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Timeline of Fort at No. 4 and Period Events

Denotes Original Fort at No. 4 Events


May 14th
Colonists from the London Company establish the first permanent English settlement in North America at the Jamestown colony in Virginia.


July 3rd
Samuel de Champlain, “Father of New France,” establishes the first permanent French settlement in North America at Quebec (City).


July 14th
Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Champlain and enters into alliance with the Algonquin and Huron Indians to help them defeat the Iroquois tribes. This involvement results in hostile relations between the French and Iroquois who will eventually ally with the English.


Deadly disease introduced by the Europeans wipes out 75-90% of the New England Indians over the next several years. Smallpox epidemics reoccur among tribes into the 1700s.


First blacks brought to Jamestown on a Dutch ship as indentured servants. This marks the beginning of slavery.


The Massachusetts Bay Company receives a Royal Charter. ~MORE INFO~


May 14th
Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France and rules until 1715.


First Navigation Act is passed. Under the system of mercantilism, a series of Navigation Acts follow in the 1600s and 1700s that further tighten English control over colonial trade.


King Philip’s War is waged over the next year in New England resulting in the defeat of the Wampanoag Indians and their allies.


A Royal Decree separates New Hampshire from Massachusetts. New Hampshire becomes a Royal Colony with John Cutt as the first President (the position is later called Governor).


King James II creates the “Dominion of New England.” Acting Governor Sir Edmond Andros curbs town meetings, restricts the press, courts, and imposes taxes without the consent of elected representatives. After the Glorious Revolution in England (1688), the Dominion collapses.


June 27th
King William’s War begins in Dover, New Hampshire with a series of Indian raids. Fighting will last almost ten years. This war marks the first in a series of French and Indian wars between England and France ending in 1763.


September 25th
The first newspaper is published in North America called Publick Occurrences: Both Foreign and Domestick by Benjamin Harris in Boston.

December 10th
The Massachusetts General Court issues £7,000 paper currency which is considered the first public paper money issued in the history of Western civilization.


In the Salem Witch Trials (Salem, Massachusetts) twenty people are executed for the crime of witchcraft.


The population of the English colonies in North America reaches 275,000. Boston has a population of 7,000 and New York has 5,000.


March 8th
Queen Anne ascends the throne of England. ~MORE INFO~


February 29th
A party of French soldiers and their Indian allies raid the settlement of Deerfield, Massachusetts. ~MORE INFO~

April 17th
The Boston News-Letter is printed and becomes the first long-running newspaper in the colonies.


January 17th
Benjamin Franklin is born in Boston, Massachusetts.


The Treaty of Utrecht ends Queen Anne’s War (in England: War of Spanish Succession).


August 1st
George I succeeds Queen Anne to become King of England until 1727.


September 1st
At five years old, Louis XV becomes King of France until 1774.


Work begins on the French Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia.


The population of the English colonies in North America reaches 475,000.


August 14th
Indians capture Phineas Stevens who will become a key figure at No. 4.


Fort Dummer, the first permanent European settlement in Vermont, is built on the west bank of the Connecticut River, just south of present-day Brattleboro, Vermont.


June 11th
George II becomes King of England and reigns until 1760.


February 22nd
George Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

Benjamin Franklin publishes his first copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac; containing humor and proverbs, it becomes a colonial bestseller with sales at 10,000 copies a year.


Massachusetts General Court establishes land grants along the upper Connecticut River Valley including No. 4 which later becomes Charlestown, New Hampshire.

John Peter Zenger, printer of the New York Weekly Journal, is found not guilty of ‘seditious libel’ for being critical of the government marking the beginning of free press in America.


The colony of Connecticut mints the first colonial copper coins.


Stephen, Samuel, and David Farnsworth are among the first settlers to arrive at the No. 4 township. For almost two decades, No. 4 remains as the northern most English settlement in the area.


King George II ends the boundary dispute between the colonies of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, granting a much larger territory to New Hampshire than had been claimed earlier.


