1754 - 1766
The publication was intended to provide support for The Albany Plan which was a proposal, unanimously adopted, by the Albany Congress that would create a centralized government structure among the colonies that included a President General appointed by the Crown and a Grand Council chosen by representatives of the various colonial assemblies. The Albany Plan was an attempt to organize the colonies into a union for their common defense against the encroachment of the French into the upper Ohio Country.
The author of the cartoon and editorial, as well as, the plan was Benjamin Franklin.
A copy of The Albany Plan was presented to each of the colonial assemblies and, being suspicious of creating a central taxing authority, it was promptly rejected.
A copy of The Albany Plan was sent to the Board of Trade and Plantations in London and because many in the British government were already suspicious of some of the strong-willed colonial assemblies and weren’t keen on the idea of consolidating power in the colonies, it was promptly rejected.
On May 28, 1754, a young Lieutenant Colonel in the British army was involved in a short skirmish at Fort Necessity resulting in the first shot in the opening battle of the French and Indian War.
His name was George Washington.
At the conclusion of the King George’s War (1744-1748), as it is known in America, known in Europe as the War of the Austrian Succession, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed. The details of the Treaty were mostly negotiated between Britain and France and, basically, returned the world to the status quo of 1744. New England colonials were not happy. In 1745, they had captured the mighty fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, not only without the assistance of the British Navy, but with the adamant refusal of the British government to assist them in any way … and now the British Empire gave it back to France. Since 1740, when the fort had been completed, French privateers had used it as a base to prey upon New England fishermen working the Grand Banks. In 1745, a small force of New Englanders under William Pepperrell, with the support of Sir Peter Warren and a fleet of merchantmen, attacked Louisbourg and forced its surrender. Now, it was being returned in exchange for Madras, India. The Treaty also failed to resolve the growing colonial and commercial tensions between the British colonists and the French traders along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The struggle for North America would continue in North America while Europe pretended peace had finally come to their continent.
About thirty-five years earlier, the Queen Anne’s War (1702–13) as it is known in America, in Europe as the War of the Spanish Succession, had been fought by colonials in New York and New England along the Canadian border against French forces and their native Indian allies. As a result, the British had captured Port Royal which brought French Arcadia under British control as the province of Nova Scotia. But under the Treaty of Utrecht which brought an end to this war, the British had allowed France to retain control of Cape Breton Island, upon which they had promptly built Fort Louisbourg creating a French base for the launch of attacks against New England fishermen.
Also in North America, France ceded to Great Britain all claim to the Hudson’s Bay Company, Rupert’s Island and Newfoundland. As a condition of the Treaty, France was required to recognize British dominion over the Iroquois and commerce with the “Far Indians” was to be open to traders of all nations. This part of the Treaty should not be underemphasized. The British and Iroquois had a strong relationship and as you’ll see, as far as native culture is concerned, the Iroquois had dominion over the Ohio Country. But France wasn’t inclined to share the grip they had on the fur trade.
About sixteen years before the end of the Queen Anne’s War, the New England colonists and their native Indian allies had fought the French Canadians during King William’s War (1689-97) as a part of the War for the Grand Alliance (1688–97) which resulted in Great Britain’s failure to capture Quebec and France’s failure to capture Boston.
Therefore, by 1748, New England colonials had had more than their share of conflicts with the French along their borders for about fifty years. They had rallied to the side of the British government in conflict after conflict and when the British government did not come to their assistance, they took matters into their own hands and emerged triumphant, only to have the British government trade their conquests for Madras, India.
Beginning in the early 1600s, the Iroquois traded mostly with Dutch and British merchants, a few traded with the French. They gave beaver and other hides to European traders and in turn they received muskets, iron tools, blankets, glass beads and other items of their interests. By mid-1600s, the Iroquois had hunted and trapped most of all the fur-bearing animals in their homeland and turned their eyes towards the rich hunting grounds of their neighboring tribes in the Ohio Country. The natives in that area had been weakened by diseases and had lost many of their numbers. Between 1650 and 1700 the Iroquois waged a war (The Beaver Wars) of extermination against the tribes in Ohio Country and claimed the land for the Iroquois Confederacy as the Beaver Hunting Ground. Most the hunters and warriors did not live there but came primarily to hunt deer and beaver and returned home after a hunting expedition. The Erie Indians were the exception and lived along the south shore of Lake Erie from New York to about present-day Cleveland, Ohio.
