Ohio History Journal




WASHINGTON'S "TOUR TO THE OHIO" AND ARTICLES

WASHINGTON'S "TOUR TO THE OHIO" AND ARTICLES

OF "THE MISSISSIPPI COMPANY."*

 

Introduction and Notes by Archer Butler Hulbert, Author of "Washington

and the West," "Historic Highways," Etc.

 

It is always interesting to recall that the earliest accurate

account of the Ohio Valley is from  the pen of Washington.

This account is found in two manuscripts, now preserved in the

Library of Congress, one of which is entitled "Remarks &

Occurrs in October"; when November came it is noted only by

the words "November 1st"; the other manuscript is inscribed

"Where & how-my time is-Spent." The former document is

the elaborated journal of Washington's tour of 1770 and the latter

is a mere outline, such as he always kept, of each day's affairs. The

more formal journal was damaged and the entries for about a

week have never been published, nor has the journal been edited

in any part. The smaller diary of the two has never been pub-

lished. The two together are here reproduced, together with the

articles of the "Mississippi Company," never printed before,

which are in Washington's handwriting and are also preserved

in the Library of Congress.

The "Remarks" have been printed in part in the Writings

of Washington by Sparks and Ford; also in the Old South

Leaflets, as well as independently, under the title of "A Tour to

the Ohio." It will be found possible, with the help of the daily

account in the lesser record, to fill up quite completely the days

which were partially destroyed. As these days included much

of the return trip up the Ohio even a fragmentary account of

them has its value to many.

As a preface to the reading of this little collection of Wash-

ingtonia, relating so intimately to Ohio, it is proper to review

* In the identification of points mentioned in Washington's journal

the editor has been largely assisted by Edgar Chew Sweeney.

(431)



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Washington's relations to the West and the causes which led to

the tour under consideration.

From any standpoint, it must be considered a strange Provi-

dence that led Martha Washington to turn her young son's eyes

from the sea, where the romance of his brother's career under

Admiral Vernon had attracted them, to those darkling forests

that stretched illimitably away to the westward of their Virginia

home. By no other act could that mother have so fitted her

boy to be, in a real sense never appreciated by those who use the

expression so often and so flippantly, the "Father of his country";

for there was never a time when Washington was more truly the

Father of the young lad of a Republic as in those strange, black

twenty-one years between the opening of the old French War at

Fort Necessity in 1754, and that day in 1775 when the boy came

to man's estate and America stepped forth to take a place among

the nations of the world.

For if you could measure in grains and ounces the sum

total of Washington's heart-interests, or reckon in actual minutes

the time he gave to the consideration of the plans and hopes and

dreams that held his heart - omitting the seven years he gave

so faithfully to the single thought of emancipation - I believe

that next to his family and friends would appear his extraordinary

interest in what we may term the Western problem, to which his

mother first turned his attention in 1747.

The story of the young surveyor's experiences we have

from his own pen; yet there is much to read between the lines

of that boyish diary; he learned the Indians, who were to play

so important a part in the old French War; he saw the fertility

of the glades and river-lands, which were slight but genuine

prophecies of the richness of the lands farther west; he saw the

rivers themselves which were to become the first commercial

highways to bind together distant commonwealths with bands

strong as tempered steel in a day when men looked upon the

Alleghenies as prohibitive barriers to empire. Then, in rapid

order, came the appointment of Washington as one of Virginia's

adjutants-general over the portion of his colony he now was

beginning to know. The mission to the French forts on the

Allegheny River in 1753-4 brought him first into the Mississippi



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."             433

 

drainage area - and how little the lad dreamed that this was

but one of six visits into that region! The next year he led his

little force to Fort Necessity and precipitated the first skirmish in

the war by which England should obtain the mastery of the con-

tinent. In the next year he came again with the insolent, bull-

dog Braddock to the ford of the Monongahela and the death-

trap beyond. In 1758 he came again with the heroic, dying

Forbes to a conquest of Fort Duquesne.

As a result of these military expeditions westward, but one

tangible tie can be discovered to bind in any way the future fate

of the West with this name of Washington. So slothful was Vir-

ginia to furnish men for the Virginia Regiment which Washington

was to lead to Fort Necessity in 1754, that Governor Dinwiddie

was compelled to offer bounties in western land to all who would

enlist for the campaign. Such is the vital connection between the

tour of 1770 and this bounty-land offer made in 1754, that it is

necessary to quote it in full, as nothing save the reading of the

Governor's actual promise can give one a proper conception of the

feelings of those, Washington among them, who had the temerity

to take him at his word. The proclamation read:

"Virginia ss.

By the Hon. Robert Dinwiddie, Esq.; His Majesty's Lieutenant-

Governor, and Commander-in-Chief of this Dominion

 

A PROCLAMATION.

For Encouraging Men to enlist in His Majesty's Service for the Defense

and Security of this Colony.

WHEREAS it is determined that a Fort be immediately built on the

River Ohio, at the Fork of Monongahela, to oppose any further Encroach-

ments, or hostile Attempts of the French, and the Indians in their interest,

and for the Security and Protection of his Majesty's Subjects in this

Colony; and as it is absolutely necessary that a sufficient Force should

be raised to erect and support the same: For an Encouragement to all

who shall voluntarily enter into the said Service, I do hereby notify and

promise, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty's Council

of this Colony, that over and above their Pay, Two Hundred Thousand

Acres of his Majesty's the King of Great Britains Lands, on the East

Side of the River Ohio, within this Dominion, One Hundred Thousand

Acres whereof to be contiguous to the said Fort, and the other Hundred

Thousand Acres to be on, or near the River (Ohio) shall be laid off and

Vol. XVII-28.



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434        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

granted to such Persons, who by their voluntary Engagement, and good

Behaviour in the said Service, shall deserve the same. And I further

promise, that the said Lands shall be divided amongst them immediately

after the Performance of the said Service, in a proportion due to their

respective merit, as shall be represented to me by their Officers, and held

and enjoyed by them without paying any Rights, and also free from the

Payment of Quit-rents, for the Term  of Fifteen Years. And I do

appoint this Proclamation to be read and published at the Court-Houses,

Churches and Chapels in each County within this Colony, and that the

Sheriffs take Care the same be done accordingly.

Given at the Council Chamber in Williamsburg, on the 19th

Day of February, in the 27th Year of his Majesty's Reign, Annoque

Domini, 1754.

ROBERT DINWIDDIE.

GOD SAVE THE KING.*

 

But it is oftentimes the intangible, rather than the tangible,

that awakens and keeps awake interest; I cannot believe Wash-

ington's lively interest in the West can be explained wholly by

the sordid argument that his heart was where his landed treasure

was. This may have been true at first; it was probably true,

now, as he retires, seemingly, from public view in 1759 to Mount

Vernon and marries, that his inheritance in western bounty

forest-land was the cord that bound him to the land where his

boyhood battles had been fought. I am sure that it took some-

thing more than merely this claim to a few thousand vague acres

of land to give the wide-awake man an enthusiastic desire to

obtain a larger acreage, especially in a day when most people

probably held those bounty claims to be of uncertain, if not

trifling, value. It is easy to praise a Boone or Harrod for going

romantically westward in those early days to enjoy the fruits

of the eager chase and the glimpses of primeval forest, where

courage and resourcefulness were needed; it was not quite so

romantic to pay cash down for a royal governor's vague promise

of a tract of bounty-land. Yet faith in the West, as shown by

the purchases Washington soon began to make, was a faith

unknown among the land hunters.       This belief in the great

future of the trans-Allegheny land, now showed itself, this early,

in the heart of Washington, and it is vastly more interesting

*N. Y. Col. Mss. LXXVIII, 68.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."          435

than any record of his possessions; for in his case it was a mar-

velously precious inspiration that was contagious; it meant some-

thing to have a man of his standing desire to own land in that

country of which Thomas Jefferson is said to have remarked

that he knew little and cared less.

How rapidly Washington began to acquire land we cannot

know with perfect accuracy; his attention must have been devoted

very seriously to the western problem, however, throughout those

first two or three years of married life, 1760-1761-1762, for, in

1763, we find him chief promotor of what he named the "Mis-

sissippi Land Company", which should secure a tract of land on

the Ohio or Mississippi Rivers for speculative purposes

The Ohio Company to which Washington's brothers be-

longed, and which had been a factor in precipitating the French

War, was leading a feeble existence; it had not complied with the

stipulation of its charter, namely, to place one hundred families

on its 200,000-acre grant between the Monongahela and Great

Kanawha Rivers. At the close of the war in 1760 a reorganiza-

tion of the company was unsuccessfully essayed-unsuccessful

because of the conflicting claims of parties seeking western lands;

the soldiers of the Virginia Regiment had bounty claims that

conflicted with the Ohio Company grant; in 1763 a new company

which later received what was called the "Walpole Grant" was

being promoted; and in the face of all this story of conflicting

claims and counter-claims, the British ministry proposed to keep

settlers from crossing the mountains at all, a policy that

culminated in the burlesque Proclamation of 1763.

It was just four months before this proclamation was pro-

mulgated that Washington's Mississippi Company was formed;

the result must have been the work of some months, probably

years, for it was too comprehensive in character to have been the

outgrowth of any impromptu gathering. As the Articles of this

Mississippi Company have never been published, and as the doc-

ument throws an interesting light on Washington's speculations

in land, they are here reproduced. Not the least interesting mat-

ter touched upon is that which limits the stockholders to residents

of Virginia and Maryland, especially to one who recalls the bit-

ter factional fight between Washington, on the one side, and



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General Forbes, on the other, in 1758, which led the English

general to say with some heat that Washington's behavior "was

in no ways like a soldier."* In fact, I do not think it would be

difficult to show that the Mississippi Company was the crystal-

ization of the sentiment expressed on the part of Washington

and his fellow-Virginians against the opening of that very Penn-

sylvania Road. "By a very unguarded letter of Col. Washing-

ton's that accidentally fell into my hands," wrote Forbes to Col.

Bouquet, August 9, 1758, "I am       now  at the bottom   of their

scheme against this new road, a scheme that I think was a shame

for any officer to be concerned in - but more of this at our

meeting."+   It is plain on the face of this manuscript that Penn-

sylvanians or others were to be debarred from controlling the

Mississippi Company, which is as interesting, in its way, as the

fact that, about a century later Pennsylvania forbade the Balti-

more and Ohio Railway to enter the state.

The articles of the Mississippi Company read:

 

"We whose names are underwritten do agree to form a Body of

Adventurers by the name of the Mississippi Company, with a view to

explore and settle some Tracts of Land upon the Mississippi and its

Waters; and the better to succeed in this design have determined on the

following Rules and Regulations

First it is proposed that the Company shall consist of Fifty Members

and no more, who are to contribute equally towards the expence of sending

an Agent to England to obtain from the Crown a Grant of Lands on the

Mississippi aforesaid and its Waters to the amount and upon the terms

hereafter mentioned.

1st. Every single Adventurer to have 50,000 Acres of Land for

a share.

2 The Land to lye on the Mississippi and its Waters.

3 The Settlement to be protected from the Insults of the Savages,

by the assistance of His Majesty's Forces disposed of in such

manner as the Ministry shall think proper.

4 The Lands to be obtained if possible clear of all Composition.

Money, Expences and Quit Rents for the space of twelve Years

or longer upon Condition that we settle the same in that time

if not interrupted by the Savages.

That the Subscribers begin to sollicit the Grant without further

*See the author's Old Glade Road (Historic Highways, V) 81-123

+ Id. 135-6.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."              437

 

delay before the number to be admitted is made up; and the Adventurers

who join to be liable for an equal share of all expences incurred.

That the Lands obtained by such Grant be now held in Jointenancy

but that every adventurer hold his respective share to himself and his

Heirs in Fee simple, any thing in the said Grant to the Contrary not-

withstanding.

That a General Meeting of the Company be annually had on the

----  day of   -   at-        , and to consist of a Majority of the

Members residing in Virginia and Maryland who shall have power and

Authority to determine by a Majority of the Members so met all matters

relative to the purposes for which the Company is instituted And to make

such Rules and Regulations as they shall from time to time think expedient

and for the Interest of the common cause Provided that if any Member

of the Company residing in Great Britain or any other part of the World

shall at any General Meeting of the Company happen to be present it

shall be lawful for such Member to Vote at such Meeting

Whereas it will be highly necessary to preserve Order and Decency

at the General Meetings of the said Company; It is agreed that the

Majority of the Company shall choose a President who is to preside for

that Meeting only and to have the casting Vote in case of a Division And

the President so chosen shall collect the Votes of the Members present

whose Orders and Resolutions shall be entered in a Book to be kept for

that purpose, and shall be absolutely conclusive on the said Company.

That it shall be in the power of the said Company from time to

time at a general Meeting as aforesaid to direct and appoint any Sum and

Sums of money that they shall judge necessary for the purposes for which

this Company is instituted to be paid into the hands of the Treasurer for

the time being by every particular Member, which Sum and Sums of

Money the Subscribers to bind themselves their Heirs, Executors and

Administrators to pay into the hands of such Treasurer at the times to be

appointed for the payment of the same Provided that if any Member or

Members shall neglect or refuse to pay into the hands of the said

Treasurer upon demand or shall fail to pay down to him at the next

general Meeting of the Company the full sum with legal Interest thereon

from the time of the demand so made the said delinquent shall forfeit all

Right Title and Interest in the said Company and be no longer deemed a

Member thereof.

The said Company at the first general meeting to be had shall appoint

a Treasurer out of their Number who shall immediately on his appoint-

ment and before he is admitted to Act in that Office enter into Bond with

two or More good and sufficient Securities to the said Company by the

name of the Mississippi Company for the just and faithful performance

of his Office of Treasurer and shall also make Oath that he will execute

the same with justice and punctuality; which said Treasurer shall also

Act to the said Company as Clerk or Secretary and shall act in the



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Capacity of Clerk and Treasurer one Year and from thence to the next

meeting of the Company and no longer And shall be allowed by the said

Company for his Services five per Centum for all Moneys that shall pass

through his hands.

