William Henry at Pemaquid
William Henry stood in the large rectangular area defined
on site today by low stone walls and a tall stone tower, or
bastion. The stone bastion was built in 1908 as a replica
of that feature of the fort.
Before Fort William Henry was built in 1692, the Pemaquid
settlement and a previous fort, Fort Charles, had been captured
by the French and their Indian allies, driving the English
to abandon much of the nearby coastal area. By 1691, the English
regained authority over the region and built Fort William
the construction of Fort William Henry in 1692, England sought
to fortify the frontiers of its Massachusetts colony. Pemaquid
lay on the northeastern edge of English influence and, as
such, occupied a very strategic location.
fort built here was extraordinary for its time. Massachusetts
Governor Sir William Phips spent two-thirds of the colony's
budget (£20,000) to construct it. Workers used 2,000 cartloads
of stone to build walls 10 to 22 feet high and a stone bastion,
which rose to a height of 29 feet. The fort housed nearly
20 cannon and a garrison of 60 soldiers.
all its seeming strength, Fort William Henry did not last.
Native people, upset at their treatment by the English, united
with the French to attack the fort in 1696. This fort, which
had seemed so strong, proved to be weak. Mortar used to build
the stone walls was of poor quality and the fort's interior
buildings could not stand bomb attack. The garrisons' water
supply lay outside the fort walls. His garrison outnumbered,
Captain Pasco Chubb finally surrendered. With the fall of
Fort William Henry, the English abandoned Pemaquid once again.