“Robert Rogers: ‘A Man of Uncommon Strength'” By Tim J. Todish

The Rangers were representative of a young and vibrant nation on the move: their discipline was of the forest rather than the parade ground, and they attracted leaders of initiative and daring, leaders who set a standard of going beyond the expected.

Ranger Colonel Robert W. Black, Retired1


When Major Robert Rogers died, his obituary referred to him as “a man of uncommon strength.” That he certainly was, and he also was one of the most famous and fascinating men to come out of colonial America. Rogers was born in Methuen, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, on November 7, 1731. He was a man of great physical strength, charisma, intelligence, ambition, and vision. Like all men, he also had his flaws and weaknesses.

Although he was born to a frontier family, Rogers did not come from abject poverty. In fact, for much of his youth, his family appears to have been relatively well off by frontier standards. He received little formal schooling, but that does not mean he was uneducated. While he probably had help with his published writings, the majority of the content is undoubtedly his own. Surviving letters and other documents show that he had a mastery of writing skills that was at least adequate for his time. In a nineteenth century essay on Rogers, Joseph B. Walker wrote,
“Rogers laid no claims to fine writing, but his own manuscript reports, written mostly in camp and hastily, attest to his possession of a fair chirography, a pretty good knowledge of grammar and spelling, together with a style of expression both lucid and simple.”2

Probably the first serious biography of Rogers was by Allan Nevins. It was published as part of the 1914 Caxton Club edition of Rogers’ play, Ponteach or the Savages of America. While Nevins generally gives Rogers his due for his military exploits, he takes a rather negative approach to him as a person, particularly in his later years. Although there is certainly a basis for his criticisms, Nevins’ account was written many years ago, and he did not have access to much of the information available today. Unfortunately, many later writers have just repeated Nevins’ conclusions, without attempting to verify them independently or use the latest available research.

Some people claim that Rogers’ published Journals are “boastful,” and “self promoting.” Careful study of the Journals however, show that they are anything but boastful–in fact they often make the reader cry out for more detail. It must be recognized that in war, both sides tend to report things in the most favorable light. This often makes it difficult to resolve discrepancies in terms of troops strength, casualties, prisoners, and the like. Often the reader must decide between differing accounts of the same incident.

Distinguished historian William L. Clements says that Rogers “recited his experiences in a modest way.”3 John A. Houlding, the author of one of the classic works on the British army in the eighteenth century, says that Rogers’ Journals convey “a striking realism and a consummate professionalism . . . .”4

Franklin B. Hough, who edited a nineteenth century edition of Rogers’ French and Indian War Journals, said this: “The general tenor of the narrative, and details in abundance, are however well verified by independent authorities, and justify the belief that the accounts of services here given, are in the main reliable, and that the work fairly presents the conditions of affairs, as they existed, and the events, as they occurred, in the time and manner described.”5

The “self promoting” claim about the Journals does have some validity, but in a positive sense. Rogers was a great visionary and was definitely ambitious, but so are most great men. His biggest dream was to discover the Northwest Passage. He wanted to open the way to the Pacific Ocean and to the trade that lay beyond, and he also saw the advantages of British development of the Great Lakes region. In order to realize his dreams, he had to sell people on his ideas and raise the necessary funds to accomplish them. Capitalizing on his past achievements was one way to do this. This technique has been, and continues to be, used by many other great men.