A Committee of Ten Members to be chosen by the Company five of

which shall be a sufficient number to do business who shall meet twice a

year (to wit) on the    day of--     and on the--   day of--

or oftener as the exigencies of the Company shall require upon notice

of such extraordinary meeting being published in the Virginia and Mary-

land Gazette by one or more of the Members of the Committee And it

shall be lawful for any Member of the said Company that shall happen

to be present at such Committees tho' not nominated as one of the

Committee to vote at such Meeting   Provided nevertheless that the

Treasurer for the time being shall have no Right to vote at ye meeting

of such Committees.

Such Committee shall have power to put in Execution such Plans as

shall be laid down by a General meeting of the Company and apply the

moneys raised by the said Company for the effecting such Plans.

The Treasurer and Secretary of the Company aforesd shall act as

Clerk or Secretary to the Committee and shall enter all the Orders of

the said Committee in a Book to be kept for that purpose

That no Member shall have a Right to dispose of his share without

first acquainting the Company at a General meeting and giving the

Company the preference of purchasing

If any of the Members of the said Company shall hereafter sell and

dispose of his whole share to divers Persons he shall lose his Right of

voting in the said Company and it shall be in the power of the said

Company to choose which of the said Purchasers they shall most approve

to be a member of the said Company, no more than one Vote being to be

allowed for one share But if any member shall dispose of only part of

his share he shall not lose his Right of Voting at any meeting of the

said Company, any thing to the contrary of this and the foregoing cause

seeming to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

It shall not be lawful for any Member of the said Company pur-

chasing the share or shares of any other Member or Member's thereof

to have more than one Vote.

In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 3d day

of June 1763.

 

FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE,                                      ROBERT BRENT,

JNO AUGE WASHINGTON,                                       WILLIAM BEALE JUNR,

ANTHONY STEWART,                                                      HENRY FITZHUGH,

RICHD PARKER,                                                            RICHARD HENRY LEE,

ROBERT WODDROP,                                                   THoS LUD: LEE,

WM FLOOD,                                                                     ADAM STEPHEN,



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."              439

 

WILLIAM LEE,                                                     WILLIAM BROCKENBROUGH,

PRESLEY THORNTON,                                      WILLIAM FITZHUGH,

WILLIAM BOOTH,                                              GD WASHINGTON.

THOS BULLITT,

 

Four months later the Proclamation of 1763 was issued

(October) and seems to have quieted temporarily everything of

an organized nature so far as western land speculation was con-

cerned; it could not, however, stop the rush of pioneers across

the mountains, nor the activities of favorites who were in a posi-

tion to speculate, like George Croghan; nor could it abrogate in

any way the bounty-land claims held by Washington and his of-

ficers and men of the Virginia Regiment.      Nor could it stop

the explorations of speculators' agents--and it was to one of

these enterprising pioneers, who was already located in the West,

a comrade of the late war, Captain William Crawford, settled at

what is now New Haven, Pa., that Washington now turned to

carry out his plan of securing more western land. Washington's

original letter to Crawford is dated at Mount Vernon, September

21, 1767. It runs:

 

"From a sudden hint of your brother's [Valentine Crawford] I

wrote you a few days ago in a hurry. Having since had more time for

reflection, I write now deliberately, and with greater precision, on the

subject of my last letter. I then desired the favor of you (as I understood

rights might now be had for the lands which have fallen within the

Pennsylvania line) to look me out a tract of about fifteen hundred two

thousand or more acres somewhere in your neighborhood, meaning only

by this, that it may be as contiguous to your own settlement as such a

body of good land can be found. It will be easy for you to conceive that

ordinary or even middling lands would never answer my purpose or

expectation, so far from navigation and under such a load of expenses as

these lands are incumbered with. No; a tract to please me must be rich

(of which no person can be a better judge than yourself), and, if possible,

level. Could such a piece of land be found, you would do me a singular

favor in falling upon some method of securing it immediately from the

attempts of others, as nothing is more certain than that the lands can not

remain long ungranted, when once it is known that rights are to be

had. The mode of proceeding I am at a loss to point out to you: but, as

your own lands are under the same circumstances, self-interest will

naturally lead you to an inquiry. I am told that the land or surveyor's

office is kept at Carlisle [Pa.]. If so, I am of opinion that Colonel



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[John] Armstrong, an acquaintance of mine*, has something to do in

the direction of it, and I am pursuaded he would readily serve me. I will

write to him by the first opportunity on that subject, that the way may

be prepared for your application to him, if you find it necessary. For

your trouble and expense you may depend on being repaid. It is possible,

but I do not know that it really is the case, that the custom in Pennsyl-

vania will not admit so large a quantity of land as I require to be

entered together; if so, this may perhaps be arranged by making several

entries to the same amount, if the expense of doing it is not too heavy.

This I only drop as a hint, leaving the whole to your discretion and good

management. If the land can only be secured from others, it is all I

want at present. The surveying I would choose to postpone, at least till

the spring, when, if you can give me any satisfactory account of this

matter, and of what I am next going to propose, I expect to pay you a

visit+ about the last of April. I offered in my last to join you in attempt-

ing to secure some of the most valuable lands in the King's part,++ which I

think may be accomplished after awhile, notwithstanding the proclamation

that restrains it at present, and prohibits the settling of them at all; for

I can never look upon that proclamation in any other light (but this I say

between ourselves) that as a temporary expedient to quiet the minds of

the Indians. It must fall, of course, in a few years, especially when

those Indians consent to our occupying the lands. Any person, therefore,

who neglects the present opportunity of hunting out good lands, and in

some measure marking and distinguishing them for his own, in order to

keep others from settling them, will never regain it. If you will be at

the trouble of seeking out the lands, I will take upon me the part of

securing them, as soon as there is a possibility of doing it, and will, more-

over, be at all the cost and charges of surveying and patenting the same.

You shall then have such a reasonable proportion of the whole as we

may fix upon at our first meeting; as I shall find it necessary, for the

better furthering of the design, to let some of my friends be concerned

in the scheme, who must also partake of the advantages. By this time it

may be easy for you to discover that my plan is to secure a good deal of

land. You will consequently come in for a very handsome quantity; and

as you will obtain it without any costs or expenses, I hope you will be

encouraged to begin the search in time. I would choose, if it were

practicable, to get large tracts together; and it might be desirable to have

them as near your settlement or Fort Pitt as they can be obtained of

good quality, but not to neglect others at a greater distance, if fine

bodies of it lie in one place. It may be worthy of your inquiry to find out

how the Maryland back line will run,** and what is said about laying off

*Fellow-officer in the campaign of 1758.

+ Postponed, we shall see, until 1770.

++ Land lying outside of the limits of the colonies.

** Western boundary.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."               441

 

Neale's grant. I will inquire particularly concerning the Ohio Company,

that we may know what to apprehend from them. For my own part, I

should have no objection to a grant of land upon the Ohio, a good way

below Pittsburgh, but would first willingly secure some valuable tracts

nearer at hand. I recommend, that you keep this whole matter a secret,

or trust it only to those in whom you can confide, and who can assist

you in bringing it to bear by their discoveries of land. This advice

proceeds from several very good reasons, and, in the first place, because

I might be censured for the opinion I have given in respect to the King's

proclamation, and then, if the scheme I am now proposing to you were

known, it might give the alarm to others, and, by putting them upon a

plan of the same nature, before we could lay a proper foundation for

success ourselves, set the different interests clashing, and, probably, in the

end, overturn the whole. All this may be avoided by a silent management,

and the operation carried on by you under the guise of hunting game,

which you may, I presume, effectually do, at the same time you are in

pursuit of land. When this is fully discovered, advise me of it, and if

there appears but a possibility of succeeding at any time hence, I will

have the lands immediately surveyed, to keep others off, and leave the

rest to time and my own assiduity. If this letter should reach your

hands before you set out, I should be glad to have your thoughts fully

expressed on the plan here proposed, or as soon afterwards as convenient;

for I am desirous of knowing in due time how you approve of the

scheme."*

Many questions of interest arise in reading this character-

istic letter. The one perhaps of primary importance is, was the

writer thinking of private investment when he proposed this

"scheme" to Crawford or was he keeping in mind the Missis-

sippi Company when he refers to allowing some of his "friends

be concerned in the scheme"; or did he have in mind securing this

land for the soldiers who held bounty land claims? Although

four years had elapsed since the issuing of the Proclamation of

1763 (which reconfirmed, it must be remembered, the bounty-

lands to the heroes of the Virginia Regiment) it is not at all

certain that Washington did not still hope to organize a com-

pany; at least I know of no other body of men with whom Wash-

ington suggested uniting in land speculation save those associated

with him in the Mississippi Company. And if he did not have in

mind the large acreage called for per stockholder in the articles

of that Company, for whom was he planning to acquire the

evident immense tract that he was desiring Crawford to locate?

*C. W. Butterworth. Washington-Crawford Letters, 1-5.



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It seems evident, to a degree at least, that now, in 1767,

Washington was still working along the lines laid down in the

articles of his Company. While the West was securely under

the rule of the Crown-was still unquestionably the "King's

part"-he could hope for such a grant as the Mississippi Com-

pany had prayed for; but the moment the region south of Penn-

sylvania and west of Virginia and Maryland in any wise passed

out of the Crown's hands, the Mississippi Company could have

no hope of a grant.

And this is exactly what happened. In the very next year,

1768, occurred the memorable Treaty of Fort Stanwix at Rome,

N. Y. By a shrewd piece of diplomacy Dr. Walker of Virginia

defeated the plan of Lord Hillsborough, who was intent on fixing

a hard-and-fast western boundary line for the colonies by extend-

ing the western line of Georgia straight northward, and "pur-

chased" of the Six Nations - for Virginia - all that territory

now occupied by Kentucky and West Virginia.*   This treaty

quite sounded the death knell of the companies then lobbying at

London for grants of land by the Crown. And, in proof, we

find that almost immediately Washington is taking up the matter

of the bounty claims with Governors Botetourt and Dunmore of

Virginia, instead of sending agents to London. True, this does

not explain the strength of the Walpole grant, for, as late as 1773,

we find Washington preparing to send Crawford "below the

Scioto" to survey the bounty lands. The Revolution put a final

end to all these companies, the soldiers having bounty claims,

only, realizing anything from all these years of planning and

intriguing.

Washington did not visit Crawford in 1767 as he proposed.

That the visit was delayed until 1770 probably may be taken as

additional proof of the change in his plans occasioned by the

collapse of his Mississippi bubble. But all this did not mitigate

against Washington, who personally profited by Crawford's ac-

tivity, as he seems to have been ready to take over all the land

for himself that Crawford had secured for Washington and "his

friends". This was not an excessive amount, and Crawford soon

*See the author's Boone's Wilderness Road (Historic Highways

VI) 20-23.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."              443

 

found it was more difficult to keep interlopers off the land than

to locate and "acquire" possession of it.*

At last, in the fall of 1770, Washington was ready to make

the long-postponed western tour. From what has gone before,

we can believe that his Mississippi Company had been forgotten;

that his specific interests now were (a) to see the tracts of land

Crawford had secured for him at Great Meadows, near Stewart's

Crossing (New Haven, Pa.), and on Chartier's Creek; (b) to look

over the best unoccupied tracts along the Ohio for personal pur-

chase; and (c) "make a beginning" in actually securing the

bounty lands for the soldiers of his Virginia Regiment. The

most light to be had on the situation at the time of his departure

is probably to be gained from his letter of April 15th to Governor

Botetourt which reads:

"Being fully persuaded of your Excellency's inclination to render

every just and reasonable service to the people you govern-and being

encouraged--to believe that your Lordship is desirous of being fully

informed how far the grant of land solicited by Mr. Walpole and others

will affect the interest of this country in general, or individuals in

particular, I shall take the liberty (as I am pretty intimately acquainted

with the situation of the frontier of this dominion) to inform your Lord-

ship, that the bounds of that grant, if obtained upon the extensive plan

proposed, will comprehend at least four-fifths of the land, for the purchase

and survey of which this government has lately voted two thousand five

hundred pounds sterling. It must, therefore, destroy the well grounded

hopes of those, (if no reservation is made in their favor,) who have had

the strongest assurances, that the government could give, of enjoying a

certain portion of the lands, which have cost this country so much blood

and treasure to secure. By the extracts, which your Excellency did me

the honor to enclose, I perceive, that the petitioners propose to begin

opposite to the mouth of the Scioto River, which is at least seventy or

seventy-five miles below the Great Kanawha, and more than three hun-

dred from Pittsburg, and to extend from thence in a southwardly

direction through the pass of the Ouasioto [Cumberland] Mountain,

which, by Evans's map, and the best accounts I have been able to get from

persons who have explored that country, will bring them near the latitude

of North Carolina. Thence they proceed northeastwardly to the Kanawha,

at the junction of New River and Green Briar, upon both of which waters

we have many settlers upon lands actually patented. From that point they

*For the interesting story of Washington's lands on Miller's Run,

and his quarrel and suit-at-law with his Scotch-Irish squatters see the

author's Washington and the West. 144-159.



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go up the Green Briar to the head of its northeasterly branch, thence

easterly to the Alleghany Mountains, thence along these mountains to

the line of Lord Fairfax, and thence with his line, and the lines of

Maryland and Pennsylvania, till the west boundary of the latter intersects

the Ohio, and finally down that river to the place of beginning. These,

my Lord, are the bounds of a grant prayed for, and which, if obtained, will

give a fatal blow, in my humble opinion, to the interests of this country.

