Stories from PA History
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The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania
In the 1750s, the western woods of Pennsylvania became a battleground for seven long and bloody years, as the British and French struggled to build their empires. The ultimate British victory reshaped the political and cultural landscape of North America and forever shattered the fragile peace that once had existed between colonists and Native Americans in Pennsylvania.

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Overview: The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania
Chapter One: The Anglo-French Contest for the Ohio Country
Chapter Two: Braddock's Defeat and its Aftermath
Chapter Three: The Forbes Road and the Campaign of 1758
Chapter Four: Pontiac's Rebellion

Historical Markers In the Story
marker icon Burnt Cabins (Fulton) marker icon Fort Duquesne (Allegheny)
marker icon Fort LeBoeuf (Erie) marker icon Fort Machault (Venango)
marker icon Fort Necessity (Fayette) marker icon Fort Prince George (Allegheny)
marker icon George Washington (Erie) marker icon Gist's Plantation (Fayette)
marker icon Jumonville Defeat (Fayette) marker icon Logstown (Beaver)
marker icon Venango Path (Venango) marker icon Venango Path (Fort Franklin) (Venango)

Lesson Plans for this Story
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Story Bibliography

Original Documents
icon full text Inscription on the French Plates Left by the Céloron Expedition in 1749.
icon full text Washington's Description of Fort LeBoeuf, December, 1753. 
icon full text The French Commander's Reply to Governor Dinwiddie, December, 1753.
icon full text Letter from Virginia's Governor Dinwiddie to the French Commander in the Ohio Country, October, 1753. 
icon full text John Shaw's Account of Jumonville's Murder, 1754.

1720 - 1740 Throughout the 1720s-40s: Migration of Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca Indians into the Ohio Country, establishing new communities and diplomatic relations with British and French.
1737 Walking Purchase: land fraud perpetuated by Penn family and its agents dispossesses Delaware Indians in the Lehigh Valley and sours intercultural relations in the colony.
1749 Céleron Expedition reasserts French claim to the Ohio Country
1753 In the fall of 1753, Washington undertakes journey to French posts in Ohio Country on behalf of Virginia governor to order French to leave
1753 In the spring, French begin fortifying route between Lake Erie and Forks of the Ohio
1754 French take over the Forks of the Ohio and begin building Fort Duquesne
1754 Washington engages French party, resulting in murder of Jumonville
1754 - 1754 Albany Congress: intercolonial treaty conference with the Iroquois in Albany, New York fails to secure Iroquois alliance against the French or intercolonial cooperation in Indian and military affairs; agents for Penn family negotiate purchase of western Pennsylvania lands from Iroquois
1754 - 1754 Battle of Fort Necessity: Washington surrenders to the French and retreats from Ohio Country
1755 Braddock's March to Ohio Country from Fort Cumberland, Maryland
1755 Braddock's Defeat at Monongahela River crossing
1755 - 1758 French and Indian raids along Pennsylvania frontier, involving Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca from the Ohio Country, supplied from Fort Duquesne; many Pennsylvania colonists killed or taken captive
1756 Armstrong raid destroys Delaware village of Kittanning
1758 Easton Treaty: acting with the assistance of the six Iroquois nations of New York, royal and colonial agents negotiate peace with Delawares, in exchange for restoration of lands purchased at Albany Congress of 1754 and promises of Ohio Indians' security in their homelands
1758 French destroy Fort Duquesne as they retreat to Canada; Forbes Expedition occupies the Forks of the Ohio
1758 In the summer and fall, the Forbes Expedition builds a road from Carlisle to the Forks of the Ohio
1759 - 1761 Construction of Fort Pitt
1763 Pontiac's Rebellion begins with attack on Fort Detroit
1763 - 1763 British posts in Ohio Country, including Fort Pitt, are attacked by western Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca Indians angered at British Army's failure to withdraw from the region after defeating the French, as previously promised
1763 - 1763 Bouquet engages Ohio Indians at Bushy Run and lifts siege of Fort Pitt
1763 Proclamation of 1763: British Crown promulgates a dividing line between Indian and colonial populations, running roughly along the Allegheny Mountains
1763 Paxton Boys destroy the Indian village of Conestoga and murder its inhabitants, including those who sought refuge in Lancaster, then march on Philadelphia.
1764 Fall: Bouquet expedition to Ohio Country to force capitulation of remaining hostile Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca and to secure return of captives
1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix (New York): Iroquois cede to the British substantial portions of Ohio Valley
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