Between 1721-22, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia renewed the Covenant Chain with the Iroquois in the signing of a new Treaty of Albany which recognized the Blue Ridge as the boundary between the Iroquois and the Virginia Colony. But by 1730, new settlers began to move beyond the Blue Ridge into the Shenandoah Valley to which the Iroquois objected and were told that the agreed upon demarcation line was intended to prevent them from trespassing east of the Blue Ridge, but not to prevent English from moving west of the Blue Ridge. The Iroquois were on the verge of war with the Virginia Colony when Governor Gooch, acting on behalf of the Crown, in 1743 agreed to pay them 100 pounds sterling for any settled land in the Valley that was claimed by them. The next year, the Treaty of Lancaster was signed whereby the Iroquois sold to Virginia all of their remaining claims on the Shenandoah Valley for 200 pounds gold.
From the ”The history of South Carolina under the royal government, 1719-1776, by Edward McCrady, page 300-302
The colony of Georgia was now interposed between the Carolinians and the Spaniards in Florida; but her western frontier was still exposed to the claims of France. Firmly established in Canada and Louisiana, France was rapidly connecting these extreme points by a chain of military posts, stretching through the entire length of the Mississippi Valley, and having formed close commercial alliances with several of the most powerful tribes of the continent, her triumph was apparently, beyond peradventure, not far distant. Her design was to secure the possession of the great valley, and having circumscribed the English colonists within their narrow belt along the Atlantic, when everything was ready for the blow, to fall upon them, with the hordes of their savage confederates, and exterminate or drive them from the soil.
In an old map, constructed previous to 1741, by M. de L’Isle, geographer to the French King, a definite line is traced, marking the eastern limit of France’s assumed domain on the American continent. It set out from a point near Charlestown, ran northeastward to Cooper River, - which it crossed some sixty miles from the ocean, - passed the Santee one hundred miles from its mouth, turned northwestward along the eastern bank of that stream till it reached the Catawba, pursued this tributary into the Alleghany Mountains, followed that course around the head waters of the Potomac to the Susquehanna, - crossing it at a point some sixty-five miles from the head of the Chesapeake Bay, - ran thence up the eastern bank to the North Branch, and along that stream to the Mohawk, - which it crossed some fifty miles above its junction with the Hudson, - thence to a point near the lower extremity of Lake Champlain, and along the channel of that water to the mouth of the Sorrell, by which it finally passed to the River St. Lawrence. The sandy strip of country lying between this imaginary defiant line of frontier and the ocean was all that was allowed England for her portion of the continent. Through all the immense territory between this strip and the Mississippi, English and French emissaries were alike alternately stirring up the Indians against each other.
Now the stage was set. Great Britain had purchased the Beaver Hunting Ground located in Ohio Country from the Iroquois. The area was rather thinly populated by native Indians since the Iroquois had driven them out. Those tribes still in the area were under the Iroquois’ dominion, for example the Delawares, with whom the French were negotiating. So, before the ink had time to dry on the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, the Earl of Halifax, who had just attained the position as head of the Board of Trade and Plantations, convinced the Crown to deed land to two new land speculation companies, the Ohio Company and the Loyal Company, both based in Virginia. During the mid-1740s, a sprinkling of British colonists had made their way across the Allegany Mountains and settled on the frontier, businessmen from Great Britain had moved into the region and set up trading posts among the natives and were competing with the French for the lucrative fur trade. The French had strong influence over the native populations in their near-area, but it was beginning to wane as the Indians were developing a trade relationship with the British. On the North American continent, the French claimed more land mass, but the British had more population. Tensions were high.
The group known as the Loyal Company was organized in 1749. Among the investors were Peter Jefferson, who was the father of Thomas Jefferson, Joshua Fry, a surveyor and map maker among other things, Reverend James Maury and Thomas Walker, the first being Thomas Jefferson’s teacher and the latter will become his guardian, and Thomas Meriwether, who was the grandfather of Meriwether Lewis of Lewis & Clark. This group acquired an 800,000 acre patent located on the southern border of Virginia in what is present-day southeastern Kentucky, which they renewed twice, but even though they completed the surveys, the coming war interrupted the process and their plans never got off the ground.
