UNITED STATES HISTORY
THROUGH FILM The Last of the
*The English colonists in America fought
against the Indians from time to time in the 1600s, and as the
Seventeenth Century drew to a close, European colonists in
America and their Indian allies were increasingly drawn into
European wars. In North America King William’s War was
fought from 1689-1697 and Queen Anne’s War from 1702-1713.
*The treaty that ended Queen Anne’s War did not really satisfy
anyone in Europe, particularly because the British continued
to smuggle goods into Spanish colonies in the Caribbean.
In 1731, a Spanish coastguard captain boarded the ship
Rebecca, searched it for contraband, and, upon finding it, cut
off the ear of the ship’s captain, Robert Jenkins. Seven
years later, Jenkins took the ear (which he had pickled and
saved in a bottle) to Parliament, where Prime Minister Robert
Walpole supposedly fainted upon seeing it. England was
already mad at Spain, so they declared war—the War of
Jenkins’s Ear, which in and of itself did not solve anything,
because it soon became part of a larger conflict.
*In December 1740, much of Europe went to war over whether a
woman could rule an empire, when Maria Theresa of Austria
inherited the throne from her father. Britain (and many
other countries) went to war to support her against Prussia
and its many allies. When the fighting spread to America
in 1744, it was known as King George’s War. During this
war, militia from New England captured the important Fortress
of Louisbourg in French Canada, but it was returned after the
war, which many New Englanders resented.
*By the mid-1700s the British colonists in North America were
increasingly jealous of the French, and the French were
increasingly worried about the British.
*The British colonies in North America had grown rapidly since
their foundation in the early 1600s, and by 1750 they had
about 1,500,000 people in them. However, they were
confined to the eastern seaboard, with no settlement and
little trade west of the Appalachian Mountains.
*In the 1600s and 1700s the French government had done little
to encourage settlement in the New World, and had often placed
many restrictions on it. By 1750 there were about 50,000
French settlers in North America, mostly in a few large cities
such as Quebec, Montreal, and New Orleans. The rest were
traders, trappers, and missionaries. On the whole,
though, they got along much better with the American Indians
and, although few in number, laid claim to the vast
territories of New France and Louisiana.
*British colonists increasingly coveted France’s possessions,
particularly the rich lands of the Ohio River valley, which
were also claimed by New York and Virginia.
*Not only did this area have rich farmland and good rivers for
trade, but it was rich in furs, one of the most lucrative
trade goods in America. Furs were made into coats and
other garments, or into felt that could be made into hats.
*Aware of Britain’s desire for land in the Ohio Country, the
French began building forts in the Ohio River Valley.
*This was a problem for many prominent Virginians who had
invested in the Ohio Company, which had been created for the
purpose of claiming, selling, and settling the land of the
Ohio River Valley. Among the leaders of the Ohio Company
were Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie and Lawrence and
*In 1753, the Ohio Company sent Lawrence and Augustine’s
little half-brother George to investigate the French presence
and tell them to leave. He travelled to Fort Le Boeuf,
just south of Lake Erie and demanded the French leave.
They refused and began construction of Fort Duquesne in what
is now South-western Pennsylvania.
*When Washington returned to Virginia he was sent back with
more militia to re-enforce another expedition already in the
Ohio Country. They approached Fort Duquesne in May
1754, ambushed a group of French soldiers sent out to order
Washington back to Virginia, and defeated them. After
the battle, one of Washington’s Indian allies killed the
officer in command of the French party.
*Knowing that many more French soldiers were stationed nearby
in Fort Duquesne, Washington ordered his men to build a
stockade that they named Fort Necessity. The French (who
outnumbered Washington about 600 to 400) attacked on 3 July,
1754, and on July 4th, Washington surrendered after losing a
third of his men.
*Although Washington was defeated and sent back to Virginia,
he showed such bravery under fire (and was one of the few
Virginians to have fought the French at all) that his
reputation continued to grow, and as the war continued, he led
Virginia militia in defence of the frontier against the
Indians. However, he bore a grudge against the British
who refused to recognise his colonial rank of colonel.
