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in Canada. It was mostly carried on by skirmishes, in a covert manner, and without regular sanction from either power. But after the revolution of 1688, open hostilities ensued between the two nations, and Britain again determined to strike a blow against the enemy's power beyond the Atlantic. Acadia was subdued with little resistance, and Sir William Phipps, with thirty-four vessels and a large body of troops, reached Quebec. He did not, however, display the requisite promptitude; and through the able defence made by Count Frontenac, was obliged to re-embark without effecting his object. An attempt against Montreal was also defeated by the ability of Des Callierès. The contest was suspended by the peace of 1697, when, to the great discontent of the inhabitants, Acadia was restored to France. During the war of the Spanish succession, two expeditions, the one in 1704, and the other in 1707, failed in achieving the conquest of that province ; but General Nicholson, in September, 1710, finally annexed it, under the title of Nova Scotia, to the British crown. He proceeded afterward to make a grand effort against the Canadian capital, which was frustrated by the shipwreck of his squadron near the Seven Islands. Still the force of England was considered so superior, that she must ultimately have triumphed, had not the contest been terminated in 1713 by the peace of Utrecht. France retained Canada, but was obliged to cede Acadia and Newfoundland ; also to make over to Britain her claims to the sovereignty of the Five Nations.
A long peace now followed, and though jealousies continued, no open hostilities ensued till 1744, when the war which Britain had for several years waged with Spain was extended to France. The latter power, though deprived of Nova Scotia by the treaty of Utrecht, had retained Cape Breton, and erected upon it Louisburg, which, by an expenditure of £1,200,000, was supposed to have been rendered one of the strongest of modern fortresses. The New England colonies, however, having, with characteristic ardor, determined to attack it, raised 4,000 men, and placed them under the command of Colonel Pepperel, who, on the 30th April, 1745, took the enemy somewhat by surprise. Being seconded by the fleet under Admiral Warren, he in seven weeks reduced this grand bulwark of their power in America ; and though they made several vigorous efforts, they did not succeed in retrieving this disaster. Nevertheless, at the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, the colonists had the mortification to see the fruits of their valor snatched from them, Cape Breton being restored in exchange for some continental advantages, which were more highly prized by the British king and ministry. They expressed the deepest discontent, and hesitated not even to charge the government at home with a desire to maintain the power of Louis, in order to check the spirit of internal independence.
The French, meantime, had become inspired with an eager desire to extend their North American possessions. Having at various points been brought into contact wiil the back settlements of their rival, they had been generally successful in gaining the alliance of the Indians, from whose warlike character important aid was expected. They made the most active movements in New Brunswick, hoping thence to penetrate into Nova Scotia, where they would find a population originally French, and still strongly attached to the country of their fathers. But the enterprises which caused the greatest inquietude took place along the Ohio and the Mississippi. The colonists had already, at different points, penetrated the barrier of the Alleghany, and began to discover the value of the country extending to those mighty streams. The enemy, on the other hand, in virtue of certain voyages made in the preceding century by Marquette and La Salle, claimed the whole range of the Mississippi, by attaining which, their settlements in Canada and New Orleans would be formed into one continuous territory. This pretension, if referred to that peculiar law according to which Europeans have divided America among themselves, seems not wholly
ainfounded. They had added, however, a more exorbitant claim of all the streams falling into the great river, which would have carried them to the very summit of the Alleghany, and have hemmed in the British colonists in a manner to which they were by no means disposed to submit. The banks of the Ohio became the debateable ground on which this collision mainly took place.
The British were so confident in their right, that in 1749, an association was formed of merchants in London, combined with Virginian planters, called the Ohio Company, who received from the crown a grant of 600,000 acres on that river. Similar donations were made to other parties, who could not with any degree of safety turn them to account, in the face of such pretensions as the French advanced and showed a determination to support. These assumed so menacing a character, that Mr. Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia, under instructions from home, judged it necessary to send a commissioner to examine the state of affairs on that frontier, to confer with the French commander and urge him to desist from farther encroachment. This little expedition is memorable from the command being intrusted to Major George Washington.
