Erik Nitsche: Fort Lennox/Quebec
Artist: Erik Nitsche
As any good general knows, controlling a strategic waterway is crucial to stopping the flow of enemy supplies into an area. This was the idea behind the construction of Fort Lennox in Canada. Fort Lennox is located on the Isle aux Noix (Island of Walnuts) in the Richelieu River, twelve miles north of Lake Champlain. The island was discovered by the explorer Champlain in 1609 and received its name from the profusion of walnut trees growing there. In 1759, French forces under the command of General Bourlamaque, built a fort on the island to counteract the effect of the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the British. However, the following year, the Isle aux Noix fort was abandoned to the British forces. In 1775, American revolutionary troops under the command of generals Schuyler and Montgomery captured the fort and used it as a base for their assaults on Quebec and Montreal. Again, the fort was abandoned by the American forces the following year and repossessed by the British who immediately began constructing massive fortifications and renamed the new fort, Fort Lennox after the family of the Duke of Richmond. The fort continued to serve both infantry and naval forces until it ceased its military functions in 1870. For a short time afterwards, the fort was used as a penitentiary. In 1921, Canada's Fort Lennox became a National Historic Park and many of its buildings were reconstructed. Today, thousands of visitors tour Fort Lennox in Quebec to relive its exciting past.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Canada 34¢ Fort Lennox stamp issued June 28, 1985.
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