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"About Robert Rogers" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2020 3:27 p.m. PST

"ROGERS, ROBERT (early in his career he may have signed Rodgers), army officer and author; b. 8 Nov. 1731 (n.s.) at Methuen, Massachusetts, son of James and Mary Rogers; m. 30 June 1761 Elizabeth Browne at Portsmouth, New Hampshire; d. 18 May 1795 in London, England.

While Robert Rogers was quite young his family moved to the Great Meadow district of New Hampshire, near present Concord, and he grew up on a frontier of settlement where there was constant contact with Indians and which was exposed to raids in time of war. He got his education in village schools; somewhere he learned to write English which was direct and effective, if ill spelled. When still a boy he saw service, but no action, in the New Hampshire militia during the War of the Austrian Succession. He says in his Journals that from 1743 to 1755 his pursuits (which he does not specify) made him acquainted with both the British and the French colonies. It is interesting that he could speak French. In 1754 he became involved with a gang of counterfeiters; he was indicted but the case never came to trial.

In 1755 his military career proper began. He recruited men for the New England force being raised to serve under John Winslow, but when a New Hampshire regiment was authorized he took them into it, and was appointed captain and given command of a company. The regiment was sent to the upper Hudson and came under Major-General William Johnson. Rogers was recommended to Johnson as a good man for scouting duty, and he carried out a series of reconnaissances with small parties against the French in the area of forts Saint-Frédéric (near Crown Point, N.Y.) and Carillon (Ticonderoga). When his regiment was disbanded in the autumn he remained on duty, and through the bitter winter of 1755–56 he continued to lead scouting operations. In March 1756 William Shirley, acting commander-in-chief, instructed him to raise a company of rangers for scouting and intelligence duties in the Lake Champlain region. Rogers did not invent this type of unit (a ranger company under John Gorham* was serving in Nova Scotia as early as 1744) but he became particularly identified with the rangers of the army. Three other ranger companies were formed in 1756, one of them commanded by Rogers' brother Richard (who died the following year)…"
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Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2020 5:37 p.m. PST

Interestingly, Gorham's Rangers were both more experienced and longer-lived than Rogers' bunch.

42flanker18 Apr 2020 11:52 p.m. PST

Kenneth Robert's 1937 novel 'The Northwest Passage' is a damn fine read. A vividly detailed depiction of the Saint-François raid and its disastrous aftermath is the central event of the first part of the novel.The second deals with Rogers' time in London. The flaws in his character are vividly depicted.

In 1940, it was made into an OK technicolor film by King Vidor with Spencer Tracy, Robert Young and Walter Brennan et al, which deals with the first half of the novel only. A planned sequel – dealing with the search for the Northwest Passage- was never made. Drama and nitpicking make it enjoyable to watch in equal measure.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2020 3:56 a.m. PST

It's an excellent movie, though the uniforms for the Rangers are completely wrong.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Apr 2020 3:34 p.m. PST



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