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Betrayals: Fort William Henry and the…

Betrayals: Fort William Henry and the Massacre

by Ian K. Steele

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A very well written, organized and thorough book on the capture of Fort William Henry by the French in The French and Indian War. The book is organized into seven chapters detailing leading up to the war, the importance of Lake George, the fort itself, the French Seige, the "Massacre", the Aftermath and perceptions. I found the details of the Lake and the fort were excellent especially their relationship and importance to the northern geography (Lake Champlain and French forts) and politics (protecting Albany (et. al.) from invasion. The final chapter titled "Perceptions" clearly illustrated how unclear the actual events are documented. The author did an excellent job documenting numerous eye-witness accounts (many contradictory) and letting the reading decide for oneself. Overall, a great overview of the events that unfolded and hghly recommended. ( )
  MathMaverick | Jul 4, 2015 |
Reading this for my class on the American Revolution. I'm only a few chapters in and seems like most other history books: dry but potentially interesting if you're into it.

The version I'm reading is actually the version from Google Books. Frustratingly, all the maps, graphs, and tables and such from the original have been removed from this edition and replaced with "Copyrighted image has been removed by the Publisher."

Nothing like buying a 14$ book to find out parts of it are missing.
  cyafer | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195084268, Paperback)

On the morning of August 9, 1757, British and colonial officers defending the besieged Fort William Henry surrendered to French forces, accepting the generous "parole of honor" offered by General Montcalm. As the column of British and colonials marched with their families and servants to Fort Edward some miles south, they were set upon by the Indian allies of the French. The resulting "massacre," thought to be one of the bloodiest days of the French and Indian War, became forever ingrained in American myth by James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel The Last of the Mohicans.
In Betrayals, historian Ian K. Steele gives us the true story behind Cooper's famous book, bringing to life men such as British commander of Fort William Henry George Monro, English General Webb, his French counterpart Montcalm, and the wild frontier world of Natty Bumppo. The Battle of Lake George and the building of the fort marked the return of European military involvement in intercolonial wars, producing an explosive mixture of the contending martial values of Indians, colonials, and European regulars. The Americans and British who were attacked after surrendering, as well as French officers and their Indian allies (the latter enraged by the small amount of English booty allowed them by the French), all felt deeply betrayed. Contemporary accounts of the victims--whose identities Steele has carefully reconstructed from newly discovered sources--helped to create a powerful, racist American folk memory that still resonates today. Survivors included men and women who were adopted into Indian tribes, sold to Canadians in a well-established white servant trade, or jailed in Canada or France as prisoners of war.
Explaining the motives for the most notorious massacre of the colonial period, Steele offers a gripping tale of a fledgling America, one which places the tragic events of the Seven Years' War in a fresh historical context. Anyone interested in the fact behind the fiction will find it fascinating reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The conquest of Fort William Henry and the subsequent massacre of English prisoners by Indians, while under French command, is considered by historians to be a turning point in the Seven Years' War. Victims of tomahawk, cannibalism, or captivity helped create a powerful racist American folk memory.… (more)

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