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French and Indian War

As the British colonies expanded and outgrew their western borders, expeditions to secure and safeguard land and resources developed into regional battles between the colonies of New France and Great Britain.

The mid-18th century was a violent period for Potawatomi and other Woodland tribes. As British colonies spilled into eastern lands, western expeditions to secure territory and resources for Great Britain created tension within the French controlled Great Lakes region. New France feared that their valuable fur trade and alliances with Algonquin nations would fall into the hands of the British Crown. From 1754 to 1763, regional conflicts along colonial boarders and waterways eventually erupted into the French and Indian War.

It is said that a Potawatomi warrior dreamt and foresaw the battle. Using the dream as a battle plan, the French and Indian forces ambushed the British at dawn, defeating the young Virginia Colonel George Washington and killing Major General Edward Braddock.

  • Battle of Fort William Henry – August 3-9, 1757

With a force of over two thousand Native warriors including Potawatomi leaders Wakwshe [Fox], Nanaquiba [Water Moccasin], and Nenewas [Little Man], French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm sieged and took control of the pivotal fort.

  1. Cave, Alfred A. The French and Indian War. Greenwood Guides to Historic Events, 1500-1900. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.
  2. Edmunds, R. David. 1978. The Potawatomis: Keepers of the Fire
  3. White, Richard. 2011. The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815
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