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Raid on Yarmouth, Nova Scotia (1775)

The Raid on Yarmouth took place on 1 December 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. The raid involved American Privateers from Machias, Maine attacking Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The privateers intended to stop the export of supplies being sent from Nova Scotia to the loyalists in Boston.[1]

Raid on Yarmouth (1775)
Part of the American Revolutionary War
DateDecember 1 1775
Result American victory
United States United States of America  Kingdom of Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
United States Kingdom of Great Britain
2 armed schooners (80 men each) local militia



During the American Revolution, Americans regularly attacked Nova Scotia by land and sea. American privateers devastated the maritime economy by raiding many of the coastal communities,[2] such as the numerous raids on Liverpool and on Annapolis Royal.[3]


On December 1, 1775 at 10:00 in the morning two American Privateers (80 men each) from Machias, each armed with eight Carriage guns and swivels, landed at Yarmouth.[4] The crew had fire locks, pistols and cutlasses. They overwhelmed the local militia and imprisoned all the officers. Under threat of death, the inhabitants of the town watched as the privateers pillaged their town. As a result, 82 inhabitants of Yarmouth signed a petition to the Governor Legge to either withdraw to Halifax or New England or be able to remain neutral in the conflict, which was quickly rejected by Richard Bulkeley.[5] [6]


American privateers remained a threat to Nova Scotian ports for the rest of the war. The attacks put an end to the trade relations between Nova Scotia and New England.[7] For example, after a failed attempt to raid Chester, Nova Scotia, American privateers struck again in the Raid on Lunenburg in 1782.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Naval Records of the American Revolution, Vol. 3, p. 109
  2. ^ Benjamin Franklin also engaged France in the war, which meant that many of the privateers were also from France.
  3. ^ Roger Marsters (2004). Bold Privateers: Terror, Plunder and Profit on Canada's Atlantic Coast" , p. 87-89
  4. ^ Naval Records of the American Revolution, Vol. 3, p. 3
  5. ^ Naval Records of the American Revolution, Vol. 3, p. 121
  6. ^ Poole, Edmund Duval (1899). Annals of Yarmouth and Barrington (Nova Scotia) in the Revolutionary War; compiled from original manuscripts, etc., contained in the office of the secretary of the Commonwealth, State House, Boston, Mass. J. Murray Lawson. p. 8.
  7. ^ p. 5