Coat of Arms
Families of America (SFA)
(Wars for Independence)

England and the Dutch Republic fought four wars on the New England Colonies in North America (called the Dutch Wars by the English and the English Wars by the Dutch. ..prs) between 1652 and 1784. The principal issue was the maritime and commercial rivalry between the two countries, sharpened by conflicts over the ties between the House of ORANGE and the British ruling family.

The First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-54) pitted England under Oliver CROMWELL against the Dutch Republic during its first period of government without a stadholder. At first, success in the war swung between the two sides, but by 1653 the English had the clear advantage, and in 1654 the Dutch had to accept the humiliating first Peace of Westminster.

The Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-67) reflected both English merchants' resentment of Dutch mercantile success and the hatred of the English king CHARLES II for the Dutch republicans. Three hundred troops on 8th Sep. 1664 seized New Netherlands from the Dutch, who yielded peacefully. King CHARLES, II granted the province of New Netherlands and the City of New Amsterdam to his brother, the Duke of York, both renamed to West York. The Dutch navy, rebuilt by the grand pensionary Johan de WITT, defeated the English fleet in battle (June 1666) and then destroyed it at anchor in the Medway (1667). The war ended in the Peace of Breda (1667).

Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-74), King Charles II, sought his revenge in this 3rd War, which he waged in alliance with LOUIS XIV of France. Dutch naval victories and English popular opposition compelled Charles to make a separate peace at Westminster (1674).

The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-84) resulted from a desperate Dutch attempt to break English interference with their trade during the American Revolution. The Dutch were defeated and compelled to accept English conditions in the Peace of Paris (1784).

See: History, Source and Bibliography: Israel, Jonathan, The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World 1606-1661 (1986); Trevelyan, Mary C., William III and the Defense of Holland, 1672-74 (1930); Wilson, Charles, Profit and Power (1957).

(Indian War)
British troops vs. Wampanoag Chief and many Narragansett Indians in New England on 12 Aug. 1676 King Philip's War (1675-76) was the most destructive Indian war in New England's history. It was named for Indian Philip (Metacom), the son of MASSASOIT and sachem (chief) of the WAMPANOAG tribe of Plymouth Colony from 1662. Philip deeply resented white intrusion and domination. After maintaining peace with the colonists for many years, he finally became a leader in open resistance. Fighting first broke out at the frontier settlement of Swansea in June 1675, after which the conflict between Indians and whites spread rapidly across southern New England, involving the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and, to a limited extent, Rhode Island. Some tribes, including the NARRAGANSETTS and Nipmucks, became active on the red King Philip's side; others gave valuable assistance to the whites. Indian raiding parties burned many New England towns and killed or captured hundreds of colonists. Eventually, colonial forces imposed even greater destruction upon the Indians, until finally all resistance was crushed. King Philip himself was trapped and killed in August 1676.

See: History, Source and Bibliography: Bourne, R., The Red King's Rebellion (1990); Church, T., The History of King Philip's War (1989); Leach, Douglas, Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Philip's War (1958; repr. 1966); Rich, Louise, King Philip's War, 1675-76 (1972); Soldiers in KING PHILIP'S WAR, by George M. Bodge, A.B.; Publ. by Genealogical Pub. Co., INC. Reprint 1976; A concise history of the Indian Wars of New England from 1620 to 1677; Official lists of the Soldiers of Mass. Colony serving in Philip's War, and sketches of the principal Officers, copies of ancient documents and records relating to the War. Also list of the "Narragansett Grantees" of the United Colonies for Mass., Plymouth and Connecticut, with an Appendix.)

1689 - 1763 FRENCH and INDIAN WARS
The French and Indian Wars were a series of armed conflicts between England's colonies in North America on the one side and rival European colonies on the other during the period 1689-1763. Each conflict was part of a larger war in Europe and on the high seas.

By the 1680s, Spain held Florida, France occupied Canada (NEW FRANCE), and England possessed a chain of colonies along the Atlantic seaboard from New England to the Carolinas. West of the Appalachians lay a vast extent of territory open to international competition and strife. Inevitably involved on both sides were the various tribes of Indians, whose own deep-seated rivalries meshed with the rivalries of the Europeans. The IROQUOIS LEAGUE, often known as the Five (later Six) Nations, was a particularly influential and powerful group of Indians occupying the area south and east of Lake Ontario, thereby dominating the fur- trading routes leading both to French Montreal and English Albany, N.Y. In general, the Iroquois tended to support the English against the French, but increasingly they found advantage in playing one side off against the other.

