Erik Nitsche: Fort York Redoubt/Nova Scotia
In 1793, when France declared war on Great Britain, the British controlled town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, had absolutely no fixed defenses and a very small garrison of men protecting the Halifax harbor. The British authorities quickly erected a number of cannon batteries to protect the harbor, one of which was on Sandwich Point and guarded the narrowest part of the outer harbor. Shortly afterward, this battery was enlarged and strengthened, largely at the instigation of His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III of England. Prince Edward was the military commander in Halifax at the time and ordered six cannons placed behind a crescent-shaped earthwork called a redoubt. The Prince then named the battery York Redoubt in honor of the Duke of York, one of his older brothers. According to Prince Edward, the main purpose of the redoubt was "to annoy enemy shipping on their first entrance into the harbour." There were few changes to the fort until the early 1860s when the older, obsolete cannons were replaced with the more powerful rifled muzzle loader guns. During the late 1800s, the old fort was incorporated into a new fort nearly twice the size of the original. However, despite the changes in appearance, the role of the York Redoubt remained the same ... to guard against a surprise attack and to dispute the passage of warships into the main harbor. Today, this is a National Historic Site ... and part of Canada's rich national heritage.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Canada 34¢ Fort York Redoubt stamp issued June 28, 1985.
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