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CHAPTER V.

UNITED STATES.

French and Indian War.

Ohio Company; threat of the French Governor of Canada; encroach. ments of the French; Washington sent to the Ohio; military expedition under Washington; plans of a campaign; conquest of Acadie; Braddock's defeat; Crown Point; Campaign of 1756-of 1757 of 1758; Surrender of Louisburg, &c.; and of Fort du Quesne; campaign of 1759; proceedings of Amherst; fall of Niagara; fall of Quebec; death of Wolfe and Montcalm; Levi's attempt to regain Quebec; surrender of Montreal; complete conquest of Canada; Peace.

WE now return to a more general summary of the affairs of the United States.

1750. A number of noblemen, merchants and others, of London, together with some influential Virginia planters, formed a society under the name of the Ohio company, and obtained from the crown a charter grant of six hundred thousand acres, on and near the river Ohio; and soon after took means for commencing establishments on the Ohio, for the purpose of commerce with the Indians, as well as with a view to the settlement of the country.

Information of their proceeding soon reached the French Governor in Canada; who immediately apprehended that, if the company should be uninterrupted in the prosecution of their plan, a great part of their valuable fur trade would be destroyed, and all communication cut off between Canada and Louisiana.

France laid claim, by right of discovering the Mississippi, to all the territory bordering on that river, and on its tributary streams. The claim of France, therefore, on the eastern side of the Ohio, extended to the Alleghany mountains. By the ancient charters of France also, the territories granted, extended from north to

south without limit; while the English charters extended, east and west, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The Canadian Governor immediately wrote to the governors of Pennsylvania and New-York, that if these English traders on the Ohio did not immediately stop their encroachments on the French territories, he should order their seizure wherever found. The Canadian traders excited the fears of the Indians, by telling them that the English were about to deprive them of their lands. The Pennsylvanians also acted the same part, because the profits of the fur trade has been chiefly theirs, and the Ohio company were opening a road to the Potomac to carry the trade to Virginia.

As no notice was taken of the menace of the Governor of Canada, he soon executed his threat, and seized a number of the British traders, and carried them to the French fort on lake Erie. The Twight wees, with whom the English had been trading, immediately made reprisals by seizing some French traders and sending them to Philadelphia.

Meanwhile the French governor opened a communication from the fort at Presque Isle on lake Erie, to the Ohio.-The Ohio company, thus threatened with annihilation, complained to the lieutenant governor of Virginia, Dinwiddie, that the French were encroaching on the territory of that State, a granted by their charter.

1753. Dinwiddie laid the subject before the assembly, who determined to demand, in the name of the king, that the French should desist. George Washington, then in his twenty-second year, was despatched with a letter to the commandant on the Ohio, who said he acted according to his orders; and transmitted the letter to the Governor. After receiving a written answer, Washington returned to Virginia; but not before he had carefully surveyed the fort.

The British ministry, being informed of the determination of the French to claim and hold by force the country, and make prisoners of every Englishman found there, directed the Virginians to oppose them by force

of arms.

A regiment was raised in Virginia, and an independent company arrived from South Carolina. Two other companies were ordered from New-York.

Major Washington was raised to a Colonel, and commanded the troops. Without waiting for the New-York companies he began his march. On his rout he learned from a friendly Indian, that the English, who had been erecting a fort at the confluence of the Allegany and Monongahela, had been attacked and defeated by the French, who were then finishing the fort for themselves; and that a party of French were encamped at a short distance, being on their march to the Great Meadows.

This party he surprised and wholly defeated. Here he erected a small stockade fort, and proceeded towards the French fort, Du Quesne, (now Pittsburg.) But, learning that the French commander was approaching with nine hundred men, besides Indians; having himself not four hundred; he returned to his fort at Great Meadows. Here he and his little party defended themselves so well, that an honourable capitulation was the result, and he returned with his troops to Virginia.