However, the Ohio Company of Virginia which organized in 1747 was more successful. Among the members were Thomas Lee, the namesake for Leesburg, Virginia, Nathaniel Chapman, a prominent physician, John Mercer and his son, George Mercer, Lawrence Washington and Augustine Washington, Jr., who were the brothers of George Washington, as well as, the Duke of Bedford, Virginia Lt. Governor Robert Dinwiddie, and John Hanbury, who was a wealthy London merchant. This group acquired 200,000 acres of land near the headwaters of the Ohio River in what is now western Pennsylvania. The patent was awarded in 1749 and made with the conditions that one hundred families would be settled within seven years, that the Company would build a fort at their own expense to protect the settlers and the claim, and that the settlement would establish a regular trade with the local natives in order to maintain friendly relations. To that end, in 1752, the Company signed a treaty of friendship and permission at Logstown with the main tribes in the region. Then, from 1748-50, they hired Thomas Cresap who opened a trading fort and founded Oldtown, Maryland at the foot of the eastern climb up the Cumberland Narrows. He was was contracted to blaze a trail over the mountains to the Monogahela River as the first step in building a wagon road. In 1750, the Company hired Christopher Gist to explore the Ohio Valley and identify lands for potential settelment which he did in 1750, 1751 and 1753. He traveled far and kept a journal of his experiences and when he returned his report, the Company identified the an area in western Pennsylvania and present-day West Virginia for settlement.
On July 1, 1752, Marquis Duquesne, the governor in New France, ordered the construction of new forts to secure control of the Ohio Country and in 1753 sent 1,500 French soldiers into the upper Ohio Valley to established Fort Presq'-isle in modern day Erie, Pennsylvania, Fort Le Boeuf in modern day Waterford, Pennsylvania and Fort Manchault in modern day Franklin, Pennsylvania. Back in England, the Earl of Halifax charged the French had broken the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which acknowledged the Iroquois as British subjects, therefore, their land, even areas conquered by them were British.
The Ohio Company’s land patent was technically under the control of the Virginia colony because it fell within the chartered boundaries. Robert Dinwiddie, a member of the Company, as well as, Lt. Governor of Virginia first sent Major George Washington to Fort Le Boeuf with a letter of remonstrance to Captain Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, the French commander. He was joined by John Davidson as Indian interpreter, and Jacob Van Braam, who spoke the French language and Christopher Gist who acted as a guide, as well as four other men, two of them Indian traders. Forty-one days later they arrived at Fort Le Boeuf and handed the letter to Captain Saint-Pierre. Four days later, December 16, 1753, Saint-Pierre handed to Major Washington his sealed reply to Lt. Governor Dinwiddie and the party began their perilous journey back to Virginia. The mountains were covered with snow, the streams were swift and swollen and filled with ice, and much of the journey was on foot. They arrived back in Williamsburg on January 16, 1754. In addition to the letter, Washington reported on the reconnaissance he had gathered telling Dinwiddie that the French had swept south; he detailed the steps they had taken to fortify the area and their intention to fortify the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers.
Lt. Governor Dinwiddie commissioned Major Washington a Lieutenant-Colonel, and placed him in chief command of two hundred troops to be raised to march to the Ohio River and build two forts before the French could descend the stream or its tributaries in the spring. The Governor sent an appeal to the other colonies for help. All hesitated except … North Carolina … whose Assembly immediately voted men and money, for the first time a colony put their money and their men in support of another colony beyond their boundaries for common defense. The other colonial assemblies became bogged down in the debate over the supremacy of parliament verses the rights of the colonists in regards to which group had the authority to levy taxes and direct the use of those funds; and on the frontier, there was competition for the Indian trade among the provincial governments.
Thus, Benjamin Franklin’s political cartoon … “Join, or Die” … and his scathing editorial about the “disunited state” of the British colonies.
By late May, Colonel Fry and his contingent of troops had reached Washington on the banks of the Youghiogheny River, within forty miles of Fort Duquesne. There they received a message from the Half-King warning the French were on the move, so Washington fell back across the Great Meadows and built a stockade that he named Fort Necessity. Christopher Gist, who lived nearby, reported tracks of Frenchmen within five miles of the Great Meadows. That night the Half-King sent a message saying a party of armed Frenchmen was lying in ambush about six miles away. Even though it was dark and rainy, Washington immediately set out with about forty men for the camp of the friendly Seneca Chief to enlist his help and together they sought the hiding place of their common foe. On May 28, when they met the enemy, Washington order this troops to fire and the enemy returned fire, the fight lasted about fifteen minutes. When it ceased, French Commander Jumonville and ten of his men were dead, one Virginian had been killed.
