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The French & Indian War

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The rich lands which lay between and to the west of the French settlements of Canada and the British colonies along the east coast of North America were inevitably destined to become a battleground between the forces of these two European rivals. From 1754 to 1763, the British and French fought for this wilderness of huge potential in a conflict which, though part of the wider Seven Years War, has come to be known as the French & Indian War.

Begun in what is now western Pennsylvania with a battle involving a young Virginia officer named George Washington, this conflict waxed and waned in an arc running from that western wilderness, through the Great Lakes, over to Lakes George and Champlain, and as far north as the River and Gulf of St. Lawrence. When the fighting was finished and the Treaty of Paris signed, France had lost all her possessions in North America and Britain was mistress of the entire region extending from the entire Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River.
GoGo to short history of the French & Indian War


Contemporary Maps

Bushy Run
Thomas Hutchins. "Plan of the Battle near Bushy-Run, Gained by Colonel Bouquet, over the Delawares, Shawnese, Mingoes, Wyandoes, Mohikons, Miamies & Ottawas; on the 5th and 6th. of August 1763." Along with diagram of British line of march and dispositions during attack. From A General Topography of North America and the West Indies. London: R. Sayer & T. Jefferys, 1768. Two plans on folio sheet: map 8 7/8 x 6 1/4 (platemark); diagram 8 1/2 x 6 3/8. Engraving by Thomas Jefferys. Very good condition. Phillips: Maps of America, p. 182.

A very rare map and diagram of the Battle of Bushy Run from Jeffery's important General Topography. The Battle of Bushy Run was a very important event in the early development of the country, today unfortunately mostly forgotten. During the French and Indian War, the British had tried to win over from the French the tribes-Delaware, Shawnees and Iroquois-located in what is today western Pennsylvania and in the upper Ohio River basin. These tribes remained mostly neutral believing that this would lead to an end to British encroachments west of the Allegheny Mountains. This belief was shattered when, following the conclusion of the French and Indian War, European colonists began to move into western Pennsylvania and beyond in a steady stream, and the British continued construction of Fort Pitt, a large brick and stone fortification.

Meanwhile, Pontiac--an Ottawa war chief--was gaining a following in the mid-west for his campaign to drive the British out of the region. On May 8, 1763, Pontiac and his Ottawas lay siege to Fort Detroit, beginning what has been called Pontiac's Rebellion. Because of the British intrusions and broken promises, the eastern tribes decided to join the rebellion, destroying Forts LeBoeuf, Venango, and Presqu' Isle and attacking Fort Pitt in June 1763. Colonel Henry Bouquet was sent, with three regiments, to march west to relieve and resupply the hard-pressed defenders of Fort Pitt. After leaving Fort Ligonier, and about 25 miles east of Fort Pitt near Bushy Run, Bouquet was attacked on August 5 by a large force of Indians, who, once they learned of Bouquet's march, had left the siege of Fort Pitt to lay an ambush. Over the two days of the battle, about 50 British died and 60 were wounded, while the Indian force-described by Bouquet as numbering about 400 but by the Indians as about a quarter of that-lost between 30 and 50. The Indians were driven from the field and Bouquet marched on to rescue Fort Pitt. This battle off in the wilds of western Pennsylvania had an important impact on the course of American history, for it ended any hope the Indians, in western Pennsylvania, had of preserving their lands; it also opened up the entire region to more and more British settlement. This was, in effect, the beginning of the flood of colonists from their original settlements on the East Coast across the Allegheny Mountains and into the mid-west. $2,800


Magazine maps & views

By the middle of the eighteenth century, a number of monthly magazines were being published in London. These magazines informed their readers on a variety of subjects, including natural history, topography, sports, and of course current affairs. The British public was fascinated by the events of the war with France and so there was great demand for up-to-date information, especially related to the American theater of battle. The British magazines met this demand with articles and illustrations which they rushed into print as soon as the details became available to them. The following maps appeared in contemporary magazines published in London between 1758 and 1762. These are among the most current illustrations of the events of the French & Indian War which are available to us today.


French & Indian War Reference

Seymour I. Schwartz. The French and Indian War. 1754-1763. The Imperial Struggle for North America. Edison, NJ, 1999. Cloth.

A reissue of Schwartz's very good history of the French & Indian war. This book uses many contemporary prints and maps. This is a highly recommended volume for anyone interested in the French & Indian war. $30.00


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