Pepperrell, Sir William

Sir William Pepperrell, commander in chief of New England forces at LOUISBOURG (b at Kittery Point, Maine 27 June 1696; d there 6 July 1759). Reared in his father's counting house, the most successful in colonial Maine, trading in fish and lumber to the West Indies and England, he became a popular member of the Massachusetts Bay House of Representatives as an assemblyman and as a member of council (1727-59). He was selected to command the New England forces at the 1745 siege of Louisbourg, after a long career as a militia colonel, but his skills in business were unsuited to the military task. The capitulation of the fortress brought him a colonelcy in a newly raised regiment of foot and a baronetcy, both unique achievements, until then, for an American. His regiment formed part of the Louisbourg garrison, though he resided in Boston. Promoted major-general in 1755, he led his regiment in the abortive campaign against Fort Niagara. In 1757 he served briefly as acting governor of Massachusetts.