Plimpton Collection of French and Indian War Items
George Arthur Plimpton
The assembler of this collection, George Arthur Plimpton (AC 1876; 1855-1936) was a publisher, author and collector of books and manuscripts. He attended Philips Exeter Academy, Amherst College and Harvard Law School. He served as a Trustee at Amherst College (1890-95, 1900-36; president of the Board, 1907-36). His collection of manuscripts and books on the history of education was donated to Columbia University in 1936.
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War was the American phase of a worldwide, nine-year war fought between France and Great Britain, 1754-1763. It determined the control of the vast colonial territory of North America. The war began over the specific issue of whether the upper Ohio River valley was a part of the British Empire, and therefore open for trade and settlement by Virginians and Pennsylvanians, or part of the French Empire. Behind this issue, however, was the much larger question of which national culture was to dominate the heart of North America.
Despite a series of military defeats in the first four years of the war, the British and colonial American forces won important victories in 1758 and 1759 against the royal French forces and the various Native Americans allied with them. These victories include battles at Louisbourg, Fort Frontenac, Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga), Crown Point, Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) and Fort Niagara. The culmination came with the British victory in Quebec at the Plains of Abraham (September 13, 1759), where the French were forced to surrender. A year later, Montreal and the whole of New France had fallen, and most French and British military conflict on the North American continent had ceased. By the Treaty of Paris (February 10, 1763), France ceded its territory on mainland North America east of the Mississippi River (including Canada) to Great Britain; Spain ceded Florida to Britain but in return received the Louisiana Territory (i.e., the western half of the Mississippi River basin) and New Orleans from the French.
[Source used: "French and Indian War." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, 2010. Web. 4 Jan. 2010. http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9035340]
Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst (1717-1797), first gained fame as an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian War. As commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, he led the British to notable victories at Louisbourg, Quebec City and Montreal. From 1760 to 1763 Amherst was also the first British Governor General in the territories that eventually became Canada. (It is in honor of General Amherst that the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts was named when it was incorporated in 1759; Amherst College derives its name from the town.)