Resource for Historians, Educators, Students and Visitors since 1997
From 1609 through 1814, Lake Champlain and Lake George, together with the great rivers they flowed into, were the scene of contests and conflicts the likes of which had seldom been seen in civilized lands. During the brief periods of peace, these pathways through the wilderness were utilized by settlers as the only routes through the mountain forests to their new homes. It was only after the great American Civil War that the lake became unimportant to military planners. When finally the waterways lost their strategic military value due to settlement and technological advances, the corridors became important avenues of commerce and recreation.
The very names of these lakes reflect something of the heritage of the area. Champlain- named for and by the French explorer who "discovered" it. And George- given the name of the monarch of Great Britain. These two nations would wage almost constant war on the waterways during the first half of the 18th Century.
Major fortifications were built and terrible battles were fought as these European nations tried to assert their sovereignty over the North American continent.
As with all wars, these conflicts were brutal affairs; for when the seasoned troops of Europe, together with their colonial allies and native peoples, were not engaged in warfare amongst themselves, they were plagued by the harsh conditions brought on by the severe weather or disease. No sooner did France and England end their Wars over the continent than the American Colonists themselves took to rebellion.
Lake Champlain and Lake George played key roles in many of the conflicts that wracked the continent during Colonial times and the first days of the Republic; among them were:
America's Historic Lakes explores these conflicts and examines the crucial role the lakes played in them. In doing so we do not glorify war or the individual conflicts that occurred here. We do strive to learn about and honor those who took part in these struggles of long ago. Within these pages you will learn of warfare, but this site is not about military history. It is about a region, a region blessed with natural beauty. It is about people; men and women who lived on the lakes, traveled them, and earned a living on them and their shores. It is about lighthouses and waterfronts, canal boats and steamboats. It is about commerce and recreation, cities, villages and towns. It is about the United States of America and Canada- the Province of Quebec, the states of Vermont and New York.
It is also about the earliest history of these waterways, time recorded only in the fossils found along the shores; time pre-dating humans by millions of years.
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James P. Millard
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South Hero, Vermont 05486-0262
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The historical information on this web site is provided as a public service by James P. Millard. I have attempted to be as accurate as possible in my presentation of this historical material. However, I make no claims, guarantees or promises about the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information provided. In no event shall the publisher; James P. Millard, be liable for any errors or omissions with respect to any information on this site. Material submitted by guest contributors and published on the site is the property of the contributor and may be removed at any time at my discretion or upon request of the contributor. This website occasionally provides links to sites of other organizations maintained by third parties. These links do not constitute an endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies, products, services, or accessibility of that website. Links to third-party websites are provided as a public service and convenience to users of our site; James P. Millard/America’s Historic Lakes does not control, endorse or recommend the content on sites we may link to. Once connected to another website, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that website.