One of Rogers’ greatest strengths was his ability to accept and work with all kinds of people. His Ranger corps was a model of diversity, and his men were judged on their abilities and dedication to the ranging service rather than merely the circumstances of their birth. Rogers enlisted several companies of Stockbridge Mohican Indians into his Rangers, and gave their Indian officers the same status as white Ranger officers. He repeatedly defended them against the criticism, at times justified, that they received from superior officers. Two of his early companies, commanded by Humphrey Hobbs and Thomas Speakman, were made up of a high percentage of Irish Catholics and even some Spaniards.6 Boston Burn, a black slave belonging to James Burn of Westford, Massachusetts, served as a Ranger in the 1758 campaign.7

The only surviving personal possession that definitely can be connected to Robert Rogers is his powder horn, now in the collections of Fort Ticonderoga. It was made for him by John Bush, a free black who is highly regarded for his beautifully engraved horns. Bush served in a Massachusetts Provincial regiment, was captured at Fort William Henry, and tragically died aboard a ship while being transported to France as a prisoner of war.8

Many people have made the assumption that because Rogers was so good at fighting Indians, he hated them. Nothing could be further from the truth. When it was time to fight the Indians, Rogers fought with a skill and determination that few men possessed. At the same time, he had great empathy for them and treated them fairly. His play, Ponteach, or the Savages of America, was very sympathetic to the Indians’ plight, and harsh on the British traders and government officials who took advantage of them. As a result of Rogers’ fairness towards Indians, he was generally well liked and respected by them. When he was arrested at Michilimackinac on December 6, 1767, the local Ojibwa protested by throwing their British flag into the lake, and then tried to get the Ottawas to assist them in helping Rogers escape.9

Rogers’ ability to deal effectively with Indians made him a threat to Sir William Johnson, the Northern Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and was the cause of much of Johnson’s animosity towards him. At the same time, Rogers’ mastery of the techniques of wilderness warfare made his military superior, Thomas Gage, equally jealous of him. Although never fully successful, Gage wanted to replace the Rangers with his own 80th Light Infantry Regiment. Rogers’ problems with these two powerful men were the cause of many difficulties that he later faced.

One thing that must be made clear is that Robert Rogers did not invent the “ranger concept.” Lieutenant Colonel John Lock, a retired U.S. Army officer and former Ranger, gives an excellent summary of this issue:

“The term ‘Ranger’ evolved as far back as thirteenth century England, when it was used to describe a far-ranging forester or borderer. By the seventeenth century, the term emerged to serve as a title for irregular and unique military organizations, such as the ‘Border Rangers’ who defended the troubled border between England and Scotland. The term crossed the Atlantic to the North American continent with England’s early settlers.”10

From the earliest days of forest warfare in North America, groups of Rangers performed scouting duties and made swift attacks on the bands of Indians that were endangering the frontier settlements. Captain Benjamin Church’s Rangers during King Philip’s War practiced tactics that Rogers would make famous some seventy-five years later. By the time of the French and Indian War, it was common for every Provincial regiment to have a “scouting” or “ranging” company. In fact, Rogers got his start as captain of the ranging company of Blanchard’s New Hampshire Regiment. So although Rogers did not invent the ranger concept, he definitely refined it and brought it into prominence. He was one of the first to reduce his tactics to writing, and to formally train promising young officers and volunteers so that they could go back and share their knowledge with their own units. Through the exploits of his Ranger corps, he certainly gained a lasting place in history.

As a soldier, Robert Rogers had no formal military training. He applied his common sense and learned from experience. In many ways, this worked to his favor, as it allowed him to see solutions to problems that eluded his more rigid peers, particularly Regular British officers. At other times, he paid a high price for his lack of formal training. He and his Rangers always had difficulty in accepting what they viewed as the unnecessary parts of disciplined military life. There are even a few instances where they appear to have let their guard down while in the field, but these are rare.

For the most part, Rogers’ military weaknesses showed up in the area of administration. It must be remembered that later in the war, Rogers was placed in command of a corps of Rangers that amounted to roughly a thousand men, and he was often also in command of mixed forces of Rangers, Regulars, and Provincials. Without formal training to prepare him for these positions of relatively high command, it is remarkable that he did as well as he did.

Another factor that must be considered is that, as the size of the Ranger corps increased, the quality of the recruits decreased. At first, he was able to restrict his recruiting to men who were much like himself—experienced woodsmen, hardened in the ways of forest warfare. As his corps grew, Rogers was forced to accept recruits, volunteers, and even draftees from other units. Often these men had far less knowledge and experience than his original Rangers.

