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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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1 Beaverton US History- 1800 to 1945

Betrayals: Fort William Henry and the "Massacre"


Betrayals: Fort William Henry and the "Massacre" Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 200-240) and index.

About the Author

Ian K. Steelei is Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario. He has written widely on early North American history and his books include Politics of Colonial Policy and the award-winning The English Atlantic, 16751740: An Exploration of Communication and Community, both published by Oxford.

Product Details

Steele, Ian K.
Oxford University Press, USA
Steele, Ian K.
null, Ian K.
New York
Native American
United States - Colonial Period
Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies
United States / Colonial Period(1600-1775)
History, American | Colonial
History, American | Colonial and Revolutionary
History, American | Colonial & Revolutionary
US History-Colonial America
Series Volume:
No. 1991/102
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
15 figures
8.29x5.56x.62 in. .71 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Indian Wars
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to 1945
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » World History » General

Betrayals: Fort William Henry and the "Massacre" Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195084269 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 200-240) and index.
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