The French and Indian War
The French and Indian War was the last of four major colonial
wars between the British, the French, and their Native American
allies for control of North America .As French New France and
the English colonies expanded toward each other, they were
destined to come into conflict. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
which ended the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-8), where
its North American operations were known as King George's War,
did very little to set matters to rest in North America; it provided
only a short breathing spell before the numerous unsettled
treaty questions and gave rise to another and far greater war.
The treaty did little or nothing toward marking out boundaries
either at the east in Acadia, or at the west toward the Ohio
valley, and it was in the latter region that the next great storm
was to burst.
Maps of the area of conflict in the French and Indian War
View larger image here .
Another map of the French and
Indian War with stateboundaries .
View a larger image here .
French And Indian War Documentary
On March 16, 1749, King George II granted large tracts of land
to the Ohio Company. The grant had a stipulation that the
company must establish a settlement of 100 families and build
a fort within seven years. The English felt this land was theirs,
based upon the land of English colonies extending "from sea to
When the colonies were first established, America was only
estimated to be about 300 miles wide. The French felt these
lands were theirs through right of discovery and had been an
trading area of the French. Alarmed at the influx of British
traders into the Ohio country, Marquis de La Galissoniere sent
Captain Pierre Joseph Celeron de Blainville into this Ohio country
with 213 men on June 15, 1749. Celeron planted lead tablets
along the Ohio River inscribed with France's claim to the
Tablets, however, did little to keep the English traders out of
the area and the Indians preferred the cheaper and higher
quality goods the English had to offer. Galissoniere was
replaced as governor by Jacques Pirre de Jonquiere, who took
more aggressive action. Raids were sent against the
Shawnees , who had traded with the English in the Ohio country
and Fort Rouille (Toronto) was built to block trade between the
Great Lakes and Oswego in New York.
Iroquoi fort under attack in the Beaver Wars
View larger image here .
Most of the Ohio Country had been conquered by the Iroquois
in the Beaver Wars (1638-84). The Iroquois Confederation
( Mohawk,Onedia,Onondaga,Cayuga and Seneca) fought against the Hurons,Ottowas,Neutrals,Miamis,Mohicans,Susquehanocks,
Delawares,Eries and other Algonquian-speaking tribes to control
the fur trade and expand territory. The Iroquois were armed by
Dutch and later English traders and their enemies were
supported by the French. Alliances made during these times
would become important in the French and Indian War.The
Beaver Wars together with European introduced diseases
severely weakened both the Iroquois and Algonquian speaking
On June 16, 1744 commissioners from Maryland,Virginia and
Pennsylvania meet with representatives of the six nations of the
Iroquois Confederacy, which claimed the Ohio country by right of
conquest after the Beaver Wars (1638-84) and used the area as
a hunting ground. The Iroquois agreed to cede for about
800 £ in colonial currency and 300 £ worth of gold. Within
months of the treaty, 300,000 acres of land had been granted.
On June 21, 1753, a half breed French-Indian agent, Charles
Langlade, who led the Ojibwas (Chippewas) attacked Pickawilly,
Ohio, the main base of the Miami Indians who had been trading
with the English.13 Miami warriors and one English trader were
killed, three others taken captive. Chief Memeskia of the Miami
was killed and ritually eaten. The attack drove the English
traders out of the Ohio country. The Miami, Shawnee and
Delaware switched allegiance to the French .Chief Tanaghrisson
of the Senecas (an Iroquois tribe) asked that a fort be build in
present day Pittsburgh for protection, which the English did two
On July 1, 1752, a new governor was appointed in New France,
Marquis Duquesne, who ordered the construction of new forts
to secure control of the Ohio country and began construction of
Fort LeBoeuf (Waterford, Penn). Meanwhile, in England, Lord
Halifax, arguing that the French, in moving into the Ohio country,
had broken the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which acknowledged the
Iroquois as British subjects, therefore, their land, even areas
conquered by them were British. Since the Ohio country was
seen to be an extension of Virginia, Governor Robert Dinwiddle
of Virginia was authorized to evict the French from the disputed
area. Dinwiddle dispatched George Washington to deliver an
ultimatum to the commander of Fort LeBoeuf, Captain Legardeur
de Saint-Pierre. Washington set out from Williamsburg on
October 31, 1753.
