Special articles on the Prelude to the French and Indian War

Special article: George Washington and the Forbes Campaign


Timeline for our sites in the French and Indian War

Our Sites shown in Times Roman type
[Reference items shown in san serif type]

1716   Governor Spotswood and his Knights of the Golden Horseshoe travel to the Blue Ridge Mountains and look at the mountains to the west.

1727   Governor William Gooch arrives in Virginia; his western land policy focuses on the need to secure Virginia against threats from interior Indian populations allied with the French on British western borders.

1731   French began fort on Lake Champlain at Crown Point named Fort Frederic.

1736   First stone set at corner of Fairfax grant on headwaters of Potomac River

1739   Jonathan Hager builds his first fortified house at what would eventually become Hagerstown, Maryland.

1744   Iroquois sign Treaty of Lancaster deeding land of Virginia to British

1745   Jonathan Hager moves into his second house, also fortified for protection against hostile Indian attacks.

March 16, 1748   George Washington first viewed the site of Winchester when he came to survey for Lord Fairfax

1748   Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle; Ohio Company formed.

Spring 1749 - 1752   George Washington's gains his license and surveys lands along the Cacapon River for Lord Fairfax.

July 29, 1749   French explorer Celoron buries first lead plate on Allegheny River at Conewango Creek below Lake Chautauqua. He will continue his trip down the Ohio past what is now Wheeling, WV. The French will soon plan to use the Ohio River as a major route between Quebec and New Orleans.

June 21, 1752   French party under Charles Langlade including Chippewas and Ottawas destroy Twightwees (British allies) village of Pickawillany. Chief Memeskia is killed and ceremonously eaten.

February, 1753   George Washington is appointed Adjutant of Milita of the Southern District for Colony of Virginia.

September 1753   Indian Conference at Winchester.

October 1753 - January 1754   Virginia envoy, Major George Washington, is sent to the French forts in the Ohio River region to deliver a summons that they are trespassing on Brighish territory. December 4, 1753 Washington and his party arrive at Fort le Boeuf and give Dinwiddies' letter to the French commander. The French ignore the summons. Major Washington takes careful notes of the French forts and their arms and supplies.

Late Winter-Spring 1754   Colonial Virginia troops under Capt. William Trent and Ensign Ward establish a fort at the forks of the Ohio, present-day Pittsburgh.

April 2, 1754   Lt. Col. Washington marches west out of Alexandria, Virginia, with 150 soldiers and orders to build a wagon road over the Alleghenies; he marches past Joseph Edwards's home on the Cacapon River.

April 17, 1754   A large French force arrives at the Forks of the Ohio and expel the Virginians. The French immediately begin the construction of Fort du Quesne.

On May 24   After several weeks of hard labor, Washington and his Virignians reach the Great Meadow from Alexandria.

May 28, 1754   Learning of a French patrol only six miles from his camp, Lt. Col. Washington with 40 soldiers and some Indian allies marches to the French camp site. In the predawn hours he surrounds the French camp and attacks just as dawn comes. The French commander, Ensign Jumonville and twelve of his men are killed in the attack at "Jumonville Glen;" the rest of the French are taken captive except for one French soldier who escapes to take the news to Fort du Quesne.

Early June 1754   Col. Washington completes his Fort Necessity at Great Meadows. Receiving additional reinforcements and supplies and with no immediate French reprisal, Washington continues building his road toward the Monongahela River. By late June, having knowledge of a French expedition sent to attack him, Col. Washington attempts to retreat east of the Alleghenies.

June 1754   Albany Conference. Benjamin Franklin puts forth first plan for a union among the Colonies; it is rejected.

Early July 1754   Having failed to receive needed supplies and with his men exhausted and sick, Washington is forced to halt his retreat at Great Meadows. On the morning of July 3, 1754, the French force with their Indian allies arrives at the Meadows and begin their attack in what becomes the first battle of the French and Indian War. The eight-hour battle fought during heavy rain results in a French victory and George Washington's only formal surrender. Fort Necessity is burned to the ground the following day, July 4th, and Washington and his men are allowed to march back to Ft. Cumberland.

Fall 1755 to December 1756   Col. Washington used the building on the corner of Braddock and Cork Street in Winchester as an office while constructing Fort Loudoun.

Feb. 23, 1755   Gen. Braddock arrives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

May 3, 1755   Col. Washington arrives in Winchester with Major General Edward Braddock; they dine at Cock's tavern.

July 9, 1755   Gen. Braddock suffers a disastrous defeat in the Battle of the Monogahela; he dies of his wounds several says later and is buried in the wilderness.