But these are my sentiments as a member of the community at large. I

now beg leave to offer myself to your Excellency's notice, in a more

interested point of view, as an individual, and as a person, who considers

himself in some degree the representative of the officers and soldiers, who

claim a right to two hundred thousand acres of this very land, under a

solemn act of government, adopted at a period very important and critical

to his Majesty's affairs in this part of the world. I shall, therefore, rely

on your Lordship's accustomed goodness and candor, whilst I add a few

words in support of the equity of our pretensions, although, in truth, I

have very little to say on this subject now, which I have not heretofore

taken the liberty of observing to your Excellency. The first letter I ever

did myself the honor of writing to you, on the subject of this land, and

to which I beg leave to refer, contained a kind of historical account of

our claim; but as there requires nothing more to elucidate a right, than to

offer a candid exhibition of the case, supported by facts, I shall beg leave

to refer your Lordship to an order of Council, of the 18th of February,

1754, and to Governor Dinwiddie's proclamation, which issued in conse-

quence of that order, both of which are enclosed. I will next add, that

these troops not only enlisted agreeably to the proclamation, but behaved

so much to the satisfaction of the country, as to be honored with the

most public acknowledgments of it by the Assembly. Would it not be

hard, then, my Lord, to deprive men under these circumstances, or their

representatives, of the just reward of their toils? Was not this act of

the Governor and Council offered to the soldiers, and accepted by them,

as an absolute compact? And though the exigency of affairs, or the

policy of government, made it necessary to continue these lands in a

dormant state for some time, ought not their claim to be considered, in

preference to all others? When the causes cease, we fain would hope so.

We flatter ourselves, that it will also appear to your Lordship in this

point of view, and that, by your kind interposition, and favorable repre-

sentation of the case, his Majesty will be graciously pleased to confirm

this land to us, agreeably to a petition presented to your Excellency in

Council on the 15th of last December; with this difference only, that,

instead of Sandy Creek (one of the place allotted for the location of our

grant, and which we now certainly know will not be comprehended within

the ministerial line, as it is called). We may be allowed to lay a part of

our grant between the west boundary of Pennsylvania and the river Ohio,

which will be expressly agreeable to the words of Governor Dinwiddie's



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."         445

 

proclamation, inasmuch as it is contiguous to the Fork of the

Monongahela."

 

An interesting query arises sponstaneously in reading this

letter, taken in connection with certain others written about this

time, especially that to George Mason, April 5, 1769, as to

whether the long delay on the part of the British ministry to

requite the just claims of the officers and soldiers of the Virginia

Regiment did not exert a powerful influence on the heart of this

keen-eyed, just man in favor of the need of emancipation of the

Colonies from the mother-country. Is there not a double mean-

ing to his words (if one has in mind Washington's endless suc-

cession of appeals for justice in this cause), when he writes:

"At a time, when our lordly masters in Great Britain will be

satisfied with nothing less than the deprivation of American free-

dom, it seems highly necessary that something should be done to

avert the stroke, and maintain the liberty, which we have derived

from  our ancestors.  .  .  .  We have already, it is said,

proved the inefficacy of addresses to the throne, and remon-

strances to Parliament. How far, then, their attention to our

rights and privileges to be awakened or alarmed, by starving

their trade and manufactures, remains to be tried.

The more I consider a scheme of this sort, the more ardently I

wish success to it." In his own peculiar way this man, who was

to lead the Colonies in their great conflict, was now coming face

to face with the spirit of those "lordly masters in Great Britain"

-to a degree that was true of few other Americans. Never had

men a fairer, clearer title to ministerial consideration than these

Virginia bounty-land claimants, and for almost ten years now,

even with the commander of Fort Necessity and heroic aide to

Braddock as their patient, diplomatic spokesman, they had not

been able to get satisfaction--while prime favorites and satel-

lites close to the King's ear were able, seemingly, to secure vast

tracts of land. However the outcome, is it possible that this

vexatious experience of the unwillingness of the ministry to keep

a notoriously worthy promise of a colonial governor made no

firm impression on Washington's mind?

Such was the situation, then, in the summer of 1770. The



446 Ohio Arch

446        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

veterans of the Virginia Regiment were fully organized in the

attempt to secure their rights. On the 15th of December, 1769,

the petition, mentioned above, was presented to Governor

Botetourt, praying for definite action. What satisfaction, if any,

Washington had been able to secure before leaving Mount Ver-

non for the West, October 5th, we do not know. He probably

had no new assurance, either from London or Winchester.

In view of the fact, noted before, that the more formal

Journal of this tour was mutilated and is partly illegible, the

other briefer record has an added importance. It has not been

published heretofore and is accordingly included here.     Points

mentioned in the Ohio Valley can be identified by the foot-notes

in the formal Journal:

 

Octr. 1. Rid to my Mill and the Ditchers with Mr Warn Washing-

ton. -Colo Fairfax dined here--the Doctr (Rumney still here)--Mr

Carr came in ye Eveng-

2. At home all day-John Savage formerly a Lieut.t in the Virga

Service & one Wm Carnes came here to enter their claim to a share in ye

200,000 Acres of Land Mr Washington & Doctr Rumney here--

3. At home all day-- Mr Washington--Mr Carr- Savage &

Carnes went away after Breakfast - the Doctr still here

4. In the Afternoon Doctr Rumney went away & Doctr Craik

came. -

5. Set out in Company with Doctr Craik for the Settlement on

Redstone &c.a dind at Mr Bryan Fairfax's & lodged at Leesburg--

6. Bated at old Codeys - Dind and lodgd at my Brother Sam's -

7. Dind at Rinkers and lodged at Saml Pritchards. -

8. Vale Crawford joined us, & he and I went to Colo Cresaps leaving

the Doctr at Pritchards with my boy Billy who was taken sick

9. Went from Colo Cresaps to Rumney where in the Afternoon the

Doctr my Servant & Baggage arrivd

10. Bought two Horses & sent one of my Servants (Giles) home

with those I rid up-proceeded on our journey and lodged at one Wise

(now Turners) Mill-

11. Set out about 11 Oclock and arrived at one Gillams on George

Creek 101/2 Miles d from the North Branch & same diste from F C

12. Octr. - Started from Gillams between Sun rising & Day Break

and arrivd at the Great crossing of Yaugh.a about Sun set or before-

13. left this place early in the Morning and arrivd at Captn Craw-

fords (known by the name of Stewarts crossing) abt 1/2 after four

Oclock. -



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."                 447

 

14. at Captn Crawfords all day

15. Rid to see the Land he got for me & my Brother's

16. At Captn Crawfords till the Evening--then went to Mr John

Stephenson's

17. Arrivd at Fort--dining at one Widow Miers at Turtle Creek

18. Dined in the Fort at the Officers Club.

19. Dined at Colo Croghans abt 4 Miles from Pittsburg & Returnd

20. Set out for the Big Kanhawa with Dr Craik Captn Crawford &

others - Incampd abt 14 Miles off

21. Got abt 32 Miles further and Incampd abt 3 Miles below Little

Bever Ck

22. Reachd the Mingo Town abt 29 Miles by my Computation

23 Stayd at this place till one Clock in the Afternoon & padled abt

12 Miles down the River & Incamped

24. We reachd the Mouth of a Creek calld Fox Grape vine Creek

(10 Miles up which is a Town of Delawares calld Franks Town) abt 3

Oclock in the Afternoon - distant from our last Camp abt 26 Miles

25. Incampd in the long reach abt 30 Miles from our last lodge

according to my Computation

26. Incampd at the Mouth of a Creek about 4 Miles above the

Mouth of Muskingum distant abt 32 Miles

27. Incamped at the Mouth of great Hockhocking distant from

our last Incampment abt 32 Miles

28. Meeting with Kiashuta & other Indian Hunters we proceeded

only 10 Miles to day, & Incamped below the Mouth of a Ck on the West

the name of wch I know not

29 Went round what is calld the Great Bent & Campd two Miles

below it distant from our last Incampment abt 29 Miles

30. Incampd Early Just by the old Shawnee Town distant from our

last no more than 15 Miles

31. Went out a Hunting & met the Canoe at the Mouth of the big

Kanhawa distant only 5 Miles makg ye whole distance from Fort Pitt

accords to my Acct 266 Miles

[Nov.r] 1. Went up the Great Kanhawa abt 10 Miles with the

People that were with me-

2 Hunting the most part of the day the Canoe went up abtt 5 Miles

further

3 Returned down the River again and Incampd at the Mouth

4. Proceeded up the Ohio on our return to Fort Pitt Incampd abt

9 Miles below the rapid at the Grt Bent

5. Walk'd across a Neck of Land to the Rapid and Incampd

about     Miles above it

6 In about 5 Miles we came to Kiashutas Camp & there Halted

7 Reached the Mouth of Hockhocking- distant abt 20 Miles

8 Came within a Mile of the Mouth of Muskingum 27 Miles



448 Ohio Arch

448        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

9. Got to the 3 Islands in the 2d long reach about 17 Miles

10 Arrivd at the lower end of the long reach abt 12 Miles--not

setting of till 12 Oclock

11. Came about 18 Miles after hard working the greatest part of

the day

12. Only got about 5 Miles the Currt being very strong against us

Novr 13th Reachd the uppermost broken Timber Creek distant about

7 Miles-contending with a violent Currt the whole day-

14 Came to the Captening or Fox Grape Vine Creek distant about

10 Miles

15 Reachd Wheeling (on the West) where there had been an Indian

Town & where some of the Shawnes are going to settle in the Spring

distant from our last Incampment 12 Miles-

16 Got within 13 Miles of the lower cross Creeks-13 Miles

17 Reached the Mingo Town about 13 Miles more       --

18 At this place all day waiting for Horses which did not arrive

19 At the same place, & in the same Situation as yesterday

20 Our Horses arriving about One Oclock at 2 we set out for Fort

Pitt and got about 10 Miles

21 Reachd Fort Pitt in the Afternoon & lodgd at Samples

22 Invited the Officers of the Fort and other Gentlemen to dine

with me at Samples

23 Left Fort Pitt and reachd Mr John Stephensons

24 Got to Captn. Crawfords-the Rivr Yaughyaughgane being very

high.

25 Reachd Hoglands at the great crossing

Novr 26 Came to Killams on Georges Creek--

27 Got to the Old Town-to Colo Cresaps distant from Killams

about 25 Miles

28 Reached Jasper Rinkers about 38 Miles from Cresaps & 30 from

Cox's - not long ones

29 Came to my Brothers (distant about 25 Miles) to Dinner-

30 Reachd Charles Wests 35 Miles from my Brother's

 

Reaching home at the close of November,* it is probable

that the patient man went at once to work circulating the infor-

*As a specimen of Washington's tireless attention to details note

his further record, made on this western trip, of the weather. It is

entitled "Acct of the Weather-in October":

"Octr 1st Wind Southwardly and Warm with flying Clouds.-

2. Raining, Hailing, or Snowing the whole day-with the Wind

Northerly Cold & exceeding disagreeable-

3. Clear but cold-Wind being very high from the Northwest-

4. Clear and pleasant-Wind being fresh.-and very fresh.-



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."                449

 

mation he had secured first-hand from the land in question. But

it is clear that there was no measurable progress, and in June

of the next year we find the Governor of Virginia proposing to

5. Clear, Warm, & remarkably pleasant with very little or no Wind

6 Again clear pleasant and still

7 As pleasant as the two preceeding days

8  Pleasant forenoon-but the Wind Rising about Noon it clouded

& threatned hard for Rain-towards Night it raind a little & ceased but

contd Cloudy

9. Exceeding Cloudy & heavy in the forenoon & constant Rain

in the Afternoon

10 Cloudy with Rain & sunshine alternately

11 Wet Morning with flying Cloud afterwards-towards the

Evening the Wind sprung out at No West-

12. Rain in the Night with flying Cloud accompanied with a little

Rain nw and then all day -cold & Raw -

13 Clear and pleasant Wind tolerably fresh from the Westward

all day

14 Very pleasant but Wind fresh in the Afternoon.

15 Exceeding Cloudy & sometimes droppg. Rain but afterwds clear

16 Frosty Morning-but clear and pleasant afterwards

17 Exceeding warm & very pleasant till the Evening then lowering

18. Misty & Cloudy in the Evening the Forepart of the day being

very warm

19 Misty & cloudy all day

20 Misty-but the Evening clear tho somewhat Cool -

21. Cloudy & very raw & cold in the forenoon - about Mid-night it

began to Snow & contd to do so -more or less all the remaing part of

the Night & next day

22 Very raw & cold - Cloudy & sometimes Snowing. & some-

times Raining

23. Exceeding Cloudy & like for Snow--& sometimes really doing

so -

24 Clear & pleasant Morning but Cloudy & Cold afterwards

25. Rain in the Night but clear & warm till abt Noon -then Windy

& Cloudy

26. Clear and pleasant all day

27. A little Gloomy in the Morning but clear, still, & pleast after-

wards

28. Much such a day as the preceeding one

29th Pleasant forenoon & clear but Cloudy and Wet afternoon. -

30. Raining in the Night-Raw cold & cloudy forenoon but clear

& pleasant afternoon-

31 Remarkably clear & pleasant with but little wind   "

Vol. XVII-29.



