Ohio History Journal





Professor in Wittenberg College.

The contest for the lands west of the Ohio river be-

gan centuries ago. It was a goodly land in the eyes of

the savages as well as those of the white man. A short

survey of the Indian occupation will help us to under-

stand the fierce contest between the French and English

for domination in this region. There is a conflict of

opinion as to conditions in that territory from about 1650

to 1740. A great war of many years' duration between

the Iroquois and the Algonquin tribes arose about the

middle of the seventeenth century. The war was fierce

and devastating and resulted in a complete victory for

the Iroquois. It was impossible for many years there-

after for any tribe to make a home within what is now

Ohio. This region became as much a debatable ground

as was the region of Kentucky in the days of Daniel

Boone and his brave companions.

Other writers who seem well informed on the pre-

vailing conditions of the west during the period men-

tioned do not admit the lack of Indian settlement in this

territory but speak of French traders visiting there for

the purpose of traffic. It is quite probable that for some

little time the Indians who had been living here were

driven out, but when the smoke of battle had cleared

away, and the enemy were far distant they soon re-

turned to their former possessions, and hunted over

their land as in the days before the war.

The Miami tribes were the real masters of this

region. They were perhaps in the zenith of their power

about the middle of the eighteenth century. They held

the country from the Scioto to the Wabash and had

numerous towns in this wide and fertile district. Its


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fine meadows, noble forests, many rivers and abundant

game met every want of these occupants. Perhaps no

region in our whole country has been so hotly contended

for by the natives both formerly and latterly as was this.

The many wars and forays between 1755 and 1795, dur-

ing which period thousands of whites lost their lives and

thousands more were carried into captivity, were con-

sequences of the purpose of the savages to hold the Ohio

territory at any cost. No more thrilling, yet harrowing

narrative was ever written than Wither's Chronicles of

Border Warfare, which show the persistence of the

whites to encroach on the Indian lands and the deter-

mination of the Indians to maintain their rightful hold.

In the first half of the eighteenth century various

other tribes of Indians were crowding into this territory.

The Wyandots, the Shawnees, Mingoes, Delawares and

others found it a goodly land for their future abode.

They had been disturbed in their own native place either

by white men or by some of their own forest people

whose ill will they had provoked by their insolence or

by rivalry in trade.

The Indians were somewhat divided in their sym-

pathies. The Iroquois during most of their history

favored the English while the Algonquins or Hurons, in

which great family the Miamis were included, for a long

period bestowed their friendship upon the French. For

some time the English had endeavored to win by gifts

the Miamis to their support but were unable to ac-

complish their purpose. Near the beginning of the 18th

century the Miami tribes divided in their allegiance be-

tween the French and English. By 1715 the English

had won their way for a short time to the friendship of

some of them and were permitted to carry on trade with

them.  However, few   English traders invaded the

region beyond the Ohio, the traffic was mostly consum-

mated at some point in western Pennsylvania or at Fort

Harris or Logstown, or Lancaster. This continued

until 1744 at which time the Miamis entered into a

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covenant with the French to drive out all English trad-

ers from the Miami country. But the French were not

favorably received by all the tribes. An Indian chief

Nicholas by name, a Huron, formed a conspiracy to

overthrow the French, but a premature murder revealed

the plot and thwarted its purpose. But the struggle for

the Indian trade did not slumber; it was continuous.

Many tribes inclined to favor the English because they

gave better bargains than the French. But the French

were better diplomats than the English; their free and

easy life won and carried away the hearts and affections

of the Indians. The French seemed to want nothing but

the pelts that the Savages could collect; they left them

in full possession of their forest with its complement of

game, while the English wanted lands for their own use,

leaving nothing for the Indians but a despoiled country.

In 1748 a treaty was made at Lancaster, Pennsyl-

vania, between the Iroquois and the western Indians, the

purpose of which was to open trade with the English.

