This tomahawk head is typical of the kind traded almost exclusively during the 17th century and gradually replaced by lighter varieties after 1700, until they were relegated to the position of "squaw ax".
This kind of ax was introduced by the French to the Indian fur trade. (Harold F. Peterson, American Indian Tomahawks, p. 891.) French fur trappers exchanged various goods with Native Americans, including iron tools, glass beads, kettles, liquor, and guns. Although French traders remained active in the Great Lakes region for nearly a century, France never gained complete control of the region, primarily because Great Britain competed for territory and tribal loyalties. After losing the French and Indian War (1754-17633) to Great Britain, France relinquished its claims to the region, thus closing the first chapter of Chicago's fur trade era. The French and Indian War is the American name for the North American theater of the Seven Years' War. The war was fought primarily between the colonies of British America and New France, with both sides supported by military units from their parent countries of Great Britain and France, who declared war on each other in 1756. In the same year, the war escalated from a regional affair into a world-wide conflict. The French and Indian War had lasting (and devastating) effects for the Native American tribes of North America. The British took retribution against Native American nations that fought on the side of the French by cutting off their supplies and then forcibly compelling the tribes to obey the rules of the new mother country. Native Americans that had fought on the side of the British with the understanding that their cooperation would lead to an end to European encroachment on their land were unpleasantly surprised when many new settlers began to move in. Furthermore, with the French presence gone, there was little to distract the British government from focusing its stifling attention on whatever Native American tribes lay within its grasp. All of these factors played into the multinational Indian uprising called "Pontiac's War" that erupted directly following the end of the French and Indian War.