The Seven Years War: The Fort William Henry Massacre

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During the Seven Years’ War, the British and French military were able to witness firsthand the savagery of the Native American tribes. The Europeans, who primarily practiced what they called “civilized warfare”, found the Indians style of fighting much too barbaric. Instead of face to face combat, the Indians liked to use surprise tactics and ambushes. Many of the Europeans found this style of fighting cowardly, that they could not face their enemy in combat face to face. But this did not at all halt the use of these “cowardly savages” by either side during the war. The British and French, both found that they would much rather have tomahawks thrown toward the enemy, rather than towards themselves. They also found that their Indian …show more content…
This decimation of the British by the Indians, truly showcased how ruthless the Indians really were. They ambushed and killed without any regard for gender, age, rank, or any of the things these “noble” soldiers would have normally taken into consideration in a battle. The French, who were the allies of the Indians in this particular incident, did little to nothing to stop the rampaging Indians. The Indians were an extremely deadly and unrelenting force that simply could not be appeased with the surrender of the unarmed and surrendering British. The deaths in the massacre included mothers, children, sick, wounded, unarmed soldiers, and high ranking officers. The death toll, which was wildly overestimated by the British, is estimated by historians to be around 200, and around 300 people taken captive. The fate of those unlucky enough to be captured by the Indians, during the time of conflict, undoubtedly faced a horrific death. The Indians choice of weapons were spears and tomahawks, which they used to butcher and execute anyone considered an enemy. To any normal person, the way the Indians committed such brutal murders without any remorse, would automatically give them reason to believe that the Indian people had to be eradicated from the land in order to live a peaceful …show more content…
Many believed that the Indians were a people that could never be salvaged from their barbaric way of life. This was obviously a terrifying realization to those looking to lead peaceful lives and expand the American territories further west. To these people, the Indians were nothing more than an obstacle in the way of expansion, and threatened the lives of their families, and their future generations. It is even recorded, during Pontiacs War, that two British Officers considered the use of the disease ‘smallpox’ as a weapon on the Indians (page 134-135). Around that same time, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, a commander of a fort that had recently come down with smallpox, used blankets of the sick and gave them to unbeknownst Indians as diplomatic gifts (page 135). Plans like this, unfortunately, were not uncommon during these warring times, as the Indians became more of hindrance to opposing forces. The Indians undoubtedly also had very strong opinions of the new wave of incoming Europeans who were, seemingly, trespassing on their land, exterminating entire tribes of their people, and infecting them with new and deadly viruses. The tension and ultimate outbreak of violence was only inevitable from the start, while both sides thought of each other as vicious and devious

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