THE WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION.
The French Attack Annapolis.—Early in 1744 news reached Cape Breton that war had been declared in Europe between England and France. During the past twenty-five 'years the fortifications of Louisbourg had slowly grown to completion, and it was now, beyond all question, the strongest fortress in America. Its commandant, on hearing the news of war, at once despatched an expedition under du Vivier to recapture Acadia. The block-house at Canso was captured and burned. At Annapolis Paul Mascarene was in command. Himself of French descent, he had gained the esteem of the Acadians by his mild government ; so that, when du Vivier arrived before Annapolis, he received so little aid from his compatriots that, after much bluster and a little skirmishing, he deemed it prudent to raise the siege.
New England Plans to Take Louisbourg.—Massachusetts alone seemed alive to the necessity for looking after Acadia. Her interest in it was largely mercantile, and so, when news came of the destruction of Canso and the attack on Annapolis, an intense desire was expressed for the capture of Louisbourg in order to prevent the destruction of New England commerce by French privateers from that port. Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, was eager for military glory, and, taking advantage of the feeling among the merchants, he persuaded the assembly of the colony to vote an expedition against the redoubtable fortress. New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island, with more or less zeal, joined in this "project of wild audacity." Puritan New England looked upon it as a crusade against idolatry ; Parson Moody figures largely in the campaign. The raw levies of the colonies, to the number of about four thousand, were commanded by officers almost wholly unskilled. The commander-in-chief was a merchant, William Pepperrell. From England orders were sent