There would be nothing grander than for the site to have an authentic Iberian connection and dating prior to Columbus! Any type of Iberian connection dating to before 1600 would validate my research. As much as I would like this to be true, the known evidence simply does not point to this possibility.
The attached map is Anonymous 1755 of Halifax County. The red dot is the location of the walls. Notice there are no ?ancient? roads going directly to the site. The trail nearest the site was blazed in 1755. The caption reads the following:
?Capt ??? [Lewis?s?] March with a Party of Rangers to Lunenburg in Feby 1755 and from there to Piziquid.?
The trail they blazed became the road to Lunenburg and lasted until 1834. This road never approached the walls.
Considering this for what it is, why would Capt Lewis blaze a new trail, if a supposed ancient road already existed? After 1834 the current St. Margaret?s Bay road was constructed. This road is now south of the site and the lakes.
Fortunately we have many journals held at PANS which narrates the work of the rangers and others in exploring the vicinity of Halifax, especially due to the fact the population was suffering from raiding natives. Never once is the site mentioned, and never once are any ancient roads ever mentioned.
The iron staining rocks are a natural feature of the geology. Ringing the site of the walls in all directions, but especially to the east and south, the bedrock has been exposed for the construction of modern roads. As everyone knows, the walls are made from this bedrock. I am unaware of how long the chemical process takes for the iron to bleed out, but it is accelerated when consumed by biological organics. Other locations closer to Halifax which have been worked post 1749 have bled out the iron and have taken a dark appearance, thus 250 years seems longs enough for this bleed out to happen.
The below photo is about 200m from the walls for the purpose of showing this naturally occurring colorization.
Sacking of Lunenburg
The Sacking of Lunenburg happened on the 1st of July 1782. It was a precise military operation lead by a Boston privateer named Noah Stoddard and is perhaps the most significant event of local history.
This article is rather long and is arranged in three parts. Part I covers the events of 1 July 1782, part II the events of 30 June 1782, and part III the aftermath and conclusions. In both parts I and II, I have listed a summary of observations which identify the inconsistencies of the story told by Chester's Justice of the Peace.
I have studied and dissected in great detail the events relating to the sacking, perhaps more than any other parts of my research. Events, narratives, and conflicting testimony will clearly show the Sacking of Lunenburg linked officials of Chester and Lunenburg into a conspiracy of lies. These officials would be Dr. Jonathan Prescott, Justice of the Peace of Chester (who controlled the lots of Oak Island), and Casper Wollenhaupt who was an influential Lunenburg business man and who would come to represent the Town of Lunenburg for the next General Assembly. Prescott owns island lots 8 and 22 at this time, and Wollenhaupt specifically owning (or coming to own) lot 18. He would sell this lot to John Smith in 1795. We must remember under what circumstances Wollenhaupt came to possess lot 18 is still unknown, there is no record of him coming into possession, only a deed of sale to John Smith.
Both the Continental Congress and the State of Massachusetts offered legal commissions for the establishment of Privateers. Both levels of governments had rules and regulations for the conduct of privateers and diligently enforced these rules. One specific rule was for privateer commissions to end at the high water mark. Basically, they were not allowed to engage in activities on land. This rule was reinforced at several times throughout the Revolution with the Massachusetts Assembly specifically issuing instructions in 1781 for privateers not to engage in NS above the high water mark.
There exists today, only two eyewitness account of the sacking. One is of good detail, and the other is not. Haliburton mentions the sacking in his history of NS Vol. II, and Judge DesBrisay provided very good detail in his 1870 First Edition History of Lunenburg County. The judge used the statement of Leonard C Rudolf as a basis for information. No letters from Colonel Creighton are found in the Public Archives and describe the sacking. This is most unusual as the various government letter books are very complete.
Another detailed account is by Archibald MacMechan is his 1923 Saga of the Seas, which credits DesBrisay, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Navy Department at Washington. The Boston Gazette on July 15 and August 5 1782 published a version, and so did the Massachusetts Spy on August 8, 1782.
Sacking of Lunenburg Account 1
Statement of Leonard C Rudolf, Esquire.
?Minutes of the invasion, and surprise of the town of Lunenburg , on Monday, the 1st July, 1782?
At the rising of the sun, the town was alarmed by the firing of a number of small guns, near the blockhouse and Mr. Creighton?s. The case was, that Mr. Creighton?s servant having perceived a large company of armed men coming on the road from the commons, had acquainted his master thereof. The night guard being already gone off, Colonel Creighton with only five men, got into the blockhouse, and at the approach of the enemy, they fired at, and wounded three men of the enemy.
The rebels directly divided in several parties, two of which ran to our two batteries, spiked the guns, broke everything, turned the guns and balls down to the water; some remained at Mr. Creighton?s, spoilt and burned his house and effects; they took himself with five men; and their vessels being now come round the point, they carried the Colonel, with others, prisoners on board their vessels. In the meantime other parties had overrun all the town, entered every house, seized all arms, which they either bent to pieces or kept, particularly the silver hilted swords and regimentals, to themselves. When their vessels were in, which were in all six, viz: one brigantine, a large schooner, a row galley, a sloop, and two small schooners, they landed more men, with some small carriage guns, which they carried up and placed near the old fort, with a main guard to secure themselves against our country people, that might come in that way. Now they fell a plundering the chief houses, and the shops, which they cleared-the sufferers are chiefly:
Mr. Creighton ? his house robbed and burnt.