At the same time a treaty was made with the Miamis

which offered many advantages to the colonies of Penn-

sylvania and Virginia. Trade with the west was re-

garded as of so much importance that in 1749 the Gov-

ernors of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia cleared

a path from the forks of the Ohio to the country of the

Miamis west of the Scioto. From the forks it was ex-

tended eastward to Wills Creek, and a good horsepath to

Harris Station, now Harrisburg. Thence wagon roads

led to Lancaster and Philadelphia.

While the English were making great strides toward

securing Indian trade the French became equally busy

to control the same and to secure a permanent hold upon

this vast extent of unexcelled land. It was at this time

that they planted the five leaden plates along the Ohio

river, on which they pronounced the surrounding coun-

try as a part of their possession. But their efforts to se-

cure the favor of the Western Indians at this time did

not meet with success.

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Continued interchanges of gifts and visits were car-

ried on between the English and Indians. Every effort

was made to perpetuate the friendship so auspiciously

started. At the request of the Miami tribe the Governor

of Virginia agreed to put in better condition the road

recently made for the benefit of trade. Many presents

were sent to the Miamis by the hands of Croghan and

Montour, on account of which permission was given

them to erect a trading post at the mouth of Loramie's

Creek, located about two and a half miles above the

present site of Piqua, O. Men of wealth, character and

influence of Philadelphia became interested in the enter-

prise and invested their capital in this profitable under-

taking. The Proprietors of Pennsylvania wished to be-

come partners in the business but were refused on the

ground that it should be for native Americans alone, or

those who had cast in their lot absolutely with that peo-


The trading post erected there was known as Picka-

willany, or Picktown. Its location was on a plateau

overlooking the somewhat narrow valley of the Great

Miami River. There was an enclosure of an acre or

more, made of palisades, the lines of which it is said can

still be seen when the ground is freshly plowed. The

time of its erection was 1751. No sooner had the French

heard of its erection and occupancy by the English than

its overthrow was planned. A force was secured at

Detroit consisting of French and Indians and after a

long and weary march thru forests and over swamps and

bogs it came suddenly upon the town, whose inhabitants

were entirely ignorant of the approach of a hostile force.

Until 1751 no formal exploration of what is now the

state of Ohio had been made by the English. For

nearly a hundred years previous to this, English trad-

ers had now and then wandered into this country, but

most of their bargains had been made with the Indians

at some town in the Eastern part of Pennsylvania. The

French had much closer relations with the dwellers of

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the forest and consequently secured most of their traffic

in furs for which they gave little of value in return. But

the English awakening to the wonderful possibility of

trade with the men of the forest hastened to take ad-

vantage of the opportunity.

When Gist and Walker made their explorations in

what is now Ohio and Kentucky there was not a house

erected nor a field cultivated for the protection and sup-

port of the white man in all that region. Immense for-

ests covered the land, inhabited by rude and fierce

savages. Perhaps LaSalle was the first white man who

visited this region and saw its vastness and its possibili-

ties as he floated slowly down the Ohio in 1679, behold-

ing the unbroken line of endless forests on either side

of the river. Truly then nature reigned in all its beauty

and strength, being in marked contrast with the civilized

desolation that has followed in the footsteps of the white


While the French had visited the wilds of the west

as far as the Mississippi by 1755, the English had spent

most of their energies east of the Mountains. They did

not seem anxious about the great regions beyond the

natural boundary line. Save only to a few traders who

had wandered for gain in the untraveled regions, the

western country was an unknown problem. When sud-

denly they came to realize that the French were about

to hem them in they became alert and took steps to gain

full possession of what they believed to be their own.

