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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1700

Natives going to meet the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana in 1792

Type: Image

This painting shows an encounter on 11 June 1792 between native canoes and the Spanish navy schooners Sutil and Mexicana. Mount Baker can be seen in the background. On this date in Guemes Channel (near present day Anacortes, Washington), a Spanish expedition paused to make astronomical observations that would correctly fix their longitude. Their mission was to chart the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and search for the Northwest Passage. The painting is the work of José Cardero, the expedition's official artist. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence

British Fleet Lifts the Siege

Type: Document

Despite having won a battle outside the city in April 1760, the French army was unable to retake Quebec. General Murray, commanding the British defenders, refused to give up. A siege began for control of the city, but a British fleet arrived with more men, ending the contest.

Site: National Defence

Compagnies franches de la Marine (Warships)

Type: Document

The names of troops raised by the French Ministry of Marine often confuse people. There were separate units of Compagnies franches de la Marine to serve aboard warships. These troops had nothing to do with the Compagnies franches found in Canada.

Site: National Defence

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

The Attack On Acadia

Type: Document

The resumption of hostilities saw French privateers from Port-Royal attacking ships from New England. The British colonies made two unsuccessful attempts to take the French port before a final expedition supported by British troops and the Royal Navy succeeded in 1710.

Site: National Defence

War and the Foundation of Canada - The Seven Years’ War

Type: Document

During the 1750s, British North American colonies grew to the point that they began to spread into territory already occupied by the French colonies and First Peoples. After the expulsion of British settlers in 1754, an undeclared war broke out between French and British colonies.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Fears of French Fleets

Type: Document

France's 1778 entry into the American Revolutionary War spread fear in several places. The Maritimes worried about a French fleet disrupting shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or attacking Newfoundland. In Quebec, officials worried about Canadian reaction to a French landing.

Site: National Defence

Fort Prince of Wales Captured

Type: Document

Fort Prince of Wales quickly fell to the French in 1782. Built there by the British Hudson's Bay Company after French general d'Iberville's raids in the late seventeenth century, the fort was a very strong stone structure, built in the European fashion. It was, however, very lightly garrisoned.

Site: National Defence

The French And British Navies

Type: Document

Both Britain and France needed strong navies to protect their coasts, fishing fleets and colonies. The peak of French naval power was during the 1690s, when it dominated the coasts of England. Defeated in 1692, the French navy declined in quality and strength from that point on.

Site: National Defence

Frigate under construction, around the mid-eighteenth century

Type: Image

This contemporary print show the hull of a frigate being covered with planks. To form the skin of the hull, shaped planks are being made and then attached to the ship's ribs. Note the finished plank being hoisted into place by a derrick at centre. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

Site: National Defence