Ditto - the store on the warf cleared.
Mr. Foster?s store.
Mr. Jessen?s house spoiled and robbed.
Knaut?s heirs? store robbed.
Mr. Bohlman?s store ditto.
Mr. Woolenhaupt?s stores.
Mr. Doing?s shop.
John Christopher Rudolf?s shop.
Mr. Munich?s and several other small shops.
These are to my certain knowledge, but there are many more robberies and damages done, whereof I am not yet informed. I am not able to value the whole loss, but think it will nearly amount to _____ ? left blank.
For the whole town we are at present almost without arms, ammunition, provisions, and merchandize; besides, I hear they have carried off from some houses money ? gold and silver.
The surprise was so sudden, that we had no alarm, except by the report of the firing at the blockhouse.
When I saw Colonel Creighton was carried off, I ventured to expose myself by going from house to house to see matters, and if anything could be done. I was also with Mr. De Laroche to beg his advice, who afterwards ventured with some principal inhabitants, to go on the vessel to try what he could do for Mr. Creighton, but without success.
Taken from the History of Lunenburg County, Judge DesBrisay, First Edition, 1870.
A summary of Leonard Rudolph?s statement.
Rudolf was an eyewitness; his statement was submitted shortly after the attack and even before they determined the value of losses. He says at sunrise and six ships with a military precision which can only mean the invader?s had intelligence of the town and knew the militia was absent. According to the NOAA Sunrise/Sunset Calculator, sunrise would have occurred at 4:36AM. This you will come to see these are very important details.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
John Newton, Casper Wollenhaupt and OthoWm. Schwart
to Sir A. S. Hammond, Lieut. Gov. of Nova Scotia.
N.D. [1782.] ? Memorial. Narrating that on the 1st of July last [no year stated, but this happened in 1782] a party of 90 men under the command of Lieutenant Batterman landed
from five privateers at a place called Red Head, two miles distant, and entered the town by surprise at 4 o'clock in the morning, the privateers sailing up in front of the town. The
principal part of the inhabitants were then at Halifax ; those remaining were taken prisoners, Colonel Creighton having only time to get 6 men with himself into the Block House, which
he defended between two and three hours until the privateers came abreast and fired, when he was obliged to surrender. The captain of one of the privateers, whose name was Babcock,
and who had command of the party on shore, sent Wollenhaupt with a flag to the militia, who were then assembling, to say that if no opposition was made they would only take the merchandize in the town and would not injure buildings in town, which was acquiesced in. Having plundered everything to the amount of about 10,000/., they got on board their vessels and then demanded a ransom of 7,000/. for the town, but agreed to take 1,000/., for which memorialists were obliged to give a promissory note payable to Noah Stoddard, captain of the largest privateer. The block house and Colonel Creighton' s dwelling house were burnt, the guns
spiked, and all the small arms carried away. Pray for a captain, two subalterns, and fifty British troops to be stationed with a hundred stand of small arms and ammunition for use of the militia.
Boston Gazette, July 15, August 5, 1782 ; Massachusetts Spy, August 8, 1782
Four Massachusetts privateers engaged in an enterprise on the Nova Scotia coast which is described in the newspapers of the time. "Captains Babcock of the Hero, Stoddard of the Scammel, Woodbury of the Hope, and Tibbets of the Swallow, having determined to surprize and possess themselves of Lunenburgh, an elegantly situated Town, ten Leagues West of Halifax, landed Ninety Men two Miles below it, under the Command of Lieut. Barteman, on Monday the first Day of July Instant at half after Seven o'Clock A.M. This gallant Corps with amazing Rapidity reached the Town, and amidst many heavy Discharges of Musquetry from the Enemy, burnt the commanding Officer's House, a Blockhouse in the North West Part of the Town, spik'd up two 24 pounders, and forc'd the Enemy into the South Blockhouse, from whence they kept up a brisk and animating Fire and declared their Intention to hold out to the last Extremity. But their Animation subsided upon the Receipt of a few 4-pound Shot from the Hero and they reluctantly surrendered themselves Prisoners of War. The victorious Party with a natural and pleasing Vivacity fell to plundering, and quickly emptied the Stores of a Variety and considerable Quantity of Dry Goods, twenty Puncheons of good West-India Rum and the King's Beef, Pork and Flour. Upon the near Approach of the Combined Fleet, two 18 pounders were spiked up and dismounted and the Royal Magazine was safely deposited in the Hold of the Scammel. The strictest Decorum was observed towards the Inhabitants and their Wearing Apparel and Household Furniture inviolably preserv'd for their Use. The Town was ransomed for a Thousand Pounds Sterling and Colonel Creighton with some of the principal Inhabitants were shipped on board the Scammel. On the Side of the brave Sons of Liberty, three were wounded slightly, one dangerously; on the Part of the Abettors of Oppression and Despotism, the Number of slain and wounded unknown, only one of their slain being found."
