WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
WASHINGTON COUNTY IN HISTORY — LOCATION, BOUNDARIES, AND TOPOGRAPHY—THE INDIAN OCCUPATION.
WASHINGTON COUNTY embraces in its annals much that is of great historic interest, and in this respect it is surpassed by but few counties in Pennsylvania, though no great national events have ever occurred within its boundaries, and it contains no spot of world-wide fame like Valley Forge, Wyoming, or Gettysburg. In the fierce conflict waged a century and a quarter ago by the two great European rivals, England and France, for dominion over the vast region watered by the head-streams of the Ohio, the contending armies never fought or marched within the present limits of this county, but the routes and the battle-grounds of Washington and Braddock were so near these borders that the crunch and rumble of their artillery-wheels among the crags of the Laurel Hill and the rattle of the fusilades at Fort Necessity and on the storied field of the Monongahela might almost have been heard from the valleys and hills that are now whitened and dotted by the harvests and herds of Washington County farmers. Twenty years afterwards, when a controversy scarcely less fierce sprang up between the States of Pennsylvania arid Virginia, in which the Old Dominion insisted on extending her limits eastward to the mountains, while Pennsylvania peremptorily refused to yield to the claim, and demanded the boundaries granted to Penn by the royal charter, the country west of the Monongahela, that was soon after embraced in the county of Washington, became the principal arena of a conflict of jurisdiction that almost reached the extremity of open war.
In the Revolutionary struggle this region saw nothing of the movements of the Continental and royal armies ; but when the news of actual hostilities flew south and west from Lexington Common, kindling in all the colonies the flame of patriotism, it blazed forth as promptly and burned as brightly on these highlands and along these streams as it did on the plain of Bennington or the banks of the Brandywine. And while the smoke of battle still enveloped the steep sides of Bunker Hill, armed men from the valley of the Monongahela were already on their way across the mountains to join the provincial forces encircling Boston. Later in the struggle, when Britain had secured the alliance of the Indian tribes of the Northwest, and incited them to frequent and bloody incursions into the settlements along the Ohio border, the brave frontiersmen of this region were mustered in arms again and again to repel invasion and to march against the savages in the wilderness, as a means of protection to their own families and homes. And through all the years of the great struggle, devout ministers of the gospel in Washington County, some of them as eminent in their calling as any in the land, prayed for the success of the patriot cause ; and when the fighting men went forth, exhorted them to take as much care to fear and serve God, as to pick their flints and keep their powder dry.
The border hostilities, the Revolution, and the later wars in which the people of Washington County took prominent part will be mentioned in detail in succeeding pages, with accounts of the boundary controversy, the Whiskey Insurrection, internal improvements, including the construction of the old National road, the railroads, the navigation of the Monongahela River, and numberless other historical matters relating to this county, among which none are of greater interest than those pertaining to that religious and educational development and progress which has placed Washington among the very foremost of the counties of Pennsylvania.
Location, Boundaries, and Topography.—With regard to its location and boundaries, Washington may properly be described as one of the westernmost range of counties of Pennsylvania, and the second one, reckoning northward, from the southwest corner of the State. It is joined on the north by Beaver County ; on the northeast by Allegheny County ; on the east by Allegheny, Westmoreland, and Fayette ; on the south by Greene County, and on the west by the State of West Virginia.
The principal stream of the county is the Monongahela River, which takes its rise in West Virginia,
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14 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
crosses the State line into Pennsylvania at the extreme southeast corner of Greene County, and flowing thence in a meandering but generally northward course, marks the entire eastern boundary of Greene and Washington Counties against the counties of Fayette, Westmoreland, and Allegheny. From the northeastern limit of Washington County the river flows first in a northeasterly, and afterwards in a northwesterly course through Allegheny County to its confluence with the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh.
Besides the Monongahela, Washington County has a great number of smaller streams, but among these there are few that are of sufficient size and importance to deserve special mention. The North Fork of Ten-Mile Creek takes its rise in the southern part of this county, and flows in a general course a little south of east to its junction with the South Fork, which rises in Greene County. The North Fork marks the boundary line between Washington and Greene for a short distance above the confluence ; and the main stream of Ten-Mile also marks the line between the two counties from the confluence to its mouth, where its waters join those of the Monongahela. North of Ten-Mile Creek, Pike Run, Pigeon Creek, Mingo Creek, and Peters Creek flow into the Monongahela from the eastern part of the county.
The head-streams or forks of Chartiers Creek take their rise in the central acid southern parts of the county, and joining their waters form the main stream, which flows in a northeasterly course through the north part of Washington into and through Allegheny County to its junction with the Ohio a short distance below Pittsburgh. Raccoon Creek, King's Creek, and Harmon's Creek rise in the northwest part of the county and flow into the Ohio, the first named in a northerly, and the others in a general westerly course. Several forks of Wheeling Creek (which flows into the Ohio) rise in the southwest corner of Washington County, Hunter's Fork (of Wheeling) marking the boundary for several miles between Washington and Greene. Buffalo Creek and Cross Creek, which have their sources in the western part of Washington County, flow westward across the State line into West Virginia, and through the " Pan Handle" of that State into the Ohio River.