These wars in North America were long and bloody, causing immense suffering for the Indians, blacks, and whites involved. Among those who suffered most were frontier settlers exposed to sudden enemy raids, as a result of which many lost their homes, not a few lost their lives, and some underwent the dreaded experience of captivity. One profitable form of wartime activity in which colonists engaged was privateering--legalized piracy against enemy merchant vessels. Another was hunting enemy Indians for the purpose of scalping them and claiming the cash bounty offered by colonial governments.

During these wars the French and Spaniards had the advantage of authoritarian government, while the English colonies often quarreled among themselves and seldom achieved full cooperation for common gain. But the English always enjoyed a tremendous preponderance of population. For example, in 1689, New France had only about 12,000 inhabitants, while the English colonists numbered over 200,000. By 1760 the population of New France may have reached 60,000, but at the same time the British colonies swarmed with nearly 1.6 million people. (These figures do not include unassimilated Indians.)

1689 - 1697 KING WILLIAM'S WAR
(War of the League of Augsberg)
In May 1689, England, under its new Dutch king, WILLIAM III, entered the War of the GRAND ALLIANCE against France. That summer in America an Iroquois raiding party struck hard at the French settlement of Lachine near Montreal. Soon a new French governor, the comte de FRONTENAC, arrived in New France and initiated a counteroffensive against the English frontier, carried out in 1690 by mixed parties of French and Indians. Their ferocity and destructiveness did much to establish a pattern of savagery in border warfare for the next century. Serious losses were suffered by the English at Schenectady, Salmon Falls, and Falmouth (now Portland, Maine).

Recognizing that Quebec on the Saint Lawrence River was the heart of New France, English colonial leaders decided to attempt its capture. A land army was to advance down the Champlain Valley toward Montreal, while a fleet commanded by Sir William PHIPS was to proceed from Boston to the Saint Lawrence and up to Quebec. The failure of the land army to get within a hundred miles of Montreal enabled Frontenac to shift troops from that town to Quebec. Phips took Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia), but by the time he reached Quebec in October 1690, that city was too strongly defended to be taken. The New Englanders had to withdraw in humiliation, losing Port Royal to the French again in 1691.

Thereafter, the war was characterized by sporadic, small-scale raiding activity against isolated frontier settlements. For example, the sieur d' IBERVILLE led a series of attacks on English fur-trading posts on Hudson Bay and on settlements in Maine and Newfoundland, capturing Saint John's in 1696. Such raids terrorized the inhabitants but contributed little toward a decisive victory by either side. In Europe both sides were growing weary of the struggle, and a peace was arranged at Ryswick in September 1697, ending the war indecisively.

1702 - 1713 QUEEN ANNE'S WAR
(War of the Spanish Succession)
The French then resumed their expansion into the region of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley, causing the English to fear that the whole trans-Appalachian West would come under the French flag. When Louis XIV of France secured the Spanish throne for his grandson, Philip V of Spain, the War of the SPANISH SUCCESSION broke out in Europe in 1701. England entered the conflict in May 1702, this time declaring war on both France and Spain. Thus in the American theater, where the war was named for the English monarch Queen Anne, the English colonies now faced enemies to the south as well as to the north.

In 1702 the Carolinas sent an expedition against the Spanish settlement of Saint Augustine. After an unsuccessful siege the Carolinians returned home, but Florida was too weak to retaliate, and in subsequent years the Carolinians ravaged the Apalachee region with impunity. In the meantime, New England again was struggling to cope with French and Indian raiders along its lengthy and ill-defended frontier. Various settlements in Maine were attacked, and early in 1704 a party of French and Indians surprised Deerfield, Mass., killing many of the inhabitants and taking others into captivity.

