|Outline of Governor Colonel James Grant
First British Governor of St. Augustine
|1720 - Born at Ballindalloch Castle in the Scotish Highlands. He was of the clan of Strathspey.
1737 - College in Edinburgh reading for law
1741 - Joins the British Army after studying law as Ensign in the Royal Scots at the age of
1744 - Promoted to first lieutenant in Captain John Cunninghams grenadier company of
October 24 became Captain in the 1st Battalion, 1st Royal Scots promoted by Field
Marshall George Wade.
1745 - Fought at the Battle of Fontenoy
1746 - (From Captain James Grant to Robert Grant
From on Board his Majestyâ€™s Ship Superbe
June 24th 1746 at Sea three leagues from
. . . . . . the Fleet is now under sail with a fair wind I hope
shall have a favorable passage and shall be sorry not
have another opportunity of writing to you till we arrive
some part of America. . . . .
Turned around after a few days and reported to Ireland
1746 - October raided Brittany as part of a six battalion raiding force.
1747 - He was appointed aide to General James St. Clair, Ambassador to the Courts of
Vienna and Turin.
1752 - An inventory of clothing belonging to Captain James Grant included: 1 light textured
Coat n Gold lace, 1 velvet coat, 1 black coat, 2 light colored plain coats, 1 shirt regimental, 1
damask silk waist with gold lace, 1 blue silk waist with gold lace, 1 white satin waist
embroidered with gold1 pair scarlet breeches, 3 pair black velvet, 2 pair black silk, 1 pair
light colored, 3 pair worsted stockings, 1 pair black silk, 2 pair white silk, plain shirts, 10
socks, 20 handkerchiefs, 3 night caps, 1 sash, 1 pair boots, 1 black silk bad, 1 writing case, 1
strap for razors, 1 case with 6 razors and sizzors, 3 swords and two belts, 1 pair pistols, 1 St.
1757 - On January 5, he was commissioned Major of the 77th Regiment, 1st Battalion known
as Montgomery Highlanders by King George the Second, commanded by Archibald
Montgomery. They sailed from Cork, Ireland and arrived at Halifax in August. September
29th he arrived in Charleston, South Carolina.
1758 - The regiment arrived in Philadelphia and were reviewed by General Forbes. In
September Major Grant, with eight hundred men including Virginians under Captain Bullitt
reconnoitred Fort Duquesne. Grant (without orders) took post on a hill near the fort, and
dividing his force, tried to draw the garrison out into an ambush. Care was taken to distinguish
the British troops by putting a white shirt over their clothes. Disaster for the British troops. He
lost 1/3 of his troops in a battle that ranks as one of the 20 great Native American victories.
He was captured with nineteen of his officers. When captured he sent a letter explaining that
the responsibility for the defeat was with Virginian Major Andrew Lewis. The letter was
captured and brought to Major Lewis who was also a captive at Fort Pitt. Major Lewis
challenged Grant to a duel which Grant refused. Major Lewis then spat upon Grant. Grant
would be a captive in Quebec for a year.
This is summed up by the noted 19th century historian John Fisk in his book New France
and New England as: "Now there was in the English army a hot-headed and ill-balanced
Scotch officer named James Grant. He was a supercilious sort of person, and looked down
with ineffable contempt upon the provincial troops. It was very irksome to Major Grant to be
within fifty miles of Fort Duquesne and not engage in some kind of work more exciting than
that of spade and pickaxe; so he sought and obtained permission from Bouquet to take a
thousand men and go forward to reconnoitre the situation. Grant went forward, but did not
return until he had provoked a fight with the enemy, in which he was ignominiously defeated
with a loss of one quarter of his force. This Grant was afterward a member of Parliament, and
served in the British army during a large part of the Revolutionary War. He is now perhaps
best remembered for a remark which he made in the House of Commons in 1774, to the
effect that the Americans were an undisciplined rabble who would take to their heels at the
first sound of a cannon. But two years after that unlucky speech, when he met Smallwoodâ
€™s Marylanders at the battle of Long Island and pounded them four hours without making
them give up an inch of ground, he found reason to amend his opinion. "
His nephew (William Grant) congratulated him upon his escape at Fort Duquesne and told him
that everyone in Scotland approved of his conduct and courage but were sorry that the
success was not equal to the bravery of the attempt.
1759 November 15 - exchanged at Crown Point. Made a full report of conversations with
French officers to Lord Amhurst that was used in campaign of 1760.
1760 - He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 40th Foot. His correspondence from
General Jeffery Amherst indicated that in the campaign against the Cherokees he should "not
think of coming away till you have most effectivally punished these scoundreal Indians, as
without, that, it will be ever to begin again. As to treating with them, it will be time enough
when they are so low that you may be sure they cannot hurt the Province again soon, and
even then, that is a business which you will leave to the legislature of the Province, as my
intentions are not to interfere in their treaties."