Major Washington and a wounded General Braddock
Washington as Captain in the French and Indian War ,1851 . Part of his
Washington Series . View larger image here .
This land was under the control of the Iroquois tribes who for
the most part sided with France and launched brutal raids
against English settlements armed with French weapons .
Unlike the previous three wars colonial ( King William's War ,
called the War of the League of Ausburg in Europe 1689-1697,
Queen Anne's War, called the War of the Spanish Succession in
Europe (1702-1713) and King George's War , (1740-1748) the
French and Indian War began on North American soil after Major
Washington came into conflict with the French near modern day
Pittsburgh .This became one of the sparks that ignited the
Seven Years War in Europe .
The war spread to Africa and India, making the conflict one of the first true 'world' wars . In Europe,Prussia, Electorate Brunswick-Lüneburg, and United Kingdom fought against Austria, France (including the North American colony of New France and the French East India Company), the Russian Empire, Sweden, and Saxony.
The forces of General Wolfe making a surprise
attack on Quebec. London Magazine, 1760
France was initially successful in the war,which had better
relations with the Indians and adapted warfare to fit the New
World. However, the population of New France was much
smaller than that of the English colonies, and France sent
fewer and fewer supplies and troops to support a colony that
became to be seen as a drain on the country . After the fall of
Louisbourg and Quebec, France agreed to peace in 1763 . The
heavy expense of the war, led the British to seek tax revenues
from the American colonists, which led to the American
Death of Montcalm
Jacques François Desfontaines, 1789 .
The Treaty of Paris elevated Great Britain to the strongest
power in Europe with the largest world empire . A long dream
of the English colonists to stop the combined French and
Indian attacks was realized .The West lay open, and the
Indians stood alone and could no longer count on as being
courted as allies, playing one nation against the other . It was
inevitable that the Americans would expand into Indian lands .
Map of the New World after the Treaty of Paris. Gray area are
crown lands reserved for Indians. Louisiana given to Spain for
loss of Florida. France was left with two small islands off
Newfoundland . Click for larger image .
The Treaty of Paris ended a century of Anglo-French conflict in
the New World, the French were left with the islands of Saint
Pierre and Miquelon, which have rich fishing grounds, south of
Newfoundland. France, realizing it would lose New France, made
a secret treat with Spain in 1762, which gave Spain the then
vast Louisiana territory and New Orleans . Spain had joined
France's side in 1761 .
To us of this day, the result of the American part of the war
seems a foregone conclusion. It was far from being so; and
very far from being so regarded by our forefathers. The
numerical superiority of the British colonies was offset by
organic weaknesses fatal to vigorous and united action. Nor at
the outset did they, or the mother-country, aim at conquering
Canada, but only at pushing back her boundaries. More than
one clear eye saw, at the middle of the last century, that the
subjection of Canada would lead to a revolt of the British
colonies. So long as an active and enterprising enemy
threatened their borders, they could not break with the mother-country.
French and Indian War Links
Need a citation from this website ? Click here .
The definitive academic history of the mid 18th-century
French and Indian War and its long-term consequences
for America and the world .
(1884) classic by American historian Francis Parkman.
Parkman was a master of narrative history, with a sense of style
and gift of portraiture based upon a thorough knowledge
of the terrain and exhaustive and scrupulous scholarship
Read for free at
British and French troops do battle in colonial America, with aid from various native American war parties. The British troops enlist the help of local colonial militia men, who are reluctant to leave their homes undefended. A budding romance between a British officer's daughter and an independent man who was reared as a Mohawk complicates things for the British officer, as the adopted Mohawk pursues his own agenda despite the wrath of different people on both sides of the conflict.
Free Librivox audiobook
This handsome book extensively illustrated with paintings,
sketches, and color photographs of important sites and artifacts
relating to the war, historian Ron Dale offers a narrative
encompassing all sides of the conflict and important
sites and fortification
Index of FrenchandIndianWar.info
Oct 31, 1753
May 28 - July 3, 1754
July 9, 1755
Sept 8, 1755
August 3-9, 1757
June 8-July 26, 1758
July 8, 1758
Sept 13, 1759
Feb 10, 1763
© Thomas Zimmerman 2007