Events leading up to and including the French and Indian War,
particularly related to Berks County, Pennsylvania:
- 1681 - Admiral Penn, father of William Penn, receives a tract of
land in America from the King of England as payment for a debt owed him.
William inspected the land the next year, and purchased it from the
Indians. This would have been a portion the southeastern
portion of present day Pennsylvania.
- 1728 - Initial group of colonists from Schoharie (NY) first occupied
the Tulpehocken region (northwestern Berks Co) and began to clear farms,
without acquiring the land from the Indians
- 1732 - Boundary was extended northward and westward to the Blue
Mountains (including the Tulpehocken region).
- 1737 - "Walking Purchase" adds another strip of land. This
purchase upset the Indians very much. It seems the Indians
good-naturedly agreed turn over as much land as a man could travel over
in two days. But a trail had been blazed along the route and
professional runners were employed, covering twice the distance one
would have expected.
- 1744 - Conrad Weiser arranges Treaty of Lancaster, binding
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia with a "chain of friendship" with
the Six Nations (Iroquois; previously recognized by Pennsylvania as
representing all Indians). Such arrangements continued to upset
the Delaware tribe (Algonquin family), who had lost nearly all of their
land. The Iroquois referred to them as "women", meaning they would
not go to war.
- 1748 - Tready of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the was between England and
France. However, controversies continued between them regarding
territory on the American continent. French began building forts
along Ohio river to protect fur-trapping and trading activities.
They established strong relations with the Indians.
- 1754 - Battle of Fort Necessity (defeat of George Washington)
- 1754 - Sale of land by the Six Nations, which covered much of
western Pennsylvania, pushed the Delaware Indians anger to the breaking point.
- July, 1755 - British General Braddock is defeated (and killed) under
Indian ambush while marching toward Fort Duquesne (present day
Pittsburgh). The remaining portions of the British army move
south into Maryland and Virginia, leaving Pennsylvania without any
protection by Royal forces.
- October 1755 - First Indian attacks east of the Susquehanna River.
The Delaware Indians, encouraged by the French, saw Braddock's defeat as
the opportunity to try to reclaim their territory.
- November 1755 - First Indian attacks in Berks County (see
history of Fort Henry)
- 1756 - Pennsylvania builds a string of forts along the Blue
Mountains to stop Indian intrusions into southeastern areas, and provide
gathering points for the settlers.
- 1758 - War ends in Pennsylvania
- 1760 - Canada was surrendered by the French
- 1763 - Treaty of Paris signed ending the war; last of the Indian
- 1768 - The remaining two thirds of the present state of Pennsylvania
was finally acquired from the Indians
Rev. J.W. Early, "Indian Massacres in
Berks County", Transactions of the Historical Society of Berks County,
Vol II, 1905-1909, electronic edition (CD), (Westminster, Maryland:
Heritage Books, Inc., 2004; originally published Reading, Pennsylvania:
Press of B.F. Owen & Co., 1910), 107-129.
H. M. Muhlenberg Richards,
"Berks County in the French and Indian War", Transactions of the
Historical Society of Berks County, Vol II, no. 4, 1905-1909,
electronic edition (CD), (Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc.,
2004; originally published Reading, Pennsylvania: Press of B.F.
Owen & Co., 1910), 275-293.
H. M. M. Richards, The Indian Forts of the
Blue Mountains, contained in the Report of the Commission to Locate the
Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania, Vols 1 and 2, 2nd Edition,
edited by Thomas Lynch Montgomery, Litt. D., (Harrisburg, PA: Wm.
Stanley Ray, State Printer, 1916)
Richard A. Baucher, "Indian Forts in
Berks County", Historical Review of Berks County, Vol XVIII,
January-March, 1953, (Reading, PA: published quarterly by the Historical
Society of Berks County), 49-63.
Louis M. Waddell and Bruce D.
Bomberger, The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania, 1753-1763,
(Harrisburg, PA: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical
and Museum Commission, 1996).
William A. Hunter, Forts on the
Pennsylvania Frontier, 1753-1758, (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Wennawoods
Publishing, 1999; originally published Harrisburg, PA, 1960)
from the historical accounts of the French and Indian War: