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 arch 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
"The Section and Plan of a Block-house" [1789?]. From Anburey’s Travels Through the Interior Parts of America vol. I (London, 1789). 10 x 7 5/8 in. (platemarks) plus hair margin on left, other margins complete. Heavily restored; inked lines over patches. Cresswell, 921.
Europeans were fascinated with methods of frontier warfare, and this illustration of a wooden blockhouse, as opposed to forts of stone, were of great interest. Using readily available materials and not having time to build permanent fortifications on the rapidly shifting frontier contributed to this new type of fort.
The print depicts cross sections of the ground floor and upper story, designating the port holes for cannon, the loopholes for muskets, the door, the fireplaces, the ladder to the upper story, the sleeping platform, and the trap door. The officer’s apartment and "holes made in the floor to fire upon the Enemy if they gain possession of the lower Apartment" are noted on the plan for the ground floor. $225
Benjamin West. "The Death of General Wolfe." London(?), ca. 1800. Engraving and stipple by Augustin LeGrand. 16 1/2 x 22 1/2. Trimmed to just outside platemark. Some minor nicks and short tears at edges, but otherwise very good condition.
The original painting for this print is in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. When it was finished in 1770, it was of major importance due to a number of factors. The event depicted, the death of Wolfe at the capture of Quebec City, was seminal in the shift in the balance of European power in America, with Great Britain overcoming both France and Spain and gaining vast lands in the colonies. The American painter, Benjamin West, broke from the traditional mold of depicting military heroes in classical Roman dress by showing each participant in authentic uniforms of the day as well as adhering to accuracy in landscape and setting. The men surrounding the mortally wounded Wolfe were not present at his death; however, they were at the battle and would share in the notoriety generated by the picture.
A number of copies of the painting were made by West's studio (the only one in the United States is at the Clements Library), and during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many prints were made from the painting. This first edition print would have been pulled in the eighteenth century judging by the strength of the impression. Small details are sharp--an example being the petite but dramatic vignette of the French General Montcalm being shot from his horse in the far left background, just above the head of the soldier carrying a captured French flag to General Wolfe. The drama of death at the moment of great victory is beautifully portrayed by the engraved lines.
This rare print is by French engraver Augustin LeGrand, and though not published in London, it was certainly intended for the British market. The quality of the engraving is very high, making this a fine and rare example of West's seminal image. $2,500
Junius Brutus Stearns. "Life of George Washington. The Soldier." New York: M. Knoedler, 1853. 18 1/4 x 24 1/2. Lithograph by Regnier. Printed in Paris. Original hand color. Repaired tear in bottom left margin not affecting image. Otherwise, very good condition. Professionally conserved and framed.
A beautifully rendered scene of George Washington during the French and Indian War. With north-south tensions threatening to split the United States apart in the middle of the nineteenth century, those who wished to preserve the country turned to Washington, the 'father of our country,' as an icon for unity. Thus there appeared at the time a large number of frameable portraits of Washington as President and in various scenes throughout his life. This rare example done in lithography, made in Paris as is indicated by the superb workmanship. In 1755, the British attempted to capture Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. The French and their Indian allies routed the British and General Braddock was killed. Washington then had the responsibility of safely leading the army into retreat. This print shows the moment when Braddock was killed and is one of five painted by Stearns chronicling the life of Washington. The other prints in the series are: The Farmer; The Citizen; The Christian and the Statesman. $1400
Reference book on French & Indian War
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
For more information call, write, fax or e-mail to:
8441 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118 USA
(215) 242-4750 [Phone]
(215) 242-6977 [Fax]
©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated March 1, 2012