In response to a French threat to England's western frontiers, delegates from seven northern and middle colonies gathered in Albany, New York, in June 1754. With the patronage of administers in London, they sought two goals: to persuade the Iroquois to abandon their traditional neutrality and to coordinate the defenses of the colonies. This Albany Congress succeeded in neither. While the Albany Congress representatives deliberated, Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia sent a small military force westward to counter the French moves. Virginia claimed ownership of Ohio, and Governor Dinwiddie hoped to prevent the French from founding their permanent post there. However, the militia group was too late, for the French were already constructing Fort Duquesne at the strategic point where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet. George Washington was twenty-two and commanded the Virginian militia who attacked a French detachment and eventually surrendered after a day-long battle during which more than one-third of his men were killed or wounded. Washington had made a huge mistake that would eventually set of a war that would encompass nearly the entire world.
"America, mayest well rejoice, the Children of New England may be glad and triumph" (Doc. E). Led by William Pitt, a civilian official that was placed in charge of the war effort in 1757, Britain pursued a military strategy... [continues]
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