The best books about the French and Indian War time period

Who am I?

I grew up in western Pennsylvania where my dad loved history and always tried to stop at any battlefield or historic sign that happened to be within his field of vision. My mom was a passionate researcher of our family ancestry and I spent our childhood looking in cemeteries for specific names and gravestones. When I was ten years old, we joined a living history reenactment group that portrayed everyday life in the 1750s, and I was immediately hooked. I began researching about our group known as “Captain William Trent’s Company” and after almost thirty years of living and breathing summer weekends at 18th Century historic sites, the pages of Pittsburgh’s Lost Outpost: Captain Trent’s Fort came to life. I picked these five books because I want future readers to be transported like I was when I first read them.


I wrote...

Pittsburgh's Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort

By Jason Cherry,

Book cover of Pittsburgh's Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort

What is my book about?

As 1753 came to a close, European empires were set on a collision course for a triangular piece of land known as the Forks of the Ohio at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. The navigable waterways were valuable to the French to complete their control of the Ohio Valley as the British looked to create a center for their booming fur trade and westward expansion. Former soldier turned trader William Trent set out for the untamed wilderness to stake Britain's claim. He would build the first fort to form the humble beginnings of Pittsburgh and set the staging ground for the French and Indian War.

The books I picked & why

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Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution

By David L. Preston,

Book cover of Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution

Why this book?

Every author, when writing nonfiction about a particular time period, always hopes that one day readers will read their book and will declare it the best book written on the subject. For me, Dr. Preston’s book was the “mic drop” about a certain disaster in the backwoods of western Pennsylvania in the summer of 1755 that changed the life of a young George Washington and history altogether. His vast research on the battle inspired me to uncover every detail as I began my own journey in writing my first nonfiction book.


Indian Paths of Pennsylvania

By Paul A. W. Wallace,

Book cover of Indian Paths of Pennsylvania

Why this book?

This book is unique because it shows the reader how you can walk in the footsteps and travel like those trekking across Pennsylvania in the early 18th Century where there were no interstates or turnpikes, but instead, indigenous paths that influenced the roadways we know today. It also gave me a visual where I could experience firsthand what a traveler saw when he or she walked this route.


Christopher Gist: Colonial frontiersman, explorer, and Indian agent

By Kenneth P. Bailey,

Book cover of Christopher Gist: Colonial frontiersman, explorer, and Indian agent

Why this book?

This book to me was my first in-depth look at an Indian agent and trader during the 1750s and it didn’t disappoint. Though Christopher Gist’s life was cut short by illness, his contribution was nonetheless remarkable and allowed me to explore my own research to all the people Gist interacted with during his lifetime. I also credit the author for making the book so easy to read for anyone learning about Christopher Gist for the first time. 


The Most Extraordinary Adventures of Major Robert Stobo

By Robert C. Alberts,

Book cover of The Most Extraordinary Adventures of Major Robert Stobo

Why this book?

When I first found this gem at a colonial market fair, I was just overjoyed to read about a figure who fought with young George Washington at the beginning of the French and Indian War. When I began reading it, it exceeded all expectations. Here was a surprise adventure saga that kept me involved until the very last page. The best part was it is all true! I remember reading it and saying, wow this story should be made into a movie. 


George Croghan: Wilderness Diplomat

By Nicholas B. Wainwright,

Book cover of George Croghan: Wilderness Diplomat

Why this book?

When I first heard about trader George Croghan, I heard many historians call him “King of the traders”. Well, this book explored the man behind the myth and brought forth to light many details not known before about Croghan, including the name of his horse. Wainwright’s attention to detail in this biography only showcased his great research, and his hard work paid off. By the time he finished this book, he had for the first time unearthed the final resting place of one of the most notorious traders of Pennsylvania during the 18th Century. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the French and Indian War, Pennsylvania, and George Washington?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the French and Indian War, Pennsylvania, and George Washington.

The French And Indian War Explore 16 books about the French and Indian War
Pennsylvania Explore 41 books about Pennsylvania
George Washington Explore 36 books about George Washington

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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