Sacking of Lunenburg Account 4
The following is taken from Saga of the Seas, Archibald MacMechan, 1923. This narrative is the most complete and is based upon eyewitness accounts, local correspondence and various newspapers of the day. A statement of observations follows this article.
I FOREWORD OF HISTORY
THE town of Lunenburg in Nova Scotia was founded in 1753 with immigrants from the Lower Rhine, the Palatinate, and the Protestant stronghold Montbeliard on the border of Switzerland. It was named for the ancient city of Luneberg in Hanover, and it represented the policy of the British Government to people the province with Protestant settlers as a counterpoise to the French. Founded in a lull between two wars, when war was still regarded as a law of Nature, the site of the new town was selected with an eye to easy defense. It stands on a narrow hog's-back isthmus of a peninsula jutting far into the sea. The town itself was laid out as a small compact oblong of twelve streets crossing at right angles. Towards the nose of the peninsula seaward, two large parcels of land were set apart as commons and a series of garden-plots. On the landward side, beyond the isthmus, the farms were allotted on a generous scale. Each worthy settler received a town-lot, a garden-lot, a thirty-acre lot and a hundred acre farm. Chance decided the holdings, as the settlers drew from a pack of cards. Some of these cards are still occasionally produced as evidence in law-suits.
Three blockhouses, a pentagon fort with barracks, and a line of pickets protected the town on the west. Another blockhouse crowning a steep hill, one hundred and thirty-five feet above the water, defended the eastern flank. With adequate arms, a resolute garrison and fortifications in repair, Lunenburg should have proved a miniature Gibraltar.
This settlement has suffered many things. Even before the Seven Years' War broke out in 1756, Indians attacked the outlying farms, shooting, tomahawking, scalping helpless women and children till the terror stricken farmers abandoned their farms' and took refuge In the town. There, after a short decade of peace, the American Revolution came, bringing to the Lunenburg, as to the rest of the province, scarcity, high prices, and danger from enemy action. Their greatest hardship was the attack of the "rebels" in the last year of the war, when American privateers were most numerous and active. In 1775, two Yankee cruisers raided Charlottetown; Annapolis Royal was surprised and plundered in 1781; but the attack on Lunenburg is the best remembered and the most famous in the annals of the province.
II THE SURPRISE
At dawn on the 1st of July, 1782 (1), Magdalena Schwartz on Myra's Island went out to milk her cow. Hearing a noise, she looked up and saw a large band of armed men coming over the hill and trampling down her patch of barley. She dropped her pail in her fright, ran to the house and told her husband Leonard. At once he started to give the alarm, and, though fired at in crossing Rous's Brook, reached the town in safety. The enemy were close at his heels. In a few minutes every soul was awakened by the crackle of musketry fire about the eastern blockhouse. Fear and confusion reigned. What had happened?
The night before, Captain Weiderholt came in from Halifax and told Leonard Schwartz, "The Yankees are coming to-morrow." (2) The warning went unheeded, but the Yankees did come as predicted. During the night Six sail of privateers had landed a party of ninety men at Redhead, inside the harbor, two miles from the town, and at sunrise the invaders were on the march to attack it.(3)
The flagship of the hostile flotilla was the big topsail schooner Scammell of sixteen guns and sixty men. She was commanded by Noah Stoddard, a fitting name for a sailor. Like Lambro, "this sea-solicitor" was a genial pirate. His vessel was commissioned in April, and his first exploit, in company with the Lively privateer, Captain Adams, was rescuing the officers and crew of H.M.S. Blonde wrecked on Great Seal Island. The Blonde was a smart frigate, new coppered and "sailing swift as the wind," says the veracious Gazette; but the Blonde's high hopes of captures and prize-money were dashed. Some sixty American prisoners were on board when she was wrecked, but they escaped. Noah treated his unfortunate enemies with the greatest humanity, sending them back to Halifax and furnishing them with passes to secure them from molestation by other privateer men. In the long black record of privateers' brutality, such a deed shines like gold. Now Admiral Noah was directing with great skill a combined attack by sea and land upon a hostile provincial town. His ?operations" are a good example, on a small scale; of what the strategists call amphibious warfare (3).
The other vessels (4) were the Massachusetts schooner Hero, nine guns and twenty-five men, George Waitstill Babcock, master; the Massachusetts schooner Dolphin, eight guns and thirty men, Greag Power, master; the Massachusetts brigantine Hope, six guns and thirty five men, Herbert Woodbury, master; the New Hampshire cutter Swallow, five guns and twenty men, John Tibbets, master; and a small row-galley of unknown armament and crew. According to Major Pernette -- and he is confirmed by the Boston Gazette-- the expedition was organized in Boston for the express purpose of attacking Lunenburg.(5)
The Americans were in overwhelming force. Lunenburg contained at that time no more than forty or fifty dwelling-houses; many of the inhabitants were absent.(6) When the old, the invalids, and the children are omitted from the muster, there could not have been more than twenty men available for the defence.(7) Still there was a show of resistance. The first citizen was undoubtedly Colonel John Creighton, who had seen service as a lieutenant in the British Army during the war of the Austrian Succession, and had been wounded at Fontenoy. The privateers men planned to surround his house, which was near the blockhouse, and secure him first; but his servant saw the enemy advancing along the road across the common, and warned his master. Such casual warning should not have been necessary. The eastern blockhouse had a night-guard, which should have remained at their post until properly relieved, hut with the lax discipline of militia-men, they had gone off at dawn and left the blockhouse undefended. (8) Into this deserted strong-point the old colonel hurried with five men, and opened fire on the attackers. His faithful black servant, Sylvia, did yeoman service, carrying cartridge and ball in her apron to the fort from the Colonel's dwelling nearby. When the musket balls rattled against the walls of the Creighton house she sheltered the colonel's son with her body. Sylvia was something of a heroine. Tradition has it that she helped to load the muskets in the blockhouse and even fire them. Some of the bullets found their billet, for at least three of the invaders were winged, and one severely wounded.