Aug. 2, 1755   Col. Dunbar and the remnant of Braddock's army leaves Cumberland for winter quarters in Philadelphia; the frontier is left without protection.

Aug. 15, 1755   George Washington is commissioned Commander of the restructured Virginia Regiment.

August 1755   Governor Horatio Sharpe calls out the Maryland Militia and orders Lt. Thomas Stoddert with 15 men to build Fort Tonoloway near present day Hancock, MD(also known as Stoddert's Fort).

10 October, 1755   In moving companies to staff his frontier forts, Col. Washington orders Capt. William Vance "to halt at Joseph Edwards on Great Cacapehon."

November 10, 1755   Capt. Robert Stewart ordered to receive horse left at Joseph Edwards; furthermore, an officer and 20 recruits ordered "to assist Edwards and the people of those waters."

December 10, 1755   Col. Washington loses the election for the office of House of Burgess from Frederick County; this is his first try for political office.

April 16, 1756   Daniel Morgan shot through the neck in an ambush near Hanging Rock (?) on way to Winchester; two companions killed. Morgan makes it to Ft. Edwards.

April 18, 1756   Battle of Great Cacapon River (Mercer's massacre]; Capt. John Fenton Mercer, Lt. Thomas Carter and 15 soldiers killed not far from Ft. Edwards. This is the largest encounter between French and Indian forces and Virginia soldiers of the War.

April 22, 1756   Col. Washington writes of Mr. Paris engaging small band of enemy on North River; they kill a French officer. Washington orders men to reinforce Ft. Edwards.

May 1756   Maryland Assembly passes supply bill of $40,000 000 for King's service and defense of the frontier. $11,000 is designated for construction of a strong fortification. In addition, two companies of Maryland Troops, commanded by Captains John Dagworthy and Alexander Beall are raised.

June 1756   Construction of Fort Frederick begins with about 150 men under direction of Governor Sharpe.

July 10, 1756   Col. Washington holds Council of War at Ft. Cumberland.

Dec. 1756   William Pitt becomes became leader of the House of Commons.

April 29, 1757   62 Cherokees led by Wahachey of Keeway (in modern South Carolina) arrive at Fort Frederick to enter alliance with Maryland. Maryland assembly passes bill to expand the colony's forces to five companies.

Early May 1757   Cherokees under Wahacbey along with Richard Pearis and Evan Shelby of Maryland attack an Indian raiding party in Pennsylvania, Killing four and taking two prisoners.

May 21, 1757   Two-day conference begins between Wahachey and agents of Governor Sharpe. Officers from Virginia and Pennsylvania are also present. The Cherokees pledge to continue aiding Maryland.

December 15, 1757   The Lower House of the Maryland Assembly, leery of the high cost, withdrew support for further construction at Fort Frederick.

May and June 1758   Fort Frederick is used as a supply depot for the Forbes' Campaign. Fodder, artillery stores, and road building tools are sent here.

June 14-16, 1758   Colonel Henry Bouquet, second in command under General John Forbes, meets at Fort Loudoun with representatives of the Cherokee and Catawba Nations to seek their assistance in the ongoing war with the French

1757-1759   Jonathan Hager serves as Captain of Scouts for local militia units stationed at Fort Frederick.

Late June 1758   Troops from Maryland, North Carolina, the Lower Counties of Pennsylvania (Delaware), and the Royal American Regiment (60 th Regiment of Foot) begin construction of a road from Fort Frederick to Fort Cumberland. Road is no longer necessary when decision is made for Forbes' army to march across Pennsylvania, and work ceased in late July.

July 24, 1758   Col. Washington wins election to the House of Burgess from Frederick County.

November 28, 1758   Col. Washington on the campaign with Gen. Forbes campaign takes Ft. Duquesne which the French have burned before retreating.

December 1758   Col. Washington resigns from the Virginia Regiment and retires to Mount Vernon. He marries Martha Dandridge in January, 1759 and settles down to the life of a Virginia "planter."

December 30, 1758   All Maryland troops except Dagworthy's company were mustered out.

April 1759   Dagworthy's company was mustered out of service, and Fort Frederick was abandoned.

1762   Jonathan Hager lays out Hagerstown, Maryland originally named Elizabethtown.

Oct 7, 1763   After signing Peace of Paris ending Seven Years War British government sets line of the Alleghanies forbiding American colonists to settle across the mountains.

1771   Jonathan Hager elected to Maryland State Assembly, re-elected in 1773.

1775   Jonathan Hager dies from injuries sustained while helping to build German (Zion) Reformed Church in Hagerstown.


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2001 Col. Washington's Frontier Forts Association
updated: Feb. 11, 2008