Land companies were formed whose purpose was to se-

cure large tracts along the Ohio and pave the way for

emigration from the older settlements. It was easy to

secure patents for such companies on the most favorable

terms. Eight hundred thousand acres were arranged

for in what is now Kentucky, and in 1750 Dr. Thomas

Walker was sent out by the company receiving the

patent to locate the land. His journal, written at the

time of his visit, was not published until 1888. This was

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Early Journeys to Ohio.        59

the first attempt to secure some accurate knowledge of


The next attempt was made to learn the true condi-

tions of the lands west of the Ohio and of the Indians

who occupied the region. This part of the west had long

been a source for much imagination as to the quality of

the land and the number of Indians who lived there.

Incursions by Indians from these domains had been

made from time to time into the settlements of Pennsyl-

vania and the valley of Virginia, and on account of their

frequency and their success much fear was entertained

on account of them. Because of the amount of furs also

brought by them to the various trading posts in Pennsyl-

vania, it was thought well to cultivate their friendship

and break their alliance with the French.

In 1749 George II granted to the First Ohio Com-

pany a tract of land containing five hundred thousand

acres, said land to be located in what is now West Vir-

ginia. Franklin, who was in England when the new

company applied for a patent, added his influence in se-

curing favorable action from the king. This company

had other projects in view. They wished to secure lands

more level and promising than those found on the east

and south of the Ohio river, but their idea of the char-

acter of the land north and west of the Ohio was only a

matter of conjecture. To get proper information con-

cerning it the company selected Christopher Gist of

North Carolina to explore these lands. The company

was composed of a number of gentlemen prominent in

political life and of approved business ability. Among

them were Thomas Lee, President of the Council of Vir-

ginia, Lawrence and August Washington, Thomas

Cresap, Robert Dinwiddie, Governor of Virginia, and

fourteen others. In preparation for Gist's journey a

store was opened at Wills Creek, now Cumberland,

Maryland, and Thomas Cresap was instructed to open

a road to the Monongahela River. The agreement with

Gist was that he should have one hundred and fifty

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pounds for his services and such additional compensa-

tion as the value of his labors might warrant.

On the 17th day of September, 1750, a special com-

mittee issued a bill of instructions to Mr. Gist. He was

to go westward beyond the great mountains in order to

discover the lands along the Ohio, as far as the Falls of

the Ohio, note its rivers and the character of the soil

as to its quality and productiveness. They further say:

"You are to observe what nations of Indians inhabit

there, their strength and numbers, whom they trade with

and in what commodities they deal. When you find a

large quantity of good level land such as you think will

suit the company you are to measure the length and

breadth of it."  The instructions repeat the phrase,

"good and level land," as though this was a chief reason

for the great and perilous journey of Gist.

On Wednesday, October 13, 1750, Gist started on his

westward trip from Wills Creek. His advance was slow

for he did not reach Shannopin's town until Nov. 21st.

A few days later he reached Logstown, eighteen miles

below Shannopins town, the latter being located at the

forks of the Ohio. While at Shannopins town Gist says

he adjusted his compass privately because the Indians

were suspicious of a man with a compass. To them it

was evidence that the owner of the instrument was pre-

paring to take away their lands. As the English were

greedy for land the Indians watched every movement

that seemed to indicate such a purpose. For this reason

the Indians loved the French much more than the Eng-

lish, for the former made no effort to take away their

lands for their own use. A few days later Gist entered

what is now Ohio, taking a southwesterly course

through the country which he pronounces very good.

He passed by small Indian towns. Deer were plentiful,

so that the company consisting of eleven persons suf-

fered no inconvenience for the lack of food.

On the 14th of December Gist and his party reached

a town on the Muskingum occupied by the Wyandots.

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As he approached this town he saw the English colors

flying from the king's house. He soon discovered that

George Croghan had a trading post there. The French

having risen against all English traders, Croghan had

sent word to all Englishmen scattered about to come to

the Wyandot town as a place of protection. Gist tar-

ried here a number of days. News is brought of the

capture of some English traders but it has no terror for

Gist. He conferred with the Indians present and made

regulations with them concerning trade. On the 25th

day of December he says in his journal: "This being

Christmas day, I intended to read prayers, but after in-

viting some of the white men they informed each other

of my intentions and being of several different per-

suasions and few of them being inclined to hear any good

they refused to come." However, one Thomas Birney,

a blacksmith, made a canvass and induced some whites

to attend, also a number of Indians were finally present.