How long the tiny garrison of the blockhouse held out is not clear from the records. The first landing party was speedily reinforced.(9) Having impressed three Lunenburgers as pilots, the privateers were soon descried sailing round East Point.(10) Without mishap, they all reached the inner harbour, anchored in face of the town, and landed another strong detachment, with four ship's guns. Their objective was the undefended blockhouse to the west of the town. Two parties rushed to the two batteries at the ends of the picket line, spiked the two twenty-four-pounders, and rolled them with their cannon-balls down the steep banks. They established themselves as a main guard on
Blockhouse Hill, which commanded the whole neck of land leading from the town to the country, and they planted the guns from the ships so as to sweep the streets. Lunenburg was now completely cut off from the surrounding district, the landing parties strongly occupying both flanks, and the menacing flotilla at anchor in the harbor. The attack was a brilliant success, and a credit to the staff work of Admiral Noah Stoddard. (11)
Further resistance was useless. Colonel Creighton in the eastern blockhouse had no choice but surrender. He and two of his men were taken prisoner, marched down to the King's Wharf, and put on board the Scammell. Faithful Sylvia was allowed to escape. The defense of the blockhouse that July morning was a small affair, and there has been a tendency to view it in a humorous light; but, as Montaigne says, a man may show as much courage in dislodging a musketeer from a hen-roost as in slaying a champion in the sight of two armies. Later in the day the Reverend Pierre de la Roche, with other leading citizens, went on board the Scammell to beg for the Colonel's release, but in vain (12). Captain Stoddard bore his prisoner no ill will. After the war he sent kind inquiries by a Haligonian about the family of his late enemy, and stated that he had ?a great regard for the old gentleman."
The only other show of resistance was at Major D. C. Jessen's house. The major was a Holsteiner, who came to Nova Scotia in 1752. He held various civil posts in Lunenburg, amongst others, collector of imposts and excise. He made a stout defense, singlehanded of his home. The windows were smashed by musket bullets, and the door was being beaten in when he escaped by the back. Many years afterwards, when his house became Hirtle's tavern, bullet holes were still visible. He got safely out of the town, collected a number of militia-men and took post on the hill behind the town. He paid for the obstinacy of his defense. The privateer?s men looted the greatest part of his best furniture, his plate and all his clothes, besides a good deal of his money. The statement that he lost a large sum of public money collected for impost and excise he promptly contradicted in the Nova Scotia Gazette. His quarterly accounts bad been regularly made up, sent to Halifax and paid in there. The robbers got only a few shillings of government money, he declares, but he himself lost property valued at seven hundred pounds. That he did not suffer greater loss was due to Sylvia, who once more showed her pluck and mother-wit. After her escape from the blockhouse, she went to Major Jessen's house and packed his money and plate in a small chest. She wore very long skirts, and, when the privateer?s men came to ransack the house, she sat down on the chest and covered it completely with her ample draperies. She feigned to be badly frightened, screaming and crying with true African abandon. One man said, ?See what's under the old thing," whereat Sylvia redoubled her cries of distress. The leader said. "Let the black hag go? and the marauders went on. Then Sylvia bestowed the chest in the well, which the raiders had previously examined for loot.(13) All that these picaroons gleaned at Major Jessen's was a small silver cream-jug and a few other trifling articles. The cream-jug has a history. The raiding party went on to another house, and one man took off his jacket with the jug in it, and put on the militia tunic belonging to the master of the house. He forgot to transfer the jug, and this relic of the raid is preserved by one of the old Lunenburg families until this day,
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
"The victorious party with a natural and pleasing vivacity fell to plundering," says the Boston Gazette, in its gleeful but imaginative account of the affair. It was not the pleasing aspect of the Vivacity that struck the Lunenburgers. They were terrified, and knew not what to expect. Some fled to the country; some made attempts at defence; some took cover; some tried to hide their valuables. The whole town was in the greatest confusion. The privateersmen entered the stores and the principal houses, taking what they wanted. Arms were the particular object of their search. These they either beat to pieces or kept for themselves. They showed a special fancy for the scarlet regimentals of the militia, and the silver-hilted dress swords. The shops were full of new spring goods-Faster's, Bohlman's, Wollenhaupt's. Knaut's heirs'-and these they swept clean, as well as half a dozen others. Dry-goods, provisions, gunpowder, whatever would be useful to them was carried on board their vessels. The king's stores beside the wharf yielded rich booty in ration beef, pork and flour. The powder and ammunition from the magazine were transferred to the Scammel's hold. Twenty puncheons of "good West India rum" mentioned by the Boston Gazette must have been welcome. (14) All day the Americans must have been as busy as nailers, transporting their plunder down the narrow steep streets to the King's Wharf, ferrying it out in their boats to the anchored vessels, and stowing it below hatches. The stevedore job could not be carelessly done. .