Retired Marine Corps colonel and author Anthony Walker gives an interesting evaluation of Rogers and his command of the Rangers: “Rogers embodied the Ranger fighting spirit but also their carelessness and lack of discipline. This dichotomy seems quite logical for a man raised on the New Hampshire frontier, where individualism flourished, providing also an explanation for the Rangers’ apparent lack of training in the art of woods fighting. We already know how to fight in the woods, so why train? Rogers’ tactical errors seemed to reflect inattention rather than ignorance or perhaps a certain laziness, which led him to follow the easy way out rather than insist on more rigorous measures. He was a consummate woodsman, completely at home in the forests winter or summer and expected his subordinates to show the same skills, which frequently they could not.”11

Colonel Walker is mistaken about the Rangers’ “lack of training,” for there are numerous examples of Rogers “exercising” his men in Ranger tactics. On June 25, 1758, a Massachusetts Provincial officer heard firing in the woods at Fort Edward. He learned that “ye General had given leave for four or five hundred Rangers to go out and hold a bush fight for 1/4 of and hour.” On another occasion, a surgeon recorded that, “Major Rogers this Day exercised his men in Bush Fiteing which drew a great Number out of ye Camp, to view them.” In yet another instance, this same surgeon wrote, “the Rangers exercised in Scout marches and Bush fighting which make a very pritty figure.”12

The rest of Colonel Walker’s observations, however, are worthy of consideration, especially since they are made by an experienced military officer. One thing that must be remembered though, is that nearly all of Rogers’ defeats came when he was deep in enemy territory, when he was outnumbered and fighting under very trying circumstances. Biographer John Cuneo identifies two of Rogers’ most valuable characteristics: “One was his aggressiveness: he carried the fight to the enemy. The other was his uncanny woodsmanship: he conquered the wilderness under the most adverse circumstances, including the rigorous limitations imposed by warfare. Time and time again Rogers carried out his orders in the heart of the enemy’s territory in stormy, freezing weather under combat conditions and returned with his unit intact.”13

In spite of the myth created in the movie Northwest Passage that Rangers who were too ill or too badly injured to keep up were left behind, Rogers showed a genuine concern for his men, and in return earned their affection and loyalty. On a winter scout to Crown Point in early 1756, one of his men became ill. Not wanting to endanger the entire party, he sent most of them ahead to safety. Rogers and seven men stayed with the ill Ranger, finally bringing him in twenty-two hours later. In the very difficult Battle on Snowshoes in March 1758, Rogers only narrowly escaped himself, yet he put the welfare of his men first. Jabez Fitch, a Provincial soldier, noted, “About 5 oClock I Se ye Majr Com in Him Self Being in Ye Rear of ye Whol—”14

Perhaps the best example of Rogers caring for his men is after the Saint Francis Raid. When they arrived at the Cohase Intervals, everyone, Rogers included, was near death from exhaustion, exposure, and starvation. Still, he managed to find the strength and determination to build a raft and float down the Connecticut River to obtain food, promising that he would have it back to his desperate men in ten days. Rogers and his three companions arrived at Fort No. 4 on October 31, and immediately dispatched provisions. They arrived just as he had promised—on the tenth day after his departure down the river. Just sending the food was not enough for Rogers, however. Despite his own weakened physical condition, he allowed himself only two days to rest and write his report to General Amherst. Then he started back up the river himself, to “seek and bring in as many of our men as I can find . . . .”15 No one would have criticized Rogers if he had allowed himself time to recover, or if he had gone directly to see Amherst to receive well-deserved recognition for his raid. Instead, with barely any recuperation, he went back to see to his men’s welfare.