Fig. 43.-Washington. From an early Print by Trumbull. GEORGE WASHINGTON, whose name will descend to the latest posterity as the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY, as first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, was born near the banks of the Potomac, in Westmoreland county, in Virginia, on the 22d of February, 1732. He was greatgrandson to John Washington, a gentleman of a respectable family, who had emigrated from the north of England about the middle of the preceding century, and had settled on the place where George Washington was born. George was the third son of his father, Augustine Washington, who died when he was very young. After receiving a very plain education, he learned something of the business of land surveying, and was in his eighteenth year appointed surveyor of the western part of the territory called the Northern Neck of Virginia, by Lord Fairfax, the proprietor of that country, whose niece had been married to George Washington's eldest brother. Two years later, and through the same influence, when the provincial militia was to be trained for actual service, he was appointed one of the adjutant generals of the Virginia militia, with tho rank
of major. Two years after this, in 1753, when the designs of the French in Canada began to create alarm in all our colonies, he was despatched on a half diplomatic mission to the French commandant on the Ohio, and acquitted him. self with great judgment and ability, failing, indeed, in his remonstrances with M. Le Gardeur de St. Pierre, but informing himself fully of the condition of the French force, surveying with a careful eye the vast tract of country—then almost an unexplored wilderness-he had to pass through, and winning over the wild Indian tribes to the interests of the colonies. On his return to Virginia Washington became, in a small and very modest way, an author ; for he published the journal of his very interesting expedition. In the course of 1754, when it was determined to dislodge the French, without declaration of war by England, from some forts they were building on the Ohio and at the confluence of the Monongahela and Alleghany rivers, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of a provincial regiment, and sent with Colonel Fry toward the scene of action, which he had carefully examined on his former journey. Fry died in the wilds, and then Washington took the sole command. He was joined by some of the Indian tribes, whose friendship he had captivated, and was further reinforced by two independent companies of regulars; but, instead of taking the French and their forts by surprise, he was taken by surprise himself, and was compelled to retreat to' a stockade or fort at the Great Meadows, now termed Fort Necessity, where he was soon surrounded by the French, and, after a gallant resistance, compelled to capitulate. It is quite clear that he had been rash and over-hazardous--an inherent defect in his military conduct which he was quick in correcting. Being allowed the honors of war, and suffered to march without molestation into the inhabited parts of Virginia, he returned home with his little detachment considerably reduced. The legislature of Virginia, in admiration of the courage displayed, passed a vote of thanks to him and the officers under his command.
By this time the colonists began seriously to feel the absence of some general co-operation against this formidable enemy. Those who stood most immediately exposed to attack, complained that upon them alone was thrown the whole burden of repelling it; and the government at home were at length induced to recommend a convention of delegates being held at Albany, to concert with each other, and with the chiefs of the Six Nations, a plan of united defence. The New England states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York, complied with the advice, and appointed deputies, who assembled in June, 1754 ; when the lead was taken by Benjamin Franklin, who ranked already as one of the most intelligent and distinguished citizens of America. Rising from a humble station, he had acquired a paramount influence in his own state of Pennsylvania, and been appointed postmaster general for the colonies. He soon submitted to his colleagues a very bold and important project. A general government, consisting of a president appointed by the crown, and of a council of representatives from the respective colonies, were to be invested with the general direction of war, peace, treaties, and transactions with the Indians. They were to have the power of imposing such taxes as might be deemed necessary for these purposes ; and their acts, if not disallowed by the king within three years, were to acquire the force of law. They might also levy troops, the commanding officers being appointed by the president, subject to the approbation of the council. For this scheme Franklin gained the approbation of all the delegates, except those from Connecticut; but when submitted to the respective governments, it met a very different fate. They all considered these powers, especially that of taxation, as far too great to be placed in the hands of a body over whom each had so little control. Its reception was equally unfavorable in the British cabinet, who viewed it, not without reason, as an arrangement rendering America almost en
tirely independent. Thus the plan, recommended as it was by such high au. thority, proved wholly abortive; though perhaps it had some small influence in paving the way for a similar union, which future emergencies induced the colonies to form.
The British ministry were, however, determined to support their cause with the utmost vigor. Warm remonstrances were made to the court of France, which lavished in return pacific professions and even promises ; but they were directly contradicted by actions, which left no doubt of a firm determination to maintain her lofty pretensions. It was resolved, therefore, to employ force in driving the French from their present advanced position; and in the beginning of 1755, General Braddock, with two regiments, was despatched from Ireland to co-operate with the Virginia forces in obtaining the command of the Ohio. His arrival excited enthusiastic hopes, and at Alexandria he met the governors of five colonies, assembled to concert the general plan of a campaign. Washington had quitted the army on account of a regulation by which the colonial officers were made to rank under those of the regular army ; but, at the solicitation of Braddock, he consented to act as his aid-de-camp, in the character of a