The town itself was a spectacle. What the Americans did not want they destroyed, or left laying about. An eye-witness reported the narrow streets ?strown with laces, ribbons, cottons, and many other kinds of shop goods." And the Lunenburgers were forced to look on helplessly at the wanton destruction of their property. One class of the community profited by the invasion-the small boys. To them the privateersmen were "very generous"-their generosity cost them nothing-giving them raisins and cakes and other goodies from the shops, no doubt to their huge delight.(15) The" pleasing vivacity" of the privateersmen showed itself also in a sort of impromptu masquerade. The wild-looking invaders, in their loose slop trousers and belts stuck full of pistols donned the red militia uniform tunics and stuck 'cocked hats, and women's bonnets, and mobcaps on their heads. The raid had a comic aspect to the raiders themselves. (16)
There is another item on the credit side of the ledger for the raiders. No woman was outraged or insulted, nor was any of the inhabitants assaulted or hurt. The Boston Gazette is correct in stating that "the strictest decorum was observed towards the inhabitants." There was one mild exception. Through the scenes of confusion moved the tall lank form of the Reverend Johann Gottlob Schmeisser, in his strange, foreign, clerical garments, doing his duty as a man of God by expostulating gravely with the invaders and trying to stop the pillaging. But he was fresh from Germany, he had assumed his charge only two months before, and, as his expostulations were in his native tongue, they had little effect. Still he made himself a nuisance, and asquad of impatient Yankees laid hands on him. He resigned himself to torture or death, but they only roped him, hands and feet. and left him lying like a trussed fowl in the middle of the Parade. His years as a theological student at Halle could hardly have prepared him for such an experience in the wilds of America.
IV THE RANSOM
While the privateersmen were working their will on the captured town, measures for its relief were being taken in two different directions. Early in the morning, two men had started from the Back Harbour in an open boat to carry the news to Halifax. Desbrisay says they did not reach their destination until Monday evening, which seems probable, for the distance to be covered was thirty-four miles, a long row. The Massachusetts Spy reports that armed ships started for Lunenburg the same day. As soon as intelligence reached Halifax, ? the most surprising exertions were made in fitting out the Cornwallis and two armed brigs, though they were in a manner totally unrigged, and their guns and stores out, yet they sailed for the relief of Lunenburg on Monday (read Tuesday?) forenoon (17). Since which another armed vessel has sailed." This was commanded by Captain Douglass of the Chatham. The Albacore and another armed vessel commanded by Captain Rupert D. George of the Charlestown, poor Evans's frigate, followed with two hundred Hessians from the regiment of Baron de Seitz. Everything possible was done, but the force arrived too late. This is evidently the ?near approach of the combined fleet" which the Massachusetts Gazette refers to as taking place on the Monday and motivating the retreat of the privateer flotilla.
Some ten miles to the westward as the crow flies, at La Have Ferry, was Major Joseph Pernette(18), an old soldier who had served, like Colonel Creighton, at Fontenoy. He heard of the attack only about noon by word of mouth, as the fugitives from Lunenburg spread the alarm throughout the countryside. He went down in a boat to the Five Houses, and ordered the two twelve-pounders there to be fired, in order to alarm the militia in the harbour.(19) He gves as his reason for not acting earlier that there was no firing of great guns from Lunenburg.(20) In the next war, when anotherAmerican privateer appeared at the harbour mouth, the cannon at all the points, Kingsburg, Fort Boscawen and the rest, were fired at once, and set the militia-men in motion without delay. As soon as Major Pernette had assembled twenty men, he marched on Lunenburg, leaving orders for the rest to follow as fast as possible. But the roads were bad, and in spite of his efforts, it was not till after four that he effected a junction with Major Jessen, who was awaiting reinforcements on the hill outside the town. The two officers were concerting their plan of attack, when a messenger came posthaste from the town, begging them not to make any move for the relief of the inhabitants, as the Americans had threatened to burn down every house in the place if the attempt were made.(21) Colonel Creighton's house was actually going up in flames. Admiral Noah had demanded a ransom. In the last hour of the American occupation was carried out one of the strangest commercial transactions on record. Three of the leading citizens of Lunenburg, the Reverend Pierre de la Roche, "Ang. Presb." as he signs himself, from Geneva, Caspar Wollenhaupt and John Bohlman, owners of the gutted shops, signed a promissory note for one thousand pounds in favour of Noah Stoddard, payable at Halifax (of all places) in thirty days.(22) How" this sea-solicitor" expected to collect his money is a mystery.(23) At all events, the note was signed by the three representatives of the town; Majors Pernette and Jessen held their hand; and about five? o'clock, from their post of vantage on the hill, they saw the motley flotilla sail out of the harbor "deeply loaded with plunder." From the raiders' point of view the invasion was a brilliant success. Their plan of attack was executed without a hitch, they lost no men, and they got away safely with loot valued variously from eight thousand to twelve thousand pounds.(24) "The brave sons of liberty" had taught "the abettors of oppression and despotism" a lesson not soon to be forgotten. But they left trouble in their wake. The Lunenburgers begged Lieutenant-Governor Hammond for soldiers to protect them, and he had none to spare for an outpost.(25) They were left a prey to fears. The three signatories of the promise to pay protested publicly that they had no means of meeting their obligation. Their fellow-townsmen were in the same case. So the town lived in constant apprehension, for "rebel" privateers were always hovering about the coast, until Captain Bethell arrived in the fall with a detachment of troops. By the end of the year the war was over and the cloud of anxiety lifted. That black Monday must have been the strangest, the most eventful, and the most vivid in the whole history of Lunenburg. The record reads like a milder page from the history of the Thirty Yeats' War.(26)
Summary of Observations
At dawn on the 1st of July, 1782, According to NOAA Sunrise/Sunset Calculator, sunrise would have occurred at 4:36AM.