450 Ohio Arch

450       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

postpone the matter further.* By the fall of 1771 appreciable

progress had been made, for Washington was able to write

George Mercer on November 7th, that while affairs were not in

"that forwardness, which I could wish, owing, I believe I may say,

to other causes as well as to a lukewarmness in those from whom

we seek redress", yet "the claims are now all given in, and the

*Washington's reply, dated 15 June 1771 reads: "The very obliging

offer your Lordship was pleased to make, the day I left Williamsburg, in

behalf of the officers and soldiers, who, under the faith of government,

lay claim to two hundred thousand acres of land, on the waters of the

Ohio, promised them by proclamation in 1754, I did not embrace, because

it is evident to me, who am in some degree acquainted with the situation

of that country, and the rapid progress now making in the settlement of it,

that delay at this time would amount to the loss of the land, inasmuch

as emigrants are daily and hourly settling on the choice spots, and waiting

a favorable opportunity to solicit legal titles, on the ground of pre-

occupancy, when the [land] office shall be opened. I therefore hoped,

and the officers and soldiers, who have suffered in the cause of their

country, still hope, that, although your Lordship was of opinion you

could not at that time vest them with an absolute and bona fide grant of

the land, yet that you will permit them to take such steps, at their own

expense and risk, as others do, to secure their lands agreeably to proclama-

tion, especially as their claim is prior to any other, and better founded,

they having a solemn act of government and the general voice of the

country in their favor. This is the light, my Lord, in which the matter

appeared to me, and in this light it is also considered by the officers with

whom I have lately had a meeting. The report gains ground, that a large

tract of country on the Ohio, including every foot of land to the west-

ward of the Alleghany Mountains is granted to a company of gentlemen

in England, to be formed into a separate government. If this report is

really well founded, there can be no doubt of your Lordship's having the

earliest and most authentic accounts of it, since it so essentially interferes

with the interests and expectations of this country. To request the favor

of your Lordship to inform me whether this report be true, and, if true,

whether any attention has been or probably will be paid to the order of

Council and proclamation of 1754, may be presumptuous; but, as the

officers and soldiers confide in me to transact this business for me, and as

it would be a real advantage to them to know the truth of this report, and

how largely it is likely to affect them, there needs no other apology for

my taking the liberty of addressing you this request, in the hope that

your Lordship will condescend to do me the honor of writing a line on the

subject by the next post to Alexandria, which will be acknowledged as a

peculiar obligation conferred on, my Lord, by your Lordship's most

obedient servant."



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."        451

 

Governor and Council have determined, that each officer shall

share according to the rank in which he entered the service, and

that the land shall be distributed in the following manner, namely,

to each field-officer fifteen thousand acres, to each captain nine

thousand, to each subaltern six thousand, to the cadets two thous-

and five hundred each, six hundred to a sergeant, five hundred

to a corporal, and four hundred to each private soldier." The

basis of Washington's expectation is undoubtedly explained in

the letter of December 6th to William Crawford, in which he

says: "I believe, from what I have lately heard, that there is

no doubt now of the charter [Virginia] government taking place

on the Ohio; but upon what terms, or how the lands will be

granted to the people, I have not been able to learn."

The Revolution temporarily put an end to all land specula-

tion in western lands. Washington was able to secure in all

about thirty thousand acres, which proved, according to his own

melancholy words, more a source of anxiety than profit.

 

THE JOURNAL OF 1770.

Octr 5th. Began a journey to the Ohio in Company with

Doctr Craik his Servant & two of mine with a lead Horse with

Baggage -Dind at Towlston and lodgd at Leesburg distant

from Mount Vernon abt 45 Miles -here my Portmanteau horse

faild in his Stomach--

6. Fed our Horses on the Top of the Ridge at one Cod-

ieys & arrivd at my Brother Sam"s on Worthingtons Marsh a

little after they had dind, the distance being about 30 Miles

from hence I dispatchd a Messenger to Col° Stephen ap-

prising him of my arrival and Intended journey-

7. My Portmanteau Horse being unable to proceed, I left

him at my Brothers, & got one of his & proceedd by Jolliffs &

Jasper Rinkers to Sam1 Pritchards on Cacapehon; distant ac-

cording to Acct 39 Miles; but by my Computation 42 thus

reckond 15 to Jolliffs, 14 to Rinkers; & 13 to Pritchards -At

Rinkers which appears to be a cleanly House my boy was taken

Sick but continued on to Pritchards-.Pritchards is also a

pretty good House, their being fine Pasturage. good fences, &

Beds tolerably clean-



452 Ohio Arch

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8. My Servant being unable to Travel, I left him at

Pritchards with Doctr Craik & proceedd my self with Vale

Crawford to Colo Cresaps in ordr to learn from him (being just

arrivd from England) the particulars of the Grant said to be

lately sold to Walpole & others, for a certain Tract of Country

on the Ohio- The distance from Pritchards to Cresaps ac-

cording to Computation is 26 Miles, thus reckond; to the Fort

at Henry Enoch's 8 Miles (road exceeds bad) 12 to Cox's at

the Mouth of little Cacapehon - and 6 afterwards

9. Went up to Rumney in order to buy Work Horses, &

meet Doctr Craik and my Baggage-arrivd there abt 12 dis-

tance 16 Miles.-in the Afternoon Doctr Craik and my Servt

(much amended) and the Baggage, arrivd from    Pritchards;

said to be 28 Miles

10. Having purchased two Horses, and recoverd another

which had been gone from me near 3 Years, I dispatched my

boy Giles with my two Riding Horses home & proceeded on

my journey; arriving at one Wises (now Turners) Mill about

22 Miles it being Reckond Seven to the place where Cox's

Fort formerly stood; 10 to one Parkers; & five Afterwards

the Road from the South Branch to Pattersons Ck is

Hilly--down the Ck on which is good Land, sloppy to Parkers

-& from Parkers to Turners Hilly again

1 1. The Morning being wet & heavy we did not set of

till 11 Oclock & arrivd that Night at one Killams on a branch

of George Ck, distant 10 1/2 Measured Miles from the North

Branch of Potomack where we crossd at the lower end of my

Decd Brother Augs Bottom, known by the name of Pender-

grasses -this Crossing is two Miles from the aforesaid Mill &

the Road bad as it likewise is to Killams, the Country being

very Hilly & Stony.-

From Killams to Fort Cumberland is the same distance that

it is to the Crossing above mentioned & the Road from thence

to Jolliffs by the old Town much better.

12. We left Killams early in the Morning-breakfasted

at the little Meadows 10 Miles of, and lodgd at the great Cross-

ings 20 Miles further, which we found a tolerable good days

work. -



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."        453

The Country we traveld over to day was very Mountainous

& Stony, with but very little good Land, & that lying in Spots-

13. Set out about Sunrise, breakfasted at the Great Mead-

ows 13 Miles of, & reachd Captn Crawfords about 5 Oclock-

The Lands we travelld over to day till we had crossd the

Laurel Hill (except in small spots) was very Mountainous &

indifferent-but when we came down the Hill to the Plantation

of Mr Thos Gist the Ld appeared charming; that which lay

level being as rich & black as any thing coud possibly be-the

more Hilly kind, tho of a different complexion must be good,

as well from the Crops it produces, as from the beautiful white

Oaks that grow thereon--tho white Oak in gener1 indicates

poor Land, yet this does not appear to be of that cold kind-

The Land from Gists to Crawfords is very broken tho not

Mountainous - in Spots exceeding Rich, & in general free from

Stone      Crawfords is very fine Land, lying on Yaughyaugh-

gane at a place commonly calld Stewarts Crossing-

Sunday 14th. At Captn Crawfords all day - Went to

see a Coal Mine not far from his house on the Banks of the

River--The Coal seemd to be of the very best kind, burning

freely & abundance of it-

Monday 15th. Went to view some Land which Captn

Crawford had taken up for me near the Yaughyaughgane dis-

tant about 12 Miles- this Tract which contains about 1600

Acres Includes some as fine Land as ever I saw - a great deal

of Rich Meadow - and in general is leveller than the Country

about it--this Tract is well Waterd, and has a valuable Mill

Seat (except that the Stream is rather too slight, and it is said

not constant more than 7 or 8 Months in the Year; but on Acct

of the Fall, & other conveniences, no place can exceed it)-

-In going to this Land I passed through two other Tracts

which Captn Crawford had taken up for my Brothers Saml.

and John      that belonging to the former was not so rich

as some I had seen; but very valuable on Acct of its levelness

and little Stone, the Soil & Timber being good-that of the

latter, had some Bottom Land up on sm1 runs that was very

good( tho narrow) the Hills very rich, but the Land in genl

broken-I intended to have visited the Land which Crawford



454 Ohio Arch

454      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

had procured for Lund Washington this day also, but time fall-

ing short I was obligd to Postpone it Making it in the Night

before I got back to Crawfords where I found Colo Stephen

The Lands which I passd over to day were generally Hilly,

and the growth chiefly White Oak, but very good notwithstand-

ing; & what is extraordinary, & contrary to the property of all

other Lands I ever saw before, the Hills are the richest Land;

the Soil upon the Sides and Summits of them, being as black as

a Coal, & the Growth Walnut, Cherry, Spice Bushes &ca the

flats are not so rich; & a good deal more mixd with Stone

Tuesday 16. At Captn Crawfords till the Evening, when

I went to Mr. John Stephenson (on my way to Pittsburg) &

lodgd-this day was visited by one Mr. Ennis who had traveld

down the little Kanhawa (almost) from the head to the Mouth,

on which he says the Lands are broken, the bottoms neither

very wide nor rich, but covd with Beach-at the Mouth the

Lands are good, & continue so up the River; & about Weeling

& Fishing Ck, is according to his Acct. a body of fine Land-

I also saw a Son of Captn John Hardens who said he had been

from the Mouth of little Kanhawa to the big, but his description

of the Lands seemed to be so vague and indeterminate, that it

was much doubted whether he ever was there or not-He says

however that at the Mouth of the Big Kanhawa there may be

abt 20 or 25,000 Acres of Land had in a Body that is good-

that you are not above five or 6 Miles to the Hills, & that the

Falls of the Kanhawa are not above 10 Miles up it-

Wednesday 17. Doctr Craik & myself with Captn Craw-

ford and others arrivd at Fort Pitt, distant from the Crossing

431/2 Meas'urd Miles-In Riding this distance we passd over a

great deal of exceeding fine Land (chiefly White Oak) espe-

cially from Sweigley Creek to Turtle Creek but the whole

broken; resembling (as I think as all the Lands in the Country

does) the Loudoun Lands for Hills.

We lodgd in what is calld the Town-distant abt 300 yards

from the Fort at one Mr. Semples who keeps a very good House

of Publick Entertainment-these Houses which are built of

Logs, & rangd into Streets are on the Monongahela, & I suppose

may be abt 20 in Number-and inhabited by Indian Traders &ca.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."         455

The Fort is built in the point between the Rivers Alligany

& Monongahela, but not so near the pitch of it as Fort Duquesne

stood-it is 5 Sided & Regular, two of which (next the Land)

are of Brick; the others Stockade-a Mote incompasses it.

The Garrison consists of two Companies of Royal Irish Com-

manded by one Captn Edmonson.

Thursday 18th Dind in the Fort with Colo Croghan &

the Officers of the Garrison-Supped there also, meeting with

great Civility from the Gentlemen, & engaged to dine with Colo

Croghan the next day at his Seat abt 4 Miles up the Alligany.

Friday 19th Recd a Message from Colo Croghan, that the

White Mingo & other Chiefs of the 6 Nations had something

to say to me, & desiring that I woud be at his House abt 11

(where they were to meet) I went up and receivd a Speech

with a String of Wampum from the White Mingo to the fol-

lowing effect

That as I was a Person who some of them remember to

have seen when I was sent on an Embassy to the French, and

most of them had heard of; they were come to bid me welcome

to this Country, and to desir that the People of Virginia would

consider them as friends & Brothers linked together in one

chain-that I wd inform the Governor, that it was their wish

to live in peace and harmy with the white People & that tho

their had been some unhappy differences between them and the

People upon our Frontiers, it was all made up, and they hopd

forgotten; and concluded with saying, that, their Brothers of

Virginia did not come among them and Trade as the Inhabi-

tants of the other Provences did, from whence they were affraid

that we did not look upon them with so friendly an Eye as they

coud wish

To this I answerd (after thanking them for their friendly

welcome) that all the Injuries & Affronts that had passed on

either side was now totally forgotten, and that I was sure noth-

ing was more wishd and desird by the People of Virginia than to

liv in the strictest friendship with them-that the Virginians

were a People not so much engagd in Trade as the Pennsyl-

vanians, &ca; WCh was the Reason of their not being so fre-



456 Ohio Arch

456       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

quently among them; but that it was possible they might for the

time to come have stricter connections with them, and that I

woud acquaint the Govr with their desires.

After dining at Colo Croghans we returnd to Pittsburg-

Colo Croghan with us, who intended to accompany us part of

the way down the River, having engagd an Indian calld the

Pheasant & one Joseph Nicholson an Interpreter to attend us the

whole Voyage.-also a young Indn Warrior

Saturday 20th. We Imbarkd in a large Canoe with suffi-

cient store of Provision & Necessaries, & the following Persons

(besides Doctr Craik & myself) to wit-Captn Crawford Josh

Nicholson Robt Bell-William Harrison-Chs Morgan & Danl

Reardon a boy of Captn Crawfords, & the Indians who were in

a Canoe by themselves.

From Fort Pitt we sent our Horses & boys back to Captn

Crawfords w' orders to meet us there again the 14th day of

November-

Colo Croghan, Lieutt Hamilton and one Mr Magee set out

with us -at two we dind at Mr Magees1, & Incampd 10 Miles

below, & 4 above the Logs Town2--we passd several large

Islands3 which appeared to be very good, as the bottoms also did

on each side of the River, alternately; the Hills on one side be-

ing opposite to the bottoms on the other which seem generally to

be abt 3 and 4 hundred yards wide, & so vice versa

Sunday 21. Left our Incampment abt 6 Oclock & break-

fasted at the Logs Town,4 where we parted with Colo Croghan

&Ca abt 9 Oclock - at 11 we came to the Mouth of Big Bever

Creek,5 opposite to which is a good Situation for a House &

above it on the same side (that is the West) there appears to be

a body of fine Land. -     About 5 Miles lower down on the

East side comes in Racoon Ck6 At the Mouth of which, & up

it, appears to be a body of good Land also--All the Land be-

McKees?

2Near Dead Man's Island.

3 Irvin's, Hog etc.

4Economy, Pa.

5Beaver River.

