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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Historical Prints

The French & Indian War (1754-63)

[ Short history of the war | Contemporary maps ]


The rich lands which lay between and to the west of the French settlements of Canada and the British colonies along the east coast of North America were inevitably destined to become a battleground between the forces of these two European rivals. From 1754 to 1763, the British and French fought for this wilderness of huge potential in a conflict which, though part of the wider Seven Years War, has come to be known as the French & Indian War.

Begun in what is now western Pennsylvania with a battle involving a young Virginia officer named George Washington, this conflict waxed and waned in an arch running from that western wilderness, through the Great Lakes, over to Lakes George and Champlain, and as far north as the River and Gulf of St. Lawrence. When the fighting was finished and the Treaty of Paris signed, France had lost all her possessions in North America and Britain was mistress of the entire region extending from the entire Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River.
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"The Section and Plan of a Block-house" [1789?]. From Anburey's Travels Through the Interior Parts of America vol. I (London, 1789). 10 x 7 5/8 in. (platemarks) plus hair margin on left, other margins complete. Heavily restored; inked lines over patches. Cresswell, 921.

Europeans were fascinated with methods of frontier warfare, and this illustration of a wooden blockhouse, as opposed to forts of stone, were of great interest. Using readily available materials and not having time to build permanent fortifications on the rapidly shifting frontier contributed to this new type of fort.

The print depicts cross sections of the ground floor and upper story, designating the port holes for cannon, the loopholes for muskets, the door, the fireplaces, the ladder to the upper story, the sleeping platform, and the trap door. The officer's apartment and "holes made in the floor to fire upon the Enemy if they gain possession of the lower Apartment" are noted on the plan for the ground floor. $225

Junius Brutus Stearns. "Life of George Washington. The Soldier." New York: M. Knoedler, 1853. 18 1/4 x 24 1/2. Lithograph by Regnier. Printed in Paris. Original hand color. Repaired tear in bottom left margin not affecting image. Otherwise, very good condition. Professionally conserved and framed.

A beautifully rendered scene of George Washington during the French and Indian War. With north-south tensions threatening to split the United States apart in the middle of the nineteenth century, those who wished to preserve the country turned to Washington, the 'father of our country,' as an icon for unity. Thus there appeared at the time a large number of frameable portraits of Washington as President and in various scenes throughout his life. This rare example done in lithography, made in Paris as is indicated by the superb workmanship. In 1755, the British attempted to capture Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. The French and their Indian allies routed the British and General Braddock was killed. Washington then had the responsibility of safely leading the army into retreat. This print shows the moment when Braddock was killed and is one of five painted by Stearns chronicling the life of Washington. The other prints in the series are: The Farmer; The Citizen; The Christian and the Statesman. $1,400


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