The night before, Captain Weiderholt came in from Halifax and told Leonard Schwartz, "The Yankees are coming to-morrow." According to NOAA Sunrise/Sunset Calculator, sunset on 30 June 1798 occurred at 8:06PM
This operation is the first known such amphibious assault and is still referred to this day in the annals of the US Marine Corps. This can only speak to up-to-date local intelligence and assistance.
While this article says a total of five ships, eyewitness testimony by Rudolf says six. This is most interesting as the Boston Gazette did not report six ships.
How would Major Pernette know ?the expedition was organized in Boston for the express purpose of attacking Lunenburg?, when according to all accounts, the Major did not meet the privateers and was not present during the sacking?
Wollenhaupt letter says many folks were in Halifax.
According to Dr. Ester Clark Wright, the population around Lunenburg in 1783 was about 4000.
Considering the night before a warning was given, and the previous events of privateers in the area, I think it unreasonable to conclude the guard left his post without a care or concern as is implied because he was merely a militia man.
Again, this has all of the hallmarks of a well timed plan. The reinforcement could only have been the additional privateers who were need to sail the ships from Red Head to the town.
Considering the timings and obvious intelligence of the plan, relying upon Lunenburgers to act as pilots seems reasonable; however, what is unreasonable is for the plan to relying on the offhand chance that once could actually capture these pilots. I contend for these pilots not to have been Lunenburgers. Additionally, given so many names are mentioned, why were the names of these pilots not?
This is clear evidence that Stoddard had excellent intelligence of the town, vantage points, and means to acquire and defend, especially in that he knew where to find the cannons so quickly and assigned men for that purpose.
We know the other men were Wollenhaupt and Bohlman. Why were these folks not taken, or were they? Additionally, Wollenhaupt has much freedom throughout the Sacking. He is tasked to take the white flag to the few Militiamen and is on the Privateer ship, and is negotiating a bond with Stoddard.
This statement defies common sense and makes for a good tale as to why Major Jensen did not lose too much. I think he knew what was coming on 1 July 1782 and hid his valuables beforehand.
In 1785, Stoddard visits Halifax. He is subsequently detained and sued in Halifax Supreme Court by the Cochran brothers for the theft of this rum. Keep in mind, many of the Town?s principles are part of government, yet they do not sue or seek compensation.
Are we to think the town?s folks were very terrified; however they let their children go mingle with the privateers?
The privateers executed a perfect plan for capturing the town. This ?unprofessionalism? or lack of concern can only speak to them knowing they would not suffer a counter-attack.
This is correct information, but how did they know to sail for Lunenburg before the arrival of the warning from two men in a row boat. Personally I think the story of rowing to Halifax is absurd, perhaps it was a row boat with a sail, or they met with another ship who took them to Halifax. I will mention this warning in Part II ? The Rest of the Story.
Recall Major Pernette giving a statement that he knew of the Privateer?s sole aim was to sack Lunenburg? How could this be when he was not present?
Major Pernette gives indication for this to be the prescribed warning method for the area. This method will be very important in Part II ?The Rest of the Story.
While Lunenburg?s cannons may not have been fired, the Privateer?s 4lb cannons were fired. Even with them being of a smaller size, the boom they would have made would surely have been loud enough to raise the warning for a mile or so anyways.
This messenger was Casper Wollenhaupt. How did the privateers know the militia was gathering behind the hill and thus send a messenger?
Stoddard must have known Wollenhaupt and Bohlman were men of means; otherwise why would he accept a note from them?
He either did not intend on collecting as he was not permitted above the high water mark, or he intended on collecting after the war.
Clearly well planned. This is amazing considering Stoddard was only 27 years old.
We have read Lunenburg was well defended, had an excellent militia, yet they still request more troops. The troops could hardly be for protection, but rather represented cash.
The most important information of all inconspicuously goes without mention. What of the town?s folks fishing and trading ships? Surely they could not have all been absent that day, if we are to believe no one had knowledge of the impending attack. This is especially true of the ship which Captain Weiderholt supposedly arrived in the night before. The privateers would not have spared any ship for they would have been a valuable prize; however, no mention is ever made of a ship being captured or sunk.
