Ohio History Journal

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VOL. XVIII. No. 3.                                 JULY, 1909.




For many years it had been the ardent desire of the Editor to trav-

erse the country of the Monongahela and the Youghiogheny, where the

youthful Washington began his diplomatic career, entered his military

life, received his baptism of fire, won his spurs in battle, met his first

defeat and succumbed to his only surrender; experiences that taught him

his preparatory lessons in the science of statesmanship and the art of

warfare. A few days snatched from the busy mid-summer just passing,

gave the Editor his longed-for opportunity.

It is but a two hours' whirl on the railway from Pittsburg, the old-

time Fort Duquesne, up the course of the Youghiogheny to Connelsville,

the route, if one so chooses, carrying the traveler through West Newton,

the location selected by the original Ohio Company for the building and

launching of the galley "Adventure," the Ohio Mayflower. From Con-

nelsville the traveler speeds on southwestward to Uniontown, passing

the while, a station called "Gist's," the site of the one-time home of the

famous Indian trader, guide, pioneer diplomat, Ohio Company's agent,

Christopher Gist, often the companion and always the friend of Wash-

ington. In this commonplace journey one realizes that one is in the

land of historic memories, but the country, now thickly crowded with

busy villages and noisy towns, all united and interwoven by a net-work

of steel threads for steam and electric railways, does not remind one

of the descriptions of the Indian inhabited river banks and mountain

sides, thicket fringed and forest covered. At Uniontown, however, one

does to some extent, bid farewell to the disillusion wrought by modern

civilization. The Editor and his companion, in comfortable carriage,

were driven at once into the wildness and beauty of the valleys and hills

of the Laurel range, which finds its southwestern termination in Fayette

county. The route followed was the National highway, the modern, im-

proved, edition de luxe, of the old Washington road, extending from

Will's Creek (Cumberland, Md.) to Brownsville, present site of the

ancient Redstone store house of the Ohio Company on the Monongahela.

Washington's road, now mostly in its course paralleled by the Na-

tional Road, was originally, in this section, the path hewn through

the forest and thicket by the Delaware Indian, Nemacolin. It was over

this route that Washington passed with Gist and servitors in the winter

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