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The town
was burned and sixty persons tomahawked, while the survivors, half-clad,
struggled through the snow to Albany, sixteen miles distant.

The Americans in retaliation attempted to invade Canada, but the result
was a disastrous failure. The war continued in a desultory way, with
great cruelties on both sides, until 1697, when a treaty signed at
Ryswick, Holland, settled the quarrel between King William and James
II., by deciding that the former was the rightful king of England. The
suffering and deaths that had been inflicted on this side of the
Atlantic produced not the slightest effect upon the quarrel between the
two claimants to the throne.


QUEEN ANNE'S WAR.

In 1702, England got into a wrangle with France and Spain. This time the
Iroquois Indians took no part, because of their treaty with France,
although in the previous war they fought on the side of the English. In
the depth of winter in 1703-4, Deerfield, Massachusetts, was attacked
and destroyed. Forty-seven of the people were tomahawked and more than a
hundred carried into captivity. Their sufferings were so dreadful on the
long tramp through the snow to Canada that nearly all sank down and
died. Maine and New Hampshire were devastated by the hordes, who showed
no mercy to women and children. Another English invasion of Canada was
attempted, but failed like its predecessor. The aimless, cruel war
continued until 1713, when a treaty of peace was signed at Utrecht in
Holland, by which England secured control of the fisheries of
Newfoundland, while Labrador, Hudson Bay, and Acadia or Nova Scotia were
ceded to Great Britain. The result in both instances would have been the
same had the English and French settlers and the Indians continued on
amicable terms.


KING GEORGE'S WAR.

In 1740, the War for the Austrian Succession broke out in Europe and
soon involved most of the European nations. Because George II. was on
the throne of England, the struggle is known in this country as King
George's War.

A notable event in America was the capture of the fortress of Louisburg,
one of the strongest fortifications in the world, mainly by New England
troops. It was a grand achievement which thrilled this country and
England, and caused consternation in France. A treaty of peace was
signed in 1744 at Aix-la-Chapelle, a town in western Germany. New
England was enraged to find that by the terms of this treaty Louisburg
was given back to France, and all her valor, sacrifice, and suffering
went for naught.


THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.

[Illustration: THE ATTACK ON RIOTERS AT SPRINGFIELD, MASS., IN 1786.]

It has already been shown that England and France, who had long been
rivals in the Old World, had become equally bitter rivals on this side
of the Atlantic. On the west, the thirteen English colonies were walled
in by the Allegheny Mountains, beyond which none of the settlers had
advanced. All the country lying between these mountains and the
Mississippi was claimed by France, who was pushing southward through it,
and had given it the name of New France or Louisiana. The first French
settlement within the northwestern part of our country was the mission
of St. Mary, near Sault Ste. Marie, now in the State of Michigan, it
having been established in 1668. Several others of minor importance were
planted at different points.

England did not oppose the acquirement of Canada by the French early in
the seventeenth century, but no serious attempt was made by that people
to colonize the territory within the United States until 1699, when
D'Iberville crossed the Gulf of Mexico in quest of the mouth of the
Mississippi. When he found it, he planted a settlement at Biloxi, now in
Mississippi, but removed it in 1702 to Mobile. The Mississippi Company,
a French organization, obtained in 1716 a grant of Louisiana, and in
1718 sent out a colony that began the settlement of New Orleans.

It will thus be seen that by 1750 the French had acquired large
possessions in North America. They were, determined to hold them, and,
to do so, established a chain of sixty forts reaching from Montreal to
the Gulf of Mexico. These forts were the foundations of many important
cities of to-day, such as New Orleans, Natchez, Detroit, Vincennes,
Toledo, Fort Wayne, Ogdensburg, and Montreal. To the rear of the main
chain of forts were others like Mackinaw, Peoria, and Kaskaskia.

Extensive as was the territory thus taken possession of by the French,
they were fatally weak because of their scant population, amounting to
less than 150,000 souls, while the English colonies had grown to
1,500,000. The French traders were just about strong enough to hold the
Indians in check, but no more.

