A Blupete Biography Page

Joseph Goreham

For a taste of Joseph's earlier life, one might turn to the page that I have prepared on his older brother, John Gorham, his senior by sixteen years. We see that at his age 21, Joseph joined his brother's Indian fighting unit, "Gorham's Rangers." It was then that he saw service in the fight against the French, just as did a couple of his brothers; and, indeed, just as his father did in the very early years of the British at Nova Scotia.

During the Seven Years War, Joseph was in the thick of it, seeing service at both Louisbourg in 1758 and at Quebec in 1759. All along as the head of "Goreham's Rangers," having succeeded his brother in 1751. In 1762, Joseph was at Havana with his rangers; it was the last battle of the war.

With the end of the war in 1763, Goreham took up a civilian life in Nova Scotia. He married an army officer's daughter, Anne Spry, in 1764. For the next ten years, Joseph Goreham, this military man, seemed to be a fish out of water. He was continually petitioning London for preferment with very little result. He turned to drinking and was to run up a considerable debt. With the outbreak of the American revolution, Goreham came back again into his own element; he received an active commission for service in Nova Scotia. In 1776 he was sent to Fort Cumberland with the "Fencibles" and was the commander there during "The Eddy Rebellion." According to the DCB, Goreham continued on at Fort Cumberland to 1780, when at which time he was transferred back to Halifax. In 1783, Joseph Goreham sailed for England; likely job seeking. His efforts did not meet with any success. In 1783 he took himself off to France, likely to avoid his creditors, there to die in 1790 at Calais.1


[1] See the short note which Harry Piers, prepared on Joseph Goreham contained in "The 40th Regiment ..." NSHS, Vol #21 (1927) at p. 153. Piers wrote that Joseph Goreham died in Halifax (likely an error); and that he married Anne Spry the sister to the lawyer William Spry and the daughter (likely) of Col. William Spry. See, also, short note in Webster's "The Forts of Chignecto," p. 91.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)