"[I]n Albany, where I am obliged to Quarter more Troops than the People can support, or reasonably ought"

4th Earl Of Loudoun via WikipediaThis is an interesting bit of local history that we didn't know: During the French and Indian War the British army made extensive use of Albany homes to quarter soldiers -- much to the dismay of Albany residents -- and that experience played a significant role in fomenting local support for the American revolution.

From an article by Elizabeth Covart in the Journal of the American Revolution:

Between 1754 and 1760, thousands of British soldiers, colonial officials, merchants, and camp followers made their way to and through Albany. The war proved to be both a profitable and an antagonistic experience for the Albanians. Albanians profited from the war both financially and via the opportunity to extend their patronage networks. Merchants, tavern keepers, artisans, and laborers furnished their visitors with supplies, housing, and services. Elites rubbed elbows with aristocratic British officers. The Albanians had expected to profit from the war, but they had not anticipated the adversarial politics of identity that the war brought out. Although the Albanians claimed to be Britons, their British guests recognized them only as foreigners, Dutch colonials. The British Army used this non-British view of the Albanians to justify their quartering practices. Many Albanians believed the army's quartering practices had violated their constitutional rights as Britons and they reflected on this when it came time to choose their loyalties during the American Revolution. The Albanians' disagreeable experiences with the British Army during the French and Indian War predisposed the community to side with, or at least not oppose, the Patriot cause.

After the war, the city essentially tied to boot the British army from its land -- and the British didn't agree. The pent up frustration resulted in protests and riots. And by the time the revolution came along, there was a campaign in Albany to root out loyalists.

By the way: The British officer who oversaw the the quartering of troops in Albany was John Campbell, the 4th Earl of Loudoun (that's him on the right). Name sound familiar? Yep, it is from his name that the hamlet of Loudonville in Colonie is said to have gotten its name. Why him? Good question -- here's an article rolling around the question.

[via @paulalemire]

portrait from National Galleries Scotland via Wikipedia

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