Colonel Fry died on May 31 and Washington was promoted to Colonel. He spent the next few days fortifying his position, preparing for the French to attack. On June 9, the rest of the Virginia regiment arrived at the Great Meadows, bringing supplies and nine swivel guns. Washington had under his command now a total of 293 officers and men. Several days later about 100 men of Captain James MacKay’s Independent Company of regular British troops from South Carolina arrive but Washington’s attempt to retain his Indian allies was not successful.
The South Carolina troops remained in the Great Meadows while Washington and the Virginians spent most of June opening a road from Fort Necessity to Gist’s Plantation in direction of the forks of the Ohio. When he received reports of a large force of French and Indians advancing from Fort Duquesne, Washington withdrew his men to the Great Meadows, arriving there on July 1.
On the morning of July 3, a force of about 600 French and 100 Indians took up position in the woods. Rain fell all day and flooded the marshy ground. Both the British and the French and Indians took casualties, but the British suffered greater losses. At about 8 o’clock that evening, the French Captain, Louis Coulon de Villiers, commander and brother of Jumonville, requested a truce to discuss the surrender of Washington’s command. The British forces were allowed to withdraw with the honors of war, were allowed to keep their baggage and weapons, except for the swivel guns. On July 4, Washington and MacKay left Fort Necessity and marched back to Virginia. The French burned Fort Necessity to the ground and returned to Fort Duquesne.
The French and Indian War had begun in North America.
After the surrender of Washington at Fort Necessity, Lt. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia pressed the British government for assistance to remove the French from Fort Duquesne and found them eager to advance a full war on the French in North America. What resulted was a disaster in the making, infamously known in American history as Braddock’s Defeat. On July 9, 1755, about 1,500 British and American troops from Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina were set upon by a force of 300 to 600 Indians including Ottawas, Miamis, Hurons, Delawares, Shawnees and Mingoes and about 30 French colonial troops on the Monongahela River at the fork of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers near present-day Pittsburgh. Braddock attempted to fight European-style, while the French and Indians fought Indian-style. When the colonial militias fell behind the trees out of instinct to fight Indian-style, Braddock forced them back into European-style. When it was over the British command had lost twenty-six officers killed, thirty-seven wounded, 430 soldiers killed and 385 wounded, many had been shot by their own men in the confusion. The French and Indian losses were probably less that thirty killed and an unknown number of wounded. Most of the women and children who had been permitted to accompany the march were killed and scalped. Twelve prisoners were stripped naked and tortured to death throughout the night.
The defeat of Braddock unleashed a relentless wave of French and Indian attacks on frontier settlements from Pennsylvania and Maryland to Virginia. Many of the settlers living on that frontier had recently arrived during the migration period that had brought the expansion of the North Carolina Piedmont and their experiences with the Indians thus far had not prepared them for the onslaught that was to come down upon them. The peaceful, non-violent Quakers had entered into a treaty with the Delawares, and now they were being murdered, scalped, kidnapped and tortured by those very same Indians. The tomahawk of the Shawnees was at work on the Virginia frontier. There are numerous accounts of the horrendous brutality that was brought down on their heads. One of those accounts you can find HERE, of Sidnah Rosine, one of my ancestors who lived to tell her story, which I suspect was not that unusual except that she survived it.
On May 8, 1756, Britain and France formally declared war against each other as the conflict grew world-wide and became the Seven Years’ War.
Meanwhile, back in South Carolina, it was about the time of Governor Dinwiddie’s initial adventurer into the Ohio Country that Governor Glen of South Carolina was made aware of Dinwiddie’s attempt to secure a larger share of trade with the four southern tribes, Cherokee, Catawba, Muscogee/Creek and Chickasaw, by enticing them away from their dependence on South Carolina for their necessities of life. The South Carolina colony had a long standing relationship with the Cherokee, as well as, the Catawba. Governor Glen understood the importance of their trade with South Carolina, and more importantly it seems he understood how to manage the Cherokee. They had been on and off allies with the Carolinians during the 1711 Tuscarora War in North Carolina and the 1715 Yamasee War on the South Carolina/Spanish Florida border.
Edward McCrady, in his ”The history of South Carolina under the royal government, 1719-1776, records on pages 303-4, the letter Governor Glen sent to Governor Dinwiddie. It not only describes how Glen has learned to manage the Cherokee, but also, gives us some insight into just how unprotected the Carolina frontier was at the time. All that stood between them and the Indians, on their western boundary, was a small Georgia colony on the Savannah River.