When Gist saw the apparently interested auditors about

him, he said: "I have no design or intention to give

offence to any particular sect or religion, but as our king

indulges us all in a liberty of conscience and hinders

none of you in the exercise of your religious worship,

so it would be unjust in you to stop the propagation of

this. The doctrine of salvation, faith and good works

is what I only propose to treat of." He then read from

the homolies of the Church of England which Montour

interpreted for the Indians who seemed much gratified

for the message. So far as I know this was the first

religious meeting conducted by a Protestant in Ohio.

It preceded the religious work of the Moravians many

years. The most interesting part about it is, that a lay-

man intent on a great business mission, far away from

home, amid the most untoward conditions and surround-

ings, should remember what Christmas meant to the

world and was willing to witness for his Lord and his

Church. It showed some good training on the part of

this man. The Indians thanked him for his words and

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invited him to live with them, baptize their children

and perform marriage ceremonies after the Christian


In striking contrast to this seeming interest in re-

ligion on the part of the savages, on the next day a white

woman prisoner who after a long period of captivity

had attempted to escape was brought back and then

taken out of town and let loose; as she again attempted

to run away, persons appointed overtook her and cruelly

took away her life. Yet Gist and the other whites

present were powerless to give her any aid.

After distributing presents, attended with some cere-

mony to make the gifts more impressive, Gist took leave

of the town on the 15th day of January, 1751, accom-

panied by Croghan, Montour and several others. His

route lay southwest from the Muskingum town, passing

near the present site of Newark and by some salt springs

near Licking Creek. Thence his course was by the

present city of Lancaster. Near the present site of

Circleville, he came to a small town inhabited by Dela-

ware Indians. Gist was highly pleased with the beauty

of the Scioto Plains. He observed a fine, rich level land,

with large meadows and spacious plains covered with

wild rye. He noted the large walnut, hickory, poplar,

cherry, and sugar trees. Outside the valley of Virginia

he had not seen such land.

Owing to the high stage of the water in the Scioto,

Gist was unable to cross and so continued his journey on

the east side. He passed more salt springs which In-

dians and traders visited to manufacture salt from the

brackish waters. He passed a number of small towns of

Delaware Indians. At one of these towns a council was

held at which Gist states the purpose of his visit. He

told them that he was sent by his father, the Governor

of Pennsylvania, and then gave them some caution con-

cerning the French. The Indians replied with repeated

assertions of devotion to the English. "We assure you,"

they said, "we will not hear the voice of any other nation

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for we are to be directed by you, our brethren, the Eng-

lish, and no one else." They promised to be at the pro-

posed meeting at Logstown to which Gist invited them.

At this time the Delaware tribe could gather about five

hundred warriors and they seemed firmly devoted to the


On the 29th day of January Gist and his party ar-

rived at the mouth of the Scioto. Situated on the right

bank of the river was Hannoahstown occupied by

Shawnees. It consisted of about one hundred houses.

Across the Ohio River was another town of the same

tribe with about forty houses. This was perhaps the

only Indian town within the present limits of Kentucky.

On the approach of the party on the left bank of the

Scioto river, they fired their guns to notify the Indians

of their presence. This purpose was soon effective and

men from the town came and ferried the visitors over to

the other side.

On the next day there was held a council at which

time Croghan delivered sundry speeches from the Gov-

ernor of Pennsylvania. He stated that word had come

that the French had offered a large sum of money for

the scalps of Croghan and Montour. These traders

were well known to the French through Indian reports,

and they were feared because of their ability in securing

the friendship and trade of the western Indians. The

French were very busy at this time locating trading posts

south of Lake Erie in order to prevent all encroachments

of the English on this territory.