In the words of modern radio personality Paul Harvey, ?and now for the rest of the story?. Local legend and lore alone tell of Stoddard visiting Chester on the previous day. He was met by and dined with Chester's Justice of the Peace and community leader, one Dr. Jonathan Prescott. He is a very interesting man in his own right. Originally from Concord Mass, he came to Nova Scotia as a Captain of Engineers for the first siege of Louisburg. He would come to Halifax shortly after its founding and eventually become a very wealthy businessman. He would associate with men who were both sympathetic to the American cause and who were profiting from the Revolution. Jonathan's one son was a surgeon in the Revolutionary Army with ties to George Washington, his only nephew was Dr. Samuel Prescott, the very fellow who finished the ride of Paul Revere. Readers must keep the following in mind:
a. Dr. Jonathan Prescott never wrote to the government about events on 30 June 1782,
b. There are no letters in any government letter book, neither in nor out,
c. Details of these events were made public after the 1784 arrival of Loyalists.
The following is an article by H. Shirley Fowke, Red Coats from Atlantic Advocate 1962. This story encompasses all of the elements from Desbrisay and information found at Lordly House, Chester. The are no books and no authors which have linked the events of 30 June and 1 July 1782. You are reading it here for the first time.
I have underlines and put in parenthesis, references which follow in a summary of observations.
THE SOUTH SHORE of Nova Scotia - that stretch of two hundred miles or so of ragged coastline running from Halifax southwesterly to Yarmouth, at the tip end of the Province---is a treasure-house of lore for the weaver of tales.
Truth, here, is often stranger than fiction. Pirates, ghost ships, hoards of buried gold, bulk large in the mass of material. The sea either plays a leading role in the stories, or forms the background for their setting. Sinister, gentle, of variable mood, it is always there, never far from the core of the action.
The little town of Chester, built on its several hills, dreams still, under its ancient chestnut trees, of other days when it knew the stir of trade, for its ships voyaged far afield, and the hazards of wars fought out by the American privateersmen against the loyal militia of His Majesty of England.
Cannon balls may still be ploughed up in gardens about the narrow? front harbour and many relics ? ancient swords, lovingly preserved, and scarlet uniforms stored in attic chests, bear mute witness to the exciting encounters of other times. There are still remains of a fort, begun but never completed, at the end of the sprawling point of land that guards the harbour entrance; while the garrison blockhouse remains a memorial to those periods of stress and dread.
On the Parade, flanking the monument to veterans of the First and Second World Wars are mounted two ridiculously small brass cannon that, incredibly, once helped to protect the town from attack. They formerly stood, facing out to sea, on Blockhouse Hill, threatening with their pygmy mouths the redoubtable ships of the Yankees that made constant forays on the inhabitants during the Revolution and the War of 1812.
Chester, indeed, was, for many years, a favorite target for raids by these marauders.
The plundering Yankees, sailing their fast ships, at least one of which was equipped with sixteen sweeps to ensure speed in calm weather, took delight in making unexpected descents on the settlers of that strip of coastline, carrying off cattle, hens, and any household goods they fancied-and their taste was catholic.
They had a fondness' for kidnapping the inhabitants, also, capturing them from fishing vessels surprised on the cod banks, or spiriting them out of their very beds. Now and then they ferried them to Boston or Salem, where they were held for ransom, or, if supplies on the ships were dwindling, they jettisoned them on some forsaken headland far from home, for the harassed and ill-fed settlers of the place to feed and care for.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
We know six privateer ships were present during Lunenburg, but only three reported at Chester. I contend the other three were at Oak Island. They were either dropping something off, or they were picking something up. Regardless, there is evidence on Oak Island for someone sympathetic to the American cause to have been present (at some point).
On the north shore boundary line which divides lots 14 and 15 there is a very large interesting rock. It currently rests on a rocky beach, but was once placed on the hill above. The rock itself sports a very interesting carving of a tree. The image contained below is of this rock. One can easily see it is an odd way to represent a tree with the design being very unique. The rock also has the engraved name of either a past treasure hunter or visitor which dates to 1897. The two cannot be related as they are of different engraving techniques, depths and widths. The tree even appears slightly more faded than the name. Additionally, trees are usually carved in the vertical axis, not horizontally. This present orientation of the tree, speaks to the rock having tumbled down the hill. Viewing closely into the first photo and behind the rock, one can see the rock split when it landed.
Interesting notes to come from this investigation
The final connection to Oak Island by Stoddard?s fleet comes at a later period. During the 1800s, Stoddard was involved with the first bank of Fairhaven Connecticut. It was during this time we see the names of Putnam, Chappell, and Delano. While Putnam and Chappell are clearly identified and associated with the island, the name Delano is not.
All of the Chappells from Bay Vert or Green Bay came from two brother, Elipalet "Liffy" Chappell and Jabez Chappell. This family has origins in the same part of Connecticut where Stoddard settled. Our William Chappell of the 1890s originally hailed from Green Bay; however was still associated with Amherst during the 1890s. The original brothers themselves were already in NS prior to 1763, however they both came from very large families which remained in Connecticut . The Eddy rebellion in NS happened right on their door step and as we can read, these folks were right in the thick of it.
