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‘ [213] attack with artillery,’ and building Fort William
chap. IX.} 1755.
Henry, a useless fort of wood near Lake George. When winter approached, he left six hundred men as a garrison, and dismissed the New England militia to their firesides.

Of the enterprise against Western New York Shirley assumed the conduct. The fort at Niagara was but a house, almost in ruins, surrounded by a small ditch and a rotten palisade of seven or eight feet high. The garrison was but of thirty men, most of them scarcely provided with muskets. There Shirley, with an effective force of little less than two thousand men, was to welcome the victor of the Ohio.

But the news of Braddock's defeat overtook and disheartened the party. The boatmen on the Mohawk were intractable; at the carrying place there were not sledges enough to bear the military stores over the morasses. On the twenty-first of August, Shirley reached Oswego. Weeks passed in building boats; on the eighteenth of September, six hundred men were to embark on Lake Ontario, when a storm prevented; afterwards head winds raged; then a tempest made navigation difficult; then sickness prevailed; then the Indians deserted; and then the season gave him an excuse for retreating. So, on the twenty-fourth of October, having constructed a new fort at Oswego, and placed Mercer in command, with a garrison of seven hundred men, he left the borders of Lake Ontario.

At this time a paper by Franklin, published in Boston, and reprinted in London, had drawn the attention of all observers to the rapid increase of the

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