Many other American leaders also felt slighted by regular
British officers (who, in turn, considered their own forces to
be more professional).
*This was the beginning of the French and Indian War, which
pitted the English and their Indian allies (such as the
Iroquois and the Cherokee) against the French and their allies
(such as the Huron and the Ottawa).
*In 1755, the British government sent Edward Braddock with two
regiments of regulars to America. When the French became
aware of these plans, they sent 3,000 French regulars to
*Braddock planned to return to Fort Duquesne and capture or
destroy it. The French, meanwhile, had strengthened the
fort and stationed more men there.
*Braddock knew about these preparations thanks to British
spies and friendly Delaware Indians, and he tried to bring
many heavy artillery pieces (including some removed from Royal
Navy ships) with him through the wilderness. This
involved cutting a road 110 miles long from western Maryland
through the Allegheny Mountains into western Pennsylvania.
*Braddock led about 2,000 men, many of whom were or later
became famous. One of his wagon drivers was Daniel Boone
and a number of future British and American officers during
the Revolutionary War served with Braddock, including George
*Braddock’s large, slow-moving force attracted a lot of
attention, and his men in their bright red uniforms were
clearly visible in the woods. On 9 July, 1755, Braddock
was leading about 1,300 of his men in a column (the rest were
further behind with the baggage) when they encountered a force
of about 800 French and Indians (primarily Indians).
*This may have been a deliberate ambush, or it may have been a
chance meeting that the French handled well and Braddock
*When Braddock’s foremost forces were surprised and began to
retreat (leaving behind two small cannon that the French soon
captured and turned against them), Braddock did not have his
other soldiers wait until he knew the situation, but had them
march forward, so the two groups collided. Soon they
were tangled in confusion and the French and Indians
surrounded them and slaughtered them.
*Braddock was wounded and carried off the field.
Washington and other officers tried to rally the men, but the
army was forced to retreat. At least 500 British
soldiers were killed and left to rot—their bleached bones were
still visible to other armies passing through five years
later. At least as many more British soldiers were
wounded. Fewer than 40 French and Indians were killed or
*Braddock died four days after the battle and was buried in
the middle of the road his men had worked so hard to build (to
make sure the Indians did not dig up his body and desecrate
*In May 1756, Britain and France officially went to war, and
soon their allies and colonies did as well. In Europe,
this was known as the Seven Years’ War.
*In some ways, though, it was the first world war--the two
sides fought in Europe, but also in their colonies in North
America (where it had begun), in the Caribbean, and in Asia,
particularly India, where the British truly began to
consolidate their power—and it all began over furs in the Ohio
*In New France, the new commander-in-chief was the Marquis de
Montcalm. However, he always had to deal with lack of
support from France (where King Louis XV was focused on the
fighting in Europe) and conflict with the governor of New
France, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, who also wanted to be
*The British in America had seemed to be in nearly the same
indecisive position, as the British government vacillated
between trying to fight a limited war or a global one and
could not decide what part of the globe to focus on.
That changed in 1757 when William Pitt became became Secretary
of State for the Southern Department, a powerful office that
included supervision of Britain’s colonies. . He
believed that the war could best be won by focusing Britain’s
energies on America. It would take a while, though,
before his efforts would pay off.
*As 1757 began, the French seemed to have all the
advantages. They had stopped almost all British advances
into French territory and had even captured some territory
from the British around the Great Lakes. Their Indian
allies raided settlements all along the frontier, killing,
looting, and taking captives, some of whom were later killed,
some adopted, some enslaved, and some tortured to death—to the
Indians, torture was both a form of public entertainment and
an opportunity for the prisoner to exhibit his bravery.
*Although the British made plans to attack Canada, they were
slow getting underway and ended up leaving the New York
frontier poorly defended in the process. One of the
under-manned forts on the frontier was Fort William Henry on
the shores of Lake George (just south of Lake Champlain).
