French and Indian War by Laurie Collier Hillstrom

By Laurie Collier Hillstrom

A complete assessment of the French and Indian conflict, together with biographies and whole or excerpted memoirs, speeches, and different resource records

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This was a whole day’s work; we next got it launched, then went on board of it, and set off; but before we were half way over, we were jammed in the ice in such a manner, that we expected every moment our raft to sink, and ourselves to perish. I put out my setting-pole to try to stop the raft, that the ice might pass by, when the rapidity of the stream threw it with so much violence against the pole, that it jerked me out into ten feet water; but I fortunately saved myself by catching hold of one of the raftlogs.

The governor ordered an army of two hundred men to be sent to the Forks of the Ohio. This army, led by Washington, would be charged with defending Virginia’s land interests against further French advances. Dinwiddie also ordered the construction of a British fort at the Forks—the same strategic spot where Marquis Duquesne planned to build the fourth French fort. 22 French and Indian War 1754: The Fighting Begins 3 T he colonial interests of the French and British in North America collided in early 1754 at the Forks of the Ohio River, the strategic spot where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers join to form the Ohio River.

The cold was so extremely severe, that Mr. Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes frozen, and the water was shut up so hard, that we had no difficulty in getting off the island on the ice in the morning. Washington spent two more weeks traveling in cold, wet weather before he finally reached Williamsburg on January 16, 1754, and made his report to Lieutanant Governor Dinwiddie. Source: Harrison, Maureen, and Steve Gilbert, eds. George Washington in His Own Words. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1997.

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