Fort William Henry

Fort William Henry was a paramount British fort built in 1755 which played a role in the massacre of British troops who surrendered to the Native Indians in 1757 during the French siege. The historical tale become very popular after being told through the film Last of the Mohicans, based on the 1826 novel by James Fenimore Cooper. The fort is located at Lake George’s southern edge in the province of New York, an area which was a crown territory first belonging to the English and then British.

History

In September of 1755, Sir William Johnson, an official of the British Empire, ordered the construction of the fort during the French/Indian War, also known as the Seven Years’ War from 1754-1763. The fort was a key staging area for battles against the French Fort St Frederic at Crown Point and was part of a series belonging to the French and British which lined the river from New York City all the way to Montreal.

Siege & Massacre

The fort was occupied by more than 1,500 British troops under command of George Munro just after winter’s end in 1757. The bombardment and consequent Seige took place on August 3rd by roughly 8,000 French troops (almost 2,000 Native Americans were involved) under French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. The British were forced out. An agreement was made that would de-arm British troops and offer escort by the French back to Fort Edward. It is written in history books that Montcalm took great efforts to make certain his Native Indian allies understood the terms and would hold back their men. As the British left, Native Indians began massacring the unarmed British. That night, into the next morning, and during the escorted walk, the British were repeatedly and savagely attacked by the Indians. Scalping, killing the wounded, and digging up British graves were just some of the atrocities committed.

Lodging Near Fort William Henry

Lodging Near Fort William Henry
Lodging Near Fort William Henry

All along the west and southwest edges of Lake George there are scores of hotels, conference centers, bed and breakfasts and motels available for lodging.  The Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center (pictured) is one of the largest, closest, and most reputable of all area lodging options. The upscale hotel is very large, overlooks a grand, outdoor swimming pool, and arranges tours to Fort William Henry and the adjacent museum. To the south of the fort there are is handful or resorts including the Holiday Inn Resort. The Georgian Lakeside Resort to the north is another impressive option located directly on the shore, offers upscale lodging, and is a poplar venue for weddings.

Top image: T. Rowe (flickr)

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