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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 5 1 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Johnson, Sir William 1715-1774 (search)
Johnson, Sir William 1715-1774 Military officer; born in Smithtown, County Meath, Ireland, in 1715; was educated for a merchant, but an unfortunate love affair changed the tenor of his life. He came to Sir William Johnson. America in 1738 to take charge of landed property of his uncle, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, in the region of the Mohawk Valley, and seated himself there, about 24 miles west of Schenectady, engaging in the Indian trade. Dealing honestly with the Indians and learning their language, he became a great favorite with them. He conformed to their manners, and, in time, took Mary, a sister of Brant, the famous Mohawk chief, to his home as his wife. When the French and Indian War broke out Johnson was made sole superintendent of Indian affairs, and his great influence kept the Six Nations steadily from any favoring of the French. He kept the frontier from injury until the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748). In 1750 he was a member of the provincial council. He
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), St. Sacrament Lake, (search)
ather Jogues, a Jesuit missionary who visited it about the middle of the seventeenth century. This lake was the theatre of important military events in the French and Indian War (q. v.) and the Revolutionary War. At the head of the lake Gen. Sir William Johnson was encamped early in September, 1755, with a body of provincial troops and a party of Indians under the Mohawk chief Hendrick. There he was attacked (Sept. 8) by the French under Dieskau, and would have been defeated but for the energy and skill of Gen. Phineas Lyman. The assailants were repulsed, and their leader (Dieskau) was badly wounded, made prisoner, sent to New York, and paroled. He died of his wounds not long afterwards. Johnson was knighted, and gave the name of Lake George to the sheet of water, in honor of his sovereign, by which name it is still known. At its head Fort William Henry was built, and suffered siege and capture by the French and Indians in 1757. The next year it was the scene of a vast armament