6 Same.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."          457

tween this Creek & the Monongahela & for 15 Miles back, is

claimed by Colo Croghan under a purchase from the Indians

(and which Sale he says, is confirmed by his Majesty)7---

On this Creek where the Branches thereof interlock with the

Waters of Shirtees Creek there is, according to Colo Croghans

Acct a body of fine Rich level Land     this Tract he wants

to sell, & offers it at 5 Sterg pr hundd with an exemption of

Quit rents for 20 years; after which, to be subject to the pay-

ment of 4/2 Sterg pr Hundd, provided he can sell it in 10,000

Acre Lots- Note the unsettled state of this Country renders

any purchase dangerous

From Racoon Creek to little Bever Creek appears to me

to be little short of 10 Miles,8 & about 3 Miles below this we

Incampd; after hiding a Barrel of Bisquet in an Island9 (in

Sight) to lighten our Canoe

Monday 22d -      As it began to Snow about Midnight,

& continued pretty steadily at it, it was about 1/2 after Seven

before we left our Incampment---       at the distance of about

8 Miles we came to the Mouth of Yellow Creek10 (to the West)

opposite to, or rather below which, appears to be a long bottom

of very good Land, and the Assent to the Hills apparently grad-

ual      there is another pretty large bottom of very good

Land about two or 3 Miles above this -     About 11 or 12

Miles from this, & just above what is calld the long Island11

(which tho so distinguished is not very remarkable for length

breadth or goodness) comes in on the East side the River, a

small Creek or Run12 the name of which I coud not learn; and a

Mile or two below the Island, on the West Side, comes in big

Stony Creek13 (not larger in appearance than the other) on

neither of which does there seem to be any large bottoms or

body's of good Land -     About 7 Miles from the last Men-

tioned Creek, 28 from our last Incampment, and about 75 from

7See A. B. Hulbert, Washington and the West, 146-7.

814 miles.

9Baker's Island?

10 Same.

11Brown's Island?

12 Crockton's Run.

Will's Creek?



458 Ohio Arch

458       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Pittsburg, we came to the Mingo Town14 Situate on the West

Side the River a little above the Cross Creeks

This place contains ab Twenty Cabbins, & 70 Inhabitants of

the Six Nations

Had we set of early, & kept pritty constantly at it, we might

have reachd lower than this place to day; as the Water in many

places run pretty swift, in general more so than yesterday.-

The River from Fort Pitt to the Logs Town has some ugly

Rifts & Shoals, which we found somewhat difficult to pass,

whether from our inexperience of the Channel, or not, I can-

not undertake to say--from the Logs Town to the Mouth of

little Bever Creek is much the same kind of Water; that is,

rapid in some places - gliding gently along in others, and quite

still in many - The water from little Bever Creek to the Mingo

Town, in general is swifter than we found it the preceeding day,

& without any Shallows; there being some one part or other

always deep, which is a natural consequence as the River in all

the distance from Fort Pitt to this Town has not widened

any at all. nor both the bottoms appear to be any larger

The Hills which come close to the River opposite to each

bottom are Steep; & on the side in view, in many places, Rocky

& cragged; but said to abound in good land on the Tops

These are not a range of Hills; but broken, & cut

in two as if there were frequent water courses running through

(which however we did not perceive to be the case, consequently

they must be small if any) -  The River along down abounds

in Wild Geese, and severl kinds of Ducks but in no great quan-

tity ---- We killd five wild Turkeys to day--

Upon our arrival at the Mingo Town we receivd the dis-

agreeable News of two Traders being killd at a Town calld the

Grape Vine Town, 38. Miles below this; which causd us to hesi-

tate whether we shoud proceed or not, & wait for further in-

telligence;

Tuesday 23 Several imperfect Accts coming in, agreeing

that only one Person was killd, & the Indians not supposing it

to be done by their People, we resolved to pursue our passage,

till we coud get some more distinct Acct of this Transaction-

14Two miles below Steubenville, O.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."         459

Accordingly abt 2 Oclock we set out with the two Indians which

was to accompany us, in our Canoe, and in about 4 Miles came

to the Mouth of a Creek calld Sculp Creek,15 on the East side;

at the Mouth of which is a bottom of very good Land, as I am

told there like wise is up it.

The Cross Creeks16 (as they are calld) are not large, that

on the West Side however is biggest -- At the Mingo Town

we found, and left, 60 odd Warriors of the Six Nations going to

the Cherokee Country to proceed to War against the Cuttawba's

About 10 Miles below the Town we came to two other

cross Creeks17 that on the West side largest, but not big; &

calld by Nicholson French Creek -  About 3 Miles or a little

better below this, at the lower point of some Islands which stand

contiguous to each otherl8 we were told by the Indians with us

that three Men 19 from Virginia (by Virginians they mean all

the People settled upon Red Stone &ca) had markd the Land

from hence all the way to Red stone-- that there was a body

of exceeding fine Land lying about this place and up opposite

to the Mingo Town-as also down to the Mouth of Fishing

Creek-at this place we Incampd

Wednesday 24th We left our Incampment before Sun

rise, and abt Six Miles below it, we came to the Mouth of a

pretty smart Creek comg in to the Eastward calld by the Indians

Split Island Creek, from its running in against an Island20-

On this Ck there is the appearance of good land a distance up it

---Six Miles below this again, we came to another Creek on

the West side, calld by Nicholson Weeling21-and abt a Mile

lower down appears to be another small Water22 coming in on

the East side; which I remark, because of the Scarcity of them;

& to shew how badly furnishd this Country is with Mill Seats-

15 Not identified.

16Indian and Virginian Cross Creeks.

17Indian Short Creek (West) Virginia Short Creek (East).

18 Pike Island?

19 The Zanes? They were at Wheeling in 1769, the year previous.

20Glenn's Run and Twin Islands?

21 Wheeling Creek.

22 Little Grave Creek.



460 Ohio Arch

460       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

two or three Miles below this again, is another Run on the West

Side23; up which is a near way by Land to the Mingo

Town24; and about 4 Miles lower comes in another on ye East

at which place is a path leading to the Settlement at Red Stone

Abt a Mile & half below this again, comes in the Pipe

Creek25 so calld by the Indians from a Stone which is found

here out of which they make Pipes-opposite to this (that is on

the East side), is a bottom of exceeding Rich Land; but as it

seems to lye low, I am apprehensive that it is subject to be

overflowd---      this Bottom ends where the effects of a hurri-

cane appears by the destruction & havock among the Trees-

Two or three Miles below the Pipe Creek is a pretty large

Creek on the West side called by Nicholson Fox Grape Vine

by others Captewa Creek on which, 8 Miles up it, is the Town

calld the Grape Vine Town; & at the Mouth of it, is the place

where it was said the Traders livd, & the one was killed----

to this place we came abt 3 Oclock in the Afternoon, & findg no

body there, we agreed to Camp; that Nicholson and one of the

Indians might go up to the Town, & enquire into the truth of

the report concerning the Murder26-

Thursday 25th About Seven Oclock      Nicholson &  the

Indian returnd; they found no body at the Town but two old

Indian Women (the Men being a Hunting) from these they

learnt that the Trader was not killd, but drownd in attempting

to Ford the Ohio; and that only one boy, belonging to the

Traders was in these parts; the Trader (fathr to him) being

gone for Horses to take home their Skins-

About half an hour after 7 we set out from our Incampment

around which, and up the Creek is a body of fine Land-In our

Passage down to this, we see innumerable quantities of Turkeys,

& many Deer watering, & browsing on the Shore side, some of

which we killd---      Neither yesterday nor the day before did

we pass any Rift or very rapid Water-the River gliding gently

along-nor did we perceive any alteration in the general face

23Big Grave Creek.

24 Early path from present Moundsville to Mingo Bottom.

25 Same?

26 Mouth of Captina Creek.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."        461

of the Country, except that the bottoms seemd to be getting a

little longer & wider, as the Bends of the River grew larger.

About 5 Miles from the Vine Creek comes in a very large

Creek to the Eastward calld by the Indians Cut Creek27, from

a Town, or Tribe of Indians which they say was cut of entirely

in a very bloody Battle between them and the Six Nations-this

Creek empties Just at the lower end of an Island,28 and is 70 or

80 yards wide-And I fancy is the Creek commonly calld by the

People of Red stone &ca Weeling---It extends according

to the Indians acct a great way, & Interlocks with the Branches

of Split Island Creek; abounding in very fine bottoms, and ex-

ceeding good Land       Just below this, on the West side,

comes in a sm1 Run29; & about 5 Miles below it on the West

side also another midling large Creek30 emptys, calld by the

Indians broken Timber Creek; so named from the Timber that

is destroyed on it by a Hurricane; on the head of this was a

Town of the Delawares, which is now left        two Miles

lower down, on the same side, is another Creek smaller than

the last & bearing (according to the Indians) the same name-

opposite to these two Creeks (on the East side) appears to be

a large bottom of good Land -   About 2 Miles below the last

mentioned Creek, on the East side, & at the end of ye bottom

aforementioned, comes in a sm1 Creek or large Run-

Seven Miles from this comes in Muddy Creek on the East Side

the River-a pretty large Creek and heads up against, & with

some of the Waters of Monongahela (according to the Indians

Acct) & contains some bottoms of very good Land; but in gen-

eral the Hills are steep, & Country broken about it-At the

Mouth of this Creek is the largest Flat I have seen upon the

River; the Bottom extending 2 or 3 Miles up the River above it,

& a Mile below; tho it does not seem to be of the Richest kind

-and yet is exceeding good upon the whole, if it be not too low

& Subject to Freshet

27 Fish Creek.

28 Wood Island.

29 ?

30 Fishing Creek.



462 Ohio Arch

462      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

About half way in the long reach3l we Incampd, opposite

to the beginning of a bottom on the East side of the River-

At this place we throug out some Lines at Night & found a Cat

fish of the size of our largest River Cats hookd to it in the

Morning, tho it was of the smallest kind here   We found

no Rifts in this days passage, but pretty swift Water in some

places, & still in others   We found the bottom increased

in size, both as to length & breadth & the River more Chokd up

with Fallen Trees, & the bottom of the River next the Shores

rather more Muddy but in general stony as it has been all the

way down

Friday 26th/ Left our Incampment at half an hour after

6 Oclock & passd a small run32 on the West side about 4 Miles

lower -At the lower end of the long reach & for some distance

up it, on the East side, is a large bottom, but low, & coverd

with beach next the River shore, which is no Indication of good

Land -      The long reach is a strait course of the River for

abt 18 or 20 Miles which appears the more extraordinary as the

Ohio in general, is remarkably crooked  -- there are several

Islands33 in this reach, some containing an 100 or more Acres

of Land; but all I apprehend liable to be overflowed.

At the end of this reach we found one Martin & Lindsay

two Traders; & from them learnt that the Person drownd was

one Philips attempting in Compa with Rogers another Indn

Trader, to Swim the River with their Horses at an improper

place; Rogers himself narrowly escaping-five Miles lower

down, comes in a large Creek from the Eastward,34 right against

an Island of good land, at least a Mile or two in length

at the Mouth of this Creek (the name of wch) coud not learn

except that it was calld by some Bulls Creek from one Bull that

hunted on it, is a bottom of good Land, tho rather too much

mixd with Beach         opposite to this Island the Indians

showd us a Buffalo Path, the Tracks of which we see

Five or Six Miles below the last mentioned Creek we came

31 Long Reach.

32 Opposite Wilson's Island.

33 Five Islands.

34 This creek cannot be identified.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."          463

 

to the three Island35 (before wch) we observd a small Run on

each side coming in     below these Islands is a large body of

flat land, with a water course running through it on the East

Side, and the Hills back, neither so high; nor steep in appear-

ance as they are up the River       On the other hand, the

bottoms do not appear so rich, tho much longer & wider-the

bottom last mentioned is upon a strait reach of the River, I sup-

pose 6 or 8 Miles in length; at the lower end of which, on the

East side comes in a pretty large Run36 from the size of the

Mouth -     About this, above-below-&    back, there seems

to be a very large Body of flat Land with some little risings

on it.

About 12 Miles below the three Islands we Incampd just

above the Mouth of a Creek37 which appears pretty large at the

Mouth and just above an Island38-All the Lands from a lit-

tle below the Creek which I have distinguished by the name of

Bull Creek, appears to be level, with some small Hillocks in-

termixd, as far as we coud see into the Country    We met

with no Rifts to day, but some pretty strong Water    upon

the whole tolerable gentle    the sides of the River was a

good deal incommoded with old Trees, wCh impeded our pass-

age a little.

This day provd clear & pleasant, the only day since the 18th

that it did not Rain or Snow-or threaten the one or other

very hard

Saturday 27/

Left our Incampment a Quarter before Seven,

and after passing the Creek near wch we lay & another much

the same size & on the same side (West) ;39 also an Island40 abt

2 Miles in length (but not wide) we came to the Mouth of

Muskingham,41 distant from our Incampment abt 4 Miles-

This River is abt 150 yards wide at the Mouth; a gentle currant

35 Three Brothers.

36 Bull Creek.

37 Little Muskingum.

38Not identified.

39 Duck Creek.

40 Kerr's Island.

Muskingum River.



