1760 Rogers


Robert Rogers [1731-1795] gained a reputation as a leader of the Rangers, a group of British soldiers who were primarily used for scouting and intelligence duties. In 1758 Rogers was given a formal commission as Major in the Rangers in His Majesty's Service. Immediately after the French surrender Rogers was ordered to take two companies of Rangers and take over the French posts in the West. He left Montreal on September 13 with his troops and reached Detroit at the end of November.


We encamped the next day five miles up the river, having rowed against the wind; and on the 29th I dispatched Captain Campbell, with Messieurs Barrager and Babee, and their parties, with this letter.

"Sir,

I acknowledge the receipt of your two letters, both of which were delivered to me yesterday. Mr. Brheme has not yet returned. The inclosed letter from the Maquis de Vaudreuil will inform you of the surrender of all Canada to the King of Great Britain, and of the great indulgence granted to the inhabitants; as also of the terms granted to the troops of his Most Christian Majesty. Captain Campbell, whom I have sent forward with this letter, will shew you the capitulation. I desire you will not detain him, as I am determined, agreeable to my instructions from General Amherst, speedily to relieve your post. I shall stop the troops I have with me at the hither end of the town till 4 o'clock, by which time I expect your answer; your inhabitants under arms will not surprise me, as yet I have seen no other in that position, but savages waiting for my orders. I can assure you, Sir, the inhabitants of Detroit shall not be molested, they and you complying with the capitulation, but be protected in the quiet and peaceable possession of their estates; neither shall they be pillaged by my Indians, nor by your's that have joined me.

I am, &c.

R. Rogers."

To Capt. Beletere,

commanding at Detroit.

I landed at half a mile short of the fort, and fronting it, were I drew up my detachment on a field of grass. Here Capt. Campbell joined me, and with him came a French officer, to inform me that he bore Monsieur Beletere's compliments, signifying he was under my command. From hence I sent Lieutenants Leslie and M'Cormack, with thirty-six Royal Americans, to take possession of the fort. The French garrison laid down their arms, English colours were hoisted, and the French taken down, at which about 700 Indians gave a shout, merrily exulting in their prediction being verified, that the crow represented the English.

They seemed amazed at the submissive salutations of the inhabitants, expressed their satisfaction at our generosity in not putting them to death, and said they would always for the future fight for a nation thus favored by Him that made the world.

I went into the fort, received a plan of it, with a list of the stores, from the commanding officer, and by noon of the 1st of December we had collected the militia, disarmed them, and to them also administered the oaths of allegiance.

The interval from this time to the 9th was spent in preparing to execute some measures that appeared to be necessary to the service we were upon. I put Monsieur Beletere and the other prisoners under the care of Lieut. Holmes and thirty Rangers, to be carried to Philadelphia; and ordered Capt. Campbell and his company to keep possession of the fort. Lieut. Butler and Ensign Wait were sent with a detached party of twenty men, to bring the French troops from the forts Miamie and Gatanois. I ordered, that, if possible, a party should subsist at the former this winter, and give the earliest notice at Detroit of the enemy's motions in the country of the Illinois. I sent M'Gee, with a French officer, for the French troops at the Shawanese town on the Ohio. And as provisions were scarce, directed Capt. Brewer to repair with the greatest part of the Rangers to Niagara, detaining Lieut. M'Cormack with thirty-seven more, to go with me to Michlimakana.

I made a treaty with the several tribes of Indians living in the neighbouring country; and having directed Capt. Wait, just arrived from Niagara, to return again thither immediately, I set out for Lake Huron......

From: JOURNALS OF MAJOR ROBERTS: CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF THE SEVERAL EXCURSIONS HE MADE UNDER THE GENERALS WHO COMMANDED UPON THE CONTINENT OF NORTH AMERICA, DURING THE LATE WAR. London: Printed for the Author, 1765: 227-230.

See Also:

Dictionary of Canadian Biography 4: 679-683.

McCulloch, Ian. Buckskin Soldier: The rise and fall of Major Robert Rogers. Beaver [Canada] 1993 73 (2): 17-26.

Massie, Larry. The Writings of Major Robert Rogers. Michigan History 1994 78 (2): 38-40.

Roberts, K. L. Northwest Passage. This is a novel based on the life of Rogers.

Russell, Nelson V. The British Regime in Michigan and the Old Northwest 1760-1796. Northfield, MA: Carleton College, 1939.

Silcox, James H. Jr. Rogers and Bouquet: The Origins of American Light Infantry. Military Review 1985 65 (12): 62-74.

Stark, Caleb. Memorial and Official Correspondence of Gen. John Stark, with notices of several other officers of the Revolution. Also a Biography of Capt. Phineas Stevens and of Col. Robert Rogers, with an account of his services in America during the "Seven Years' War." Boston: Gregg Press, 1860.