“South Carolina,” he wrote, “is a weak frontier colony, and in case of an invasion by the French would be their first object of attack. We have not much to fear, however, while we retain the affections of the Indians around us; but should we forfeit that by any mismanagement on our part, or by the superior address of the French, we are in a miserable situation. The Cherokees alone have several thousand gunmen well acquainted with every inch of this province – their country is the key to Carolina. We have been greatly alarmed by the behavior of the Virginians in regard to the Cherokees. Few or no Indians are in treaty with Virginia. By long experience we have become thoroughly acquainted with their nature and inclinations, and have been so successful in managing them as to keep them steady to the British interest, notwithstanding the vigorous and persevering efforts of France to seduce them from us. We can see no good or wise policy in endeavoring to draw away these Indians form one of his Majesty’s provinces to another. We have been enabled to fix the affections of the four great nations around us. Let facts speak: they come when we send for them, and go when we bid them depart; they do whatever we desire them. They now perfectly understand the injustice of punishing the innocent for the guilty, and the necessity of punishing the latter in conformity to the treaties between them and us. And when, under any circumstances, a white man is killed in their country, the offender is sure to die, through the greatest of the nation.Between 1753 and 1755, battles had broken out between the Cherokee and the Muscogee/Creek nations over disputed hunting grounds in North Georgia with the Cherokee emerging victorious. In 1753, Governor Glen of South Carolina agreed to build Fort Prince George in present-day Pickens County on two thousand acres of land opposite the Indian town of Keowee to serve as protection against the Creek Indians, as well as, a trading post for the Cherokee Lower Towns. Chief Old Hop, crippled King of the Cherokee, agreed to give Governor Glen all the land lying between the Cherokee nation and the existing white settlements which at the time extended no higher than Aiken and Lexington counties and two years later deeded the area to Governor Glen which became District Ninety-Six.
“When a people unacquainted with the nature of crimes and punishments are brought to deal with offenders on principles that guide, under similar circumstances, the most enlightened nations, may we not safely boast of having progressed a great way in the education of savages? All this we do aver to be truthful. What benefit, therefore, do you hope to gain for the common cause by sending so many pressing invitations to those nations, or the five of New York to come to Virginia? I will answer for their good behavior with my life if your province will let them alone. In my absence the Council of this colony wrote praying you not to intermeddle with out Indians. I have also requested the same, yet you have sent messages lately to the Catawbas and the Chickasaws inviting them to come and receive the presents sent over by the King.”
At the outbreak of the French and Indian War, the Overhill Cherokee located on the Tennessee were attacked by the French-allied Shawnee and requested of Governor Glen to build a fort among them for protection and trade, so in 1756, Governor Glen began the building of Fort Loudon, in present-day Monroe County, Tennessee, a few miles downstream from the Cherokee capital Chota in an attempt to ensure their allegiance. The British representatives in the colonies were aware of attempts by French traders to sway the Overhills to their ally. Over many years French traders from Fort Toulouse in French Alabama had made numerous visits to the Overhills on their way to and from their fort on the St. Lawrence River. It is said that at the beginning of the French and Indian War, the Cherokee allied with the British, however, suspicions and tensions grew between them, misunderstandings and indignations perpetuated mistrust which resulted in the Cherokee switching sides and joining with the French before the end of the war. The Battle of Quebec in 1759 ended most of the fighting against the French in the British colonies of North America. By September 1760, fighting in Canada ended with English victories in Montréal, then Newfoundland. But that was not the case with the Indians. The timing of and causes for the switch of allegiance is difficult to determine. I think it was a case of gradual drifting of allegiances. It seems the Upper Towns flipped first, perhaps beginning with the Overhill Cherokees on the Tennessee. It seems the older, more moderate Cherokees in the Lower Towns were more British-leaning, perhaps because of long relationships and their attachment to the items they acquired through trade with the British; and the younger, more fundamentalist Cherokees were influenced by the French who were telling them that the British intended to make them slaves. There was a history of Indian slave trading in the colonies, so that played on their fears. No doubt the increased migration of new white settlers, pushing the frontier of the colonies further into Indians lands was a major factor also.
On page 24 of her book, ”History of Anson County, North Carolina-1750-1976”, Mary L. Medley tells us that Fort Dobbs, in present-day Rowan County, North Carolina, was built in 1756 as an outpost against the Cherokee. That same year, Governor Dobbs recommended another fort near the headwaters of the Catawba called Old Fort in present-day McDowell County, North Carolina. So, it seems that at least by that time, the threat from the Cherokee was a concern for North Carolinians.
