Fort Amherst (2)

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Fort Amherst (2) (1758-1768) - A British colonial fort established in 1758 during the French & Indian War in present day Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Established near the site of the French fortified Post at Port la Joye. Named for British Major General Jeffrey Amherst. Abandoned in 1768.

Fort Amherst Earthworks at the Angle
Acadian Monument to the Grand Derangement at Fort Amherst
Fort Amherst Exterior Overlooking the Harbor at Charlottetown
Fort Amherst Interior Overlooking the Harbor at Charlottetown

Fort Amherst (2) History

Part of the Harbor Defense of Charlottetown.

Fort Amnerst Site Plan from Park Sign
Overview of Fort Amherst from Park Sign

The French fortified Post at Port la Joye was established in 1720 and twice attacked by British troops and New England irregulars. The first attack coincided with the first Siege of Fortress Louisbourg in 1745 and the attackers were eventually driven back in 1746 after spending the winter at Port la Joye.

The second attack coincided with the second Siege of Fortress Louisbourg in 1758. A small British fleet with 500 soldiers landed and took possession of Port la Joye where they built a new stockaded fortification. The British immediately began the deportation of some 3,000+ local Acadians who were thought to be aiding the French. Nearly two-thirds of those deported died in the process, either from disease or drowning during the crossing to France. The majority of the survivors emigrated to Louisiana in 1785.

The new fort was built under the supervision of British Lieutenant William Spry and was completed on 10 Oct 1758. The fort was sited on a high hill overlooking the Harbor near where the original French fortifications had been located. The view of the harbor is breathtaking. The fort was a small stockaded earthworks mounting some 18 cannons, four in each angle and two on the walls all surrounded by a dry ditch. The fort buildings included the commanding officer’s headquarters, officers’ quarters, bakehouse, forge, storehouse, and a prison. The garrison was about 190 soldiers rotated with fresh troops each year from Fortress Louisbourg.

The Treaty of Paris (10 Feb 1763) ended the French & Indian War. The garrison Fort Amherst was reduced and the fort fell into disrepair. The government and the garrison at Fort Amherst were moved to Charlottetown in 1768. The palisade and buildings were demolished in the 1770s and by 1779 only the ditch and earthworks remained.

Current Status

Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site Visitor Center

Part of Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst National Historic Site, Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Restored earthworks and ditch. The visitor center was closed on the day of our visit. No period guns or mounts visible. Numerous interpretive signs and markers placed around the site. The view of the harbor is breathtaking.

Location: Rocky Point, Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.19717 Long: -63.13674



Visited: 10 Jul 2013

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