saunders' fleet with Wolfe leading the army camped on Point Lévis, the Island of Orleans and on the Montmorcy heights.

Burning every farm that he came across, Wolfe considered the Canadians worth less than dirt. He considered the Americans little better. Wolfe succeeded in burning over 1,400 farms to ensure the famine of New France for years. It would take fifty years to recover from this loss.

Wolfe decided to attack the Beauport shore on July 31, but was repulsed with heavy losses. In desperation, he decided to cut off the food supply to Quebec in a desperate gamble. On September 13, 1759, Wolfe sailed down the Saint Lawrence between markers placed by James Cook and landed at Anse au Foulon (Wolfe's cove).

In fact, the French thought it was impossible for the 74 gun ships of the Royal Navy to sail past the shoals so they stationed only a few sentries who were deceived by French speaking British officers.

Montcalm without the troops on the Beauport shore, knew that he had to attack and soon, or lose Quebec. With Canadians, natives and regulars, he attacked across an open plain. But the Canadians and natives had got into a habit of reloading on the ground or under cover, where the regular marched straight.

Waiting till the they would see the whites of the French eyes, Wolfe waited and fired volleys into the regulars. They fell and Montcalm and Wolfe were both fatally wounded. Quebec fell six days later with reinforcements just a day away.

But New France was not dead yet.

At Ste. Foy, the Chevalier de Lévis noticed Murray on the heights. He ordered a feigned retreat and the British followed. Turning on his pursuers, de Lévis smashed the British lines and the British were now besieged in Quebec.

As spring appeared, both sides knew that whatever ship appeared off Quebec, would decide the fate of New France. Both sides waited and it was the British frigate Lowestoffe. De Lévis lifted the siege and the Royal Navy sealed the fate of New France. Montreal with 18,000 British troops converging on its 3,000 against the wishes of its officers, and in a Louisbourg like situation surrendered. De Lévis moved to Ile Ste. Helene and his men burnt their colours and cut them up so that they would not be taken by the British.

New France had ceased to exist.

France, by the Treaty of Paris, ceded Canada to Great Britain and Louisiana to Spain (Spain returned it to France) and Florida went to Britain with Guadeloupe returned to France. Now Britain doubled the size of its North American empire and was faced with heavy taxation.

Since Britain had defended the 13 colonies, they knew that the 13 colonies should pay for the troops that protected them by various taxes. This was bitterly resented and because of it, Britain would soon face a new powerful French fleet to replace the one destroyed, war in the colonies (the Revolutionary War) and the biggest threat to its seapower since the Dutch sailed up the Thames.