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18th Century Articles
The 1712-1736 Fox Wars
Margaret Cochran Corbin
The Return of Rogers' Rangers

The 1712-1736 Fox Wars: the Fox Indians and the French battle over the fur trade

By Robert C. Daniels

The 1712-1736 Fox Wars, like all Indian Wars – wars between the various Native-American tribes and the people of European decent, including the French, the English, the Spanish, and finally the Americans – was a tragedy for all who participated in it, but especially for the Indians. To fully understand the war, one must begin at, well, the beginning – who were the antagonists, and how did they get to the point to where war was the only option? So, let us first cover what led up to the wars. The Foxes, who called themselves Měshkwa`kihŭg’ or Mesquakies, meaning ‘red-earth people,’ from the soil they were believed to have been created from, were commonly referred to by the French as Renards, or Foxes, since, when the Red Fox clan of the Mesquakies was first encountered by the French and asked what tribe they were, they replied in the Algonquian language that they were of the Red Fox clan.

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Margaret Cochran Corbin

By Walt Giersbach

Now that we're all focused on women's place in a "man's world," let's take a moment to remember Margaret Cochran Corbin, one heroic lady. Earning later honors, however, came as a result of seeing her husband killed before her eyes, taking his place at his field gun defending General Washington retreat from Manhattan, and having her body blasted into permanent disability.
Historian Dr. Debra Michals called Corbin a hero of the American Revolution who became the first woman to receive a military pension. "The hardships of Corbin's young life inspired the courage and resilience that would serve her well during the Revolution." [1]
Margaret was born on Nov. 12, 1751, near Chambersburg, Pa., a small town west of Harrisburg. Five years later Margaret and her older brother were visiting their uncle when Indians attacked her parents' homestead. Their father was killed and their mother captured, never to return. The children were then raised by their uncle. In 1772, Margaret Cochran married John Corbin, a Virginia farmer.

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The Return of Rogers' Rangers

By Michael F. Dilley

The military exploits of Major Robert Rogers during the French and Indian War are well known. It was during that war that Rogers raised, trained, and led the unit that bears his name, Rogers' Rangers. This was, however, not the last Ranger unit with which Robert Rogers was affiliated. Prior to the war Rogers had narrowly missed being branded or hung as a result of a charge of counterfeiting. His exploits during the war left him with money problems but of a different nature. The new problems involved Rogers' accounts in the army – repaying some remaining obligations to his former Rangers as well as to certain men in Albany, New York who had loaned money for the Rangers' subsistence and loans some of the Rangers had taken against their future pay. Rogers spent almost a month preparing his statement and presented it to the Crown's representative. By his account the Crown owed Rogers about 6,000 pounds. Rogers was reported to have been “thunderstruck” when most of the statement he submitted was denied. Without detailing Rogers' claim for repayment by the Crown (or even the convoluted method of financing the British Amy in the mid 1700s), suffice it to say Rogers went to his grave still being pursued by his creditors. His attempts to pay these creditors drove almost all he did in life after the French and Indian War.

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