464 Ohio Arch

464      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

& clear stream runs out of it; & is navigable a great way into

the Country for Canoes

From Muskingham to the little Kanhawa is about 13 Miles

-this is about as wide at the Mouth as the Muskingham, but

the water much deeper- it runs up towards the Inhabitants of

Monongahela, and according to the Indians Acct Forks about

40 or 50 Miles up it, and the Ridge between the two Prongs

leads directly to the Settlement -                            to this Fork, & above,

the Water is navigable for Canoes -                        On the upper side of

this River there appears to be a bottom of exceeding rich Land

and the Country from hence quite up to the 3 Islands level &

in appearance fine-the River (Ohio) running round it in the

nature of a horse shoe, forms a Neck of flat Land wch added to

that rung up the 2d long reach (aforementioned) cannot con-

tain less than 50,000 Acres in view

About 6 or 7 Miles below the Mouth of the Canhawa we

came to a small Creek on the West Side, which the Indns calld

little Hockhocking;42 but before we did this, we passed another

sm1 Creek on the same side near the Mouth of the River & a

cluster of Islands43 afterwards   the lands for two or three

Miles below the Mouth of the Canhawa on both sides the Ohio,

appear broken & indifferent; but opposite to the little hockhock-

ing there is a bottom of exceeding good Land, through wch

there runs a small water course. I suppose there may be of

this bottom & flat Land together, two or three thousand Acres

- the lower end of this bottom is opposite to a small Island wch

I dare say little of it is to be seen when the River is high44

About 8 Miles below little Hockhocking we Incampd opposite

to the Mouth of the great Hockhocking, which tho so calld is

not a large Water; tho the Indians say Canoes can go up it 40

or 50 Miles

Since we left the little Kanhawa the Lands neither appear

so level nor good -the Bends of the River & Bottoms are

longer indeed but not so rich, as in the upper part of the River-

Little Hockhocking. It is noticeable that Washington does not

mention "Blennerhassetts Island."

43 Below Blennerhassett's Island.

44 As today.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."         465

 

Sunday 28th/

Left our Incampment about 7 Oclock-two

Miles below, a sm1 run45 comes in on the East side, thro a piece

of Land that has a very good appearance, the Bottom beginning

above our Incampment, & continuing in appearance wide for 4

Miles down, to a place where there comes in a smal Run46 & to

the Hills  -     and to where we found Kiashuta and his Hunt-

ing Party Incampd. -

Here we were under a necessity of paying our Compli-

ments, As this person was one of the Six Nation Chiefs, & the

head of them upon this River  -   In the Person of Kiashuta

I found an old acquaintance--He being one of the Indians,

that went with me to the French in 1753 -He expressd a sat-

isfaction in seeing me and treated us with great kindness; giv-

ing us a Quarter of very fine Buffalo      He insisted upon

our spending that Night with him, and in order to retard us as

little as possible movd his Camp down the River about 6 Miles

just below the Mouth of a Creek47 the name of which I coud

not learn (it not being large) at this place we all Incampd-

After much Councelling the overnight they all came to my fire

the next Morning, with great formality; when Kiashuta rehears-

ing what had passd between me & the Sachems at Colo Croghan's

thankd me for saying that Peace & friendship was the wish of

the People of Virginia (with them) & for recommending it to

the Traders to deal with them upon a fair & equitable footing;

and then again expressd their desire of having a Trade opend

with Virginia, & that the Governor thereof might not only be

made acquainted therewith, but of their friendly disposition to-

wards the white People -       this I promisd to do-

Monday 29th/

The tedious ceremony which the Indians

observe in their Counselling's & speeches, detaind us till 9

Oclock -    Opposite to the Creek just below wch we Incampd,

is a pretty long bottom, & I believe tolerable wide; but abt 8 or

9 Miles below the aforemend Creek, & just below a pavement of

45 Lee's Creek.

46 Pond Creek.

47Shade River?

Vol. XVII-30.



466 Ohio Arch

466       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Rocks48 on the West side, comes in a Creek49 with fallen Tim-

ber at the Mouth, on which the Indians say there is wide bot-

tom's, & good Land. --       the River bottom's above for

some distance is very good, & continue for near half a Mile

below the Creek                    the pavement of Rocks50 are only to be

seen at low Water--               abt a Mile, or a little better below the

Mouth of the creek there is another pavement of Rocks51 on the

East side in a kind of Sedgey Ground     On this Creek many

Buffaloes use according to the Indians Acct---    Six Miles

below this comes in a small Creek52 on ye west side at the end

of a small naked Island, and just above another pavement of

Rocks-this creek comes thro a Bottom of fine Land, & oppo-

site to it (on the East side the River) appears to be a large bot-

tom of very fine Land also -   at this place begins what they

call the great Bent     5 Miles below this again, on the East

side comes in (abt 200 y'ds above a little stream or Gut) another

Creek53; which is just below an Island,54 on the upper point of

which are some dead standing trees, & a parcel of white bodied

Sycamores-In the Mouth of this Creek lyes a Sycamore blown

down by the Wind-from hence an East line may be run 3 or 4

Miles; thence a North Line till it strikes the River, which I ap-

prehend would Include about 3 or 4000 Acres of exceeding valu-

able Land-at the Mouth of this Ck which is 3 or 4 Miles above

two Islands55 (at the lower end of the last is a Rapid, & the

Point of the Bend) is the Warriors Path to the Cherokee

Country-for two miles & an half below this the River Runs

a No Et Course & finishes what they call the Great Bent-two

Miles & an half below this again we Incampd-

Tuesday 30th/

We set out at 50 Minutes passed Seven-the

 

48See Cramer's Navigator (1811), 93 for mention of these rocks.

49Buffalo Creek?

50See 48.

51 See 48.

52 Oldtown Creek.

53 Big Mill Creek?

54 George's Island?

55Letarts Falls, Islands 44 and 45.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."          467

 

Weather being Windy & Cloudy (after a Night of Rain)-

In about 2 Miles we came to the head of a bottom (in the shape

of a horse Shoe) which I judge to be about 6 Miles rd; the

beginning of the bottom appeard to be very good Land, but the

lower part (from the Growth) did not seem so friendly-

An East course from the lower end woud strike the River again

above, about the Beging of the bottom

The upper part of the bottom we Incampd in was an ex-

ceeding good one, but the lower part rather thin Land & coverd

with Beach       in it is some clear Meadow Land and a Pond

or Lake       this bottom begins just below the Rapid at the

point of the Great Bent, from whence a N NWt Course woud

answer to run a parrallel to the next turn of the River

The River from this place narrows very considerably & for

5 or 6 Miles or more is scarcely more than 150 or 200 yards

over56 -   The Water yesterday, except the Rapid at the

Great Bent, & some swift places about the Islands was quite

Dead, & as easily passed one way as the other; the Land in

general appeared level & good     About 10 Miles below our

Incampment & a little lower down than the bottom described

to lye in the shape of a horse Shoe comes in a small Creek on

the West side, and opposite to this on the East begins a body of

flat Land which the Indians tells us runs quite across the Fork

to the Falls in the Kanhawa,57 and must at least be 3 days walk

across-if so the Flat Land containd therein must be very con-

siderable.-   A Mile or two below this we Landed, and after

getting a little distance from the River we came (without any

rising) to a pretty lively kind of Land grown up with Hicky &

Oaks of different kinds, intermixd with Walnut &ca here &

there      We also found many shallow Ponds, the sides of

which abounding in grass, invited innumerable quantities of

wild fowl among which I saw a Couple of Birds in size between

a Swan & Goose; & in colour some what between the two; being

darker than the young Swan and of a more sutty Colour-the

56 The Ohio begins to narrow as far up as Big Sandy Creek and

Amberson's Island.

57 Above Charleston, W. Va. about seventy-five miles up the river.



468 Ohio Arch

468      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

cry of these was as unusual as the Bird itself, as I never heard

any noise resembling it before-Abt 5 Miles below this we In-

campd in a bottom of Good Land which holds tolerably flat

& rich for some distance out-

Wednesday 31st

I sent the Canoe along down to the Junc-

tion of the two Rivers abt 5 Miles that is the Kanhawa wth the

Ohio-and set out upon a hunting Party to view the Land

We steerd nearly East for about 8 or 9 Miles then bore South-

wardly, & Westwardly, till we came to our Camp at the con-

fluence of the Rivers58--- the Land from the Rivers appeard

but indifferent, & very broken; whether these ridges might not

be those that divide the Waters of the Ohio from the Kanhawa

is not certain, but I believe they are - if so the Lands may

yet be good-if not, that Which lyes of the River bottoms is

good for little

November 1st

A Little before eight Oclock we set of with our Canoe up

the River, to discover what kind of Lands lay upon the Kan-

hawa -     The Land on both sides this River just at the

Mouth is very fine; but on the East side, when you get towards

the Hills (which I judge to be about 6 or 700 yards from the

River) it appears to be wet, & better adapted for Meadow than

tillage    this bottom continues up the East side for about 2

Miles, & by going up the Ohio a good Tract might be got of

bottom Land Including the old Shawna59 Town, which is about

3 Miles up the Ohio just above ye Mouth of a Ck --   where

the aforementioned bottom ends on the East side the Kanhawa

which extends up it at least 50 Miles by ye Indn Act and of

great width ( to be ascertained as we come down) in many

places very rich; in others somewhat wet & pondy; fit for

Meadow; but upon the whole exceeding valuable, as the Land

after you get out of the Rich bottom is very good for Grain

tho not rich. -  We judgd we went up this River about 10

58 Point Pleasant, W. Va.

59The Shawanese occupied the portion of Ohio lying opposite the

Ohio River here.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."         469

 

Miles to day -    On the East side appear to be some good

bottoms but small-neither long nor wide, & the Hills back of

them rather steep & poor-

Novr 2d/

We proceeded up the River with the Canoe about

4 Miles more, & then incampd & went a Hunting; killd 5 Buf-

faloes & wounded some others--three deer &ca--         this

Country abounds in Buffalo & Wild game of all kinds; as also

in all kinds of wild fowl, ther being in the Bottoms a great many

small grassy Ponds or Lakes which are full of Swans, Geese,

& Ducks of different kinds. -

Some of our People went up the River 4 or 5 Miles higher

& found the same kind of bottom on the West side, & we were

told by the Indians that it continued to the Falls which they

judgd to be 50 or 60 Miles higher up --   this Bottom next

the Water (in most places) is very rich-as you approach to

the Hills you come (in many) to a thin white Oak Land, &

poor -     the Hills as far as we coud judge were from half

a Mile to a Mile from the River; poor & steep in the parts we

see; with Pine growing on them - whether they are generally

so, or not, we cannot tell but I fear they are

Saturday 3d/ We set of down the River on our return

homewards, and Incampd at the Mouth; at the Beginning of the

Bottom above the junction of the Rivers, and at the Mouth of a

branch on the East side,60 I markd two Maples, an Elm, & Hoop

wood Tree as A Cornr of the Soldiers Ld (if we can get it) in-

tending to take all the bottom from hence to the Rapids in the

Great Bent into one Survey -    I also Markd at the Mouth

of another Gut lower down on the West side (at the lower end

of the long bottom) an Ash and hoopwood for the Beginning of

another of the Soldiers Survey to extend up so as to Include

all the Bottom (in a body) on the West Side

In coming from our last Incampment up the Kanhawa I

endeavourd to take the courses & distances of the River by a

Pocket Compass, & guessing (which I make thus.--    (N by

W. 2 Mile-       N NW   1 1/2 DO N W   1/2 Do to ye Mouth

of a pretty smart Creek to the Eastward -NoW. 2 Do to an-

60 See 73.



470 Ohio Arch

470       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

other Creek of the same size on the same side --  West 1/2

a Mile               W                   NW         1/2 a Mile-NWt/ DO W     NW 2 Do W by

N 2 Do -           NW                    1 1/2 Do W  NW  1/2 Do to the Mouth

Sunday 4/

The Ohio from the Mouth of the Kanhawa runs

thus - North 2 Miles -     1 1/4 -to the Mouth of a Creek old

Shawna Town NbW                   1 1/2 Miles - N Et 1 Do -    N E by Et

1 1/2 N NEt 4 Do -                    E NE 3/4 of a Mile to ye Mouth of a

Ck61 on the West side, & to the Hills, wCh the Indians say is al-

ways a fire to which the Bottom from the Mouth of the Kanhawa

continues & then ends       after passing these Hills (which

may run on the River near a Mile) there appears to be another

pretty good Bottom on the East side--      At this place we

met a Canoe going to the Illinoies with Sheep--and at this

place also, that is at the end of the Bottom from the Kanhawa,

just as we came to the Hills, we met with a Sycamore abt 60

yards from the River of a most extraordinary size it measur-

ing (3 feet from the gd) 45 feet round, lacking two Inches &

not 50 yards from it was another 31.4 round (3 feet from the

Gd also)

The 2d Bottom hinted at the other side (that is the one

lying above the Bottom that reaches from the Kanhawa) is

that taken notice of the 30th Ulto to lye in the shape of a Horse

Shoe, & must from its situation, & quantity of level Ground be

very valuable, if the Land is but tolerably good. -

After passing this bottom & abt a Mile of Hills we enterd

into the 3d Bottom and Incampd - This bottom reaches within

about half a Mile of the Rapid at the point of the Great Bent. -

Monday 5th/

I set of the Canoe with our Baggage & Walkd a

cross the Neck62 on foot with Captn Crawford distance accord-

ing to our Walking about 8 Miles as we kept a strait course un-

der the Foot of the Hills which ran about So Et & was two hours

& an half walking of it

This is a good Neck of Land the Soil being generally good;

& in places very rich -their is a large proportion of Meadow

61Campaign Creek?

62The Big Bent."