England sent military and naval assistance to New England in 1710, with the result that Port Royal, and with it ACADIA, was seized by the British in that year. In 1711 a powerful British naval expedition sailed into the Saint Lawrence to complete what Phips had failed to do in 1690; but some of the ships were wrecked on a rocky shore 400 km (250 mi) short of their objective, putting an end to the venture. During that same year the Tuscarora Indians of North Carolina rose up against the English, beginning an Indian war that ended two years later with the defeat of the Tuscaroras. That tribe then migrated northward and became the sixth nation of the Iroquois League.

France and Spain were much weakened by their widespread exertions against Britain and its allies, and by 1712 they were eager for peace. After lengthy negotiations, an international agreement was reached at Utrecht in the spring of 1713. Spain retained Florida, but France was forced to relinquish Acadia to the British, and it became the new British colony of Nova Scotia. Britain also secured Newfoundland.

The Treaty of Utrecht introduced a period of uneasy peace that lasted just 26 years in North America. During this period both the British and the French resumed their competitive expansion into the trans-Appalachian West. At the same time, the Indians were showing their resentment at what the English traders and pioneers were doing to the Indian way of life. The Yamassee War (1715-28) in South Carolina and Dummer's War (1722-25) in New England illustrate the problem. Britain sought to strengthen the southern flank of its colonies by founding the new colony of Georgia in 1733 under the leadership of James OGLETHORPE.

1740 - 1748 WAR of the 1740s
Commercial rivalry between Britain and Spain produced the War of Jenkins's Ear named for the alleged mutilation of an English sea captain by the Spanish in 1739. This gave Oglethorpe an opportunity to lead Carolinians and Georgians against Saint Augustine in 1740, but he had to abandon the siege after several weeks. In 1742 he thwarted a Spanish invasion of Georgia, making the war in the south a standoff.

New England's relative security ended in 1744 when France entered the war as an ally of Spain in what was to become known as King George's War. After their loss of Nova Scotia in 1713, the French had constructed the large fortress of LOUISBOURG on Cape Breton Island at the southern entrance to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. From Louisbourg, French sea raiders could prey upon New England shipping. In 1745, Gov. William SHIRLEY of Massachusetts decided to capture Louisbourg; he appointed William PEPPERRELL of Maine to command a New England army in that venture. Pepperrell also gained the invaluable assistance of a squadron from the Royal Navy. Cooperation between these ships and Pepperrell's army of relatively inexperienced New Englanders resulted in the surrender of Louisbourg in June 1745 after a 7- week siege.

Since 1731 the French had also had an advance base at CROWN POINT on Lake Champlain whence they could send parties of French and Indian raiders south to attack the frontiers of New England and New York. During the War of the 1740s, such raids did considerable damage and discouraged the British colonists in the area, who lacked the means and the will to attempt the capture of Crown Point.

With neither side close to a decisive victory either in North America or in the wider War of the AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, the European powers again needed peace. In 1748 an international agreement was reached whose terms required that Louisbourg be given back to France, to the disgruntlement of many New Englanders. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was not decisive certainly not in North America, where the question of which European nation would predominate remained unsettled.

1754 - 1763 FRENCH and INDIAN WAR
(Seven Year War)
In the continuing colonial rivalry, attention soon focused on the Forks of the Ohio River, a strategically crucial area claimed by both the British and the French but effectively occupied by neither. In 1754 the OHIO COMPANY of Virginia, a group of land speculators, began building a fort at the Forks only to have the workers ejected by a strong French expedition, which then proceeded to construct FORT DUQUESNE on the site. Virginia militia commanded by young George WASHINGTON proved no match for the French and Indians from Fort Duquesne. Defeated at Fort Necessity (July 1754), they were forced to withdraw east of the mountains.

The British government in London, realizing that the colonies by themselves were unable to prevent the French advance into the Ohio Valley, sent a force of regulars under Gen. Edward BRADDOCK to uphold the British territorial claims. In July 1755, to the consternation of all the English colonies, Braddock's army was disastrously defeated as it approached Fort Duquesne.

Again the British looked to the Iroquois League for assistance, working through William JOHNSON, the superintendent of Indian affairs in the north. As usual, the Iroquois responded but without much enthusiasm. Other tribes, impressed with French power, either shifted allegiance to the French or took shelter in an uneasy neutrality. In 1755 the British forcibly deported virtually the entire French peasant population of Nova Scotia (Acadia) to increase the security of that province. But it was not until May 1756, nearly two years after the outbreak of hostilities on the Virginia frontier, that Britain declared war on France. For the time being Spain remained uncommitted in the conflict, which was part of the larger SEVEN YEARS' WAR.