Warren Delano was a partner in the bank along with Stoddard. A few years later, Warren's daughter would give birth to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. While Oak Island authors speculate he was merely on a youthful summer adventure through happen chance, the evidence clearly shows a valid connection to a time of suspicious activities and from the very source of the suspicious activity, Stoddard.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
While water courses and hydraulic connections below the island are a certainty, are they man-made or natural?
The Barringer Very Low Frequency survey of 1988 was disappointing; however, it did show differences between pre and post pumping action resulting in an interpreted water course. The thought to be water course is greater than 20ft in width; thereby, giving support to a natural feature.
Below are some links to geological sources for Mahone Bay.
One summer day in 1795 Daniel McGinnis, then a teenager, was wandering about Oak Island, Nova Scotia (see Geography) when he came across a curious circular depression in the ground. Standing over this depression was a tree whose branches had been cut in a way which looked like it had been used as a pulley. Having heard tales of pirates in the area he decided to return home to get friends and return later to investigate the hole.
Over the next several days McGinnis, along with friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, worked the hole. What they found astonished them. Two feet below the surface they came across of layer of flagstones covering the pit. At 10 feet down they ran into a layer of oak logs spanning the pit. Again at 20 feet and 30 feet they found the same thing, a layer of logs. Not being able to continue alone from here, they went home, but with plans of returning to search more.
It took the three discoverers 8 years, but they did return. Along with The Onslow Company, formed for the purpose of the search, they began digging again. They quickly got back to 30 foot point that had been reached 8 years ago. They continued down to 90 feet, finding a layer of oak logs at every 10 foot interval. Besides the boards, at 40 feet a layer of charcoal was found, at 50 feet a layer of putty, and at 60 feet a layer of coconut fiber.
At 90 feet one of the most puzzling clues was found - a stone inscribed with mysterious writing.
Note: For more information about the stone inscription and to try your hand at translating the stone's inscription go here.
After pulling up the layer of oak at 90 feet and continuing on, water began to seep into the pit. By the next day the pit was filled with water up to the 33 foot level. Pumping didn't work, so the next year a new pit was dug parallel to the original down to 100 feet. From there a tunnel was run over to The Money Pit. Again the water flooded in and the search was abandoned for 45 years.
The Booby Trap
As it turns out, an ingenious booby trap had been sprung. The Onslow Company had inadvertently unplugged a 500 foot waterway that had been dug from the pit to nearby Smith's Cove by the pit's designers. As quickly as the water could be pumped out it was refilled by the sea.
This discovery however is only a small part of the intricate plan by the unknown designers to keep people away from the cache.
In 1849 the next company to attempt to extract the treasure, The Truro Company, was founded and the search began again. They quickly dug down to 86 feet only to be flooded. Deciding to try to figure out what was buried before attempting to extract it, Truro switched to drilling core samples. The drilling produced some encouraging results.
First Hints of Treasure
At 98 feet the drill went through a spruce platform. Then it encountered 4 inches of oak and then 22 inches of what was characterized as "metal in pieces""; Next 8 inches of oak, another 22 inches of metal, 4 inches of oak and another layer of spruce. The conclusion was that they had drilled through 2 casks or chests filled will coins. Upon pulling out the drill they found splinters of oak and strands of what looked like coconut husk.
One account of the drilling also mentions that three small gold links, as from a chain, were brought up. Unfortunately no one knows where they have gone.
Interestingly, the earth encountered beneath the bottom spruce platform was loose indicating that the pit may have gone even deeper. A later group of searchers would find out how much deeper.
The Truro Company returned in 1850 with plans to dig another parallel hole and then tunnel over to the Money Pit. Just like before, as they tunneled over, water began to rush in. They brought in pumps to try to get rid of the water but it was impossible to keep the water out. During the pumping someone noticed that at Smith's Cove during low tide there was water coming OUT of the beach.
This find lead to an amazing discovery - the beach was artificial.
It turns out that the pit designers had created a drain system, spread over a 145 foot length of beach, which resembled the fingers of a hand. Each finger was a channel dug into the clay under the beach and lined by rocks. The channels were then filled with beach rocks, covered with several inches of eel grass, and then covered by several more inches of coconut fiber. The effect of this filtering system was that the channels remained clear of silt and sand while water was still allowed to flow along them. The fingers met at a point inland where they fed sea water into a sloping channel which eventually joined the Money Pit some 500 feet away. Later investigations showed this underground channel to have been 4 feet wide, 2 1/2 feet high, lined with stone, and meeting the Money Pit between the depths of 95 to 110 feet.
To the Truro Company, the answer was now simple - just block off the water flow from the beach and dig out the treasure. Their first attempt was to build a dam just off the beach at Smith's Cove, drain the water, and then dismantle the drain channels. Unfortunately a storm blew up and destroyed the dam before they could finish.
An interesting note: the remains of an older dam were found when building the new one.
The next plan was to dig a pit 100 feet or so inland in the hopes of meeting with the water channel underground at which point they could plug the channel. This scheme too failed. And this was the last attempt by the Truro company to uncover the secrets of Oak Island.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost