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French and Indian War: Struggle for North America

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Date and time
Thursday, January 20, 2005

William Fowler captures the sweeping panorama of the French and Indian War, and the huge cast of characters who fought it. Field commanders on both sides contended with the harsh realities of disease, brutal weather, and scant supplies, frequently having to build the roads they marched on. For many, the French and Indian War is just the backdrop for *The Last of the Mohicans*, a mere prelude to the American Revolution. Fowler's engrossing narrative reveals it as a turning point in modern history. On May 28, 1754, a group of militia and Indians led by 22-year-old major George Washington surprised a camp of sleeping French soldiers near present-day Pittsburgh. The brief but deadly exchange of fire that ensued lit the match that, in Horace Walpole's memorable phrase, would "set the world on fire." The resulting French and Indian War in North America escalated into a conflict fought across Europe, Africa, and the East and West Indies. Before it ended, nearly one million men had died.

**William M. Fowler, Jr.** is a Distinguished Professor of History at Northeastern University. He is the former president of the Alumni Association and former overseer on the board of trustees. In 2000, he received an honorary degree in Humane Letters from the University. In 1998, the Massachusetts Historical Society appointed Bill as its director. In this role, he oversaw holdings encompassing millions of rare and unique documents, including several imprints of the Declaration of Independence and the Adams family papers. He held that post until 2005 when he resumed teaching at Northeastern. In addition to teaching at Northeastern, Bill is the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati George Washington Distinguished Professor. He is also the author of a number of books focusing on American history including: \_Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War\_; \_Silas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides\_; co-author \_America and The Sea\_; \_William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty\_; \_Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution\_; J\_ack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815\_; \_Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan\_; and \_Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763.\_ Photo: [Northeastern University](https://www.northeastern.edu/voices/fowler/bio.html "Northeastern University")