When Rogers was first jailed for debt in January 1764, a group of soldiers from the 60th (Royal American) and 42nd (Royal Highland) regiments actually stormed the jail and released him, although he protested, “Indeed I am afraid, gentlemen, you will ruin me.” Even more telling of the extreme loyalty that he inspired in the soldiers—and remember, these were Regulars, not his own Rangers—is that this first party had no more than spirited him away before a second group appeared on the scene, intent on the same motive.16

When the war ended and the Rangers were disbanded, Rogers obtained commissions in  South Carolina, and then later, the New York Independent Companies. He returned to Detroit as part of the relief force during the 1763 Pontiac Uprising, and fought with distinction in the Battle of Bloody Run.

For all of his success, Rogers’ life was also plagued with failure. Financial problems that began during his military service plagued him for the rest of his life. While some of it may have been due to faulty record-keeping abilities that technically justified his accounts not being paid, more often he was just a victim of the system that was in place at the time. It was not uncommon for an officer to advance his own funds or to borrow to pay his men or to meet their other needs. The officer would then submit a request for reimbursement from the government. A voucher to General Gage, signed by Rogers at Crown Point on March 1, 1760, is a good example:

“The abstracts for the pay of the Rangers are sent down to Mr. Benjamin Lyon, to whome I beg that the Warrents may be made out payable to, as he has advanced all the Money to me, except what I had in Albany of Mr. Abraham Dow which is to be Deducted, Lyons Receipt for the Amount of the Warrent shall be equally binding on me—”17 (Emphasis added) Here Rogers is clearly taking personal responsibility for the funds advanced by Mr. Lyon used to pay his Rangers. The problem is, these vouchers could be disallowed for a variety of technical reasons, such as requiring unrealistic substantiation for funds due to soldiers captured or killed. When many of his accounts were disallowed, he incurred a personal debt that contributed significantly to his later downward spiral. After the war, failed trading ventures, which he had hoped would help his financial position, added to his problems.

While sometimes the rejection of Rogers’ expenses was technically correct, at other times it clearly shows a conspiracy to ruin him. General Amherst specifically requested that he serve in the relief force bound for the besieged Fort Detroit in 1763. Yet after Amherst’s return to England, Gage refused to pay Rogers, saying that he had served as a “volunteer.” He totally ignored the written orders that Amherst had left behind, which directed that, “Captain Rogers, who is Serving with Major Gladwin, must have his Half pay made up full pay, so long as he is kept on that Service.” The fact that Amherst used the word “must,” and underlined “full pay,” had no affect on Gage.18

In 1765, Robert went to England to settle his financial affairs and to try to win support for an expedition to find the Northwest Passage. While in London, he published his Journals, and two other works, A Concise Account of North America, and the play Ponteach, or the Savages of America: A Tragedy. The Journals was well received, and if anything, Concise Account was even more popular, because of the interest in Britain’s newly won territory in North America. Ponteach, though not as successful, does have the distinction of being one of the first plays written by an American to be performed on the London stage.

While Rogers was able to raise considerable support, circumstances worked against him, and he was never able to fulfill his dream of finding the Northwest Passage. The route he proposed was very similar to that followed by Lewis and Clark years later. Had he received the necessary backing, he very likely would have been successful—not in finding a water route, for one does not exist anywhere near that latitude—but in being the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean through the heart of the continent.

While in London, Rogers did manage to secure an appointment as governor of the militarily and economically important post of Michilimackinac. Many of Rogers’ actions and business activities there have been subject to criticism. He clearly was motivated by his desperate need to repay the debts incurred while he was in military service. However, some of his actions that appear questionable by today’s standards were widely accepted at the time.