October 19th
Living in constant fear of Indian attacks, the inhabitants of No. 4 petition for help.

November 24th
The Fort at No. 4 Settlers begin planning for a fortification.


King George’s War (in Europe: War of Austrian Succession) comes to North America when French forces attack the New England fishery at Canso, Nova Scotia.

July 24th
Captain John Spafford sends a petition from No. 4 to New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth seeking aid in defending No. 4 against the French and Indians. ~MORE INFO~

Captain John Spafford constructs a gristmill and sawmill. ~MORE INFO~


June 17th
New England colonists under the command of William Pepperell capture Fort Louisbourg.

The New Hampshire government sends John Goffe and twenty-seven men to scout for French and Indian war parties between the Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers. ~MORE INFO~

October 11
Nehemiah Howe is captured; he was the first person from the upper Connecticut River Valley to be captivated (captured and held prisoner) during King George’s War. ~MORE INFO~


April 19th
Indians capture Captain John Spafford, Lieutenant Isaac Parker, and Stephen Farnsworth and burn the sawmill and gristmill. All three men return to No. 4 after months imprisonment in Canada. ~MORE INFO~

May 2nd
Indians kill Seth Putnam Jr., the first settler of No. 4 to be killed by Indians in King George’s War. ~MORE INFO~

May 15th
Learning of the Indian raids, Governor Shirley sends Captain Daniel Paine of Dudley, Massachusetts with a small detachment of mounted soldiers to protect No. 4. On the 24th, Indians ambush men from No. 4 and from Captain Paine’s troop who had gone to see where Seth Putnam Jr. had been killed. ~MORE INFO~

June 19th
Captain Stevens and Captain Josiah Brown of Sudbury, Massachusetts who had recently arrived at No. 4, along with their men, are ambushed by an estimated one hundred and fifty Indians. ~MORE INFO~

Settlers under attack Captain Stevens and sixty of his men march to the Great Meadow (south of No. 4) to guard farmers there during their harvest. He returned on August 8th to find several buildings burned including the recently rebuilt Spafford mills. A large party of St. Francis Indians had killed Ebenezer Phillips and destroyed cattle and horses. ~MORE INFO~


March 27th
Captain Stevens makes a personal appeal to Governor Shirley about the importance of defending No. 4 on the Connecticut River. As a result, Governor Shirley orders Stevens along with thirty men to take possession of No. 4. They return finding it unharmed and are greeted by a cat and an old spaniel dog. ~MORE INFO~

April 7th-9th
Three Day Siege: A party of French and Indian allies claiming to be 700 strong attack No. 4. Captain Phineas Stevens and his men successfully hold off the attackers for three days. ~MORE INFO~

April 24th
The Massachusetts Provincial Council votes to send one four-pound cannon and two swivel guns to No. 4 for protection against the French and their Indian allies.


Massachusetts posts an additional one hundred men at No. 4 under Phineas Stevens and his second in command, Humphrey Hobbs, with instructions to scout the Wood and Otter Creeks. ~MORE INFO~

March 19th
The four-pound cannon given by the Massachusetts Provincial Council is placed in one of the upstairs bedchambers of the Parker house at No. 4. It is used as a signal gun to warn all settlers of approaching danger. ~MORE INFO~

May 14th
Otter Creek Expedition: In response to Indian raids, Captain Eleazer Melven from Fort Dummer and Captains Phineas Stevens and Humphrey Hobbs from No. 4, with about seventy eight men, travel up the Black River to Otter Creek to search for signs of French and Indian war parties. ~MORE INFO~

June 24th
Captain Hobbs, stationed at No. 4, took his company of Rangers on a scouting mission and defeated the half-blood Indian, Sackett, in battle. ~MORE INFO~

October 18th
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ends King George’s War (in Europe: War of Austrian Succession). ~MORE INFO~


The Governor General of Canada sends Captain Celeron de Blainville to claim the Ohio River Valley for the French and to discourage the Native Americans from trading with the British.