*Fort William Henry held about 600 British regulars and 1,200
militia when Montcalm’s forces and their Indian allies (about
8,000 men in total) laid siege to it in the summer of
--Introduce The Last of the Mohicans
-This version of The Last of the
Mohicans was released in 1992, and is loosely based on a
book of the same name by James Fennimore Cooper, published in
1826. That book, in turn, is very loosely based on
events in 1757 during the French and Indian War. Cooper
was the first best-selling American author of fiction, very
popular both within the United States and around the world.
-Although most of the characters are
fictional, a great deal of attention was paid to accuracy of
costumes, weapons, and other props. They are not
perfect—some British soldiers are shown wearing uniforms that
were not worn during the 1750s (but were later in the
1700s)—but overall are very good: in fact, during
filming, many actors suffered from heat stroke wearing
accurate wool uniforms during long days of filming. Many
of the actors, even background characters, were given military
training and some even received modern hand-to-hand combat
training by a U.S. Army officer.
-Most of the American Indian characters are
portrayed by American Indian (or Canadian Indian) actors,
particularly Cherokee. When they speak Indian languages
on screen, they are usually speaking their own native
languages, rather than the languages actually spoken by the
tribes whose members they are portraying. In other ways,
the Indians’ clothing and body paint and their weapons are
accurate, as is the scene early in the movie where some are
shown playing a form of lacrosse, which was originally an
Indian sport that was so violent that it was known among some
tribes as the little brother of war.
-In terms of language, many characters are
portrayed as multi-lingual, and that was not unusual on the
frontier, where English, French, Dutch, and multiple American
Indian nations came together and traded and sometimes fought
with one another. Furthermore, most educated Europeans
(such as some of the military officers portrayed in the story)
had learned foreign languages in school.
-Although the story is set in northern New
York, it was filmed in the mountains North Carolina (including
a couple of scenes at Biltmore). It was felt that the
forests of the Great Smoky Mountains looked more like the
primitive forests of pre-industrial New York, whereas northern
New York by the early 1990s still showed signs of the heavy
logging that took place there in there 1800s and early 1900s
(although there was actually pretty heavy logging in the
southern Appalachians, too).
-Nathaniel Poe is a fictional
character. He is an expert hunter and fur trader on the
frontier. He is also nicknamed Hawkeye and is known to
the French as la Longue Carabine, or the Long Rife, referring
to his Pennsylvania rifle (and hunter’s weapon as opposed to
the muskets favoured by military forces, which were easier to
load but less accurate. His parents were killed when he
was very young, and he was adopted by Chingachgook.
-Chingachgook is a fictional
character. He is a Mohican Indian, and the adoptive
father of Nathaniel and the biological father of Uncas.
He is also a skilled hunter and fur trader. In the movie
he uses a distinctive gunstock war club, shaped like a
gunstock with a blade in the bend where a flashpan would be on
real gun, because some early Indians thought the flash in the
pan was what actually caused them to die when a gun was
fired. He is played by Russell Means (who also provided
the voice of Pocahontas’s father in Walt Disney’s Pocahontas)
but was also a famous political activist and leader of the
American Indian Movement, a group founded in 1968 to try to
win equality and freedom for American Indians. They
famously seized Alcatraz Island from November, 1969 to June,
1971 and in 1973 fought with Federal agents at Wounded Knee,
South Dakota, and 2 Indians and 2 Federal agents died there at
the site of the last battle of the Indian Wars in 1890.
Russell Means took part in both of those activities.
-Uncas is a fictional character. He
is a Mohican Indian and the biological son of Chingachgook and
adoptive brother of Nathaniel and another hunter and fur
trader. He is played by Eric Schweig, a mixed-race man
of Eskimo, Indian, and European descent who was taken from his
mother as a child and adopted into a White family as part of a
Canadian policy to force their First Nations to assimilate
into White society.
-John Cameron and his family are fictional
characters representing a frontier family in upstate New
York. They are friends of Chingachgook and his sons.
