Pepperrell, Sir William

Pepperrell, Sir William, 1696–1759, American colonial military commander, b. Kittery Point, Maine (then part of Massachusetts). A wealthy merchant, landowner, and businessman, he became a colonel in the colonial militia, was a delegate to the Massachusetts General Court and a member of the governor's council, and was appointed chief justice in 1730. In 1745, in King George's War (see French and Indian Wars), he commanded the land forces that, with a British fleet under Sir Peter Warren, captured the French fortress Louisburg, on Cape Breton, Canada. In recognition of this service, he was the first Native American to be created baronet (1746). Sir William also commanded a regiment in the last of the French and Indian Wars, and as president of the council he briefly governed (1756–57) Massachusetts. His journal of the Louisburg expedition was published by the American Antiquarian Society in its Proceedings, Vol. XX (1911).

See J. F. Sprague, Three Men from Maine (1924); study by B. Fairchild (1954).

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