Final Struggle with France 1744-1760
King George's War
From the treaty of Utrecht to the year 1744, there were 30 years of nominal peace; then broke out the struggle
known as King George's War. It was the same story: raids by the Canadians over the Champlain route, great
expectations planned and equipped by the English and never carried through. This time the French entered
Massachusetts, came within 40 miles of Albany, burned the northernmost settlement, Saratoga*, murdered many and
carried terror to the entire frontier. That the advance posts in New York were ill protected was due to the jealous
fears of the assembly, rather than to any inactivity of Governor Clinton. The suspicion that he would misuse their
men and money was their only excuse for failing to ward death from the hardy settlers and for breaking faith with
the Indian allies.
*The settlement contained about thirty houses and was on the Hudson near the
present Schuylerville. The Saratoga of this war and of the Revolution was about 12 miles east of Saratoga
The French West of New York
Peace came in 1748 when no peace was possible. The French read the treaty to suit themselves; they built a fort
south-west of the site of Dunkirk on Lake Erie, they strengthened Fort Niagara, they fortified a post at
Ogdensburg, they extended the long dreamed of line of works down the Ohio and the Mississippi; soon they would
creep over the Alleghanies and threaten the narrow coast strip of scattered English settlements. The time was
critical for the exposed State of New York; the Mohawk Valley was not safe; Albany was threatened; the harbor of
New York would be the first great prize.
The Albany Convention
To consider these matters and to confer with the Iroquois a congress of colonies was called by the English
government to meet in Albany in 1754. Hither came representatives from the four New England colonies, from
Pennsylvania, and from Maryland, to meet William Smith, Colonel Johnson and other from New York, together with
Lieutenant Governor DeLancey, who since the departure of Clinton was in charge of the colony. Here came the
Iroquois to chide the colony for their neglect; and among them was their great chief Hendrick *, whose speech has
come down to us as a model oratory. Here Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan for a union of the American colonies.
The proposal did not please the king; it seemed at the time to awaken no response from the colonies.
*Soiengarahta or King Hendrick as he is
known in history, held the sway of a monaren over the Iroquois. He was a Mohawk and at this time an old man; in his
earlier days he went to England with Schuyler and was there received by Queen
Anne as one of royal blood. He was killed the next year after his speech at Albany, in the battle near Lake