Native History: French and Indian War Ends With Treaty of Paris
This Date in Native History: On February 10, 1763, the French and Indian War ended, giving the British continued opportunities to fail their promises and further their attempts to remove Natives from the East coast.
In 1754, before it was the United States of America, the British declared war against the French, pitting the countries against each other in a battle that began with the Ohio Valley, which the French had already claimed.
Tribes allied with the French hoped to keep British expansion at bay. The French had caused less strife than the British, who were bringing their wives and families to settle while French trappers were marrying Native women. Other than bringing Catholicism, the French lived amicably among the Natives without imposing themselves on their way of life.
With 1.5 million British settlers along the eastern coast from Nova Scotia to Georgia and only about 75,000 French in North America, it was critical for the French to rely on their strong alliances with Natives across Canada, who were willing to support the efforts against further British colonization.
Wishing to avoid a war that was not their battle to fight, French documents show that when Mohawks met Mohawks privately, agreements were made not to take part in battles that would result in relatives against relatives. However, the Confederated Nations from Canada and the Six Nations of New York did fight throughout the nine years of the war.
The 1870 book, A Particular History of the Five Years French and Indian War in New England and Parts Adjacent by Samuel Francis Drake, is filled with specific details of the war’s beginning, naming those who scalped, killed and attacked, including people of all backgrounds and alliances. “Thus, year after year this practice went on. Many read the history of these wars as they read a romance. It is no romance. It was an awful reality to thousands. It should be so far realized by every one, that all who read may have a true sense of what their homes, now so pleasant, have cost.”
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