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French Forts Along the Richelieu River
by James P. Millard

Rev. Kerlidou's map of the French forts along the Richelieu River and northern Lake Champlain

Rev. Kerlidou's map of the Richelieu River forts

In 1895, the Reverend Joseph Kerlidou published a small devotional aid dedicated to the veneration of St. Anne de Beaupre, the Catholic saint honored by Saint Anne's Shrine in Isle la Motte, Vermont.

This little book, while primarily of interest to devout Catholics, does feature a history of Fort Ste. Anne- the first white settlement in what is now Vermont. The map shown at left, while admittedly a fanciful depiction of the region, shows all the French forts that were built along the Richelieu for protection against Mohawk raids. For an in-depth history of events occurring in this region of New France, visit our Timeline.

To learn of fortifications at Chambly, click here.
To learn of Isle aux Noix, click here.
Fort Ste. Anne (Isle la Motte), here.


Courtesy: Saint Michael's College, Durick Library/Special Collections

When viewing this map, it is important to note that the island Fort Ste. Anne is on (Isle la Motte) is NOT the only island between Burlington and the Richelieu. Actually, Isle la Motte is only one of several large islands. The map omits Grand Isle (including what is now South Hero), and the large island we know today as North Hero.

For a large close-up of the Richelieu region, click HERE.

It is interesting to note that Walter Hill Crockett and Guy Omeron Coolidge, in their important works on the history of the region, refer to Rev. Kerlidou's history in their writings. Crockett mentions the work at least twice, once in "A History of Lake Champlain," (p.48) and again in "History of Vermont,"(p.122) where he states that Kerlidou "...made a careful study of Fort St. Anne and the early settlement on Isle La Motte..." Coolidge in "The French Occupation of the Champlain Valley," cites the French version of the book repeatedly, primarily in footnotes. (See bibliography

1 Joseph J. Kerlidou, "St. Anne of Isle La Motte in Lake Champlain: its history, rules of the confraternity, prayers, novena to St. Anne..." 1895 (Burlington, Vermont: Free Press Association)

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