This Day in the French and Indian War.

The French and Indian War, known as The Seven Years war in Europe, was actually a conflict that finally concluded a long running struggle for more than 200 years to determine which European nation, France or England would dominate North America. It was actually a  World War fought primarily by the French and her allies against the English and he r allies in Europe, Africa and India.

More than 100 Americans who participated in the conflict became either general officers or famous politicians in the American Revolution.

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On This Day in the French and Indian War–Excerpted from The French and Indian War, A Complete Chronology By Bud Hannings. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. 2011

July 30 1755 (Wednesday) In New York, Governor Shirley, while advancing along the Mohawk River toward Oswego, is informed by a letter from Sir William Johnson of General Braddock’s defeat and death at Fort Duquesne. Shirley’s son had been with Braddock and he had also been killed. Word of the disaster spreads among Shirley’s force and the troops had already been less than enthusiastic about their mission, but the distressing news causes more complications as men begin to desert in large numbers. Shirley’s force numbers only about 1,500 men, including the 50th (Shirley’s regiment) and the 51st (Pepperell’s regiment), along with 500 New Jersey troops, supported by a ever-decreasing contingent of Indians. Shirley—who left Schenectady on the 29th with 100 troops, 150 boat men and 40 Indians—does not reach Oswego until 18 August.

In other activity, Sir William Johnson dispatches a letter to Lt. Governor James DeLancey, in which Johnson proposes to go to the Six Nation territory to prevent losing their allegiance or to have the Indians meet with him at Onondaga. Johnson also urges that Shirley should first attack Cadaraqui (Kingston, Ontario, Fort Frontenac) to reduce it or capture the post before assaulting Niagara. Also, Shirley after learning of Braddock’s death, directs Dunbar to move against Fort Duquesne. One account explains why Dunbar could not accomplish that: “Had he set out at once for Fort Duquesne, it would have been mid–November before he could hope to reach it. If by a miracle, he captured it, a waste of snow-covered hills, a hundred and fifty miles of forest full of hostile savages, still barred him from Presque Isle. And could a repetition of miracles have enabled him to gain that point, there was nothing to expect, when miracles ceased, but starvation.”

In the meantime, while advancing toward Oswego, Shirley continues to attempt to get the Six Nations to join him. Shirley pauses at two separate castles and in condescending tone, he informs the occupants that he is under orders of the king, whom he refers to as their father, “to recover your country on the north side of the Lakes Ontario and Erie for you from the French; the chief command in the execution of which is committed to me.” After telling the Indians he was to recapture their lands, Shirley continues: These lands you well know, brethren, by authentic deeds placed among the records of New York, were surrendered by your ancestors into the hands of the great King your Father, for his Majesty to protect for them and their descendants for ever. Nothing, therefore, brethren, now remains wanting to restore the Indians of the Five Nations to their former possessions, and ancient superiority which they maintained over the other Indians upon this continent before the French (our and their avowed enemies) found means by their artifices to break their united state, and afterwards draw some of them off from their obedience to the great King their father, but to reunite and strengthen his hands in recovering his children’s country for them and driving the French out of it. The natives; however, found contradiction in Shirley’s eloquence in first calling the land to be that of the Indians, followed by telling them the territory belonged to the king of England.

In Virginia, Draper’s Meadows on the frontier is raided by Shawnee. The village is ravaged. Many of the settlers, including women and children, are massacred and some are taken away as captives.

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One Response to This Day in the French and Indian War.

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