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and along the Ohio, what is called the "Old French War,” or “French and Indian War,” began, and at its very outset a convention of delegates met in Albany, coming from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It was called by advice of the British ministry, and a committee of one from each colony was appointed to consider a plan of union. No successful plan followed, and a sarcastic Mohawk chief said to the colonists: “You desired us to open our minds and hearts to you. Look at the French; they are men; they are fortifying everywhere. But, we are ashamed to say it, you are like women, without any fortifications. It is but one step from Canada hither, and the French may easily come and turn you out-of-doors."
For the eight years following it seemed more than likely that the description would be fulfilled. The French kept resolutely at work, building forts and establishing garrisons, until they had a chain of some sixty that reached from Quebec to New Orleans. Vainly did the Governor of Virginia send Washington, then a youth of twenty-one, to remonstrate with the French officers in 1753; he traversed the unbroken forests and crossed freezing rivers on rafts of ice; but to no result, except that it all contributed to the training of the future general. The English colonists achieved some easy successes-as in dispersing and removing the so-called “French neutrals” in Acadia
-a people whose neutrality, though guaranteed by treaty, did not prevent them from constantly recruiting the enemy's forces, and who were as inconvenient for neighbors as they are now picturesque in history. But when Braddock came with an army of English veterans to lead the colonial force he was ignominiously defeated, near what is now Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (July 9, 1755), and Washington and the provincial troops had to cover his retreat. All along the line of the colonies the Indian attacks only grew more terrible, the French telling the natives that the time had now come to drive the English from the soil. In Virginia, Washington wrote that the "supplicating tears of women and the moving petitions of the men melted him with deadly sorrow.” Farther north, the French General Montcalm took fort after fort with apparent ease, some of the garrisons, as at Fort William Henry, being murdered by his Indians. “For God's sake, wrote the officer in command at Albany to the Governor of Massachusetts, "exert yourself to save a province! New York itself may fall. Save a country! Prevent the downfall of the British government!" Dr. Jeremy Belknap, whom Bryant declares to have been the first person who made American history attractive, thus summed up the gloomy situation in the spring of 1757: “The great expense, the frequent disappointments, the loss of men, of forts, of stores, was very discouraging. The enemy's country was filled with prisoners and scalps, private plunder and public stores, and provisions which our people, as beasts of burden, had conveyed to them. These reflections were the dismal accompaniment of the winter."
What turned the scale was the energy of the new secretary of state, William Pitt. Under his inspiration the colonies raised men “like magic,” we are told; the home government furnishing arms, equipments, and supplies, the colonies organizing, uniforming, and paying the troops, with a promise of reimbursement. Events followed in quick succession. Abercrombie failed at Ticonderoga, but Bradstreet took Fort Frontenac; Prideaux took Niagara ; Louisburg, Crown Point, and even Ticonderoga itself fell. Quebec was taken in 1759, Wolfe, the victor, and Montcalm, the defeated, dying alike almost in the hour when the battle was decided. Montreal soon followed; and in 1763 the Peace of Paris surrendered Canada to the English, with nearly all the French possessions east of the Mississippi. France had already given up to Spain all her claims west of the Mississippi, and her brilliant career as an American power was over. With her the Indian tribes were also quelled, except that the brief conspiracy of Pontiac came and went like the last flicker of an expiring candle; then the flame vanished, and the Hundred Years' War was at an end.
THE SECOND GENERATION OF ENG.
LISHMEN IN AMERICA
THEN a modern American makes a pilgrimage,
as I have done, to the English village church at whose altars his ancestors once ministered, he brings away a feeling of renewed wonder at the depth of conviction which led the Puritan clergy to forsake their early homes. The exquisitely peaceful features of the English rural landscape -- the old Norman church, half ruined, and in this particular case restored by aid of the American descendants of that high-minded emigrant; the old burial-ground that surrounds it, a haunt of such peace as to make death seem doubly restful; the ancestral oaks; the rooks that soar above them; the flocks of sheep drifting noiselessly among the ancient gravestones-all speak of such tranquillity as the eager American must cross the Atlantic to obtain. No Englishman feels these things as the American feels them; the antiquity, as Hawthorne says, is our novelty. But beyond all the charm of the associations this thought always recurs --what love of their convictions, what devotion to their own faith, must have been needed to drive the educated Puritan clergymen from such delicious retreats to encounter the ocean, the forest, and the Indians!