November 30, This day during the Queen Anne’s War (1702–1713)

November 30, 1707 – The Siege of Pensacola was two separate attempts in 1707 by English-supported Creek Indians to capture the town and fortress of Pensacola, then one of two major settlements (the other was St. Augustine) in Spanish Florida. The attacks, part of Queen Anne’s War (the North American theater of the War of the Spanish Succession), resulted in the burning of the town, and caused most of its Indian population to flee, although the fort withstood repeated attacks.In late November 1707 a second expedition arrived, and made unsuccessful attacks on three consecutive nights before withdrawing. Pensacola Governor Don Sebastián de Moscoso, whose garrison was depleted by disease, recruited convicted criminals to assist in the fort’s defense.  The second siege began with the arrival on November 27 of a contingent of about 20 Carolina traders and 300 Creeks, primarily Tallapoosas and Alabamas. On that day, an Englishman (unidentified in Spanish reports, but possibly Thomas Nairne) brought a demand for surrender written in English. Since none of the Spaniards could read it, he was sent away, and the demand was eventually transmitted orally by a French Huguenot. Moscoso rejected the demand, even though his garrison was depleted by disease. The besiegers began an ineffectual attack on the fort around midnight which lasted until daybreak, at which point they delivered a final surrender demand. Moscoso again refused. In order to supplement his forces, he successfully recruited convicts being held in the fort’s guardhouse to participate in the defense, offering them freedom and money for their service. During each of the next two nights the besiegers renewed their attacks on the fort, without significant effect. During the night of November 29–30, one of the leading Creek chiefs was killed. This apparently broke the besiegers’ morale, for the siege was lifted the following morning. The attackers were reported to have suffered significant casualties. Word of the attacking force had reached the French at Mobile on November 24. Governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville raised a force of 100 Frenchmen and 400 Indians. They reached Pensacola on December 8, only to learn that the siege had been lifted a week earlier.

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