At this same council Montour declared that the king

of England had sent a large present of goods which were

held by the Governor of Virginia and which will be sent

to Logstown at the meeting to be held in the Spring

where the Shawnees, if represented, will share in the

king's gift.

Gist and his companions remained at Shannoahs

town twelve days. During this time Gist heard of a new

trading post, just erected. It was said to be distant

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about one hundred and fifty mires toward the northwest.

The Indians located at this place were Miamis. They

represented a large number of that family and as their

position and character made them important it was

thought worth while by Gist to make them a visit. It

was a journey which he had not contemplated in his

original plan. His instructions from the Governor of

Virginia was to find out the numbers and strength of

those Indians north of the Ohio who had lately broken

friendship with the French.  As the Miamis were

specially included in this class it was thought important

not to neglect them at this time. Otherwise he would

have crossed the Ohio at once and gone down on the left

bank of that river to the falls. This journey to Picka-

willany is the most interesting part of his narrative.

On the eleventh day of February, 1751, Gist set out

accompanied by Croghan, Montour, Kallander and a

servant to carry provisions. A negro boy of seventeen

who had accompanied him from Wills Creek he left at

Hannoahstown to take care of the horses during the

party's absence. Their trip was northwest across the

divide between the Scioto and the Little Miami valleys.

Reaching the Little Miami they crossed it probably in the

vicinity of where Xenia is now located, and then con-

tinued toward the Great Miami, keeping on the east side

of it until they came opposite Miamitown now known as

Fort Pickawillany, two and one-half miles north of


In his narrative Gist describes to some extent the

land and other objects he saw while passing through.

He says his journey was over fine and level land, well

watered with many small streams; covered for the most

part with forests of large walnut, ash, sugar, cherry and

other trees; including also meadows of wild rye, blue

grass and clover; and abounding in wild game consist-

ing of turkeys, deer, elks and buffaloes of which as

many as forty were seen feeding in one meadow.

At the time of his arrival opposite Pickawillany the

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Miami River was so swollen that the party was com-

pelled to make a raft on which they might cross. They

were well received by the Indians and the traders. The

Miamis had lately cast aside the French and turned

toward the English. When this occurred they removed

from the Wabash to the Miami to be near their friends

the English. A formal conference was held, presents

were made by both parties and pledges of intercourse

and fidelity. In bestowing the gifts to the Indians

Montour, who made the presentation speech, said, "We

now present you with the two strings of wampum to

remove all trouble from your hearts and clear your eyes,

that you may see the sun clear, for we have a great deal

to say to you." He then advised them to send for other

tribes and especially those who could speak the Mohican

or Mingoe tongue. Delegates from various towns did

come generally for purposes of trade and to hear the

news. A trading post was a place not only for exchange

of material things but also for collecting rumors, sus-

picions, and reports, and the Indians could be entertained

by these as well as the white man.

On Sunday Morning Feb. 24th, four French traders

came in bringing presents consisting of two small kegs

of brandy, a roll of tobacco and two strings of wampum.

The chief of the Twigtwees replied, making it clear that

the French had by their conduct forfeited the further

favor of the tribes, and that they now had transferred

their affections to the English. Daily meetings were

held in the council house; speeches made, and presents

exchanged. It was a time of intense anxiety to Gist.

Whichever party, the English or the French, could array

the entire Miami tribe in its behalf would have a great

advantage not only in trade, but in the final possession

of the country. The events taking place in this far away

trading post may seem to us an insignificant side show

but to the actors it was of vast importance which party

should win in the contest. At one of the meetings held

Vol. XXX -5.

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on the 1st of March the speaker of the Twigtwees ex-

pressed the gratification of his people that the English

had taken notice of them. He added, "You told us our

friendship should last as long as the greatest mountain.

