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"Proclamation For Proroguing the General Court"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In December, 1758, Massachusetts Governor Pownall was obliged by events to proroguing the meeting of the General Court (the legislature of Massachusetts) until the muster lists were done. At that moment, the British Empire was at war with France in what would be known in Europe as the Seven Years' War and in North America as the French and Indian War. In 1758, the war had already been going on for four years in North America. For three of those four years, the British had been at a severe disadvantage to the French, who had a larger number of better-trained troops. But in 1758 the tide had turned. In July, the French fortress at Louisburg fell, making it more difficult for them to receive supplies. By November, the French were forced to retreat from Ft. Duquesne in western Pennsylvania, and the British began pushing them back from their western frontier. At the end of the year, Jeffrey Amherst, began to muster troops for a push into upper New York and on to Canada. The troops were not brought over from Britain but instead were inhabitants of the colonies. The colonies contributed a significant number of troops to the war effort; Massachusetts alone contributed more than 9,000 officers and men. Colonial troops were crucial for the eventual British victory at Montreal in September, 1760, that ended French rule in North America and led to the worldwide British victory in 1763. But victory celebrations were brief: the colonists felt the British had not adequately recognized their contributions.


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