-Major Duncan Heyward is a fictional
character and an officer in the British army. He is an
officer in the 60th Regiment of Foot, which was actually a
unit of American volunteers also known as the Royal Americans
formed in order to create a unit of soldiers accustomed to
fighting in the woods as opposed to the more formal battle
lines common in European warfare. They are not portrayed
that way in the movie, however.
-Cora Munro is a fictional character.
She is the daughter of Colonel George Munro who has recently
arrived in New York from England and is going to join her
father at Fort William Henry. She is also a long-time
friend of Duncan Heyward.
-Alice Munro is a fictional
character. She is the daughter of Colonel George Munro
and sister of Cora. She is also recently arrived from
England and is going to meet her father on the Frontier.
-Lieutenant-Colonel George Munro (who is
called The Grey Hair by some of the Indians in the movie) is
an historical person who commanded British forces at Fort
William Henry in New York during the French and Indian
War. However, in reality he did not have any children
that historians know of, and certainly no children of his
visited him while he was on active duty in America.
Furthermore, some other important events in his life were very
different than what is shown in the movie.
-General Daniel Webb is an historical
person who served in New York during the French and Indian
War. His major historical actions during this period are
more or less as they are presented in the movie, although in
the movie his name is given as Jerome instead of Daniel.
-Magua is a fictional character. He
is introduced as a Mohawk Indian scout who will guide the
Munro sisters and Major Heyward to meet Colonel Munro at Fort
William Henry. He is played by Wes Studi, a Cherokee
actor who, when growing up on the reservation in Oklahoma, was
only allowed to speak English in school and would have his
mouth washed out with soap if he tried to speak the Cherokee
that was his native language. He also took part in the
AIM standoff at Wounded Knee in 1973.
-The Marquis de Montcalm is an historical
person who was the French general in overall command of French
forces in New France during the French and Indian War.
-Show The Last of the Mohicans.
-#11 depicts an attack on a small group of
British soldiers. They are supposed to be members of the
60th Regiment, known as the Royal Americans, a unit formed of
American volunteers who were trained to fight in the woods and
to deal with the kind of attack that they faced in this
scene. Their incompetence is not particularly accurate,
although it is meant to depict other British forces who were
caught off guard and fought very poorly in the woods after
training to fight in open fields, most famously the soldiers
who died in 1755 in ‘Braddock’s Blunder.’
-#13 shows the aftermath of an attack by an
Ottawa war party on a frontier homestead. The actual
remains of such an attack would probably have been even more
gruesome, as Indians on the warpath often tortured prisoners
to death and mutilated their corpses.
-#14 mentioned Reverend Eleazar Wheelock’s
school. He was a Congregationalist minister in Lebanon,
Connecticut for 34 years, who did run a school for Indians
where they were taught English language, customs, and skills,
partly in hopes of training Indians to become missionaries
among their own people. He later helped found Dartmouth
College with a charter from King George III the intent of
offering a college education to American Indians, although in
fact most of its students (including Wheelock’s son) were from
upper-class White families. Although Wheelock's school
did not produce many Indian missionaries, most Mohicans did
convert to Christianity, often joining the Moravian Church.
-#16 claims that General Webb did not know
that Fort William Henry was besieged, but at this time he was
at Fort Edward which was only about 17 miles away, close
enough to hear the French cannons. However, it is true
that Webb did not sent any reinforcements, but that was
because he believed Montcalm’s army was much larger than it
was (11,000 compared to 6,200) and did not think any
reinforcements he could spare would be able to defeat
it. Furthermore, his forces were the last men standing
between the frontier and Albany, and he did not want to weaken
his own defences.
-#20 shows the good relationship and the
cultural sharing that took place between the French and the
Indians. For the most part, the French did not settle
North American heavily, and preferred to trade with the
Indians, so they usually maintained good relations. Many
French hunters and fur trappers adopted Indian culture, while
French priests did convert many Indians to Catholicism.