June 20th
Indians attack Ensign Obadiah Sartwell and Enos Stevens, Captain Phineas Stevens’ ten-year-old son, while they worked in the fields. Obadiah is killed and Enos is held for a few months in Canada before returning to No. 4.

Governor Shirley asks Captain Phineas Stevens to redeem English and Indian captives in Canada. ~MORE INFO~


The British population in the North American colonies reaches approximately 1.25 million.

Captain Phineas Stevens sends a petition to Governor Wentworth asking for New Hampshire to re-grant the land to the people of No. 4, as it had been originally granted under Massachusetts. Captain John Spafford also writes a petition asking for a right in the township of No. 4, as well as an extra 100 acres of land as compensation for the loss of his mills and for his time in captivity in Canada. ~MORE INFO~


The residents of No. 4 hold a meeting and vote to encourage a blacksmith and a minister to settle within their community. ~MORE INFO~

Captain Phineas Stevens establishes a banking and trading post in his home at No. 4. He trades things such as sugar, salt, flour and cloth to the settlers of No. 4 and several Native Americans. ~MORE INFO~

Phineas Stevens successfully redeems captives from Canada. ~MORE INFO~

June 10th

The English Parliament passes the Currency Act, which bans the New England colonies from issuing paper money.


April 28th
Indians capture Captain John Stark who is later redeemed by Captain Phineas Stevens. ~MORE INFO~

As a representative of Massachusetts, Phineas Stevens meets with St. Francis Abenaki Indians at a council in Montreal. ~MORE INFO~

September 3 (September 14)
England adopts the Gregorian calendar, resulting in an adjustment of eleven days to convert from Old to New Style.


Governor Duquesne of Canada orders a series of forts be built in the Ohio River Valley. At the same time, Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia grants land in that area to the people of his colony. Governor Dinwiddie sends George Washington to Fort LeBoeuf, demanding the French leave what he claims to be British territory. The French refuse.

Six St. Francis Indians come to No. 4 to meet with Captain Stevens about encroaching English interest in their land. ~MORE INFO~

July 2nd
Phineas Stevens petitions Benning Wentworth and the New Hampshire General Assembly on behalf of the settlers of No. 4 to grant a charter for their town. ~MORE INFO~


The settlement of No. 4 has grown to 30 homes and 180 people. The Inhabitants of No. 4 vote to pay 2 pounds, 13 shillings, and 4 pence for the repair of the Great Hall. ~MORE INFO~

April 17th
The French conquer a British fort and construct Fort Duquesne at the headwaters of the Ohio River.

May 15th
Phineas Stevens petitions the Governor of New Hampshire on behalf of settlers in Contoocook, Canterbury and Stevenstown for protection due to recent Indian raids. ~MORE INFO~

May 28th
An English patrol led by George Washington and his guide, a Seneca Chief named Half-King, attacks a small party of French soldiers under the command of Ensign de Jumonville. Ten Frenchmen are killed, including Jumonville. This clash marks the start of the French and Indian War which will ultimately spread to Europe.

Albany Congress While tensions between France and Britain escalate, representatives from most of the British colonies meet in Albany to discuss an alliance against the French.

July 3rd
The French and Indians defeat George Washington at Fort Necessity.

August 30
Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson and their family Slyvanus, age 6, Susanna, age 4, Polly, age 2, Mrs. Johnson’s sister Miriam Willard, age 14 and two neighbors, Peter Larabee and Ebenezer Farnsworth are captured by St. Francis Indians.

Governor Wentworth sends two detachments to No. 4 under Major John Goffe, but they arrive after the capture. ~MORE INFO~


June 16th
The French surrender Fort Beausejour in Nova Scotia. Captain Phineas Stevens served as the captain of a company consisting of one hundred and two men in the Second Battalion. ~MORE INFO~

August 8th
Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire orders twenty-five men to join the forty soldiers already posted at No. 4 to aid in the defense of the Connecticut River Valley. ~MORE INFO~

September 8th
The Battle of Lake George ends in a costly victory for the British. Soon after, the Marquis de Montcalm takes command of all French forces in North America.