We have considered well, and all our chiefs and warriors

have come to a resolution never to give heed to what the

French say to us, but always to hear and believe what

you our brothers say to us."

The visit of Gist and his party seemed at the time

to have been successful. The promises were all the

English could wish. But the Indians were not always

true to their agreements. Three years later these very

Miami tribes were arrayed on the side of the French,

ready to do battle against these to whom their friendship

was so earnestly pledged. After a month's stay at Picka-

willany Gist took his departure, satisfied that he had won

the Miamis for the English. Articles of Peace and Al-

liance had been drawn up and signed and sealed by both

parties. The period of anxiety was now over and the

end crowned with the joy of seeming victory.

In his narrative Gist now turns to describe the Miami

country which he has been permitted to see. He finds

along the Great Miami river rich land, well timbered,

and fine meadows. The grass grows to a great height

in the clear fields of which there are many, and the bot-

toms were full of white clover, wild rye, and blue grass.

After leaving Pickawillany the party proceeded

thirty-five miles and reached Mad creek. We can see

in this name the present Mad River. Probably the path

pursued by them was along the Indian trail that led to

Piqua town west of Springfield, and then on to Chilli-

cothe and Hannoah's town on the Ohio.

Somewhere, likely in Clark county, Croghan, Mon-

tour and Kallander separated from Gist. They took a

course that would bring them to the Hockhocking,

while Gist now almost alone directed his steps across

the meadows of the Little Miami and over the highlands

between that river and the Scioto. He again observed

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the meadows and timber which attracted him before.

Out of fear of French and Indians who might be look-

ing for him, he kept out of the usual path which made

his journey longer and more wearisome.

After seven days he reached Hannoah's town where

he was received with great joy. More than one hundred

and fifty guns were fired and an entertainment was held

in his honor.

On the twelfth of March Gist with his colored boy

was ferried across the Ohio whence they took their long

journey down to the Falls of the Ohio. His observations

in what is now Kentucky are outside the purpose of this

paper and are therefore passed by.

The trip of Gist was remarkable in various ways. It

was made in the winter. The country was without

roads, only paths existed and these were fraught with

danger. There were no lodging places; only such ac-

commodations were at hand as the traveler could make

for himself. He was exposed to all kinds of weather.

The whole purpose of his trip was in the interest of a

rich corporation of land holders who wished to add to

their already large holdings. To win the Indians away

from the French and attach them to the English was

rather an after thought on the part of Gist than a set

purpose of the Ohio Company. But it was valuable to

the English as it gave some facts about a hitherto un-

known region.

That the English should establish a trading post in

the very heart of the Indian country was a matter of

much concern to the French. They could not permit it

and hold the respect of their former friends and ad-

mirers. Pickawillany must fall. A band of French and

Indians from Fort Detroit undertook the task of ac-

complishing it. On the 27th of June, 1752 they sud-

denly appeared and found the whites and Indians utterly

unprepared to defend themselves. The fort was seized,

much property was destroyed. A number of the Twig-

twees were killed and the conquerors meted out special

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vengeance on the king of the tribe because he transferred

his friendship from the French to the English, by killing

him and eating his flesh. Some of the white men

escaped, some were made prisoners, and some were

wantonly killed. One can scarcely realize even in

imagination that such atrocities were committed in our

own territory at no distant day.