During Rogers’ time at Michilimackinac, Johnson and Gage deliberately tried to undermine him. Gage once again showed his desire to deny Rogers any chance of success when he wrote to Johnson, “Be So good to Send me your Advice in what manner he may be best tied up by Instructions and prevent doing Mischief . . . .”19 What Johnson and Gage undoubtedly feared was Rogers’ ability to interfere with their own control of the highly lucrative fur trade. Although it is a very complicated issue, there is little doubt that what Johnson and Gage were doing was at least partially illegal. Johnson wanted to funnel all of the western fur trade through only two posts, Niagara and Oswego, and from there down the Mohawk Valley to New York City, effectively cutting Canada out of the picture. Rogers, who was a partner in two unsuccessful trading ventures himself, was one of those who challenged the legality of this, which naturally increased his troubles with the powerful Johnson and Gage.20

Rogers’ ambitious and basically unrealistic proposal to establish an independent government at Michilimackinac did not help matters. In the end, he was never given his promised commission as a captain in the 60th Regiment, and Gage even refused to pay him his salary. His arrest and court-martial on charges of treason was clearly politically motivated. The crucial letter from Captain Joseph Hopkins inviting Rogers to defect to the French was in Gage’s possession before his Michilimackinac orders were ever issued, yet nothing was said or done at the time. Also, there were actually three Hopkins letters, but the only recipient ever identified by Gage was Rogers. He declined to name the other two, saying that they were “Gentlemen of good Character.”21

During the siege of Detroit in 1763, a large number of British officers had signed a petition requesting that Hopkins be court-martialed. Robert Rogers’ signature was first on the list, and he became president of the resulting board of inquiry. Yet when the time came, both Gage and Johnson at best ignored the possibility that Hopkins might be seeking revenge, and at worst, were willing to use him in their own scheme to destroy Rogers once and for all.

Even the charge of Rogers spending extravagant sums on gifts to the Indians shows a double standard. At his trial, Rogers introduced a statement from both the British and French traders at Michilimackinac stating that his gifts were necessary. The traders in fact were so concerned that the government’s presents were not adequate that they donated additional gifts from their own supplies.22

Colonel Edward Cole, Rogers’ counterpart at Fort DeChartres who was appointed by Johnson, spent considerably more than Rogers during the same time period. While governor of Michilimackinac, Rogers negotiated an important treaty between two traditional enemies, the Ojibwa and the Sioux. The conference was attended by over seven thousand Western Indians, and was the largest ever held up to that time. The resulting peace saved the Crown costly military expenses and also advanced British trade. Colonel Cole had no similar accomplishments, yet Rogers was charged, and Cole’s similar “extravagances” were overlooked.23

Rogers was arrested on December 6, 1767, but was not brought to trial until the following October. He received extremely harsh treatment while in custody. He was allowed only one day, October 26, 1768, to prepare his defense. He was denied evidence and the testimony of witnesses that would have helped his cause. Still, his arguments were eloquent and well reasoned. Trial testimony eventually showed how weak the case was, and he was found innocent of all charges. Even after being acquitted in October, Gage did not order his release from custody until the following February.24

Robert J. Rogers, in his book Rising Above Circumstances writes,“From the treatment Robert received, it seems probable that his accusers had little intention of going through with the formality of a trial. Death in custody would have removed the requirement, and any suggestions of harsh treatment would soon be forgotten; an attempted escape, though to relieve his torment, would have firmly established his guilt. A lesser man might have tried to escape and died in the attempt. Robert was a strong individual, however, and had the respect and support of a large number of officers and friends.”25

Despite Rogers devoting over half of his lifetime fighting to get out of debt, other than being suspected of passing counterfeit notes as a youth, there is no strong evidence that he was ever involved in any clearly illegal schemes. One very important fact is that there are no negative comments about Rogers’ character in General Jeffrey Amherst’s Journals. Amherst was a man of high principles, very difficult to please, and extremely candid in his Journals.The fact that Rogers escaped his censure, while so many others did not, is significant.

Rogers returned to England in 1769 to find a means to pay his debts and rebuild his life. The funds that he was able to procure were inadequate and went to his creditors. For part of 1771, and again in 1772, he found himself in debtor’s prison. In 1774, he tried unsuccessfully to sue Gage for twenty thousand pounds. A new bankruptcy law led to his release on August 4, 1774, after almost twenty-two months in the fleet prison. Shortly thereafter, his pay as a retired captain was restored, perhaps in return for dropping his lawsuit against Gage. Then in the spring of 1775, he finally managed to secure a pension as a retired major.

