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THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR:. The Last Colonial Battle over Land and Resources in North America. From Causes of the French and Indian War ( “The Schenechtady Massacre,” by Samuel Sexton, 1690. The Leaders. For France:. King Louis XV (1710-1774).

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the french and indian war


The Last Colonial Battle over Land and Resources in North America


From Causes of the French and Indian War (


For France:

King Louis XV (1710-1774)


French Colonial Leader:

The Governor General of New France, Louis de Frontenac


For Britain:

King George II (1683-1760)


British Colonial Leader:

George Washington


This 1754 woodcut by Benjamin Franklin warns what would happen if the colonies did not unite against the French threat. There was lingering hatred between the French and English.


Caught in the Middle:

Diverse Native people from hundreds of independent, sovereign nations living in North America for thousands of years before Europeans arrived.


Why did they Fight?

1630 coin of New France,

the livre.

1630 coin of British colonies, the shlling


How do you get soldiers to fight? Advertise! Propagandize!

This is the story of Peter Williamson, who was captured from his farmhouse in 1754. He managed to escape and fight in many battles in the French and Indian War. It was one of several best-sellers about captured and mistreated settlers.

From French and Indian War Information (


How did they Fight?

1) Hand-to-Hand Combat

1. Hand-to-Hand Combat

Double-headed battle axe. These iron blades would be attached to a wooden or iron handle.



2. Firearms

“Brown Bess,” the flintlock musket, was the most common gun used in the Colonial Wars.


The flintlock musket was about 5 feet long and weighed about 10 pounds. It fired a ball that weighed more than one ounce. It had only a 75 yard accuracy, but it was particularly deadly in the hands of infantrymen firing in tight ranks. A good shot could fire off 3 – 4 shots a minute. A bayonet was often affixed to the gun’s end to finish off jobs left undone by the bullets. (From The Colonial Wars, by A. Carter. Danbury: Grolier, 1992.)


“A soldier carried paper-wrapped ammunition in a cartridge pouch slung at his side. To load his musket, he tore the end of a cartridge with his teeth and sprinkled gunpowder into the pan of the firing mechanism, where it would be set off by a spark when the piece of flint on the hammer struck the steel latch covering the pan. He then pushed the rest of the cartridge into the open end of the barrel and jammed the powder and lead ball down with a long steel rod called a ramrod.”

(From The Colonial Wars, by A. Carter. Danbury: Grolier, 1992.)


British Field Howitzer, produced in the 1740s

From: To the Sound of the Guns: (


English howitzer; a 6-pounder. The ammunition boxes on each side of the would hold enough munitions to put the gun into action quickly while the munition wagon was being brought up to support sustained fire. In the 1600s, caliber was pretty standard. The smallest standard cannon was the two-pounder, and the largest was the fifty-pounder. (Pounds refers to the weight of the ball that could be fired.)



Cannon Projectiles

A bomb, or shell. On the right is a cut-away view.

Case shot: filled with balls lethal to a range

of 200-300 yards.

Grape shot ready for loading. The thousands of balls inside the canvas bag created a kill range of 600 yards.



The Death of Jane McCrea by John Vanderlyn (1804)


Native Americans could earn payment from the French by presenting them with British scalps. They could also earn payment from the British for French scalps.


Indian Scalping or hunting knife excavated near Fort Haldimand, N.Y. This is the typical untility knife traded by the British to the native Americans 1760-80.


After the scalps were taken, they were attached to the scalper’s belt or carried on a pole like a flag. Once home, the scalper would clean and dry the scalp and hang it up as a war trophy decoration.


Robert McGee was scalped as a child by Sioux Chief Little Turtle in 1864. (Photo from Library of Congress)