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Capitulation granted by Mons. De Villier, Captain of infantry and commander of troops of his most Christian Majesty, to those English troops actually in the fort of Necessity which was built on the lands of the King's dominions July the 3rd, at eight o'clock at night, 1754.

As our intention had never been to trouble the peace and good harmony which reigns between the two friendly princes, but only to revenge the assassination which has been done on one of our officers, bearer of a summons, upon his party, as also to hinder any establishment on the lands of the dominions of the King, my master. Upon these considerations, we are willing to grant protection of favor, to all the English that are in the said fort, upon conditions hereafter mentioned.

Article 1

We grant the English commander to retire with all garrisons, to return peaceably into his own country, and we promise to hinder his receiving any insult from us French, and to restrain as much as shall be in our power the Savages that are with us.

Article 2

He shall be permitted to withdraw and to take with him whatever belongs to them except the artillery, which we reserve for ourselves.

Article 3

We grant them the honors of war; they shall come out with drums beating, and with a small piece of cannon, wishing to show by this means that we treat them as friends.

Article 4

As soon as these Articles are signed by both parties they shall take down the English flag.

Article 5

Tomorrow at daybreak a detachment of French shall receive the surrender of the garrison and take possession of the aforesaid fort.

Article 6

Since the English have scarcely any horses or oxen lift, they shall be allowed to hide their property, in order that they may return to seek for it after they shall have recovered their horses; for this purpose they shall be permitted to leave such number of troops as guards as they may think proper, under this condition that they give their word of honor that they will work on no establishment either in the surrounding country or beyond the Highlands during on year beginning from this day.

Article 7

Since the English have in their power an officer and two cadets, and, in general all the prisoners whom they took when assassinated Sieur de Jumonville they now promise to send them with an escort to Fort Duquesne, situated on Belle River, and to secure the safe performance of this treaty article, as was as of the treaty, Messrs. Jacob Van Braam and Robert Stobo, both Captains shall be delivered to us as hostages until the arrival of our French and Canadians herein before mentioned.

We on our part declare that we shall give an escort to send back in safety the two officers who promise us our French in two months and a half at the latest.

Made out in duplicate on one of the posts of our block-house the same day and year as before.

James Mackay

George Washington

Coulon de Villiers

When reading the Articles of Capitulation, consider the following questions:

  • What did the British agree to do in exchange for peace? Who will the fort belong to after the articles are signed?
  • Why would Washington sign these articles?
  • What is the significance behind these articles of capitulation?
  • Who is missing from these articles? 
  • How did this event shape George Washington? 


Having been surrounded by French and Indian forces, Lieutenant Colonel George Washington and his Virginia militia were forced to surrender on July 3, 1754. These are the translated terms of surrender, courtesy of the Library of Virginia.