Rogers returned to America in 1775 at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  Initially he offered his services to the Americans, but the fact that he was a retired British officer who had spent considerable time in England caused him to be looked upon with suspicion. For awhile though, the British thought that they had lost a valuable ally. The Hibernian Magazine reported that, “After such usage and indignities, we cannot wonder that Major Rogers is now high in command in the American army: But we may lament that a man of his abilities and experience has been forced to take an active part against the British arms, which he so often and so nobly defended.”26

Sadly, Rogers’offers to serve the colonists continued to be rebuffed, and eventually, both he and his brother James cast their lot with the Loyalists. Robert formed two units called the King’s Rangers and the Queen’s Rangers, but neither attained the fame that his French and Indian War Rangers had. Meanwhile, many of his former Rangers, including John Stark and Moses Hazen, served with distinction in the American army.

Rogers’ most notable accomplishment during the Revolution was the capture of the American spy and hero Nathan Hale in September of 1776. Captain William Bamford, of the 40th Regiment of Foot, noted in his diary, “Nathan Hale, a Cap’t in ye Rebel Army, and a spy was taken by Maj’r Rogers and this m’g hang’d.”27

The recently discovered diary of Loyalist shopkeeper Discover Tiffany shows that Rogers was very much involved in the incident:

Suspecting “that he was an Enemy in Disguise. . . [Rogers] made Capt Hale a Visit at his Quarters, where the Colonel fell into some Discourse Concerning the war . . . Intimating withal, that he himself was upon the Business of Spying . . . This Intrigue, not being Suspected by the Capt, made him believe he had found a good friend . . . the Colonel finding out the Truth of the matter, invited Capt Hale to Dine with him the next Day at his Quarters . . . Capt Hale Repaired to the place agreed on . . . with three or four men of the same Stamp, and after being Refreshed, Began the Same Conversation as hath already been mentioned—But at the height of their Conversation a Company of Soldiers Surrounded the house, and by orders from the Commander, Siesed Capt Hale in an Instant—But he Deneying his name, and the Business he came upon, he was ordered to New York; But before he was Carried far, Several persons Knew him and Called him by name; upon this he was hanged as a Spy, Some Say, without being Brought before a Court marshal . . . .”28

Rogers’ personal problems continued to multiply. In 1778, his wife Elizabeth, whom he had married in 1761, divorced him. Apparently he had started drinking heavily. His old superior, Frederick Haldimand, wrote that “he at once disgraces the Service, and renders himself incapable of being depended upon.”  Even his brother James, who had always stood loyally by him, remarked, “I am sorry his good talents should so unguarded fall a prey to Intemperance.”29

In 1782, after the Revolution, Rogers sailed to England to once again try desperately to settle his financial matters. Sadly, his last days were spent in declining health, in and out of debtor’s prison. He was drinking excessively. There is no doubt that in his final years, he was a mere shadow of his former self. A doctor who visited him found him “very ill with a slow fever and a hammer-like pulse that no Medicine could touch.” Rogers informed the doctor that, “his brother [James] was a gentleman of good fortune in British Canada, and he wished him, and the patient’s heirs, to be informed of his condition, requesting the Return to the Climate in which he had been brought up, would restore him back to Normal Health.”30 He would never get his wish to return to North America. Robert Rogers died in London on May 18, 1795. A London newspaper reported his passing:

“Lieutenant Col. Rogers, who died on Thursday last in the Borough, served in America during the late war, in which he had the command of a body of Rangers with which he performed prodigious feats of valor. He was a man of uncommon strength, but adversity, and a long confinement in the Rules of the King’s Bench, had reduced him to the most miserable state of wretchedness.”31

John Dann, retired director of the Clements Library, summarizes Rogers’ life in a manner that is both accurate and succinct: “Robert Rogers was not a saint, but there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he was an extraordinary sinner either.”32

