Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




John Selby


The Seven Years' War on the Virginia and Pennsylvania frontier was a devastating struggle. About two thousand colonists died, almost as many were captured, and tens of thousands fled for safety in the east. The British and their colonists proved unable to mount an effective military defence: colonial forces proved unfit for warfare in the frontier environment and military efforts resulted only in intense discord between civil and military authorities. as a result of the destruction of the raids both Virginia and Pennsylvania were unable to contribute to the war effort in the northern theater, on the St. Lawrence, Lake Champlain, and Acadia.;The French and their Indian allies achieved this success with few resources. The French were unable to commit over a few hundred men to the Ohio Valley, while the Indians experienced an acute shortage of arms and supplies caused by the disruption of their traditional trading network. to achieve their success the French and their Indian allies did not raid randomly, but with an intentional strategy and with specific targets.;The Indians who fought on both sides, fought, not as European pawns, but with their own specific war-aims: the Susquehanna Delawares sought independence from Iroquois overlordship; the Cherokees joined the Virginians in an attempt to break the South Carolinian control of their trade; the Ohio Indians struggled to keep European settlements out of the Ohio Valley.;Eventual success for the British in the theater was achieved not by the superiority of their forces in the theater--in each regular battle British troops were routed, at Fort Necessity, Braddock's Field, and Major Grant's defeat outside Fort Duquesne in 1758--but through attrition caused by British superiority in other theaters. In particular British naval superiority deprived the French, and in turn their Indian allies, of needed supplies.



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