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their arms and by treaties; especially by those of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Ais La Chappelle.”

On the other hand the English laid claim to the same territory.

The French labored hard to make good their title to the valley of the Ohio, and took active steps to fortify themselves in the possession of the territory. It was now plain that the French and English had fairly entered into a contest for the Mississippi valley; a contest that could riot be settled save by an appeal to the sword. “To that, however,” says an early writer, “neither party desired an immediate appeal, but both sought rather to establish and fortify their interests, and to conciliate the Indian tribes. In the fall of 1750, the Ohio company sent out Christopher Gist to explore the regions west of the mountains. He was instructed to examine the passes, to trace the courses of the rivers, to mark the the falls, to seek for valuable lands, to observe the strength, and to conciliate the friendship of the Indian tribes. He visited Logstown, where he was received with jealousy, passed over to the Muskingum, where he found a village of the Ottawas friendly to the French, and a village of the Wyandots divided in sentiment. There he met Croghan, who had been sent out by Pennsylvania, and in concert they held a council with the chiefs, and received assurance of the friendship of the tribe. Next, they passed to the Shawnee towns on the Scioto, received assurances of friendship from them, and then crossed the Miami valley. "Nothing," said they, “is wanting but cultivation to make it a most delightful country." They crossed the Great Miami on a raft of logs, and visited Piqua, the chief town of the Pickawillanies, and here they made treaties with the Piquas and representatives of the Weas (Ouias), and Piankeshaws. While there, a deputation of the Ottawas appeared to solicit an alliance of the Miami confederacy with the French. They were repulsed, however, by the address and promises of the English agents, and the chiefs of the tribe sent back a message with Gist, that their friendship should stand like the mountains. Croghan returned, Gist followed the Miami to its mouth, passed down the Ohio river until within fifteen miles of the falls, then returned by way of the Kentucky river, and over the highlands of Kentucky to Virginia, in May, 1751, having visited the Mingoes, Delewares, Wyandots, Shawanees and Miamis, proposed a union among the tribes, and appointed a general council at Logstown, to form an alliance among themselves and with Virginia. Meanwhile, some traders had established themselves at Larimie's store, or Pickawillany, some forty-seven miles north of the site of Dayton, Ohio. A party of French and their Ottawa and Chippewa allies demanded them of the Miamis as unauthorized intruders on French lands. The Miamis refused, a battle ensued, fourteen of them were killed, the traders were taken and carried to Canada, or, as one account says, burned. It is probable those traders were from Pennsylvania, since that province made a gift of condolence to the Twig. twees for those slain in their defense. 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, and, in the spring of 1752, Messrs. Fry, Lomax and Patten, 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, a little village, seventeen miles below Pittsburgh, upon the right bank of the Ohio descending. It had been a trading point, but had been abandoned by the Indians in 1750. Here the Lancaster treaty was produced, and the sales of the western lands insisted upon ; but the chiefs said that they had not heard of any sale west of the warrior's road, which ran at the foot of the Allegheny ridge.' The commissioners then offered goods for a ratification of the Lancaster treaty ; spoke of the proposed settlement by the Ohio Company; and used all their persuasions to secure the land wanted. On the 11th of June, the Indians replied: They recognized the treaty of Lancaster, and the authority of the Six Nations to make it, but denied that they had any knowledge of the western lands being conveyed to the English by that deed, and declined having anything to do with the treaty of 1744. “However,' said the savages, 'as the French have already struck the Twigtwees, we shall be pleased to have your assistance and protection, and wish you would build a fort at once at the forks of the Ohio.' But this permission was not what the Virginians wanted; they took aside Montour, the interpreter, who was a son of the famous Catharine Montour, and a chief among the Six Nations, and persuaded him to use his influence with his fellows. By that means they were induced to treat, and upon the 13th of June, they all united in signing a deed, confirming the Lancaster treaty in its full extent, consenting to a settlement southeast of the Ohio, and covenanting that it should not be disturbed by them. By such means was obtained the first treaty with the Indians in the Ohio valley."

And now while all was at peace in Europe between France and England, events in the west were shaping for a contest between the colonies. While the English were surveying the country on the Ohio, laying out a town and preparing for the settlement of the country, the French were gathering cannon and stores upon lake Erie, and disregarding treaties, were busily at work gaining the good will and wishes of the natives. But during all this time the Indians, for the most part, were unable to comprehend the cause for a quarrel between the European colonists. The French became very industrious in their work of fortifying the country. They built a line of forts from lake Erie to the Ohio. These were Presquile, Le Boeuf and Vanango. In May, 1753, the governor of Pennsylvania called the attention of the assembly of that state to the movements of the French. That body thereupon voted six hundred pounds for distribution among the tribes, besides two hundred for presents of condolence to the Twigtwees.

From this time the French regarded the English as encroaching upon their territory, and the latter looked upon the advancing settlements of the former with precisely the same feelings. It was during this condition of things on the frontiers, and while the hostile feeling thus prevailed, that George Washington, then in his twenty-second year, was appointed by Gov. Dinwiddie to visit the western outposts, demand of the French commandant his designs, and to observe the extent and disposition of his forces. Washington was informed by the French authorities in the west, that they considered themselves the rightful owners of the country, and that they would not yield it to any authority. This irtelligence aroused the anger of the provinces, and measures con

sistent with instructions from the British colonial secretary were taken to repel the French, who were already pushing their stockades far up the valley of the Ohio. The legislating authorities of the several provinces were slow to provide the necessary measures, a number of questions coming up to hinder the progress of their work. Boundaries were indefinite, and some were disposed to admit the claims of the French. Nevertheless the necessary measures were at length carried through, at least in some of the provinces. Meanwhile, the French forces were gathering in the western forests, and all along the border the scene was one of commotion and preparation for battle.

During this time Gov. Hamilton, in Philadelphia, had summoned the assembly, "and asked them if they meant to help the king in the defense of his dominions; and had desired them, above all things, to do wbatever they meant to perform, quickly. The assembly debated, and resolved to aid the king with a little money, and then debated again, and voted not to aid him with any money at all, for some would not give less than ten thousand pounds, and others would not give more than five thousand pounds; and so, nothing being practicable, they adjourned upon the 10th of April, until the 13th of May. In New York, a little, and only a little, better spirit was at work; nor was this strange, as her direct interest was much less than that of Pennsylvania. Five thousand pounds, indeed, were voted to Virginia ; but the assembly questioned the invasion of his majesty's dominions by the French, and it was not till June that the money was sent forward. The old dominion, however, was all alive. As, under the provincial law, the militia could not be called forth to march more than five miles beyond the bounds of the colony, and as it was doubtful if the French were in Virginia, it was determined to rely upon volunteers. Ten thousand pounds had been voted by the assembly; so the two companies were now increased to six, and Washington was raised to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and made second in command under Joshua Fry. Ten cannon, lately from England, were forwarded from Alexandria; wagons were got ready to carry westward, provisions and stores through the heavy spring roads; and everywhere along the Potomac men were enlisting under the governor's proclamation, which promised to

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