Bordering the Monongahela River are narrow bottom lands, seldom, if ever, over one-fourth of a mile in width, and generally much less, through this county. From these bottoms the " river hills" rise abruptly to a height of from two hundred to three hundred feet, and from their summits the country stretches away westward in fine rolling uplands, which in many parts may be called a succession of hills. The creeks—Chartiers, Ten-Mile, Pike, Pigeon, Mingo, Peters, Raccoon, King's, Harmon's, Cross, and Buffalo all have nearly the same kind of country bordering their margins, viz., bottom lands (generally very narrow, those of Chartiers' being wider than any other), from which the country rises to the rolling uplands or hills. In the southwest part of the county there is very little bottom laud along the creeks ; the hills rise more abruptly, and the high lands are much more steep and rugged than elsewhere. In general through the county the hills are tillable to their tops. On them, as in the valleys, and river and creek bottoms, the soil is excellent for the production of grain and fruits. The county in general is excellent for grazing, and well adapted for all the requirements of agriculture.
A fine description of the natural features of Washington County is given below, being quoted from the " Memoirs of Alexander Campbell," by Robert Richardson. His observations commence at the county-seat, the site of which he describes as " near the sources of several streams, which run in different directions, as the Chartiers Creek, which flows towards the north ; Ten-Mile Creek, which pursues an eastward course and falls into the Monongahela ten mires above Brownsville, whence its name ; Buffalo, which directs a swift and clear current to the west-northwest and empties into the Ohio at Wellsburg, about twenty-eight miles distant. The town being thus near the summit-level of the streams, the hills around it are comparatively low, and the country gently undulating. As we follow the descending waters the hills and upland region, which in reality preserve pretty much the same level, seem gradually to become higher, so that by the time we approach the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers their sides, growing more and more precipitous, rise to a height of four or five hundred feet. These steep declivities inclose the fertile valleys, through which the larger streams wind in graceful curves. Into these wide valleys small rivulets pour their limpid waters, issuing at short intervals upon each side from deep ravines formed by steep hillsides, which closely approach each other, and down which the waters of the springs, with which the upland is abundantly supplied, fall from rock to rock in miniature cascades. Upon the upland not immediately bordering upon the streams, the country is rolling, having the same general elevation, above which, however, the summit of a hill occasionally lifts itself, as though to afford to lovers of beautiful landscapes most delightful views of a country covered for many miles with rich pasturages, with grazing herds or flocks, fruitful grain-fields or orchards, gardens, and farm-houses, while upon the steeper sides of the valleys still remain some of the ancient forest growths of oak and ash, walnut, hickory, and maple. Frequently as the traveler passes along the roads upon the upland he sees suddenly from some dividing ridge charming valleys stretching away for miles with their green meadows, rich fields of corn, and sparkling streamlets. At other times, as he advances, he admires with delight in the distance the ever-varying line of the horizon, which on all sides is ' formed by the summits of remote ridges and elevations, sometimes conical in form, but mostly defined
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by various arcs of circles, as regularly drawn as if a pair of compasses had traced the lines upon the sky. Everywhere around him he sees lands abounding in limestone and all the necessary elements of fertility, and producing upon even the highest summits abundant crops of all the cereal grains. To enhance the natural resources of this picturesque country its hills conceal immense deposits of bituminous coal, which the descending streams here and there expose, and which, along the sides of the valleys within five miles of Washington and thence to the Ohio River, are conveniently reached by level adits. Such, for nearly two hundred miles west of the Alleghenies, is the general character of this region, especially of that portion of it lying along the Monongahela and Ohio, a region whose healthfulness is not surpassed by that of any country in the world."
The Indian Occupation.—When the wilderness region west of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania was first penetrated by English-speaking white men, they found it partially occupied by roving bands of Indians, whose principal permanent settlements were in the vicinity of the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, and above and below that point on the latter stream and the Ohio, but who had, besides these, a few transient villages, or more properly camps, located at different points in the interior of the great hunting-ground. These Indian occupants were principally of the Delaware and Shawanese tribes or nations, but there were among them several colonized bands of Iroquois, or " Min-goes," as they were called. These represented the powerful Six Nations of New York, who were the de facto owners of this trans-Allegheny country, and who sent these bands with their chiefs to live among their vassals, the Delawares, in the same manner and for the same reason that the Romans of old planted colonies and posts at remote points in their tributary provinces.