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."           471

 

Ground, and the Land as high, dry & Level as one coud wish-

the growth in most places is beach intermixd with Walnut &ca

but more especially with Poplar (of which there are numbers

very large) --    the Land towards the upper end is black

Oak, & very good -upon the whole a valuable Tract might be

had here, & I judge the quantity to be about 4000 Acres

After passing this Bottom & the Rapid, as also some Hills

wch jut pretty close to the River, we came to that Bottom before

remarkd the 29th Ulto; which being well describd, there needs

no further remark except that the Bottom within view appears

to be exceeding rich; but as I was not out upon it, I cannot tell

how it is back from the River  -     a little above this Bottom,

we Incampd -the Afternoon being Rainy & night wet-

Tuesday 6th

We left our Incampment a little after day

light, & in about 5 Miles we came to Kiashute Hunting Camp

which was now removd to the Mouth of that Creek noted Octo

29 for having fallen Timber at the Mouth of it, in a bottom of

good land -     between the Bottom last describd, & this bot-

tom, there is nothing but Hills on the East side; except a little

flat of a 100 Acres or so, between -this Bottom thro which the

Creek comes may be about 4 or 5 Miles in length & tolerably

wide.  -      grown up pretty much with Beach tho the Soil is

good

By the kindness, and Idle ceremony of the Indians, I was

detained at Kiashutas Camp all the remaing part of this day;

and having a good deal of conversation with him on the Subject

of Land, He informd me that, it was further from the Mouth of

the Great Kanhawa to the Fall of that River than it was between

the two Kanhawas -that the Bottom on the West side (which

begins near the Mouth of the Kanhawa) continues all the way

to the Falls without the Interposition of Hills, and widens as it

goes, especially from a pretty large Creek that comes in abt 10

or 15 Miles higher up than where we were ---    that in the

Fork there is a body of good Land--      and at some pretty

considera[ble] distance above this, the River forks again at an

Island, & there begin the Reed or Cain to grow - that the Bot-

toms on the East side of the River are also very good, but



472 Ohio Arch

472       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

broken with Hills, and that the River is easily passd with Canoes

to the Falls wch cannot be less than 100 Mil but further it is not

possible to go with them and that there is but one ridge fr thence

to the Settlements upon the [New] River above, that it is pos-

sible for a Man to travel; the Country betw[een] being so much

broken with steep Hills & precipices

Unfortunately, the picture is now marred because of some

kind of an accident which happened to the original manuscript;

very likely it fell into the muddy flood-tide which its author

described, and as a result the portions of the record from No-

vember 6th to November 17th are missing in every reprint ex-

tant.

The foot-note in Sparks's Writings of Washington relative

to the hiatus reads: "For the succeeding ten days, the manu-

script journal has been so much injured by accident that it is

impossible to transcribe it. The route, however, continued up

the Ohio River, which was very much swollen by the rains."68

The facts of the case are that the margin of the pages con-

taining the entries for the dates mentioned are slightly mutilated.

The meaning of the writer is quite evident in most instances.

The record runs:

 

He further informd (which

seemd to be corroborated by all [of those]

with whom I conversd) that the [land]

Back of the short broken Hills th [in and level]

but down upon the Rivers are

uneven, & not rich, except the [land]

upon Creeks, till you come toward

heads of the Creeks; then the La

grows leveller, and the Soil rich

Wednesday 7th/ We set out

1/2 an hour after Seven and a

ing the Bottom through which

Creek with the Fallen Timber at

the Mouth Runs-& which I believe

is calld Buffalo Creek, we came to a

63Id. 11, 529.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."         473

 

range of Hills for a Mile or more in

length upon the River (East side) then

comes in the Bottom opposite to wch

the Creek below wch we lodgd at

with the Indians the 28th Ulto, empties

-  this also appears to be a bottom

f 4 or 5 Miles in length, and tolera[ble]

le good from the River-    when we

[p]ass this Bottom the Hills (rather

[T]aller & flatter than usual) comes

[clo]se to the River (East side for 4 or

miles) then begins another Bottom

above, or opposite to a small

[isla]nd; but before we came to this

mile or two, we passd a good smart

on the East side-this Bottom

opposite to Great Hockhocking

above which, & opposite to Dela[ware]

Hunting Party, we Incampd

[Wedn]sday 8th/

We left our Incamp

as soon as we coud clearly dis

ish the Rocks; and after pas

Bottom which neither ap

to be long, wide nor very

came to a Second Bottom

 

noticd the 27th Ulto opposite to a

Creek on the West side calld by the

Indians little hockhocking, but may

easily be distinguished by having a larg

Stone64 just at its Mouth (the upper side

this bottom is about 7 in length

and appears to be very wide, and go

and must be very valuable if it

not liable to be overflowd, some pa

of it appearing low     the lower

64 Still standing today.



474 Ohio Arch

474       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

part of this bottom (as was obser

the 27th Ulto) is opposite to a smal

barren Island with only a few bu[shes]

on it -    the upper part of it begi[ning]

at much such another place a

side (and part of a pretty long [isl]

and65 at a drain or small run tha[t]

comes out of the Hills---this is

in a Mile or two of the Mouth

Kanawha, & the next Bottom

except a little narrow slipe

at the foot of the Hills below the

At the Mouth of the Kan[awha]

Captn Crawford, one of the In[dians]

and myself, left the Canoe, in[ten]-

ding to meet it again at the [mouth]

of the Muskingum about 13 M

above, but the Indian by

brought us to the River

 

Miles below it -    In this

excursion we passd over various kinds

of Land some tolerable good white

oak Ground level, & meadowey-some

ery Hilly, & broken with stone; and

ome black Oak, thinly timbered but

good for Farming -      And others abt

Mile before we came to the River

which was at a place where there

[wa]s no bottom)66 exceeding good, full

el enough & well timbered with

& black Oak; but in all the Gd

passd over to day, & I suppose

coud not have walkd less than

miles there was no Water-this

part of the Land where I thought

65 Blennerhassett's Island?

66A mile below Williamstown, W. Va.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio 475

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio           475

Octr 2767 30,000 Acres might [be had]

; but it does not answer my

[expe]ctations: how ever by falling [down]

the River too low, I apprehend

the worst of it; as we were [on]

the Ridges that divide the Wa[ters]

[of] Ohio from the Kenhawa; &

up, towards the 3 Islands, has

appearance

[Ju]st below the Mouth of Mus[kingum]

Incampd.68

 

Friday 9th

The Nigh prooving very

Rainy & Morning wet we did

set out till 1/2 after 10 Oclock, &

Incampd by the 3 Islands---  69

Seeing a Bear upon the shore

we landed, and followed it about

half a Mile from the River w[hich]

gave us an opportunity of s[eeing]

a little of the Land, which was

hilly but rich

Saturday 10th

After a Nig[ht]

of incessant Thunder & Light-

ning, attended with heavy

stant Rain till 11 Oclock t

day, we set of about Twelve

(the Rain then ceasing) and [proceeded]

to the lower end of the long [reach]

distant about 12 miles--   [every]

little stream, imperceptable [to]

the view in our passage do

now pouring in her Mite,

 

67 p. ___

68 Opposite the suburbs of Marietta, O.

69 See 35.



476 Ohio Arch

476      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

River raising very fast

grown so muddy as to ren[der]

Water irksome to drink

 

[Su]nday 11th

The last Night proved

Night of incessant Rain attended

ith thunder and lightning -  the

[ri]ver by this Morning had raised abt

feet perpendicular and was

falling fast    The Rain seeming

abate a little and the wind spring[ing]

up in our favour we were

[te]mpted to set of; but were deceived [by]

both; for the Wind soon ceasd, &

Rain continued without inter[mis-]

sion till about 4 Oclock, when

moderated       However tho we

[did] not sit of till Eleven we got

head of the long reach abt

[mi]les the River continuing to

fast, & much choakd with

Wood

[Mon]nday 12th/

There fell a little

[rain] in the Night tho nothing to [speak]

of - abt Sun rise we left our

[encam]pment to encounter a very [swift]

[st]ream which by this time had [risen]

2 [ ?] feet perpendicular & running [with]

grea]t velocity     After contending

whole day we were

not able to get more than about [5]

Miles-The Water still rising, a[nd]

the Currt if possible running w[ith]

more violence, we came to a res[olu]

tion of ordering our Horses (which



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."         477

 

by appointment were to be at [Pitts]70

burg the 14th Inst.) to meet us a

Mingo Town - accordingly

Tuesday 13th/

We dispatch

young Indian express to Val[entine]

Crawford who had the charge of

them to proceed on

that place, where we purp[osed]

if possible to get the Canoe

being about 50 Miles below

In pursuance of this resolu[tion]

we Imbarkd again, and with [diffi]

culty got about 5 Miles furth

to the Mouth of the Upp[er] m

broken timber Creek       In[stead of falling]

of[f] last night the River raisd

perpendicular, and in the n[ight]

with what it rose in the day [it]

must be now 4 or 5 & twenty feet [above]

its usual height, & not a grreat [way]

below its banks -     in low pl[aces over]

them

 

this day about 3 In the After

[noo]n we met two Battoes & a large

[ca]noe going (at a very fast rate) to

Illinois with Provisions for the

[ga]rrison at Fort Chartres

Wednesday 14th/

The River began [to

[be] at a stand between Sunset & dark

t night, & continud for some

rs so; falling only 2 feet by Sun

[rise] --   about an hour by Sun we [left]

our Incampment and reachd a

 

70 p.



478 Ohio Arch

478       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

above the Captenings86 (or Fox grape

Creek) about 11 Miles; not finding

water quite so strong as yesterday,

[trav]eling with a little assistant from [the]

wind      About 2 or 3 Miles below

[Capte]ning I got out (on the West side)

[wa]kd through a Neck of as good [land]

as ever I saw, between that &

[?]k; the Land on the Hill sides

as rich as the bottoms; than

nothing can exceed-     the bottom  [at]

the Mouth of Captening appears

[of] equal goodness with the one below

[Thu]rsday 15th/

The Canoe set of [f] at

[su]n rise, as I did to view that

opposite to the Mouth

of Pipe Cree ---In p[a]ssing

Neck I foun[d] the lower par

not very ri[ch] [u]po[n] the Ri

ver towards the Hills, with

well Timberd; and not

only in places-the mid

back of the Rich bottom is

black & white Oak Land [good for

[far]ming, or any purpose w

& intermixd with Meadow

---   the upper end is as rich

quite to the Hills (which a

as I ever saw, but subject

to freshes----of this Bottom,

Timbered Land adjoining, I

may be 12 or 1500 Acres got

in this manner-Beginn[ing]

the Hills juts down to the

1/2 a Mile above Pipe Creek

West) & a Mile or more

71 See 26.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."         479

 

of another Ck on the East,

Bottom above the Capten[ing]

East side the River, & ju[st where the]

destruction of Timber oc[curred by a]

Hurricane of Wind--      from

this bottom there is a run

abt a Mile       then comes in

mentiond (which I coud g

on which & up the River

there appears to be a

 

rich at

e is a run [?]

-the bottom

is pretty long but narrow[?]

Creek (on the West side (calld

Nicholson the 24th Ulto

the River having fallen at

16th

Directing the Canoe

& me at the Mouth of the

by the Indians split Island

which I have since found

s one distinguished by the

of Redstone &ca by the

eling; I set out with Capt

n foot, to take a view

a little distance from the

doing this we ascended Hills

to be almost impassable,

the River with stone &

Timber-back of these

[fou]und is very uneven, &ca

[sma]ll spots, not very good;

ly well Timberd - as far

see into the Country the

his kind  -     Coming on

[s]plit Island Creek) some



480 Ohio Arch

480       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

on the Mouth, we had

nity of observing from

which are very high

Saturday 17th. By this Morning the River had fallen (in

the whole) 2 or 3 & twenty feet, & was still lowering -- Abt

8 Oclock we set out, & passing the lower cross Creeks we came

to a pretty long, & tolerable wide & good bottom on the East

side the River; then comes in the Hills, just above which, is

Buffalo Creek (a Creek I neither see nor remarkd in going down)

upon which, and above it, between yt & the cross Creeks near the

Mingo Town (distant 3 or 4 Miles) is a Bottom of exceeding

fine Land, but not very large, unless it extends up the Creek

About 3 Oclock we came to the Town without seeing our

Horses the Indian (which was sent express for them) having

passd through only the morning before (being detaind by the

Creeks which were too high to ford; without going high up

them) -     here we resolvd to wait there arrival which was ex-

pected to morrow & here then will end our water Voyage along

a River the general course of which from Bever Creek to the

Kanhawa is about S Wt (as near as I coud determine); but in

its winding thro a narrow Vale, extreamely serpentine; forming

on both sides the River alternately, Necks of very good (some

exceeding fine) Bottoms; lying for the most part in the shape of

a half Moon, & of various sizes - there is very little difference in

the gen1 width of the River from Fort Pitt to the Kanhawa; but

in the depth I believe the odds is considerably in favour of the

lower parts; as we found no shallows below the Mingo Town,

except in one or two places where the River was broad; & there,

I do not know but there might have been a deep Channel in some

part of it  -     every here and there are Islands, some larger, &

some smaller, which operating in the nature of Locks, or steps,

occasion pretty still water above but for the most part strong

& rapid water along side of them--however there is none of

these so swift but that a Vessel may be Rowed or set up with

Poles -   When the River is in its Natural State, large canoes

that will carry 5 or 6000 weight & more, may be workd against

stream by 4 hands 20 & 25 Miles a day; & down, a good deal



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio" 481

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio"         481

 

more--   The Indians who are very dexterous (even there wo-

men) in the management of Canoes have there Hunting Camp's

& Cabins all along the River for the convenience of transporting

their Skins by water to Market    In the Fall, so soon as the

Hunting Season comes on, they set out with their Familys for

this purpose; & In Hunting will move there Camps from place

to place till by the Spring they get 2 or 300 or more Miles from

there Town's; Then Bever catch it in there way up which fre-

quently brings them into the Month of May, when the Women-

are employd in Plantg -    the Men at Market & in Idleness,

till the Fall again; when they pursue the same course again -----

during the Summer Months they live a poor & perishing life

The Indians who live upon the Ohio (the upper parts of it

at least) are composed of Shawnas, Delawares, & some of the

Mingos, who getting but little part of the consideration that was

given for the Lands Eastward of the Ohio, view the settlement of

the People upon this River with an uneasy & jealous Eye; & do

not scruple to say that they must be compensated for their Right

if the People settle thereon, notwithstanding the Cession of the

Six Nations thereto      On the other hand, the People from

Virginia & elsewhere, are exploring and Marking all the Lands

that are valuable not only on Redstone & other Waters of Monon-

gehela but along down the Ohio as low as the little Kanhawa;

& by next Summer I suppose will get to the great Kanhawa, at

least; how difficult it may be to contend with these People after-

wards is easy to be judgd of from every days experience of

Lands actually settled, supposing these to be made; than which

nothing is more probable if the Indians permit them, from the

disposition of the People at present.   A few Settlements

in the midst of some of the large Bottoms, woud render it im-

practicable to get any large qty of Land Together; as the Hills

all the way down the River (as low as I went) come pretty

close and are steep & broken incapable of settlements tho some

of them are rich and only fit to support the Bottoms with Timber

and Wood

The Land back of the Bottoms, as far as I have been able

to judge, either from my own observations or from information,

is nearly the same, that is exceeding uneven & Hilly; & I do

Vol. XVII-31



482 Ohio Arch

482       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

presume that there is no body's of Flat rich Land to be found

one gets far enough from the River to head the little runs &

drains that comes through the Hills; & to the Sources (or near

it) of the Creeks & there Branches -    this it seems is the

case of the Lands upon Monongahela and Yaugha & I fancy

holds good upon this River till you get into the Flat Lands (or

near them) below the Falls

The Bottom Land differs a good deal in quality  -    that

highest up the River in general is richest; tho the Bottoms are

neither so wide or long, as those below -   Walnut, H[ickory]

Cherry, & some other Woods that grow snarly, & neither Tall

nor large, but coverd with Grape Vines (with the Fruit of

which this Country at this Instant abounds) are the growth of

the richest Bottoms, but on the other hand these Bottoms appear

to me to be the lowest and most subject to Floods. Sugar Tree

and Ash, mixd with Walnut &ca compose the growth of the next

richest low grounds - and Beach Poplar Oaks &ca the last--

the Soil of this is also good but inferior to either of the other

kinds & beach Bottoms are excepted against on acct of the dif-

ficulty of clearing them there Root's spreading over a large sur-

face of ground & being hard to kill.

