Stories from PA History
Story Details
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 Braddock Park (Fayette) marker icon Braddock Road (Dunbar's Camp) (Fayette)
marker icon Braddock Road (Rock Fort Camp) (Fayette) marker icon Braddock Road (Stewart's Crossing) (Fayette)
marker icon Braddock Road (Twelve Springs Camp) (Fayette) marker icon Braddock's Crossing (Allegheny)
marker icon Braddock's Defeat (Allegheny) marker icon Burnt Cabins (Fulton)
marker icon Bushy Run Battlefield (Westmoreland) marker icon Col. James Burd (Dauphin)
marker icon Conestoga Indian Town (Lancaster) marker icon Forbes Road (Fort Juniata) (Bedford)
marker icon Forbes Road (General) (Bedford) marker icon Forbes Road (Raystown Path) #1 (Cumberland)
marker icon Forbes Road (Raystown Path) #2 (Cumberland) marker icon Forbes Road (Raystown Path) #3 (Fulton)
marker icon Forbes Road (The Clear Fields) (Somerset) marker icon Forbes Road (Washington Camp) (Westmoreland)
marker icon Forbes Road, 1758. Fort Bedford to Fort Duquesne (Allegheny) marker icon Fort Bedford (Bedford)
marker icon Fort Duquesne (Allegheny) marker icon Fort LeBoeuf (Erie)
marker icon Fort Ligonier (Westmoreland) marker icon Fort Loudon (Franklin)
marker icon Fort Lyttelton (Fulton) marker icon Fort Machault (Venango)
marker icon Fort Necessity (Fayette) marker icon Fort Pitt (Allegheny)
marker icon Fort Pitt Blockhouse (Allegheny) marker icon Fort Presque Isle (Erie)
marker icon Fort Prince George (Allegheny) marker icon Fort Shirley (Huntingdon)
marker icon Fort Venango (Venango) marker icon General John Armstrong (Armstrong)
marker icon General John Armstrong (Hero of Kittanning) (Cumberland) marker icon George Washington (Erie)
marker icon Gist's Plantation (Fayette) marker icon Jumonville Defeat (Fayette)
marker icon Kittanning (Armstrong) marker icon Logstown (Beaver)
marker icon Mary Jemison (Adams) marker icon Pittsburgh (Allegheny)
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 Letter from Virginia's Governor Dinwiddie to the French Commander in the Ohio Country, October, 1753. 
icon full text The French Commander's Reply to Governor Dinwiddie, December, 1753.
icon full text Washington's Description of Fort LeBoeuf, December, 1753. 
icon full text John Shaw's Account of Jumonville's Murder, 1754.
icon full text Delaware Chief Shingas Explains Why the Indians Abandoned General Braddock, 1755.
icon full text George Washington on Braddock's Defeat, July, 1755.
icon full text Description of the Kittanning Raid, 1757.
icon full text Mary Jemison Describes her Adoption into an Indian Family, circa 1758.
icon full text Governor Denny's Message to the Ohio Indians, Easton Treaty, 1758.
icon full text General Forbes Addresses the Delaware Chiefs Beaver and Shingas, November, 1758.
icon full text General Forbes Describes his Victory to William Pitt, November, 1758.
icon full text General Forbes Describes his Route to the Forks to William Pitt, July, 1758.
icon full text Jeffery Amherst and Henry Bouquet on using Smallpox as a Weapon, July, 1763.
icon full text The Return of Indian Captives to Bouquet's Army, 1764
icon full text Benjamin Franklin, An Account of the Paxton Boys' Murder of the Conestoga Indians, 1764.
icon full text James Dove, An Anti-Quaker Defense of the Paxton Boys, 1764.
icon full text An Anonymous British Officer on Braddock's Defeat
icon full text An Indian Warning about the British Occupation of the Forks of Ohio

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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