-#22 helps to illustrate tensions between
the British army and the colonial militia. The British
felt the militia were not reliable, and in many cases they
were not very reliable or skilled fighters (although in some
cases they fought very well). On the other hand, many
colonial militiamen and especially their officers felt they
were not appreciated or respected by the British. The
most famous example of this was George Washington, who held
the colonial militia rank of Colonel until the Royal Governor
of Virginia arranged for him to be demoted to Captain (and
under circumstances where he would have to serve under a
British Captain who would be treated as his superior despite
both holding the same rank). Likewise, his roles in
leading some of the soldiers involved in Braddock's Blunder to
safety and commanding troops elsewhere on the frontier were
largely ignored. Such treatment would lead contribute to
colonial resentment against Britain in the years leading up
the American Revolution, and during the Revolutionary War,
British experiences with colonial militia during the French
and Indian War would sometimes lead them to underestimate
American militia during the Revolution.
-#25 is related to the political philosophy
of Contract Theory, that the government has a duty to protect
the rights of its citizens, and that if a government harms the
lives, liberty, and property of its people, then they have a
right to change or overthrow that government. This would
be a very important idea expressed in the Declaration of
-#28 offers a chance for the British
soldiers to go back to Britain. This was actually common
in warfare in the 1700s and even well into the 1800s.
Keeping prisoners was expensive and time-consuming, so
captured soldiers and officers were often paroled back to
their home countries on the condition that they not fight in
that war again. If a paroled soldier was later captured
again, he was liable to executed for breaking his parole.
-#34 is about the massacre on the way from
Fort William Henry to Fort Edward. It is true that the
Indians attacked Colonel Munro’s men, but while many were
killed or wounded, a large number, including Colonel Munro
himself, made it to Fort Edward, so Colonel Munro did not die
in the massacre as depicted in the film. However, he
died three months later on the streets of Albany of a sudden
attack of apoplexy, which in those days could have meant a
heart attack, an aneurism, or a stroke. Furthermore,
Montcalm did not encourage or turn a blind eye to the attack
as suggested in the film, but rather tried to discourage it
beforehand and even tried to stop it as it was taking place.
-#40 refers to the fact that the fur trade
became so lucrative, and many Indian tribes became so
dependent on European trade goods, that in some regions, the
Indians drove animals with valuable furs close to or even over
the brink of extinction. Indians and Europeans also
fought with each other over access to the best hunting
grounds, so that many of the conflicts in New York and around
the Great Lakes (possibly including the French and Indian War
itself) are sometimes referred to as the Beaver Wars.
-#48 came about partly because Alice did
not want to become the wife of Magua and have his children,
but also because she and Uncas, who had just been killed, had
been falling in love (which also explains why he was so
reckless in his attempt to rescue her). This is not
especially obvious in the final version of the movie, even if
one knows to look for it, but it played a larger part in the
original script. Quite a bit of the original script was
cut out because the movie studio thought it was just too long,
but in this case, the mother of the actress playing Alice was
on set with her and would not allow her to take part in a
physical love scene because she was just 16 when the movie was
-#50 states that Chingachgook is the Last
of the Mohicans, but in fact, although they were driven out of
New York and Massachusetts and eventually onto a reservation
in Wisconsin, the Mohicans were never completely destroyed,
and there are at least 3,000 alive today, mostly on
reservation land in Wisconsin, although they have sued New
York to regain lost land there and were granted a small amount
of land and the right to build a casino there in
2010--although this was controversial because some to get this
land the Mohicans had to give up larger claims, and some were
not happy with this, and court cases continue.
*After a long siege at Fort William Henry, the British felt
forced to surrender. They were given very generous
treatment, allowed to march out with their regimental colours
and personal possessions, and promised safe passage to Fort
*The day after surrendering Fort William Henry, as the British
marched south, they were attacked by Montcalm’s Indian
allies. At least 700 British soldiers and militia were
killed, wounded, or missing. Those who were killed or
wounded were typically knocked in the head with tomahawks and
war clubs or scalped.
*1757 ended badly for the British with the Massacre of Fort
William Henry. However, under William Pitt, things began
*Pitt planned a three-pronged attack on New France for
1758. Louisbourg would be re-taken, Fort Carillon (which
the British called Ticonderoga) at the southern end of Lake
Champlain would be captured, allowing British forces to move
up the lake into Canada, and another British army would march
down Braddock’s Road to Fort Duquesne.
