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1749. peted everywhere with the French for skins and furs.* It was now proposed in Virginia to turn these fellows out of their good berth beyond the mountains, by means of a great company, which should hold lands and build trading-houses, import European goods regularly, and export the furs of the west in return to London. Accordingly, after Weiser's conference with the Indians at Logstown, which was favorable to their views, Thomas Lee, with twelve other Virginians, among whom were Lawrence and Augustine, brothers of George Washington, and also Mr. Hanbury of London, formed an association which they called the “ Ohio Company,” and in 1748, petitioned the king for a grant beyond the mountains. This petition was approved by the monarch, and the government of Virginia was ordered to grant to the petitioners half a million of acres within the bounds of that colony, beyond the Alleghanies, two hundred thousand of which were to be located at once. This portion was to be held for ten years free of quitrent, provided the company would put there one hundred families within seven years, and build a fort sufficient to protect the settlement; all which the company proposed, and prepared to do at once, and sent to London for a cargo suited to the Indian trade, which was to come out so as to arrive in November, 1749.
Other companies were also formed about this time in Virginia, to colonize the west. Upon the 12th of June, 1749, a grant of 800,000 acres, froin the line of Canada, north and west, was made to the Loyal Company; and, upon the 29th of October, '57, another, of 100,000 acres to the Greenbriar Company.t
But the French were not blind all this while. They saw, that, if the British once obtained a strong-hold upon the Ohio, they might not only prevent their settlements upon it, but must at last come upon their lower posts, and so the battle be fought sooner or later. To the danger of the English possessions in the west, Vaudreuil, the French governor, had been long alive. Upon the 10th of May, 1744, he wrote home representing the consequences that must come from allowing the British to build a trading-house among the Creeks ;ť and, in November, 1748, he anticipated their
See Charlevoix, first and second vol. in many places ; especially i. 502, 515, ii. 133, 269, 373. The English were at Mackinac as early as 1686. + Revised Statutes of Virginia, by B. W. Leigh, ii. 347.
Pownall’s Memorial on Service in America, as before quoted. Vaudreuil came out as Governor of Canada in 1755.- Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. vii., p. 105. See also Holmes' Annals, vol. ii. p. 23.
seizure of Fort Prudhomme, which was upon the Mississippi below the Ohio.* Nor was it for mere sickly missionary stations that the governor feared; for, in the year last-named, the Illinois settlements, few as they were, sent flour and corn, the hams of hogs and bears, pickled pork and beef, myrtle wax, cotton, tallow, leather, tobacco, lead, iron, copper, some little buffalo wool, venison, poultry, bear's grease, oil, skins, and coarse furs, to the New Orleans market. Even in 1746, from five to six hundred barrels of flour, according to one authority, and two thousand according to another, went thither from Illinois, convoys annually going down in December with the produce.t Having these fears, and seeing the danger of the late movements of the British, Gallisoniere, then governor of Canada, determined to place, along the Ohio, evidences of the French claim to, and possession of, the country; and for that purpose, in the summer of 1749, sent Louis Celeron, with a party of soldiers, to place plates of lead, on which were written out the claims of France, in the mounds, and at the mouths of the rivers.[ Of this act, William Trent, who was sent out in 1752, by Virginia, to conciliate the Indians, heard while upon the Ohio, and mentioned it in his Journal; and, within a few years, one of the plates, with the inscription partly defaced, has been found near the mouth of the Muskingum. Of this plate, the date upon which is August 16th, 1749, a particular account was sent, by De Witt Clinton, to the American Antiquarian Society, in whose second volume (p. 535–541) the inscription may be found at length. By this step, the French, perhaps, hoped to quiet the title to the river, “Oyo”; but it produced not the least result. In that very year, we are told, a trading-house was built by the English, upon the Great Miami, at the spot since called Loramie's Store ;|| while, from another source we learn, that two
* Pownall's Memorial.
+ Ibid. Representations to Earl of Hillsborough, 1770, quoted in Filson's Kentucky, 1784: also, in Hutchins' Geographical Description, p. 15.
Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 430.-Atwater's History of Ohio, first edition, p. 109. -Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. ii. pp. 535-541. De Witt Clinton received the plate mentioned in the text from Mr. Atwater, who says it was found at the mouth of the Muskingum, though marked as having been placed at the mouth of the Venango (Yenangue) River, (French Creek, we presume.) Celeron wrote from an old Sbawanee town on the Ohio, to Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania, respecting the intrusion of traders from that colony into the French dominions.-Minutes of the Council of Pennsylvania, quoted in Dillon's History of Indiana, i. 66.
| Contest in America, by an Impartial Hand. Once this writes speaks of this post as upon the Wabash, but he doubtless meant that on the Miami.
1751. traders were, in 1749, seized by the French upon the Maumee. At any rate, the storm was gathering; the English company was determined to carry out its plan, and the French were determined to oppose them.
During 1750, we hear of no step, by either party ; but in February, 1751, we find Christopher Gist, the agent who had been appointed by the Ohio Company to examine the western lands, upon a visit to the Twigtwees or Tuigtuis, who lived upon the Miami River, one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth.* In speaking of this tribe, Mr. Gist says nothing of a trading-house among them, (at least in the passage from his Journal quoted by Mr. Sparks,) but he tells us, they left the Wabash for the sake of trading with the English ; and we have no doubt, that the spot which he visited was at the mouth of Loraime's Creek, where, as we have said, a trading-house was built about or before this time. Gist says, the Twigtwees were a very numerous people, much superior to the Six Nations, and that they were formerly in the French interest. Wynne speaks of them as the same with the Ottowas; but Gist undoubtedly meant the great Miamis confederacy; for he says that they are not one tribe, but “ many different tribes, under the same form of government,”! Upon this journey Gist went as far down the Ohio as the Falls, and was gone seven months, though the particulars of his tour are yet unknown to us; his Journal, with the exception of one or two passages published by Mr. Sparks, and some given in the notes to Imlay and Pownall's account of the West, still resting in manuscript. I
Having thus generally examined the land upon the Ohio, in November Gist commenced a thorough survey of the tract south
* Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 37.
+ See Harrison's Discourse, already quoted.-Franklin, following a Twigtwee chief present at Carlisle, in 1753, (Minutes of that Council, p. 7. Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 71,) speaks of the Piankeshaws, a tribe of the Twigtwees; and again, of the Miamis or Twigtwees (ibid. vol. iii. p. 72.) The name is spelt in the Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, Twechtwese, and they are described as those Indians, called by the French, Miamis, (iii. 470 ) On Evans' map, of 1755, they are called Tawixtwi, and are mentioned among the confederated nations, of the west.-See also General Harrison's letter of March 22, 1814, in McAfee, p. 43.
# Pownall's typography is in Imlay, edition of 1797, London, from p. 82 to 129. From Evans' map, first published in 1755, and republished in 1776, we learn that Gist crossed the mountains near the heads of the Cumberland, went down the Kentucky River some distance, thence crossed to the mouth of the Scioto, which stream he followed up, and afterwards turning east, went across the Muskingum to Fort Pitt: the year in which ke did this is not given, nor do we know whether the route is laid down in Evans' first edition of 1755.
53 of the Ohio and east of the Kanawha, which was that on which the Ohio Company proposed to make their first settlement. He spent the winter in that labor. In 1751 also, General Andrew Lewis, commenced some surveys in the Greenbriar country, on behalf of the company already mentioned, to which one hundred thousand acres of land had been granted in that region ;* but his proceedings, as well as Gist's, were soon interrupted. Meanwhile no treaty of a definite character had yet been held with the western Indians; and, as the influence both of the French and of the independent English traders, was against the company, it was thought necessary to do something, and the Virginia government was desired to invite the chiefs to a conference at Logstown, which was done.
