ROGERS, ROBERT. (1727-1784?), American frontier soldier, was born of Irish parentage in 1727, probably at Methuen, Massachusetts, whence his father, James Rogers (often confused with James Rogers, an early settler of Londonderry, N.H.), removed in 1739 to Starktown (now Dunbarton), New Hampshire. During the Seven Years' War he raised and commanded a force of militia, known as Rogers' Rangers, which won a wide reputation for its courage and endurance in the campaigns about Lake George. He took part in Wolfe's expedition against Quebec, and on the 4th of October 1759 he destroyed an Abnaki Indian village on the St Francis river near its mouth and killed about 200 of its inhabitants. After the Montreal campaign of 1760, in which he served, he was sent by General Amherst to take possession of the north-western posts, occupied Detroit on the 29th of November, and later returned to the east. In 1763, during the Pontiac uprising, he accom- panied the relief expedition under James Dalyell to Detroit and took part in the battle of Bloody Bridge on the 31st of July (see PONTIAC). Soon after this he went to England, and in 1765 published in London a Concise Account of North America, containing a Description of the Several British Colonies . . . also an Account of the Several Nations and Tribes of Indians (new edition, Albany, 1883). In 1766-68 he was commandant of Michilimackinac. He spent the next few years in England, and after 1772 was in the service of the dey of Algiers. At the beginning of the War of Independence he returned to America, and in spite of his protestations of patriotism was considered by Washington and others a Loyalist spy. He was arrested by agents of Congress, but was paroled. His rearrest he considered a release from his parole. He then openly joined the British, and under a commission from General Howe organized a regiment of Loyalists which was known as the Queen's Rangers, and which after his return to England in 1776 was commanded by Capt. John G. Simcoe. In 1779 he was commissioned to raise a regiment to be called the King's Rangers, and he returned for a short time to America; but the command of the Rangers, which soon became a part of the garrison of St John's, Quebec, was taken by his brother James (d. 1792), who had formerly served under Robert. Rogers died in London probably in 1784.
In addition to the Concise Account of North America, he published his Journals (London, 1765), and is supposed to have written, at least in part, Ponteach, or the Savages of America, a Tragedy (London, 1766). See also his " Journal " in the Diary of 'the Siege of Detroit in the War with Pontiac (Albany, 1860; new edition, 1883), edited by F. B. Hough; and Francis Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe (2 vols., Boston, 1884).