On page 22, Ms. Medley quotes for us from The Colonial Records an account of a meeting in Salisbury, North Carolina held on May 26-27, 1756 between chief justices and King Hagler of the Catawbas with fifteen of his warriors. King Hagler says:
The Cherokees, we and the white People have been brothers and I desired that the path between them might be kept clear but the Cherokees have been playing the Rogue at which I am terribly concerned. We will stand by our brethren the English or go down to the grave with them. Mine is a small nation yet are brave men, and will be fast friends to their brothers the white people as long as the sun endures.On page 23, Ms. Medley tells us that at the Salisbury Conference, King Hagler also made an interesting plea for the life of a white woman, who had been captured or delivered to him by the Cherokees. He said that she had been forced to do what she did and added, “I always hate to lose a woman for she may become the mother of sons.”
On page 24, Ms. Medley quotes again from the The Colonial Records, this time a letter sent by Governor Dobbs of North Carolina to the Board of Trade in London on June 14, 1756:
My Lords,In South Carolina, Governor Glen’s replacement, William Henry Lyttleton, arrived from England on June 1, 1756. His inability, or rather unwillingness, to “manage” the Cherokee as Governor Glen had done, brought down horrendous butchery upon the Carolina frontier. His brusque treatment of their chiefs was cause for concern for Lt. Governor William Bull and others of influence in the colony, and they were right to be concerned. An incident involving about twenty-six Cherokee chiefs held hostage at Fort Prince George by Governor Lyttleton, while awaiting his demand to surrender those Cherokee warriors responsible for raids resulting in the murder and kidnapping of white settlers, ended with an attempt by the Cherokee to free their chiefs that resulted in, not only the killing of the officer and wounding of the small contingent of soldiers at the fort, but also the killing of the hostages by those soldiers.
There having been a conference with the Catawbas held at Salisbury by their King Hagler and some warriors with Chief Justice Henly which had been sent down to me I thought to send you a Copy of it occasioned by some of the Cherokees who were returning from Virginia after their disappointment of attacking the Shawnee, who carried off a white Woman from Virginia and tis’ supposed at her instigation carried off horses, saddles and plunder from the Back Settlers as they passed through the Province, but I suppose they would not supply them with provisions, and our Mad settlers want to repel force with force. But I have sent strict orders at their peril to make any opposition but save their lives. I shall order 100 weight of Gunpowder and 400 weight of lead to the Catawbas, our friends although, we have not 1000 weight in the Province and none can be unless the Government supplies us from England in case of war.
A quote from a quote in ”History of South Carolina, Volume 1”, edited by Yates Snowden, Harry Gardner Cutler, on page 271:
The horrible sequel in graphically told in Landrum’s “History of Upper South Carolina,” to this effect: “This unfortunate catastrophe maddened the whole Cherokee nation. The pleasant relations which had been so recently formed with these people were at the end. It is said that in the murder of these hostages, there was scarcely a family among the Cherokees that had not lost a friend or relative. The whole nation seized at once the hatchet, sang their war songs and, burning for revenge, fell upon the frontier settlements of Carolina, and with merciless fury set to work murdering men, women and children. The settlements, everywhere alarmed and terrified, lost no time in setting to the work of building forts and stockades. It is said that a line of forts extended along the borders of the outer settlements from Virginia to Georgia.As Indian trouble rose up to the north, south and west of Anson, the provincial government at Wilmington sent Hugh Waddell of Rowan County to defend the frontier about the same time that a smallpox outbreak struck the Catawbas and reduced their numbers by half, so they were not able to provide much assistance against the Cherokee. By 1758, there was a temporary relief from the Cherokee threat until an attack on settlers in the Catawba Valley that year which killed Robert Gillespie and the fourteen-year-old son of Richard Lewis. Then the Cherokee attacked Fort Dobbs in 1759 which resulted in about twelve Indians killed and two North Carolina militia killed, one who died from scalping.
