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Tools from the French and Indian War Sloop Boscawen

David Mitchell Grant
Thesis: December 1996
Chair: Crisman


The 115-ton sloop Boscawen was built by the British to drive the French from Lake Champlain near the end of the French and Indian War. She helped to defeat the French fleet in 1759 and took part in amphibious operations the next year against the French fort of Ileaux-Noix at the north end of Lake Champlain. Part of her duties included moving men and materiel for the British Army. The usefulness of the land-locked warship declined rapidly at the end of hostilities and, stripped of her armament and rigging, she sank at her moorings in the King's Shipyard near Fort Ticonderoga. The remains of the Boscawen were discovered in 1983 during a survey sponsored by the Champlain Maritime Society. Archaeological excavation of the hull in 1984 and 1985 revealed a surprisingly large number of artifacts. Tools represented a small but diverse segment of the total artifact assemblage. Few tools from the Boscawen are comparable to the ship's carpenter's and shipwright's tools which were commonly used by eighteenth-century armies for fortification, siegework, and fatigue duties. Both the French and British armies used large numbers of these types of tools along the shores of Lake Champlain. The crew of the Boscawen may have used some of the tools but most were probably some form of cargo, either usable tools for the British Army of scrap iron collected at British and French sites.


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