*However, instead of sending two regiments of regulars to
America this time and raising a few local militia, Pitt called
for 20,000 regulars and 22,000 American militia. Pitt
also had another advantage that he probably did not even know
he had: New France was literally starving, due to its
relatively few farms, a short, poor growing season, and
diminishing support from France.
*The first stage was the attack on Fort Louisbourg. Not
only did the British, particularly the colonists in New
England, resent its return at the end of King George’s War,
but it posed a constant threat to British shipping and even
the colonies. Furthermore, if the British could control
it, the Royal Navy could cut off French shipping down the
Saint Lawrence, starving Canada further.
*In June, 1758, about 12,000 British soldiers under the
command of Jeffrey Amherst arrived at Cape Breton
Island. The first wave of British boats was led by the
daring General James Wolfe.
*Louisbourg was an impressive fortification. However,
the British, with over 12,000 soldiers badly outnumbered the
7,000 French inside the fort. Furthermore, the defenders
soon began to run out of food. On 26 July, 1758, the
French commander surrendered.
*Fort Louisbourg would now serve as a staging point for
attacks up the St Lawrence River on the major cities of
Canada: Quebec and Montreal.
*To secure Lake Champlain, Pitt chose General James Abercromby
to march on Fort Carillon (which the British called
Ticonderoga) at the southern end of Lake Champlain with about
6,000 regulars and between 9,000 and 12,000 militia and
Indians. The French forces there were commanded by the
Marquis de Montcalm, but he only had about 3,600 regulars,
militia, and Indians and low supplies.
*The French dug earthworks in rough ground outside their fort
and built abatis in front of them. Most of the soldiers
who advanced on the French line were shot dead before reaching
the abatis. Those who reached it got caught in it and
were shot dead there. The very few who made it to the
French earthworks were bayoneted attempting to get over them.
*About 1,000 British soldiers were killed and over 1,500 were
wounded. 100 Frenchmen were killed and about 500
wounded. With over 3,000 men killed or wounded on both
sides, this was the bloodiest battle of the French and Indian
War, and a great victory for the outnumbered, poorly supplied
French. However, in 1759, the British returned and
captured the fort after Montcalm had pulled most of his men
back to defend Quebec and Montreal.
*The third prong in Pitt’s plan was an attack on Fort
Duquesne, to which he assigned 1,400 regulars and 5,000
militia and Indians under the command of General Forbes.
He cut a new road through the forests to Fort Duquesne, but
attempted to train his men for fighting in the woods and
dealing with ambushes.
*On 24 November, 1758, the French surrendered, burning Fort
Duquesne before they left. After its capture, the fort
was rebuilt, and renamed Fort Pitt, and later Pittsburgh.
*Having secured the colonial frontier and cut off the Saint
Lawrence River with the capture of Louisbourg, the British
were ready to strike at the heart of New France: Quebec.
*The City of Quebec stood on a rocky outcropping where the
Saint Charles River runs into the Saint Lawrence. Three
sides of the city were protected by water and the landward
side by a massive wall. Beyond the wall was an open
field known as the Plains of Abraham. The Plains of
Abraham fell down steep cliffs to the Saint Lawrence River,
making them almost impossible to reach from the water as well.
*In the spring of 1759 the British Navy sailed up the Saint
Lawrence and completely blocked Quebec off from any re-supply
from Europe. It also brought General James Wolfe and
about 9,000 troops. They soon put cannon atop the hills
across the river from Quebec and began to bombard the city
where Montcalm had command of about 14,000 soldiers (including
Militia and Indian allies), although many of them were spread
out for about five miles both east and west of Quebec and not
actually in the city itself.
*After many skirmishes around Quebec, Wolfe was finally ready
to attack the city on 13 September, because he had discovered
a way up the cliffs from the St Lawrence to the Plains of
*Although the cliffs were steep, there was a place where they
could be climbed, and Wolfe began moving men and supplies
upriver to prepare for an attack at this spot.
