George Washington and the French and Indian War

Most people do not realize the importance of the French and Indian War on the life of George Washington and the impact on America’s history.

Imagine…No War of Independence, No First President or No United States of America.  It almost happened.

During the early years of the French and Indian War, George Washington was a young, ambitious officer in the Virginia Militia.  He lead bravely, fought hard and was a strong individual.  This was all noticed by the British officers who rarely held the American colonists in any regard.

Washington’s dream was to gain an officer’s commission in the British Army and if fate did not intercede history would have taken a different course.

The British knew of his ambitions and appointed him as an aide to Major-General Braddock.  Well liked and respected by Braddock, Washington did little to hide his dream.

In so many ways the disaster at the battle of Monongahela in 1755 and the death of Braddock, set the wheels in motion for Washington to agree to lead a raw, undisciplined band of men against the same British army nearly twenty years later.

It was well known that Washington was to gain a Major’s commission in the victorious British army.  It never happened and died with Braddock as the defeated army struggled back towards Fort Cumberland. Frustrated by the treatment he recieved from the several newly appointed officers, Washington eventually retired from the militia and returned home.  His dream was over and he had no other reason to fight.

The war had ended by 1763 and the French threat was over, along with an Indian uprising. The confident colonials had no use for the British and once it was decided to tax them, for the debt accumulated during the war, they decided to fight back.

The people needed a leader and once he agreed, Washington took control of the colonial army and eventually defeated the British and pushed them out of America.

It is fascinating to think what America would be like if Washington did indeed become an officer in the British army….maybe the headlines would have read: “Washington accepts the surrender of the defeated colonial  troops.  England’s King once more reigns over his America.”

Just imagine…

Interview and Book Signing!

Please check out my interview posted on AllBooks Review International.

See more reviews on and a NEW-short film on a few pieces in my F&I War collection…more to come.

Also,  please join me for a MEET THE AUTHOR/ BOOK SIGNING event on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at Red Bulb Expresso Bar, 6148 Main St., Stouffville between 2-4pm.  Thank you so much to Tammi and Cheeyuen for your support!  Tell your friends and please plan to attend…its a great place with an awesome menu!

Cheers, Steve

ALERT: Break-in at Lord Nelson’s Gallery in Gettysburg, PA

I just found out about  break-in at Lord Nelson’s Gallery in Gettysburg, PA and, although it might not be relevent to most of you, I wanted to put the word out to all the F&I War followers/collectors in Canada that some of the stolen merchandise might make its way up in our neck of the woods.

Here is a brief list of what was taken and for a more detail list please refer to

1. Pipe tomahawk by Steve Lodding

2. Spiked Ball Club by Steve Lodding

3. “Canoe” Neckknife with sheath by Shawn Webster

4. “Fox” Neckknife with sheath by Shawn Webster

5. Neckknife with bone handle by Shawn Webster

6. Gunstock war club by John Barrett

7. Patch knife by John House

8. .50 caliber Kentucky longrifle by John Barrett

If you are contacted or hear of any of these items being offered for sale please contact me or Lord Nelson’s

Thanks you.



The Brutality of War: The Gauntlet Runner

When I started to write The Gauntlet Runner one of my goals was to keep it historically accurate as possible.  I really wanted the reader to understand and feel what an early settler family experienced. Good, bad and ugly.

It was a hard, brutal life.  I strove to paint a picture of the hardships and everyday threats they experienced.  The Gauntlet Runner was not meant to be a ‘Hollywood’ version of the F&I War.  I didn’t have birds chirping or the settlers singing while they toiled in the fields.

It was a time when you could get a little, insignificant cut on your hand and be dead in a week from infection. They worked from dawn until dusk and most frontier families had to clear cut their land by hand before they built their homestead. Added to their troubles was the constant threat from wild animals, venomous snakes and native raiding parties.

Isolation was a real part of their lives. Normally the first group of settlers owned plots of land that were miles apart.  They were seperated by dense, deep forests that might have an old Indian trail linking some of them.  In The Gauntlet Runner, the Murray family was a day or two trek to the nearest fort or trading post.  Any protection had to be self-provided and that left most famlilies vulnerable to raids.

It also wasn’t uncommon for the father and eldest son to leave for weeks at a time to set trap lines, hunt for the season or to check the traps.  This usually left the wife to take care of the home and children. As for the kids, they were no more than extra hands for the farm. They were forced to grow up quickly and most could shot a musket very early in their lives.

Added to their troubles was the French and English who constantly fought over land rights and trade routes. The English encouraged and rewarded the settlers to move into the frontier but provided them little protection.

The forgotten party in all of this was the Native population. They saw all these English, German, Dutch and Swedish settlers cascade over the Allegheny’s and make their homes on sacred lands.

The settlers were basically used as ponds by the English and the natives were used by the French to secure their trade routes to the south.

The French encouraged the native population to fight back.  Settlers were taken captive.  They were tortured.  They were killed. That was the reality of life on the frontier. It was all part of the French propaganded plan to ‘scare’ any other settlers from moving into the territory.

I would be doing an injustice to the early settlers and natives who were just trying to survive, if I presented a picture that all the parties lived happily together.

Some readers might not enjoy the scenes of torture and scalping but it was a part of this life. The Murray family were like thousands of families who only wanted to have a better life but were caught in the middle of three great powers struggling to make the Ohio Valley region their own.

The Gauntlet Runner was meant to tell their story in all its brutality and hardships.

I would love your feedback.

Cheers, Steve


Book Series by award-winning author S. Thomas Bailey