Correspondence of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander of America, 1731-1760 (2 vols.)


French and Indian War researchers will find in these pages nearly 450 primary documents relating to both the Five Years’ French and Indian War (1744-1749)—sometimes known as Governor Shirley’s War—and the more important Seven Years’ French and Indian War (1755-1763). The first volume covers the years 1731 to 1750, and the topics include Shirley’s early political appointments, the building of forts on the frontier, raising of troops, defense of Nova Scotia, prisoner exchanges, movements of the French, the expedition against Louisbourg, plans for an expedition against Crown Point, and more. Much of the correspondence during this period is between Shirley and Benning Wentworth, William Pepperrell, the Duke of Newcastle, and George Clinton. The correspondence in the second volume, 1750-1761, is especially fascinating. Most of these letters were written in 1755-1756, the critical early years of the final French and Indian War, while Shirley was Military Commander of America. These papers deal with Indian conferences, the need for the colonies to unite, the Crown Point and Niagara expeditions, Braddock’s expedition and defeat, the Battle of Lake George, fortification of Lake George and attack upon Ticonderoga, garrisons for the Indians and provisions for independent companies, troops at Forts William Henry and Edward, enlistment of indented servants, the strained relationship between Shirley and Loudoun, and more. Correspondents include Benjamin Franklin, William Johnson, John Bradstreet, and the Earl of Loudoun. With two fold-out maps and profuse annotations, these volumes constitute essential reading for a greater understanding of this important period in colonial history.


Charles Henry Lincoln, Ph.D., ed.


(1912) reprint, 5½x8½, paper, index, 2 vols., 509+621 pp.

ISBN: 0788423401