On the day that Fort Pickawillany was seized an-

other messenger set out from Logstown to visit the In-

dians of the west and invite them to the meeting. He

carried with him many presents for the savages into

whose towns he might come. He had been commis-

sioned by Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia to make the

visit the purpose of which was to cement the friendship

between the Miamis and the English. While on his

journey among the Indian towns along the Muskingum

and its tributaries he was informed of the recent as-

sault on the Miamis at Pickawillany. This news led

him to take precautionary steps. He realized that it was

not safe to go at once to that place, fearing that the un-

friendly Indians as well as the French might still be

lurking about. He therefore visited the Shawnees along

the Scioto and induced them to cooperate with him in

his journey. They promised to do as he wished, but be-

cause of the presence of rum the greater part of the men

of the town were too much under its influence to accom-

pany him. As he turned from the Scioto towns north-

westward his path led him through the western part of

Clark county. Though he reached the fort and re-

mained there for a week or more, Captain Trent was

unable to have a conference with the Miamis. The

hostilities that had just taken place and the consequent

excitement arising from the sudden attack, the carry-

ing away of much valuable property and the slaughter

of many men made it impossible to secure an audience

with them. This failure to get a hearing made the trip

of Trent useless.

On the 21st of July, Captain Trent's return began.

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An investigation was first made to discover if any of the

French party were still in the region but fortunately no

trace could be found. The return trip was attended with

exceedingly hot weather. It was also very dry. Many

of the streams and springs were dried up which caused

much suffering to Trent and his party. Extremes in

weather conditions prevailed then as now.

The visits to the western territory by these early

traders and agents were in large part for the purpose

of securing the favor of the savages who then occupied

the land. Their trade was of such value that no efforts

were too laborious or dangerous to win and retain their

friendship.  Each party, French and English, had

strong qualities that captivated the men of the forest.

It was a trial of skill, diplomacy, and duplicity often,

which were called into practice to gain and hold their

friendship. Both parties were adepts at the business.

A personal word about two of these actors may not

be out of place. George Croghan who for a long time

was in active service for the English came to this coun-

try from Ireland when he was about twenty years of

age. He soon learned the language of the Indians which

made him serviceable as an interpreter. He was fond

of adventure, fearless of danger, and ready at all times

to perform a mission for the benefit of state or in-

dividuals.  He made many journeys west of the

mountains, some of them leading him far within the

present limits of Ohio and one down the Ohio to Fort

Massac to make a treaty with the Indians of Illinois,

from which point he made his way through forests and

prairie to Fort Detroit. He was a cousin of Major

Croghan of Locust Grove, Kentucky, the father of

Captain Croghan who so gallantly defended Fort

Stephenson in 1813.

Christopher Gist was born in the State of Mary-

land. His father was a surveyor and for a time the

son pursued the same business. Later Christopher Gist

settled on the Yadkin in North Carolina where his fam-

70 Ohio Arch

70      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

ily remained while he made his trip to the Ohio Country.

After his return he took up lands in western Pennsyl-

vania. He was active in the French and Indian War

and during its continuance he made a journey to the

Cherokees of Georgia to enlist them in the war on be-

half of the English. He died from smallpox in 1759.

His sons were officers in the Revolution. One after-

wards went to Kentucky where he had a large body of

land given to him for his services. It is a matter of some

interest that two of his descendants became candidates

for the Vice-Presidency, F. P. Blair in 1868 and B.

Gratz Brown in 1872.

The number of Englishmen who made trips to Ohio

before the French and Indian war cannot be known.

They have left no record of their business visits. Indian

tradition speaks of them as early as 1725, yet most of

the trade with the Indians before 1745 was done east of

the mountains.  But when the rivalry between the

French and English began to be acute, the agents of the

latter sought trade in the very heart of the western for-

ests and shrank at no danger in the pursuit of his plans

and purposes. In this he is supported by such persons

as Sir Wm. Johnson and Reuben Weiser. The Ohio

Land Company stood ready to aid in the project. Gist,

Croghan, Montour and others are enlisted in the scheme

and all do valiant service. Then persistence and bold-

ness brought on the war. Geo. Washington was an

actor in the struggle and his perilous journey of 1754

is an evidence of it.

While there was yet land enough on the eastern side

of the mountains to satisfy every economic need, there

was a longing for the half mythical regions of the west.

And especially so when rivals were striving for its occu-

pation. We know little of the anxieties, experiences and

hardships assumed by the men of that distant day to

obtain and hold a land that is now ours to share and en-