Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NICHOLSON, Sir Francis, colonial governor, died in London, England, 5 March, 1728. He had served in the British army, was lieutenant-governor of New York under Edmund Andros, and at the head of the administration in 1687-'9. He was governor of Virginia in 1690-'2 and in 1699-1705, and of Maryland from 1694 till 1699, and during his second term of office in Virginia he established the capital at Williamsburg instead of at Jamestown as before. He was commander of the forces that captured Port: Royal, Nova Scotia, 2 October, 1710, and afterward returned to England to urge another attempt at the conquest of Canada, taking with him five Iroquois chiefs, whom he presented to Queen Anne. After his return to the colonies he commanded an unsuccessful expedition for the conquest of Canada, was appointed governor of Nova Scotia, and served from 12 October, 1712, till August, 1717. He was knighted in 1720, served as governor of South Carolina, 1721-5, returned to England in June, 1725, and was made a lieutenant-general. He was a bold and ambitious man, and had conceived a project for uniting all the Anglo-American colonies, the ostensible object of which was the mutual defence of the British colonists against the encroachment of the French on the north, and the hosthe Indians along the frontier. Nicholson submitted his plan to the king, who heartily approved of it, and recommended the measure to the favorable consideration of the colonial assemblies. Virginia would have nothing to do with the scheme, which so exasperated Nichol-son that he recommended that all the American colonies be placed under a viceroy, and that a standing army be maintained among them at their own expense. His project was not received with favor by Queen Anne and her ministers. Sir Francis was the author of "Journal of an Expedition for the Reduction of Port Royal" (London, 1711). This rare quarto, of which there is but one copy in the New World, was reprinted by the Nova Scotia historical society in 1879, and "An Apology or Vindication of Francis Nicholson, Governor of South Carolina" (1724).
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