Empires in the Mountains is the first volume to focus entirely on
the campaigns and forts along the Lake Champlain, Lake George, and
Hudson River corridor during the French and Indian War (1754-1763).
It covers the epic battles of the war in the lake valleys, as well
as the arduous task of building fortresses and warships in the wilderness
of northern New York. Relying on original documents, the book provides
a firsthand human dimension in recounting the extraordinary events
of the war. Nicholas Westbrook, director emeritus at Fort Ticonderoga,
has suggested that "Not since Francis Parkman. . .has the epic story
of the "Warpath of Empire" been told with such sweep and such rich
detail." Gary Zaboly, author of A True Ranger, called Empires "a
commanding history. . .highly readable and authoritative, easily
the best single book" on the subject.
The French and Indian War (1754-1763), the North American theater
of the Seven Years' War, would change the map of the continent and
set the stage for the American Revolution. The conflict, which pitted
the French and their Indian allies against the English, has often
been misunderstood and largely received minor treatment in most
general histories of America. To some, the name of the war itself
has been puzzling and somewhat misleading because Britain also had
Indian allies during the war.
The war represented a culmination of a century-old struggle for
control of North America. The clash was inevitable. English settlers
increasingly pushed westward and northward from their original settlements
on the east coast, displacing the French and Native Americans. The
French population in North America, approximately 55,000 by the
middle of the eighteenth century, lived principally along the St.
Lawrence River; but New France claimed a vast amount of territory
to the west, linked by a string of isolated trading posts and forts.
In contrast, the population of the English colonies had expanded
from a quarter million inhabitants in 1700 to 1.2 million by 1750.
English land companies soon began to encroach on territories claimed
by the French. To defend their land holdings, the French built a
series of substantial fortifications on the strategic water routes
of their empire, including along the Richelieu River-Lake Champlain
Paperback, 2010, 7" x 10", index, 366 pages, 150 illustrations,