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Crown Point,

A town in Essex county, N. Y., 90 miles north of Albany, which was quite an important tradingstation between the English and the Indians until 1731, when the French took possession of the cape projecting into Lake Champlain on its western side, and built a military work there, which they called Fort Frederick. The plan of the campaign for 1755 in the French and Indian War contemplated an expedition against the French at Crown Point, to be commanded by William Johnson. He accomplished more than Braddock or Shirley, yet failed to achieve the main object of the expedition. The Assembly of New York had voted £8,000 towards the enlistment in Connecticut of 2,000 men for the Niagara and Crown Point expedition; and after hearing of Braddock's defeat, they raised 400 men of their own, in addition to 800 which they had already in the field. The troops destined for the northern expedition, about 6,000 in number, were drawn from New England, New Jersey, and New York. They were led by Gen. Phineas Lyman, of Connecticut, to the head of boat navigation on the Hudson, where they built Fort Lyman, afterwards called Fort Edward. There Johnson joined them (August) with stores, took the chief command, and advanced to Lake George. The Baron Dieskau had, [436] meanwhile, ascended Lake Champlain with 2,000 men, whom he brought from Montreal. Landing at South Bay, at the southern extremity of Lake Champlain, Dieskau marched against Fort Lyman, but suddenly changed his route, and led his troops against Johnson, at the head of Lake George, where his camp was protected on two sides by an impassable swamp. Informed of this movement of the French and Indian allies (Sept. 7), Johnson sent forward (Sept. 8) 1,000 Massachusetts troops, under the command of Col. Ephraim Williams, and 200 Mohawk Indians, under King Hendrick, to intercept the enemy.

The English fell into an ambuscade. Williams and Hendrick were both killed, and their followers fell back in

Crown Point.

great confusion to Johnson's camp, hotly pursued. The latter had heard of the disaster before the fugitives appeared, cast up breastworks of logs and limbs, and placed two cannon upon them, and was prepared to receive the pursuers of the English. Dieskau and his victorious troops came rushing on, without suspicion of being confronted with artillery. They came, a motley host, with swords, pikes, muskets, and tomahawks, and made a spirited attack, but at the discharge of cannon the Indians fled in terror to the forests. So, also, did the Canadian militia. Johnson had been wounded early in the fight, and it was carried through victoriously by General Lyman, who, hearing the din of battie, had come from Fort Lyman with troops. The battle continued several hours. when, Dieskau being severely wounded and made a prisoner, the French withdrew, and hastened to Crown Point. Their baggage was captured by some New Hampshire troops. The French loss was estimated at 1,000 men; that of the English at 300. Johnson did not follow the discomfited enemy, but built a strong military work on the site of his camp, which he called Fort William Henry. He also changed the name of Fort Lyman to Fort Edward, in compliment to the royal family; and he was rewarded for the success achieved by Lyman with a baronetcy and $20,000 to support the new title. The French strengthened their works at Crown Point, and fortified Ticonderoga.

The conduct of the second campaign against Crown Point was intrusted to Gen. John Winslow (a great-grandson of Edward Winslow, governor of Plymouth), who led the expedition against the Acadians in 1755. The Earl of Loudoun was commander-in-chief of the British forces in America, and Gen. James Abercrombie (q. v.) was his lieutenant. General Winslow had collected 7,000 men at Albany before Abercrombie's arrival, with several British regiments, in June. Difficulties immediately occurred respecting military rank. These, unadjusted when Loudoun arrived, were made worse by his arrogant assumption of supreme rank for the royal officers, and the troops were not ready to move until August. Vigorous measures were meanwhile taken to supply and reinforce the forts at Oswego. John Bradstreet, appointed commissary-general, employed for this purpose forty companies of boatmen, of fifty men each. Before this could be accomplished, the French, under Montcalm, captured the post at Oswego, which event so alarmed the inefficient Loudoun that he abandoned all other plans of the campaign for the year. A regiment of British regulars, under Colonel Webb, on their march to reinforce Oswego, on hearing of the disaster, fell back to Albany with terror and precipitation; and other troops, moving [437] towards Ticonderoga, were ordered to halt, and devote their efforts towards strengthening Forts Edward and William Henry.

The post remained in possession of the French until 1759, when the approach of a large English force, under General Amherst, caused the garrison there to join that at Ticonderoga, in their flight down the lake to its outlet. Amherst remained at Crown Point long enough to construct a sufficient number of rude boats to convey his troops, artillery, and baggage, and then started to drive the enemy before him across the St. Lawrence. The delay prevented his joining Wolfe at Quebec. When ready to move, it was mid-autumn (Oct. 11), and heavy storms compelled him to return to Crown Point, after going a short distance down the lake. There he placed his troops in winter quarters, where they constructed a fortress, whose picturesque ruins, after the lapse of more than a century, attested its original strength. The whole circuit, measuring along the ramparts, was a trifle less than half a mile; and it was surrounded by a broad ditch, cut out of the solid limestone, with the fragments taken out of which massive stone barracks were constructed. In it was a well 8 feet in diameter and 90 feet deep, also cut out of the limestone. The fortress was never entirely finished, although the British government spent nearly $10,000,000 upon it and its outworks. Crown Point was an important place during the Revolutionary War.

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