In 1731, a Spanish commander cut off the ear of British Captain Robert Jenkins and told him to take it to his King. This began the War of Jenkins’ Ear.
British Admiral Edward Vernon recruited 400 American colonists, including Lawrence Washington, George Washington’s half-brother.
They sailed to Panama and captured the port city of Porto Bello. Porto Bello was the most prosperous Spanish city in the New World as all the gold of Central and South America flowed through it to Spain. British Admiral Edward Vernon also attacked Cartagena, Columbia, but was unable to capture it.
Lawrence Washington returned to Virginia as a 25-year-old war hero. Lawrence served in Virginia’s assembly and militia, and named his farm Mount Vernon in honor of Admiral Edward Vernon.
After Lawrence died, George, at age 20, inherited Mount Vernon.
In 1742, the War of Austrian Succession began when Marie Theresa became the first woman to take Austria’s throne.
This pulled Prussia and France into the war, which combined with the War of Jenkin’s Ear to become King George’s War in America.
The threat of war shook colonists out of complacency and contributed to the spread of the Great Awakening Revival.
The British took the French city of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, in 1745, which was the third busiest seaport in America, behind Boston and Philadelphia, and was New France’s second most important commercial city after Quebec.
France wanted Louisbourg back. In 1746, French Admiral d’Anville set sail with the most powerful fleet of its day: 73 ships with 800 cannons and 13,000 troops.
Admiral d’Anville intended to: “expel the British from Nova Scotia, consign Boston to flames, ravage New England, and waste the British West Indies.”
Massachusetts Governor William Shirley declared a Day of Prayer and Fasting, October 16, 1746, to pray for deliverance.
Boston citizens gathered in the Old South Meeting House, where Rev. Thomas Prince prayed:
“Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the water…scatter the ships of our tormentors!”
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