*Under the cover of darkness, Wolfe’s men floated down the
river in little boats, where they disembarked at 4 a.m. on 13
September, 1759, and climbed the cliffs. By the time
Montcalm was made aware of the attack and convinced it was
real, Wolfe had over 4,000 men on the Plains of Abraham, while
Montcalm was able to muster about 4,500.
*Montcalm chose to attack. The French regulars and
militia advanced towards the British lines, firing as they
came, and hitting Wolfe in the wrist. The British held
their fire until the French were within 60 yards or closer,
and then all fired at once. This stopped the French
cold. The British reloaded, fired again, and the French
began to run.
*Wolfe ordered a bayonet charge, and was shot twice more, in
his chest and his intestines. Montcalm was also wounded,
with his leg and abdomen torn open by grapeshot. At this
point, French reinforcements arrived, but seeing they were too
late, retreated to safety. Had Montcalm waited for them,
they might have surrounded and trapped Wolfe, but he did not,
and the British captured Quebec, capital of New France.
*Wolfe died on the field of battle. Montcalm died the
next day of his wounds. The British lost about 60 men
killed and 600 wounded, the French lost 200 killed and 1,200
wounded. Furthermore, although some battles remained,
the war was essentially over.
*Almost exactly a year later, on 8 September, 1760, Montreal
surrendered and all of Canada rather than force his people to
endure a few weeks or months of starvation before their
*Although French Canadians were allowed to keep their homes
and continue practising the Catholic faith, all French
soldiers had to return to Europe and promise not to fight
again in Europe or America.
*Some officials back in France were shocked that Montreal had
been surrendered without a shot being fired, but King Louis
XV, more interested in the fighting in Europe anyway, was
cheered up by the philosopher Voltaire, who said, ‘After all,
Sire, what have we lost—a few acres of snow?’
*The French still held Louisiana though, including forts in
what is now Alabama, such as Toulouse and Mobile. They
and their Creek allies still threatened the southern colonies
and their principal ally, the Cherokee.
*For protection against the Creek and the French, the Cherokee
asked the British to build a fort for their people. In
exchange for promises of assistance against the French, the
British agreed, and between 1756 and 1757 built Fort Loudoun
about 40 miles south of modern Knoxville.
*Some of the Cherokee who went to help the British
participated in the capture of Fort Duquesne, but did not feel
their help was appreciated or rewarded properly, and they went
home. Other Cherokee working alongside Virginia militia
ended up fighting with them, and stole some of their horses on
the way home and the Virginians killed 15 of the Cherokee in
*In return, the Cherokee attacked white settlements and killed
20 people. In March 1760, the Cherokee laid siege to
Fort Loudoun. On 6 August, 1760, the British
surrendered. The inhabitants (including women) were
promised safe passage back to Virginia or South Carolina.
*They left the fort on the 9th and made camp after marching 15
miles. Early the next morning, the Cherokee
attacked. All the officers were killed except for John
Stuart, a personal friend of Chief Attakullakulla (who paid
his ransom). Several private soldiers and a few women
were killed, too, although most of the soldiers were captured
and later ransomed. The commander, Paul Demere, was
scalped, forced to dance, beaten with sticks, and finally had
his arms and legs chopped off. As he lay dying, they
stuffed his mouth with dirt and said, ‘You English want land,
we will give it to you.’
*In response, more British soldiers were sent to slaughter the
Cherokee and burn their crops, eventually forcing them to sign
a peace treaty. The Cherokee requested that John Stuart,
the only surviving officer of the Fort Loudoun Massacre, be
made the king’s agent to them.
*Finally, in 1763, the Peace of Paris ended the French and
Indian War and the Seven Years’ War.
*Britain gained Canada from France and Florida from Spain (who
had entered the war in 1761 on the side of France).
*France gave New Orleans and Louisiana to Spain to make up for
the loss of Florida.
*Britain was now master of North America, but as Britain
became more involved in the lives of the American colonists,
the effects of the War would drive them apart.