November 13th
Governor Wentworth orders Colonel Ebenezer Hinsdale to leave twenty men at No. 4 for its protection. ~MORE INFO~


April 6th
While in military service in Nova Scotia, Captain Phineas Stevens dies from ‘camp fever’. ~MORE INFO~

May 17th
The French and Indian War (in England: Seven Years’ War) officially begins when England declares war on France and expands the conflict to Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

October 7th
The first copy of The New Hampshire Gazette is published in Portsmouth, NH.


William Pitt (1708-1778) becomes the new Secretary of State in England and escalates the French and Indian War in the colonies.

April 20th
No. 4 settlers David Farnsworth, Deacon Thomas Adams, Sampson Colefax, the miller, and two others, George Robbins and Asa Spafford, the son of Captain John Spafford are captured by Indians and taken to Quebec. In November, Adams, Colefax, and Spafford die from small pox while in captivity. Farnsworth and Robbins eventually return to No. 4. ~MORE INFO~

August 3rd -9th
Marquis de Montcalm captures Fort William Henry on the south end of Lake Champlain. Angered by the terms of surrender, the Indian allies of the French attack the retreating British force. ~MORE INFO~

September 21st
Governor Benning Wentworth assigns two hundred and fifty soldiers under Major Thomas Tash to No. 4. ~MORE INFO~

Soldiers at No. 4 No. 4 serves as a major way station for troops fighting in the campaigns of 1757-1758 and many carve powder horns to mark their stay. ~MORE INFO~


British General Jeffery Amherst orders Captain John Stark and two hundred rangers to construct a road 77 ½ miles long linking No. 4 and the Fort at Crown Point on Lake Champlain, New York. ~MORE INFO~

February to May
Smallpox infects thirty-four people in Charlestown. ~MORE INFO~

Major General Wolfe and the French commander, Marquis de Montcalm, are killed in the Battle of Quebec City on the Plains of Abraham. The British capture Quebec.

Led by Major Robert Rogers, a force of Rangers attack the Abenaki village of St. Francis in Canada. ~MORE INFO~


The British population in the North American colonies reaches approximately 1.6 million.

June 7th
Indians capture Joseph Willard, his wife and five children and take them to Canada. The family returns to Charlestown after the fall of Montreal. Colonel John Goffe arrived at Charlestown too late to help the Willard family. ~MORE INFO~

September 8th
The British capture Montreal. France surrenders its claims ending the conflict in North America.

October 25th
George III becomes King of England until 1820.


With the French threat removed, New Hampshire begins granting more land along the Upper Connecticut River Valley. The area known as the New Hampshire Grants and will become the Republic of Vermont during the American Revolution.


February 10th
The French and Indian War (in England: Seven Years’ War) officially ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, in which France surrenders its North American possessions.

October 7th
King George III issues the Proclamation of 1763 prohibiting colonists from establishing settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains.


To help pay for the debt of the French and Indian War, England passes the Sugar Act. A series of Acts follow leading up to the American Revolution.

King George III sets New Hampshire's western boundary.



In London, England, New Hampshire Ranger Robert Rogers’ publishes his play “Ponteach or The Savages of America” which criticized the exploitation of North American Indians.


The British population in the North American colonies reaches about 2,210,000 people.


July 4th
Founders sign the Declaration of Independence


John Stark, now a general, musters New Hampshire troops at the site of No. 4. From this point they march to take part in the Battle of Bennington during the American Revolution.


September 3rd
The United States Congress and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution.


Old Fort Number Four Associates is formed and plans begin for reconstruction.



Work begins on the reconstruction of No. 4 and The Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum is created.

Present Day

The Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum continues its mission to professionally collect, preserve and authentically interpret both physical and intellectual resources which provide an educational understanding and appreciation for the 18th century heritage of the Connecticut River Valley.

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267 Springfield Road (NH Rte. 11), P.O. Box 1336, Charlestown, NH 03603 / 603-826-5700 / info@fortat4.com