In late 1759 the Cherokees laid siege to Fort Loudoun, which had been built for the Overhills on the Tennessee. After five months, the fort surrendered under terms that allowed the garrison to return to South Carolina under a white flag. After spending the night on the bottoms of Cane Creek near Belltown, the garrison woke to find the Cherokee guides gone and their party surrounded. Cherokee warriors attacked at dawn, killing about twenty-five soldiers. Attakullakulla, a respected Cherokee leader, asked that John Stuart be spared, describing him as "a true friend." The Cherokees considered it a retaliation for an earlier killing of Cherokee hostages at Fort Prince George in South Carolina.
From 1759-61, the Anglo-Cherokee War was unleashed on the Carolina frontiers, from the western border of South Carolina to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina. After the incident at Fort Prince George unleashed the fury of the Cherokee on settlers in the Carolina frontier, General Jeffrey Amherst, the British commander in North America, sent Archibald Montgomerie with an army of 1,200 troops consisting of the Royal Scots and the 77th Regiment of Foot Highlanders to South Carolina and they razed the Cherokee Lower Towns including Keowee. When Montgomerie attempted to enter the Middle Towns territory at Echoee Pass, he was defeated and withdrew. After the siege at Fort Loudoun and the resulting ambush, in 1761, James Grant, who had replaced Archibald Montgomerie, enlisted the help of Catawba scouts and led an army of 2,600 men through Echoee Pass, and proceeded to raze about fifteen Middle Towns. Hugh Waddell and Griffith Rutherford of Rowan, and Hugh Montgomery of Salisbury accompanied Major Grant on this final push against the Cherokee that brought an end to the war. In November 1761, the Cherokee signed a peace treaty with Virginia and another with South Carolina.
In 1762, King Hagler, head of the Catawbas, was murdered by a Shawnee while on a journey into the Waxhaw settlement with only one bodyguard. He was a friend of the Carolinians, and that is what likely got him killed.
Nine forts were captured by the Indians, eight of which were destroyed, about 2,500 white settlers were killed, others were captured and hundreds fled from the region. The war spread throughout the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions with the Indian’s coalition having many successes. However, Pontiac's alliance slowly began to disintegrate, first the Potawatomis dissociated themselves, and then Hurons broke their alliance. Little by little most of his Ojibwa and Ottawa followers also deserted him and scattered to their winter hunting grounds. The final peace was concluded at Fort Ontario July 23-25, 1766.
It is said that Pontiac's acquiescence in peace set his former allies against him; his own village decided to banish him. He was murdered at the hand of a Peoria.
Then the Crown went even further. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued on October 7, 1763 by King George the Third. It is said that the intent of the proclamation was to organize Great Britain’s North American empire and to stabilize relations with the natives through regulation of trade, settlement and land purchases on the western frontier. Basically it said, any British subject living on the western side of the Proclamation Line was to move immediately, no compensation or assistance was offered, and if you didn’t ... you were on your on ... the Crown was not responsible for your safety.
I think I can guess how that was received. Bet you can too.
There are several points of view as to why the Crown made these decisions depending on who is doing the opining. But the one thing they didn’t succeed in doing, which should not have been a surprise, was stop the migration west of the colonists. As a matter of fact the demarcation line was moved twice with more treaties ... by the Crown. After the war, George Washington requested and received a 20,000 acre patent in Ohio Country for those who had served during the French and Indian War ... from the Crown. This land grant was located in parts of present-day West Virginia and Kentucky, very near the area that had been granted to the Loyal Company prior to the war. That land was eventually opened to Virginians. As settlers continued to venture west, Indians continued to attack attempting to push them back, most notably Lord Dunmore's War in 1774 between the Colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo nations.
The back and forth attacks, skirmishes and raids between Indians and settlers on the frontier continued right up until the outbreak of the American Revolution. And by coincidence … or perhaps design … the very Indians to whom the Crown had granted a land reserve became their allies against the Patriots.
With the exception of the attack on Fort Dobbs in 1759, the location of the Burlingham Rudd family on the Pee Dee River appears to have limited their exposure to the fighting between the British and the French and Indians during most of the war. No doubt the news of the fighting reached Anson, and no doubt there were neighbors who fought as part of the colonial militias from the Piedmont. However, I think that was not likely the case when it came to the Anglo-Cherokee War that followed. Not only was that conflict much closer to home, along the South Carolina and North Carolina border, but the Carolinians and the Cherokee had been trading partners for a long time up until the outbreak of the fighting between them. It seems that the trouble is traced back to the alliance with the Cherokee and the troops in Virginia against the Shawnee. For the Carolinians and the Cherokee, it must have been a terrorizing time for two cultures that had pretty much adapted to each other over the course of many decades.