Orders were sent from England to the Governors of the different provinces to take effectual measures to dislodge the French, and to act in concert. The latter order produced the congress at Albany, of which a relation was given in the account of New-York. Not being able to agree on any plan of union, it was resolved to prosecute the dislodgement of the enemy with the British troops, and such troops as each colony might be willing to furnish.

On the arrival of General Braddock, early in the spring of 1755, with a few regiments of soldiers, a convention of the colonial governors was held in Virginia; when several different enterprises were agreed to be undertaken; the principal of which was the reduction of Fort Du Quesne, to be conducted by Braddock; another was an attack on Niagara and Fort Frontinac, to be conducted by Governor Shirley of Massachusetts; the third was against Crown Point.

While these plans were in agitation, the boundaries

of Nova-Scotia being unsettled, and the French having taken possession, and built forts on territory claimed by the British, an expedition was determined upon against those forts. The troops, about three thousand in number, most of them from Massachusetts, under command of General Monkton and General Winslow, sailed from Boston, the 20th of May. On the 28th, they arrived at Annapolis Royal, and soon after anchored with forty-one vessels, near Fort St. Lawrence.

Here three hundred British troops, and a small train of artillery, were added. They immediately marched against Beau Sejour, the principal post held by the French. After five days the fort surrendered. The other forts soon after surrendered, and all the territory claimed by the English was abandoned by the French.

In this easy conquest the English lost but three men. Lest the inhabitants should join the Canadians, they were dispersed about in different colonies, being first deprived of all their lands and other property, which were declared forfeited to the crown; and, lest they should escape, their whole country was laid waste, and all their dwellinghouses burnt. The whole number thus dispersed exceeded nineteen hundred.

General Braddock, with twelve hundred selected troops, Colonel Washington being his aid, left Virginia in June, and arrived at the Monongahela, the eighth of July. A part of his troops were to follow him with the heavy baggage; his being only such as could be conveyed by horses, on account of the excessive roughness of the country: they were at this tie about sixty miles behind Braddock.

The next day Braddock pressed forward, intending to attack Fort Du Quesne. He had been cautioned against an ambush, and was earnestly entreated by Washington to let him go before, and scour the woods with his rangers. Though eminently courageous, he was too self-sufficient and confident to listen to the voice of experience.

About twelve o'clock, seven miles from Fort Du Quesne, in an open wood thick set with high grass, unsuspicious

of peril, he was suddenly saluted with a vehement and deadly fire in front and along the whole of his left flank ; though scarcely an enemy was to be seen. The van was thrown into confusion, by the suddenness of the attack, the horrid yells of the Indians, and the havoc made by the first fire,

Instead of retreating or scouring the woods, Braddock vainly endeavoured to form his men; and continued with wanton bravery on the spot where he was first attacked, till three horses were shot under him; when he received a wound through the lungs and fell. The remains of the army immediately fled, bearing away, however, the body of the wounded commander.

Every officer on horseback, except Washington, was either killed or wounded. Sixty-four, out of eightyfive officers, and half of the privates, were killed. The artillery, ammunition, baggage, &c. fell into the enemy's hands. The French and Indians did not amount to five hundred; some assert three hundred and fifty. Washington displayed courage and coolness in bringing off those who escaped. The retreat was so rapid that no pause was made till the rear division was met. Both divisions retreated to Fort Cumberland.

Colonel Dunbar, having the command, instead of making a stand, or returning to pursue the enemy, marched off to Philadelphia with fourteen hundred men, leaving the wounded with the Virginians, at Fort Cumberland. The frontier settlements were thus left expos→ ed to the Indians and the French. Those whom the tomahawk are the scalping knife spared, of men, women and children, returned to the interior.

It was not till the latter part of August, that the army intended for an attack on Crown Point, arrived at the south end of lake George. The delay occasioned by the want of united means under the direction of an efficient head, which had too often been the case among the colonies, gave the enemy time to prepare.

Forces, that had escaped the vigilance of the British squadron lying at the mouth of St. Lawrence, had been sent from France, and had arrived in Canada. Baron

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