Thus with the French on the west and the English on the east of the
Alleghanies, the two rival forces were slowly creeping toward each
other, and were bound soon to meet, when the supreme struggle for
possession of the North American continent would open. By-and-by, the
French hunters and traders, as they climbed the western slope of the
mountains, met the English trappers moving in their direction. Being the
advance skirmishers of their respective armies, they often exchanged
shots, and then fell back to report what they had seen and done to their
countrymen.

The fertile lands of the Great West had long attracted attention, and
many efforts had been made to buy them at a cheap price to sell again to
settlers. In 1749, the Ohio Company was formed by a number of London
merchants and several prominent Virginians. The lands they bought lay in
western Pennsylvania, which Virginia claimed as part of her territory.
This company proved its earnestness by sending out surveyors, opening
roads, and offering tempting inducements to settlers.

The French were equally prompt and took possession of the country
between the Alleghanies and their main chain of forts. They built a fort
at Presq' Isle, on the site of the present city of Erie, and began
erecting a new chain of forts southward toward the Ohio. Governor
Dinwiddie of Virginia saw the danger of permitting this encroachment,
and he wrote a letter of remonstrance to the French commander, which was
placed in the hands of GEORGE WASHINGTON, to be carried five hundred
miles through wilderness, across mountains and dangerous rivers, to the
point in western Pennsylvania where the French officer was building his
forts upon disputed ground.

[Illustration: YOUNG WASHINGTON RIDING A COLT.

One summer morning, young George, with three or four boys, was in the
field looking at a colt, given him by his mother, and when the boys said
that it could never be tamed, George said: "You help me get on its back,
and I'll tame it."]

The journey was a long and perilous one, but Washington, who was a
magnificent specimen of vigorous young manhood, performed it in safety,
and brought back the reply of the French commander, which notified
Governor Dinwiddie that he not only refused to vacate the territory, but
would drive out every Englishman he found within it.

This meant war, and Virginia made her preparations. She raised about 400
men and placed them under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Washington,
who was more familiar with the country than anyone else. The Ohio
Company at that time were putting up a fort on the present site of
Pittsburg, and Washington hurried forward to protect it. The Frenchmen
understood the value of a post at the junction of the Alleghany and
Monongahela Rivers, and also started on a race for it. They arrived
first, captured the fort, strengthened it, and gave it the name of Fort
Duquesne. That done, they set out to meet Washington, who was descending
the Monongahela.


OPENING OF THE WAR.

The meeting between these forces brought on the first fight of the
French and Indian War. It was the advance party of each which met, and
it is said that the first musket was fired by Washington himself. The
French had enlisted a number of Indians, but Washington killed or
captured nearly all of them as well as the whites. The main body of the
French, however, was so much more powerful than his own, that Washington
moved back a few miles and built a fortification which he named Fort
Necessity. There, after a brisk fight, he was compelled to surrender,
July 4, 1754, on the promise that he and his men should be allowed to
return to Virginia. That province was so well pleased with his work that
he acted as its leading officer throughout the remainder of the war.

A peculiarity of the French and Indian War must be noted. For two years
it was entirely an American war, not extending to Europe until 1756. For
the first time the English colonies acted together. They saw the value
of the territory in dispute and were ready to make common cause for its
possession. England was inclined to let them do the best they could
without help from her. She advised that they form some plan for united
action. In accordance with this suggestion, a meeting was held at Albany
in 1754, composed of delegates from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York,
and the New England colonies. Benjamin Franklin, the great philosopher,
proposed the "Albany plan of Union," which was agreed upon.

When this was submitted to the king, he saw too much of American
independence in it, and promptly rejected it, while the colonies did the
same on the ground that it gave the king too much power. There was much
significance in this action.


EXPULSION OF THE CANADIANS.

It was now so evident that war must soon come that England and France
began sending troops to America. At the same time, the respective
governments continued to profess--diplomatically--their strong
friendship for each other. In June, 1755, a force consisting of British
regulars and colonial troops sailed from Boston and captured the few
remaining French forts in Nova Scotia. The inhabitants were gathered
together in their churches, placed on ships, and then distributed
southward among the English colonies. This act has been often denounced
as one unworthy of the British people.

[Illustration: WASHINGTON'S FIRST VICTORY

"Washington was at the head of his men with a musket in his grasp.



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