All this time the French had not been idle. They not only stirred up the savages, but took measures to fortify certain points on the upper waters of the Ohio, from which all lower posts might be easily attacked, and, beginning at Persqu'Ile, or Erie, on the lake, prepared a line of communication with the Alleghany. This was done by opening a wagon-road from Erie to a little lake lying at the head of French Creek, where a second fort was built, about fifteen miles from that at Erie. When this second fort was fortified we do not clearly learn; but some time in 1752, we believe.t But lest, while these little castles were quietly rising amid the forest, the British also might strengthen themselves too securely to be dislodged, a party of soldiers was sent to keep the Ohio clear; and this party, early in 1752, having heard of the tradinghouse upon the Miami, and, very likely, of the visit to it by Gist, came to the Twigtwees and demanded the traders, as unauthorized intruders upon French lands. The Twigtwees, however, were neither cowards nor traitors, and refused to deliver up their friends. The French, assisted by the Ottawas and Chippewas, then attacked the trading-house, which was probably a
*Stuart's Memoir of Indian War. Border Warfare, 48.
+ Washington's Journal, of 1753.—Mante, in his History of the War, says, early in 1753, but there was a post at Erie when the traders were taken, before June, 1752.
Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 71.-vol. iii. p. 230. Plain Facts, p. 42.-Contest in North America, &c. p. 36.-Western Monthly Magazine, 1833.—This fort was always referred to in the early treaties of the United States with the Indians; see Land Laws and treaties, post.-Several other captures beside this are referred to by Franklin and others. The attack on Logstown, spoken of by Smollett and Russell, was doubtless this attack on the Miami post. Smollett; George II. chap. ix. See also Burk’s Virginia, vol. iii. p. 170.
1752. block-house, and after a severe battle, in which fourteen of the natives were killed,* and others wounded, took and destroyed it, carrying the traders away to Canada as prisoners, or, as one account says, burning some of them alive. This fort, or tradinghouse, was called by the English writers Pickawillany.t
Such was the fate of the first British settlement in the Ohio valley, of which we have any record. It was destroyed early in 1752, as we know by the fact, that its destruction was referred to by the Indians at the Logstown treaty in June. What traders they were who were taken, we do not know with certainty. Some have thought them agents of the Ohio Company; but Gist's proceedings about the Kenhawa do not favor the idea, neither do the subsequent steps of the company; and in the “History of Pennsylvania,” ascribed to Franklin, we find a gift of condolence made by that Province to the Twigtwees for those slain in defence of the traders among them, in 1752, which leads us to believe that they were independent merchants from that colony. I
Blood had now been shed, and both parties became more deeply interested in the progress of events in the west. The English, on their part, determined to purchase from the Indians a title to the lands they wished to occupy, by fair means or foul; and, in the spring of 1752, Messrs. Fry, || Lomax, and Patton, were sent from Virginia to hold a conference with the natives at Logstown, to learn what they objected to in the treaty of Lancaster, of which it was said they complained, and to settle all difficulties. On the 9th of June, the commissioners met the red men at Logstown: this was a little village, seventeen miles
Among them a king of the Piankeshaws. (Minutes of the Council of Carlisle, 1753.) From those Minutes we learn also that the Ottawas and Chippewas aided the French.
+ Washington's Journal (London, 1754) has a map on which the name is printed “ Pikkawalinna."-A memorial of the king's ministers, in 1755, refers to it as 6 Pickawillanes, in the centre of the territory between the Ohio and the Wabash.” (Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 330.) The name is probably some variation of Piqua or Pickaway in 1773: written by Rev. David Jones “ Pickaweke.” (Cist's Cincinnati Miscellany, i. 265.)
# The Twigtwees met the Pennsylvanians at Lancaster, in July, 1748, and made a treaty with them. (Dillon's Indiana, i. 63.) Croghan also (Butler's Kentucky, 471,) speaks of them as connected with Pennsylvania. The Shawnese, from the west, went to Philadelphia to make treaties, in 1732. (Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, iii. 491.)
| Afterwards Commander in Chief over Washington, at the commencement of the French war of 1755—63; he died at Will's Creek, (Cumberland) May 31, 1751. (Sparks' Washington, ii. 27. note.)
§ Plain Facts, p. 40.-Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 480.