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Forged in war

French Expansion

To eject English competitors from areas the French regarded as their territory, De Troyes captured the James Bay posts in 1686; they remained in French hands until 1693. To the south a French expedition, led by Dénonville and supported by native allies, destroyed the Seneca villages (1687). The Iroquois league retaliated two years later with devastating raids on the St Lawrence settlements. The Lake Ontario forts, all unsafe and difficult to supply, were abandoned in 1689. Embittered by English aid to the Iroquois, the French and native allies launched attacks on Schenectady and two New England settlements in 1690. In retaliation an Anglo-American force led by Phipps made an ineffectual assault on Québec in 1690 and Albany militia aided by Mohawk and Mahican allies engaged French troops south of Montréal in 1691. In 1693 French troops destroyed the Mohawk villages and finally, in 1697, those of the Onondaga and Oneida. Abandoned by the English, who had ended the war with France in 1697, the Iroquois agreed to a peace treaty.

With the western and northern interior at peace and the English temporarily excluded from James Bay, furs flooded into Montréal.

Click for more on information on the fur trade


This slideshow contains six engravings related to French expansion and native defenses. Three images depict Indian warriors and the others depict a fort, a village, and a skirmish. Five of the engravings are dated from 1612 to 1619, with one from 1870. Users can explore portions of each by clicking to zoom in and out, and dragging to pan around.


On the next page:

Fox defeated and expansion northwest

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Quiz :

When did France cede all its mainland possessions and rights in North America to Great Britain