This Day in History: The British surrender Fort St. John

On this day in 1775, British forces surrender to American Brigadier General Richard Montgomery. They’d been under siege at Fort St. John for nearly 7 weeks.

It was an early success in the American fight for independence!

Did you know Americans attempted to invade Canada during the early months of the war? There were two prongs to this attack: Benedict Arnold led one group of men towards Quebec on a roundabout route through Maine. (See October 29 post.) A second force was dispatched towards Montreal. This second force was initially led by Major General Philip Schuyler.

Fort St. John stood in the way of Montreal.

That fort had already been attacked once, during the summer of 1775. Benedict Arnold’s effort to take the fort ended when he stole a British warship from a nearby river. The British soon dispatched Major Charles Preston to improve defenses at the fort, in case it was attacked again.

They would be better prepared if and when the Americans returned.