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William Phips was born in Massachusetts on Feb 2, 1651 in an area which would later become the state of Maine. He left home for Boston at a very young age and became involved in merchant shipping industry. He worked his way up to Captain and in 1687 convinced financial backers to finance a search for Spanish treasure which had disappeared around 1600.

He recovered the treasure and was able to keep 16% of the treasure while the rest went to his investors and the Crown. This resulted n his appointment as Governor of Massachusetts. He presided over the establishment of colonial self government and a judicial system for the colony.

The spring of 1689 marks the beginning of the war between France and the league of Augsburg which was lead by Great Britain. North America had become a major theatre of war and the French ordered Frontenac to launch operations against the English colonies. The French forces streamed south and attacked the English settlements on the frontier where the destroyed the villages and either killed or capture the inhabitants. These aggressive attacks shocked the New England colonists to action and Phips was give command of a naval/army force which sailed for Acadia and arrived at Port Royal on May 22, 1690 and overwhelmed the post with ease. With Acadia secured he force returned to Boston and re-equipped and prepared for the next attack.

By August Phips was ready and on the 9th sailed for Quebec City, the heart of New France. Phips had a fleet of about 34 ships, including 4 large warships and over 2000 men. Phips arrived at Quebec City on August 19th and demanded the surrender of the city. Frontenac replied The only answer I have for you general will come from the mouths of my canon and muskets. Let him learn this is not the way a man such as me is to be summoned."

Phips launched his attack in the area of the St Charles River but was met by Jacques Le Moyne de Sainte-Helene who managed to rebuff the British assault. The heights of Quebec City were defended with several canons which were able to fire down upon Phips fleet and within a week the French bombardment was taking it's toll. By October 24th, the cold weather was setting in and Phips, fearful of being trapped in the St Lawrence by freezing water decided to give up the siege.

Phips ordered the return to Boston and weighed anchor only arriving back in New England in December. His fleet was battered and some ships lost and Frontenac remained in Quebec and died at the age of 76 on November 28th, 1698, having never returned to France after the battle.