Mount Saint Elias

Above: First sited in 1741 by Europeans, Mount Saint Elias, 2008. Courtesy National Park Service. Right: Fort Necessity, French and Indian War.

Fort Necessity

Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1700s


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  • Timeline

  • 1748 Detail

    October 18, 1748 - The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle is signed, ending King George's War between France, Great Britain, and their Indian allies in New England and Nova Scotia.

    Attack on Louisbourg, 1745

    They had been at it again for four years since the French raided the British outpost at Canso, Nova Scotia on May 23, 1744. In what would be the third of the four French and Indian Wars between New France and their Indian allies, the Wabanaki Confederacy (Abenaki, Micmac, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet), and the British colonists and their native allies, the Iroquois Conferacy (Onondaga, Cayuga, Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida). King George's War, named after British monarch King George III, would take a large toll on the colonies affected, but solve few problems.

    So after battles raging from Nova Scotia to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the Ohio Valley at places such as Fort Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Saratoga in the New York frontier, and Fort Massachusetts (North Adams), took that toll (as many as eight percent of the men at the Massachusetts Bay Colony were killed), the end was necessary, but the war fruitless. Yes, the French regained control of Louisbourg, captured by the British during the war. They did that in exchange for Madras, India, captured by the British in September 1746, as part of the larger War of Austrian Succession. Yes, there were World Wars before the ones they numbered.

    Losing Louisbourg back to New France did not sit well with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They had lost so much of their manpower, munitions, and money during the war, and some considered its capture as a right of the divine, hoping that it would, "remain united [with the British Empire] for ever," said Thomas Prince, Boston pastor.

    When British Parliament acknowledged that contribution of the Massachusetts Bay Colony with a payment of one hundred and eight thousand pounds, it was useful in retiring their devalued paper money, but did little to prevent the same colony from future conflict. That was similar with what would later occur in territory as far west as the Ohio Country, which both France and Britain claimed, and the colonists, predominantly British subjects at the time of the treaty in that area. The fourth French and British war would soon come, in 1754, in what we would know as the French and Indian War. At least that one had an outcome with a victor, Great Britain, and a loser, France, that would end the New England versus New France question. It was in favor of the British.

    Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle

    Negotiations for peace had begun in 1746, but were slowed by British hopes that their position in the war would improve with additional victories and thus assist in the negotiations. When that did not occur, a congress was called concerning not only King George's War, but the War for Austrian Succession, as well. It was held in the Holy Roman Empire city of Aachan, or Aix-la-Chapelle, starting April 24, 1748. Six days later a draft treaty was completed. On October 18, 1748, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands signed the final version.

    For other belligerants outside the King George's War aspect of the larger War for Austrian Succession, they had the choice to sign or continue the war. There was little appetite to continue. Austria, Spain and Sardinia agreed on December 4, 1748. The Duchy of Modena and the Republic of Genoa agreed on January 21, 1749. T-Shirts and Gifts

    Select Text, Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748

    Definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship, BETWEEN His Brit.iinkk Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the States General of the United Provinces. Concluded at Alx la Chapelle the 18th Day of October N.S. 1748. To which The Empress Queen of Hungary, the Kings of Spain and Sardinia, the Duke of Modena, and the Republick of Genoa, have acceded.

    Article I. - There shall be a Christian Universal and Perpetual Peace, as well by Sea as Land, and a sincere and lasting Friendship between the Eight Powers abovementioned and between their Heirs and Succesors, Kingdoms, States, Provinces, Countries, Subjects and Vassals,' of what Rank and Condition foever they may be, without Exception of Places or Persons. So that the High Contracting Powers may have the greatest Attention to maintain between them and their said States and Subjects, this reciprocal Friendship and Correspondence, not permitting any Sort of Hostilities to be committed, on one Side or the other, on any Cause, or under any Pretence whatsoever; and avoiding every Thing that may, for the Future, disturb the Union happily re-established between them; and, on the contrary, endeavouring to procure, on all Occasions, whatever may contribute to their mutual Glory, Interests and Advantage, without giving any Assistance or Protection, directly or indirectly, to those who would injure or prejudice any of the said High Contracting Parties,

    Article IX. - In Consideration that, notwithstanding the reciprocal Engagement taken by the 18th Article of the Preliminaries, importing, that all the Restitutions and Cessions should be carried on equally, and should be executed at the same Time, his most Christian Majesty engages, by the 6th Article of the present Treaty, to restore, within the Space of six Weeks, or sooner if possible, to be reckoned from the Day of the Exchange of the Ratifcations of the present Treaty, all the Conquests which he has made in the Low Countries; whereas it is not possible, considering the Distance of the Countries, that what relates to America should be effected within the same Time, or even to fix the Time of its entire execution; His Britannick Majesty likewise engages on his Part to send to his most Christian Majesty, immediately after the Exchange of the Ratifications of the present Treaty, Two Persons of Rank and Confederation, who shall remain there as Hostages, till there shall be received a certain and authentick Account of the Restitution of Isle Royal called Cape Breton, and of all the Conquests which the Arms or Subjects of his Britannick Majesty, may have made before, or after the signing of the Preliminaries, in the. East and West Indies.

    Their Britannick and most Christian Majesties oblige themfelves likewise to cause to be delivered, upon the Exchange of the Ratifications of the present Treaty, the Duplicates of the Orders addressed to the Commissaries appointed to restore, and receive, respectively, whatever may have been conquered, on either Side, in the said East and West Indies, agreeably to the 2d Article of the Preliminaries, and to the Declarations of the 21st and 31st of May, and the 8th of July last, in regard to what concerns the said Conquests in the East and West Indies. Provided nevertheless, that Isle Royal; called Cape Breton, shall be restored with all the Artillery and warlike Stores, which fall have been found therein on the Day of its Surrender, conformably to the Inventories, which have been made thereof, and in the Condition that the said Place was in, on the said Day of its Surrender. As to the other Restitutions, they shall take place conformably to the Meaning of the second Article of the Preliminaries, and of the Declarations and Convention of the 21st and 31st of May, and the 8th of July last, in the Condition in which Things were on the 11th of June, N. S. in the West Indies, and on the 31st of October, also N. S. in the East Indies; And every Thing besides shall be reestablished on the Foot that they were or ought to be before the present War.

    The said respective Commissaries as well those for the West, as those for the East-Indies, shall be ready to set out on the first Advice that their Britannick and most Christian Majesties shall receive of the Exchange of the Ratifications, furnished with all the necessary Instructions, Commissions, Powers, and Orders, for the most expeditious Accomplishment of their said Majesties Intentions, and of the Engagements taken by the present Treaty.

    Some of the above words of the treaty had been modified in spelling to increase the understanding and readibility of the text.

    Image above: Attack on Louisbourg in 1745, Unknown date and author. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Image Below: Painting of an Allegory upon the Publication of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1761, Jacques Dumont le Romain. Courtesy Muse'e Carvavalet via Wikipedia Commons. Info Source: "Louisburg and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748," 1957, Jack M. Sosin, the William and Mary Quarterly; "Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle,;;; Wikipedia Commons.

    Publication of Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle

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