Regardless of his personal weaknesses, Rogers’ military abilities secured him a lasting place in history. Of all the Ranger leaders of colonial times, his fame has been the most enduring, and his influence survives to this very day. Units like Darby’s Rangers and Merrill’s Marauders of Word War II, the Ranger Infantry Companies (Airborne) of Korea, and the Special Forces and Ranger units of Vietnam, all informally trace their heritage back to Rogers’ Rangers. Their tradition and spirit continues to live in today’s 75th Ranger Regiment and the “Tab Rangers” of the modern U.S. Army, who still incorporate many of Rogers’ maxims in their training.

In spite of such a dismal end for one who was once such a great man, there is evidence that even in his latter years, his old Ranger spirit was not entirely dead. In his personal notes, John Cuneo records a tale fully worthy of the indomitable Ranger of old.

One of Rogers’ biggest nemesis during his tenure at Michilimackinac, and later during his trial, was Lieutenant Benjamin Roberts. Roberts seems to have been a man sorely lacking in virtue. Kenneth Roberts, author of the famous novel Northwest Passage, had this to say about Benjamin Roberts: “The facts . . . seem to me to indicate that he was thoroughly unprincipled: that he would stoop to anything to accomplish his ends: that he was petulant, hot-headed, unreliable, a sycophant, a tale-bearer, devoid of good judgment, and a liar, in addition to having other grave faults.”33

According to Cuneo, one day in the summer of 1787 Rogers was walking down a London street when he unexpectedly met Roberts. Rogers “carried the latter, struggling and kicking, and dumped him in an open grave in St. Michael’s Churchyard and started to shovel earth on top of him.”34

Cuneo regrettably offers no documentation for this incident other than saying that it is one of the “traditions of old London.” That may be why did not include it in the published edition of his book. True or not, the story certainly is befitting of the spirit of Robert Rogers. As has been said about the inspiring movies of the great director John Ford: If that’s not the way it was, then that’s the way it should have been!


1. Black, p. 2

2. Walker, Life and Exploits, p. 12

3. Rogers, Michilimackinac Journal, p. 5

4. Houlding,p. 222

5. Rogers Journals, Hough Edition,p. 4

6. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, p. 42

7. Padeni, p. 165

8. Ibid, pp. 162-163

9. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, p. 230; Lewis, p. 233; and Armour, Colonial Michilimackinac, p. 74

10. Lock, p.1

11. Walker, The Woods Fighters, pp. 46-47

12. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, p. 82

13. Ibid, p. 30

14. Fitch, p. 53

15. Rogers, Annotated and Illustrated Journals, p. 175

16. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, pp. 170-171

17. Gage Papers, American Series, Collections of the William L. Clements Library

18. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, pp. 171-172  For readers with a deeper interest, John Cuneo, a lawyer by trade, offers a thorough study of Rogers’ financial difficulties in his book Robert Rogers of the Rangers.

19. Ibid, p. 183

20. Ibid, pp. 195-199

21. Roberts, Volume II, p. 77; and Cuneo, Robert Rogers, pp. 187-188

22. Armour, Treason? At Michilimackinac, p. 87

23. Roberts, Volume II, pp. 146-147

24. For a thorough study of Rogers’ court-martial, Dr. David A. Armour’s Treason? At Michilimackinac is highly recommended. The trial transcript is also reprinted in Roberts, Volume II.

25. Robert J. Rogers, p. 160

26. Hibernian Magazine, p. 579

27. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, p. 270

28. Tiffany Diary, pp. 44-45

29. Cuneo, Robert Rogers, p. 277

30. Cuneo, Personal Notes, p. 186

31. London Morning Post and Fashionable World, May 25, 1795

32. Dann, p. 26

33. Roberts, Volume II, pp. 76-77

34. Cuneo, Personal Notes, pp. 184-185

Bibliography and Further Reading

Armour, Dr. David A. Colonial Michilimackinac. Mackinac State Historic Parks, Mackinac Island, Michigan, 2000.