1761-62 - He arrived in South Carolina with five large transports from New York under the
convoy of the Nightinggale commanded by Captain Campbell. Commanded British regulars
and Carolina militia in South Carolina against Cherokees. Attakullakulla, the Little Carpenter,
gave Grant the name "the Corn Puller" for his part in this campaign. Grant commanded a
British force of over 2,800 soldiers. They burned the Cherokee towns at Cowee and
Tuckaseegee. His army included Carolina Provincials, a battalion of Royal Scotts, 400
rangers, 240 wagoneers, a score of Catawba and Chickasaw scouts, six Mohawk warriors
and 81 black slaves. On June 10 a battle took place before Cowee Mountain. After the battle
they destroyed the towns of Stickoee, Kithuwa, Tuckareetchee and Tesuntee. Lt. Francis
Marion (the Swamp Fox of the American Revolution) reported: "We proceeded, by Col.
Grant's orders, to burn the Indian cabins. Some of the men seemed to enjoy this cruel work,
laughing heartily at the curling flames, but to me appeared a shocking sight. But when we
came, according to orders, to cut down the fields of corn, I could scarcely refrain from tears.
Who, without grief, could see...the staff of life sink under our swords with all their precious
load, to wither and rot untasted in their mourning fields?" Andrew Pickens a South Carolina
officer called it "british cruelty which I always abhorred." Another officer who served with Col
Grant was William Moultrie of Revolutionary War fame and brother of John Moultrie, the
soon to be Lieut Governor of Florida. After the action against the Cherokees he was sent to
take possession of the Island of St. Lucia. He would return to this place during the
Revolutionary War. (For newspaper dispaches of the campaign)
"12th and 13th. We halted. The corn by the Town was destroyed, partys were sent out to
burn the scattered houses and to pull up beans, peas and corn and to demolish every eatable
thing in the country. The Indians with one of our partys destroyed the new Towns of Neowee
and Camonga, one of them settled by the people who formerly lived at Etchoe, the other by
some of the inhabitants of the lower towns.
A scout of our Indians killed a Cherokee and wounded another at Ayoree ; a poor miserable
squaw was brought in from Tassee and put to death in the Indian camp by one of the
14th. The Lower Chickesaws, about 20, tired of the service or thinking we should get into a
scrape, declined going further and went down the country. We marched to Wattagui,
destroyed that Town and the corn about it and so proceeded to Ayoree.
15th. We halted and sent partys to burn and destray all the plantations which could be found
in the country.
The troops were reduced to twelve ounces of flour that we might be able to remain in the
Indian country long"
1763 Participated in the Siege of Havana, Cuba June 7th to August 16. Appointed Lieutenant
1763 - March 17 - appointed the first colonial governor of British East Florida
1763 - July 30 - sends first installment of plan to Board of Trade on how to settle new
colonies in America
1763 - September 13 - encourages the Board of Trade to set the northern border of Florida
at the St. Mary's river.
1763 - September 28 - Board sets border for Florida at the St. Mary's River
1764 - August - arrives in St. Augustine with 3 French chefs.
1764 - October 31 - Grant inaugurated as St. Augustine's (East Florida's) Governor.
Inaugurated James Moultrie as Chief justice, appointed John Moultrie to be President of
Council of East Florida.
1766 - July 4 - Given authority by the Board of Trade to purchase slaves to do public work.
1767 - In June he was elected a Governor of the Charity of the Magdalen House in London.
He was presented with a staff and a Book of Rules and Orders for the society. This was part
of an attempt to bring these ("They are not Virgins, tis true.") women to the East Florida
colony as servants.
1770 - July Inherited title to Ballindalloch Castle following the deaths of his elder brother
Alexander Grant and Alexander's son, William
1771 - May 9 - ill with a stomach disorder left Florida.
1771 - January 25 - official termination of Office of Governor of Florida
1772 He was appointed Brevet-Colonel
1773 - April - resigns as Governor takes a seat in the House of Commons for Wickburghs
and at the general election in 1774 for Sutherlandshire.
1775 - February 2 - Rose in the House of Commons and stated: Americans "could not fight...
(he would) undertake to march from one end of the continent to the other with five thousand
December appointed Colonel of the 55th Foot.
1776 - Returns to America as a Brigadier in the British Army - Boston. He occupies John
1776 - August - Commander of the west wing of the British army at the Battle of Long Island.
1776 - December - Theater commander at Trenton and Princeton. He had sent word to the
Hessian commander, Johann Rahl that Washington intended to attack but the information
arrived on December 25 at 5:00 pm and no action was taken by Rahl..
1777 - Becomes a Major-General. Commands the right wing at the battles of Brandywine
1778 - May 20 - fails to trap LaFayette at Barren Hill.
1778 - October 27 leads a successful expeditionary force to capture the French West Indian
island of St. Lucia.
1780 - defeated in parlimentary elections
1782 - Appointed Lieutenant General General.
1787 - Reelected to Parliment
1789 - Governor of Stirling Castle and commanding general of Scotland
1791 - Transfered from the 55th to the 11th Foot.
1796 - Appointed General and retired from active military services
1802 - Retires to estate on the Avon and Spey rivers as the Laird of Ballindalloch after
relinguishing seat in Parliment..
1805 - Retires from the British army
1806 - April 13 Dies at 86. Estate goes to grandnephew, George Macpherson.
Grant Building in Pittsburg was the home of KDKA Radio named after Col. Grant for his
action in the French and Indian War.
Florida Memory Project