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William Pote, Jr.
Born (1718-12-15)December 15, 1718
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Died circa 1755
Nationality American
Occupation surveyor
ship captain

William Pote (15 December 1718 - c. 1755) was a British surveyor and ship captain who wrote one of the few captivity narratives from Acadia/Nova Scotia when he was captured by the Wabanaki Confederacy during King George's War.[1]

Early life and career[]


By 1745, Pote was in command of the merchant vessel Montague. He was engaged to take supplies to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. During the Siege of Annapolis Royal (1745), the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet took prisoner William Pote and some of Gorham's Rangers. During his captivity, Pote wrote one of the most important captivity narratives from Acadia and Nova Scotia. While at Cobequid, Pote reported that an Acadian said that the French soldiers should have "left their [the English] carcasses behind and brought their skins."[2]:34 He later witnessed the Naval battle off Tatamagouche, for which his journal is one of the primary sources. The following year, among other places, Pote was taken to the Maliseet village Aukpaque on the Saint John River. While at the village, Mi'kmaq from Nova Scotia arrived and, on July 6, 1745, tortured him and a Mohawk ranger from Gorham's company named Jacob, as retribution for the killing of their family members by Ranger John Gorham.[3]:42–43 On July 10, Pote witnessed another act of revenge when the Mi'kmaq tortured a Mohawk ranger from Gorham's company at Meductic.[3]:45 Pote's voyage to Quebec took four months. He was allocated to a group of Hurons from Lorette, near Quebec.[1]

Release and later life[]

Early in June 1747, Pote and some of his companions learned that they would soon be sent home. Before Pote was released from prison in June 1747, he gave his journal to a woman prisoner to carry to (British controlled) Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island (Île Royale) “Under her peticoats,” lest it be confiscated. Pote left Quebec on 30 July 1747 aboard the schooner Le Saint-Esprit and in mid-August reached Louisbourg, where he reported to John Henry Bastide for employment. He continued his life at sea, commanding a merchant vessel as late as 1752. Neither the place nor the circumstance of his death is known.[1]

See also[]


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