Under the effective generalship of the marquis de MONTCALM, New France enjoyed victory after victory. In 1756, Montcalm forced the surrender of the British fort at Oswego on Lake Ontario, thereby breaking the British fingerhold on the Great Lakes. A year later he destroyed Fort William Henry at the south end of Lake George, dashing British hopes for an advance through the Champlain Valley to Crown Point. The northern frontier seemed to be collapsing in upon the British colonies.

William PITT (the Elder), Britain's new prime minister, had adopted a policy of drastically increasing aid to the American colonies, and he was able to do so because the Royal Navy kept the sea-lanes open. France, in contrast, found itself unable to maintain large-scale support of its colonies. As a result, by 1758 the period of French ascendancy was coming to an end. The British, employing increasing numbers of regulars, sometimes in conjunction with provincial troops, began gaining important victories under the military leadership of Jeffrey, Lord AMHERST.

In 1758 a British expedition forced the surrender of Louisbourg, and another expedition advancing west from Philadelphia caused the French to abandon the Forks of the Ohio. This latter victory, in turn, convinced many Indians that Britain would prevail after all, accelerating a shift of tribal support away from the French. Only at TICONDEROGA, south of Crown Point, did British arms suffer a major defeat.

For the British, 1759 proved to be a year of stunning successes in America. One British expedition took Niagara. Another, led by Amherst himself, seized both Ticonderoga and Crown Point, thereby opening the way to Montreal. A third, commanded by young Gen. James WOLFE, sailed up the Saint Lawrence and, after much difficulty, defeated Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham just outside Quebec. The surrender of Quebec itself soon followed. In 1760, Amherst completed the conquest of Canada with a successful three-pronged offensive against Montreal.

By the end of 1760, French resistance in North America had virtually ceased. The only fighting still going on was between the British and the Cherokee Indians in the south, and that ended in a British victory in 1761. The Seven Years' War did continue elsewhere, with Spain becoming involved against Britain early in 1762. The overwhelming strength of British sea power, however, rapidly eroded French hopes of success. Britain, too, needed peace, primarily for financial reasons.

The war-weary nations began negotiations that in February 1763 produced the decisive Treaty of Paris. Britain gained all of North America east of the Mississippi River, including Canada and Florida, so that a bright future for its colonists seemed assured. With the French and Spanish menace now removed from their frontiers and the Indians deprived of foreign support in their resistance to British expansion, the inhabitants of the coastal colonies could feel less dependent on Britain and better able to fend for themselves. Their experience with British regular forces during the war, moreover, had generated mutual dislike, which was not softened by the American habit of trading with the enemy in the Caribbean. At the same time, Britain's costly struggle with France had depleted the British treasury, a fact that soon would lead Parliament to seek additional revenue by taxing the American colonies. Clearly, then, conditions arising from the French and Indian Wars helped set the stage for the AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

These Colonial Wars records have more historical than genealogical information and usually provide only the name of the soldier and the colonial unit in which he served. They consist primarily of rosters, rolls and lists that survived the wars and several fires. Most of these rosters and rolls have been published and can be found in genealogical and historical libraries thought the nation and are NOT located in the NATIONAL ARCHIVE RECORDS and SERVICE CENTERS.

See History, Source and Bibliography:
Andrews, Frank DeWitte: Connecticut Soldiers in the French and Indian War (1923) Bodge, George M.: Soldiers in King Phillip's War, Being a Critical Account of that War, with a Concise History of the Indian Wars of New England from 1620-1677, Official Lists of the Soldiers of Massachusetts Colony Serving in Philip's War (3rd ed. 1906) Hamilton, Edward, The French and Indian Wars (1962); Jennings, Francis, Empire of Fortune: Crowns, Colonies, and Tribes in the Seven Years War in America (1988; repr. 1990); Leach, Douglas, Arms for Empire (1973); Parkman, Francis, France and England in North America, 9 vols. (1865-92); Peckham, Howard, The Colonial Wars, 1689-1762 (1964). End of File!

Wars - Index
SFA - Index

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Text - Copyright © 1996-2003 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Jan. 05, 2003