The historic period in North America began in the late 1400s when Europeans wrote down accounts of their experiences in the New World. It did not begin in Ohio, however, until 1650 when French map makers first depicted the southern shore of Lake Erie on their maps. Although nearly two centuries had passed before Europeans arrived in the Ohio area, their presence on the east coast greatly affected the Indians of the interior.
Many Europeans came to North America to seek gold or to search for a shortcut to the Orient. Finding neither, they began to trade with the Indians for furs. The Europeans offered guns, metal knives, kettles, mirrors, and glass beads to Indian groups in the East. These items were, in turn, traded to other Indians farther inland who had never seen a European.