Northeast Coast Campaign was a war campaign launched by a confederation of Native American tribes. The campaign was launched against English settlers and colonists in the New England colony. It took place in the mid-18th century.
At one side was an alliance of Native Indian tribes known as the Wabanaki Confederacy. This confederacy included five notable tribes or nations. The main members of the confederacy were Maliseet, Mikmaq, Abenaki, Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy.
The confederacy was also supported by the French colonists in New France. On the other side of the conflict were the New England colonies, primarily the colonists along the border of Maine.
The Northeast Coast Campaigns started in 1745 and continued until 1747. In these three years, the Wabanaki usually launched their campaigns before the winter set in.
In 1746, King George’s War was going on in North America. This war was primarily fought between France and Britain – the two nations were at war back in Europe as well. The French colonists mustered their forces and attacked British outposts in the Acadia region but they couldn’t gain success.
During the attack, the French troops were supported by the warriors of the Wabanaki Confederacy. To respond to this, British Governor in the Massachusetts Bay Colony put a bounty on Wabanaki warriors and launched a war against them. This conflict continued for many years.
In 1745, 1746 and 1747, the Wabanaki Confederacy launched their Northeast Coast Campaigns. These campaigns were directed at the settlements of British colonists in the Maine region. In 1745, British troops were successful in capturing the French colonial capital, Louisbourg. The Wabanaki decided to retaliate against this as they were allied with the French. This led to the first Northeast Coast Campaign by the Wabanaki.
During the three years when Wabanaki launched their campaigns, warriors from Wabanaki nations attacked Maine settlers and colonists. A number of farms and settlements were raided and looted. The warriors killed a number of settlers while also taking many captive.
Every town along the Maine frontier was attacked by the Wabanaki warriors. In response to the attacks, the British settlers shored up their defenses. The attacks led to a significant loss of life and property at the British side.
The Northeast Coast Campaign took place as a result of King George’s War. It was a time when the British and French colonists in North America were at war. The campaigns were primarily launched by the Wabanaki to harass the British and dent their strength during the war.
However, the Wabanaki couldn’t inflict any notable damage. Instead, the British colonists became more organized and stationed hundreds of troops along the Maine border to better protect the colony. The campaign also demonstrated how French colonial forces heavily relied on their Indian allies, in contrast to British troops and colonists who relied on their own numbers in most of the colonial conflicts.