___________________. editor. Treason? At Michilimackinac: The Proceedings of a General Court Martial held at Montreal in October 1768 for the Trial of Major Robert Rogers. The Mackinac Island State Park Commission, (now Mackinac State Historic Parks), Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1967; revised 1972.

Black, Robert W. Rangers in Korea. Ivy Books, New York, 1989.

Cuneo, John R. Robert Rogers of the Rangers. (Cited in endnotes as Cuneo, Robert Rogers).
-Oxford University Press, New York, 1959, hardcover
-Richardson & Steirman, New York, 1987, hardcover
-Fort Ticonderoga Museum, Ticonderoga, NY, 1988, trade paperback.

___________________. Unpublished personalresearchnotes for Robert Rogers of the Rangers. Original in the collections of the William L. Clements Library, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Cited in endnotes as Cuneo: Personal Notes). Copy in the author’s collection. There are no page numbers in the original manuscript. Therefore, for the purposes of my citations, I have added my own numbers. The page titled “Abbreviations in Notes and Bibliography” is page number one, and each page is numbered sequentially thereafter.

Dann, John C., editor.  North West Passage Revisited. Published in “TheAmerican Magazine and Historical Chronicle,” by the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring-Summer 1986, pp. 18-35.

Fitch, Jabez. The Diary of Jabez Fitch, Jr. In the French and Indian War. The New York State French & Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration Commission and the Rogers Island Heritage and Development Alliance, Inc., 2007. Originally published by the Rogers’ Island Historical Association, Glens Falls, New York, 1966.

Gage, Thomas, et al.  The Gage Papers, American Series 2: March-July 1759. Original manuscripts in the collections of the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Hibernian Magazine: or, Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge. September, 1776. Original in the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Houlding, J. A. Fit for Service: The Training of the British Army, 1715-1795. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981.

Lewis, Theodore B. Major Robert Rogers: Commandant of Michilimackinac. In “The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum,” Volume XIII, Number 3, 1972, pp. 227-240.

Lock, John D. To Fight with Intrepidity . . . The Complete History of the U.S. Army Rangers 1622 to Present. Pocket Books, New York, 1998.

London Morning Post and Fashionable World, May 25, 1795.

Padeni, Scott A. Forgotten Soldiers: The Role of Blacks in New York’s Northern Campaigns of the Seven Years’ War. In “The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum,” Volume XVI, Number 2, 1999, pp. 152-169.

Roberts, Kenneth. Northwest Passage. Special two volume, limited edition of 1050 copies.  Volume I is the novel itself.  Volume II is an appendix containing research material that Roberts compiled while working on this famous book. Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1937.

Rogers, Robert. The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers. Edited by Timothy J. Todish and illustrated by Gary S. Zaboly. Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, New York, 2002.

___________________. Journals of Major Robert Rogers. Joel Munsell’s Sons, Albany, 1883, with an introduction and notes by Franklin B. Hough.

___________________. Michilimackinac Journal. Edited and with an introduction by William L. Clements. Published in “The Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society,” Worcester, Massachusetts, 1918.

Rogers, Robert J. U. E.  Rising Above Circumstances: The Rogers Family in Colonial America.
Sheltus & Picard Inc., Bedford, Quebec, Canada, 1999.

Tiffany, Discover. Diary. Original manuscript in the Library of Congress.

Walker, Anthony, Colonel, U.S.M.C. Retired. The Woods Fighters: Rogers’ Rangers in the Wilderness War, 1755-1760. Seafield Press, Newport, Rhode Island, 1994.

Walker, Joseph B. Life and Exploits of Robert Rogers, the Ranger: A Paper Read Before the Members of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society, at Their Monthly Meeting in Boston, November 5, 1884. John N. McClintock and Company, Boston, 1885.

© Tim J. Todish
Grand Rapids, Michigan
January 8, 2009