Sunday, 18th. Agreed with two Delaware Indians to carry

up our Canoe to Fort Pitt for the doing of which I was to pay

6 Dollars & give them a Quart Tinn Can

Monday 19th   The Delawares set of with the Canoe-and

our Horses not arriving, the day appeard exceeding long &

tedious. Upon conversing with Nicholson, I found he had been

two or three times to Fort Chartres at the Illinois, and got from

him the following Acct of the Lands between this & that; &

upon the Shawna River;72 on which he had been a Hunting.

The Lands down the Ohio grow more and more level as

you approach the Falls and about 150 Miles below them, the

Country appears quite Flat, & exceeding rich, -    On the

Shawna River (which comes into the Ohio 400 Miles below the

Falls & about 1100 from Pittsburg) up which he had hunted

300 & more Miles the Lands are exceeding Level, rich, & fine,

but a good deal intermixed with Cain or Reed, which might

72 Cumberland River.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."            483

 

render them difficult to clear; that game of all kinds was to be

found here in the greatest abundance, especially Buffalo

That from Fort Chartres to Pittsburg by Land, is computed 800

Miles; & in travelling thro the Country from that place he found

the soil very rich-     the Ground exceeding level to OPost73

(a French Settlement & from Opost to the Lower Shawna Town

on Scioto equally flat      that he passd through large Planes

30 miles in length without a Tree except little Islands of Wood

that in these Planes thousands & 10,000 of Buffalo may be

seen feeding -      That the distance from   Fort Chartres to

Opost is about 240 Miles & the Country not very well waterd-

from Opost to the lower Shawna Town about 300 more abound-

ing in good Springs & Rivulets       that the remainder of the

way to Fort Pitt is Hilly; and the Hills larger as you approach

the Fort tho the Ld in general is also good.

At Fort Pitt I got the distances from place to place down the

Ohio as taken by one Mr Hutchins & which are as follows--

wh some corrections of mine

From Fort Pitt to                                                                                    Miles

Logs Town                                                                                                                              W                            181/2

Big Bever Creek                                                                                                                     W                                       291/4

Racoon Creek                           GW                                                              E                      34

Little Bever Creek                                                                                                                 W                                       44

Yellow Creek                                                                                                                          W                                       52

Big Stony Creek                        GW                                                            W                                                     66

Mingo Town                                                                                                                           W                                       73

Cross Creeks                                                                                                                                                           74

Buffalo Creek or Sculp Ck                                                                          GW       E       78

Second Cross Creeks                                                                                   GW                                                 84

Weeling or Split Island Ck                                                                       GW                 E                             94

Sculp Creek                                                                                                    GW                 W                                       100

Path to Redstone                                                                                          GW                 E                             108

Pipe Creek                                                                                                      GW                 W                                       110

Captening                                                                                                       GW                 W                            113

Cut Creek                                                                                                        GW                 E                             118

Broken Timber Creek                                                                                   GW                 W                            123

2d Broken Timber Ck                                                                                  GW                 W                            125

Muddy Creek                                                                                                GW                 E                             134

Beging of ye long reach                                                                                                                                       137

End of Ditto                                                                                                                                                            155

73 Vincennes, Ind.



484 Ohio Arch

484         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

Miles.

Ball Creek                                   GW        E                                                                           160

A Pretty large Ck on ye West                                                                                                                          178

Muskingham                                                                                                                            W                                      182

Little Kanhawa                                                                                                                       E                           195

Little Hockhocking                                                                                                              W                                      202

Hockhocking                                                                                                                          W                                      210

Creek with fallen Timber

at the Mouth                                      E         230

A smal Creek on the West

& beging of ye Great Bent                        W          236

Another sml Ck on the East

just above a Gut                                  E         241

Rapid at the point of ye

Great Bent                                                                                                                                                245

Big Kanhawa                                            E                                                                           272

The distance by Hutchings is                                                                                                                          2661/4

Big Guyendot                                                                                                                         E                           308

Big Sandy Creek                                                                                                                    E                           321

Scioto River                                                                                                                            W                                      366

Big Buffalo Lick-A Mile

Eastward of the River                            W          390

Large Island divided by

a gravelly Creek                                                                                                                                     4101/2

Little Mineamie River River                                                                                              W                                      4921/4

Licking Creek                                                                                                                        E                           5001/4

Great Mineamie River                                                                                                          W                                      5271/2

Where the Elephants

Bones were found                                                                                                    E                           5601/4

Kentucke River                                                                                                                      E                           6041/2

The Falls                                                                                                                                                                682

To where the low Country begins                                                                                                                 8373/4

Beging of the 5 Islands                                                                                                                                     8751/4

Large River on the

East side                                                   9021/4

Verry large Islands in the

middle of the River                                                                                                                               9601/4

Ouabache River                                                                                                                                                  9991/2

Big Rock, & Cave on the

West side                                                                                                                                                10421/4

Shawano River74                                                                                                                                                 1094

Cherokee River75                                                                                                                                                 1107

74 The Cumberland River.

75 Tennessee River.



Washington's " Tour to the Ohio

Washington's " Tour to the Ohio."                 485

 

Miles.

Fort Massiac                                                                                          11183/4

Mouth of Ohio                                                                                             1164

in all                       1164

 

The Distances from     Fort Pitt to the Mouth of the Great

Kanhawa as set down agreeable to my own Computation, but

from thence to the Mouth of River Ohio are strictly according to

Hutchingss Acct which Acct I take to be erroneous inasmuch as

it appears that the Miles in the upper parts of the River are

very long, & those towards the Canhawa short, which I attribute

to his setting off in a falling fresh & running slower as they pro-

ceeded on.76

The letters E and W signifie wch side of the River the re-

spective Waters come in on, that is, whether on the East or West

Side.

Novr 20th. About One Oclock our Horses arrivd, having

been prevented getting to Fort Pitt by the freshes      -      at Two

we set out & got about 10 Miles. The Indians travelling along

with us.

Tuesday 21st    Reach'd Fort Pitt in the Afternoon, distant

from our last Incampment about 25 Miles & as near as I can

guess 35 from    the Mingo Town-

The Land between the Mingo Town & Pittsburg is of dif-

ferent kinds for 4 or 5 Miles after leaving the first mentiond

76It will be interesting to compare this table of distances with a

later table; the one we chose is from The Western Pilot of 1829:

Big   Beaver      Creek....................................                               281/2

R accoon   C r. ........................................                                    32

Little   Beaver  Cr .............. ................. .....                                  43

W heeling  ............................................                                       92

C aptina            C r.                                                                       .............. ...........................        1121/2

B ull     C r.       .............................................                               165

M uskingum             ............... ..........................                                                                         174

Great   Kanawha    ......................................                                 2611/2

Big       Guyandot                                                                          ..... .. ............... ...............          300

Scioto  ............................................ 3501/2

Great   M iami  ............. ...........................                                   477 1/2

Cumberland       ............... ..........................                                  900

M outh             of  the                                                                  Ohio ..................................       959



486 Ohio Arch

486       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

place we passd over Steep Hilly ground, hurt with stone; cov-

erd with White Oak; & a thin shallow Soil. This was suc-

ceeded by a lively White Oak Land, less broken; & this again by

rich Land the growth of which was chiefly white & red Oak,

mixd; which lasted with some Intervals of indifferent ridges all

the way to Pittsburg.

It was very observable that as we left the River, the Land

grew better, which is a confirmation of the Accts I had before

received, that the good Bodies of Land lay upon the heads of

the Runs & Creeks but in all my Travels through this Country,

I have seen no large body of Level Land. On the Branches of

Racoon Creek there appears to be good Meadow Ground and on

Shirtees Creek76 (over both which we passed) the Land Looks

well. The Country between the Mingo Town and Fort Pitt

appears to be well supplied with Springs.

Tuesday 22.

Stayd at Pittsburg all day  -   Invited the

Officers & some other Gentlemen to dinner with me at Samples -

among which was one Doctr Connelly (nephew to Colo Croghan)

a very sensible Intelligent Man who had travelled over a good

deal of this Western Country both by Land & Water & confirms

Nicholsons Acct of the good Land on the Shawana River up

which he had been near 400 Miles

This Country (I mean on the Shawana River) according to

Doctr Connellys Acct must be exceeding desirable on many Accts

-      the Climate is exceeding fine  -    the Soil remarkably

good.      the Lands well waterd with good streams & full level

enough for any kind of Cultivation--     Besides these Ad-

vantages from Nature, it has others not less Important to a new

settlement particularly Game which is so plenty as not only to

render the transportation of Provisions there (bread only ex-

cepted) altogether unnecessary but to enrich the Adventurers

with the Peltry for which there is a constant & good Market.77

Doctr Connelly is so much delighted with the Lands, &

Climate on this River; that he seems to wish for nothing more

76 Chartiers Creek, Pa.

77For Dr. Connelly's operations in Kentucky see Filson Club Pub-

lications No. 7, 31 seq., and No. 8, 26 seq.



Washington's "Tour to the Ohio

Washington's "Tour to the Ohio."          487

than to induce 100 families to go there to live that he might be

among them.       A New & most desirable Government might

be establishd here to be bounded (according to his Acct) by

the Ohio Northward & Westward    -     The Ridge that divides

the Waters of the Tenesee or Cherokee River Southward &

Westward & a Line to be Run from the Falls of Ohio, or above

so as to cross the Shawana River above the Fork of it.

Doctor Connelly gives much the same Acct of the Land

between Fort Chartres in the Illinois Country, and Post St. Vin-

cent (OPost) that Nicholson does, except in the Article of Water,

wch the Doctr says is bad & in the Summer Scarce, there being

little else than stagnant Water to be met with.

Friday 23d

After settling with the Indians & People

that attended me down the River & defray the sundry Expences

accruing at Pittsburg, I set of on my return home and after

dining at the Widow Miers' on Turtle Creek reachd Mr John

Stephenson) two or three hours in the Night)

Saturday 24th.

When we came to Stewards Crossing at

Crawfords, the River was too high to Ford and his Canoe gone

a Drift -     however after waiting there 2 or three hours a

Canoe was got in which we passd and Swam our Horses.--

the remainder of this day I spent at Captn Crawfords it either

Raining or Snowing hard all day.

Sunday 25th. I set out early in order to see Lund Wash-

ington's Land, but the Ground & Trees being coverd with Snow,

I was able to form but an indistinct opinion of it  -   tho upon

the whole it appeard to be a good Tract of Land and as Level as

common indeed more so        from this I went to Thos Gists

and Dind, & then proceeded on to the Great crossing at Hoglands

where I arrivd about Eight Oclock-

Munday 26th Reachd Killams on George's Creek where we

met several Families going over the Mountains to live

some witht having any places provided.

The Snow upon the Alligany Mountains was near knee deep.

Tuesday 27th. We got to Colo Cresaps at the Old Town



488 Ohio Arch

488       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

after calling at Fort Cumberland & breakfasting with one Mr

Innis at the New store opposite. --  25 Miles.

Wednesday 28th. The Old Town Gut was so high as to

Wet us in crossing it, and when we came to Cox' the River was

Impassable; we were obligd therefore to cross in a Canoe & swim

our Horses -     At Henry Enochs at the Forks of Cacapehon

we dind, & lodgd at Rinkers the distances thus Computed-

from the Old Town to Coxs 8 Miles      from thence to Caca-

pehron 12 -     and 18 afterwards in all 38 Miles -    the

last 18 I do not think long ones.

Thursday 29th. Set out early & reachd my Brothers by one

Oclock (about 22 or 3 Miles).--     Doctr Craik having busi-

ness by Winchester went that way to meet at Snickers to morrow

by 10 Oclock

Friday 30th. According to Appointment the Doctr and I

met & after Breakfasting at Snickers proceeded on to Wests

where we arrivd at or about Sun set.

December

Saturday 1st. Reachd home being absent from it Nine

weeks and one day.