[FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR]. WINSLOW, John (1703-1774). Autograph letter signed ("J. Winslow") to William Coffin, Jr., Camp at Grand Perce, Minise [Grand Pré, Minas, Nova Scotia], 22 August 1755. 1 page, folio, verso silked, small paper loss at left, clean separation at lower crease.
"THE TOTAL DEFEAT OF GENL. BRADDOCK" AND THE REMOVAL OF THE ACADIAN INDIANS
An important letter from a key figure in the French and Indian War. Fresh from his capture of Fort Beauséjour, and about to embark on the removal of the Acadian Indians from Nova Scotia, Winslow reacts with shock to the news of Braddock's defeat, mentions Crown Point, and offers up some harsh words about fellow American fighting units. "...The Total Defeat of Genl. Braddock...is the most Extraordinary thing that ever happened in America & Unparald in History," he tells Coffin. "That such a number of English Regular Troops (then which their certainly are none better) should be defeated by a handful of French & Indians, and Directly to run away-Pray God Keep my Country men from all such Pannicks and give them Courage which has ever Distinguished them & Makes them the Terrour of their Enemys where ever they show their Faces." He describes his encampment and disposition of forces at "your old Ground at Minise." He has made "the Church on my Right...a place of emb," or embarkation, for the forcible removal of the Acadians. Some 6,000 were deported from Nova Scotia by year's end, and shipped to England and American colonies as far away as New Orleans. About 12,000 in all were removed by 1763, with historians estimating that as many as half may have died in the ordeal. Winslow goes on to deride the effectiveness of New Hampshire troops, who "are playing their old Runaway Games, but as the old Proverb has it, what is Bread in the Bone will never be out of the Flesh." Then ends with some boasts about his fellow Massachusetts men: "Am Greatly Pleasd with the behaviour of our Province in the affair of Crown Point, and in Short were it not for our Steadiness in the affairs of War the whole Continent would Fall a Sacrifice to the French..." Ironically, the recipient of this letter would find himself banished from Massachusetts 21 years later for his Tory sympathies during the American Revolution, fleeing along with General Gage's men and finding refuge in Halifax, Nova Scotia.