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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.
Go to short history of the French & Indian War
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
The publication of this map (which was first issued in 1740) was prompted by the beginning of the Seven Years War, of which the French & Indian War was the name of the American portion of the conflict. This war pitted the European powers against each other on the continent, in the Atlantic, in the West Indies and on the North American continent. This map depicts all these areas and so would have been an excellent general map to use to follow the events as the war progressed. $350
Another map of Quebec, this one issued within a month of the surrender of Quebec. It shows city and its environs including the Island of Orleans. As news of the great British triumph arrived in London, this map would have been studied with great interest by the readers of Gentleman's Magazine. $225
Another map issued shortly after the British capture of the city, showing the region immediately around Quebec. This comes from one of the rarer magazines of the period and it was issued along with an account of Wolfe's victory. In the top right corner is an inset showing the arrangement of the troops. $275
This fine map, issued shortly after the capture of Quebec, shows the positions of all the British and French troops during these events. The map shows the rivers, roads, towns around Quebec, and the lines of the armies, defensive works, encampments, and many ships in the river are all indicated and named. $275
Montreal was the capital of French Canada, their last stronghold in America after the British capture of Quebec in September 1759, just the month before this map was issued. Once Quebec was taken, the obvious next step was to capture Montreal, so a map of this city would have had great interest to the readers of the Universal Magazine. The detail in this map is most impressive, likely based on French sources. The layout of the city itself, and the lands surrounding, is clearly presented, with a few major features explained with a lettered key in the upper left corner. $350
This map illustrates the expedition led by General Lord Jeffrey Amherst against the French at Montreal in 1760, which led to the surrender of the city in September of that year. It shows the region along and south of the St. Lawrence River extending from Quebec to the Thousand Islands, and then around Lake Ontario and to the Niagara River. Forts, Indian tribes, rivers, portages, and other such information is clearly presented. Also included are insets of Montreal Island and of the city itself, indicating its major streets, buildings, and the surrounding fortifications. $275
The British initially invaded Martinique in January 1759, but the island was not captured for three more years. This map shows Fort Royal, finally taken by the British on February 13, 1762. This map was issued shortly thereafter. $225
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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