The Delawares claimed that theirs was the most ancient of all the aboriginal nations, the " Lenni Lenape," or Original People. One of their traditions ran, that, ages before, their ancestors had lived in a .far-off country to the west, beyond the mighty rivers and mountains, at a place where the salt waters constantly moved to and fro, and that in the belief that there existed away towards the rising sun a red man's paradise—a land of deer and salmon and beaver—they had left their far-away home and traveled on towards the east and south to find it, but that on their way they were harassed and attacked by enemies and scourged and divided by famine, so that it was not until after long and weary journeyings during hundreds of moons that they came at length to a broad and beautiful river (the Delaware), which forever ebbed and flowed, like the waters from whose shores they had come; and there, amidst a profusion of game and fish, they rested, and found that Indian elysium of which they had dreamed before they left their old homes in the land of the setting sun. At the present day there are enthusiastic searchers through the realms of aboriginal lore who, accepting the vague narrative as authentic, imagine that the red man came from Asia across the Behring Strait, through which they saw the tide constantly ebb and flow as-mentioned in the tradition.
Certain it is that at the coming of the first Europeans to America, the Indians of the Lenni Lenape were found living in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in the country drained by the river which the white men called Delaware, a name which they also gave to the nation of red men who inhabited its valley. Many years before that time the Delawares had been powerful and the terror of other Indian tribes, but they were afterwards subdued and humbled by the all-conquering Iroquois or Five Nations,¹ who reduced them to a state of semi-vassalage, and compelled them to acknowledge themselves women and not warriors. The Delawares, while not daring to deny this fact, endeavored to relieve themselves of the disgrace in the eyes of white men by an ingenious yet flimsy account to the effect that as the Indian nations were almost continually at war with each other it had become necessary to have some one of the tribes stand constantly in the attitude of peace-makers between them ; that as it was proper that the bravest and most powerful nation should perform this office, it naturally fell to the Delawares, who were exceedingly unwilling to take it, but finally consented to do so for the general good. It was disgraceful for warriors to ask for peace; this had always been done by the women of the tribes, hence peace-makers were women, and the Delawares in accepting the position as such became, metaphorically, women and wearers. of the petticoat. ² The Delawares said that the Iroquois brought about this result by cunning speeches and artifice, because they dreaded their power and were anxious to render them powerless for harm, the Delawares only discovering the trick when it was too late for them to recede. Heckewelder and other Moravian writers gravely repeated this silly story for truth ; but it is unquestionable that the Iroquois treated the Delawares with great contempt, as a subjugated people and vassals. At a treaty council held in Philadelphia³ in July, 1742, a Six Nation chief named Cannassatego gave a
¹ The Iroquois confederation, at first embracing the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, was then called the Five Nations, but afterwards became the Six Nations by the addition of the Tuscaroras, who emigrated to the North upon being expelled from their earlier hunting-grounds in the Carolinas.
²At a time when a strong French force was reported to be on the upper Allegheny on its way to the Ohio, the Delawares living at the head of the latter river sent runner» to the Six Nation council at Onondaga, with belts and a menage, in which they said, "Uncles, the United Nations,—We expect to be killed by the French your father. We desire therefore that you will take off our Petticoat that we may fight for ourselves, our wives and children. In the condition we are in, you know we can do nothing."—Colonial Records, vi. 37.
³ Col. Rec., iv. 580.
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most withering reproof to some Delawares, who were present, in reference to the conduct of their nation in some of their transactions with the whites. He told them they were not warriors but women, and that they deserved to have their ears cut off for their behavior, and after a long and extremely abusive and contemptuous speech to them in the same strain, in which he told them their people must remove forthwith from the Delaware, that they could have no time to consider about it, but must go at once to the Susquehanna, but that considering their behavior he doubted whether they would be allowed to remain there, he handed them a string of wampum and continued, " You are to preserve this string in memory of what your uncles have this day given you in charge. We have now some other business to transact with our brethren [the English], therefore depart this council, and consider what has been said to you."
The humiliated Delaware chiefs dared not disobey this peremptory command. They left the council at once, and the last of their people removed immediately afterwards to Wyoming, where they remained only a short time, and then went to the West Branch of the Susquehanna, and from there a large part of them emigrated to the Ohio, whither a considerable number of their tribe had removed many years before, as early as 1725.¹
The Shawanese, who were originally inhabitants of the country now embraced in Southern Georgia, and Florida, were driven from that country by a hostile tribe,² and came to Pennsylvania about the year 1697, and removed from the Susquehanna to the head of the Ohio about 1728. An account of their coming
¹ Conrad Weiser, the Indian trader, Indian agent, and interpreter, in a speech to the chiefs of the Six Nations at Albany in July, 1754, said, "The Road to Ohio is no new Road. It is an old and frequented Road; the Shawanese and Delawares removed thither above thirty years ago from Pennsylvania, ever since which that Road has been traveled by our traders at their invitation, and always with safety until within these few years that the French with their usual faithlessness sent armies there."
² Zeisberger, the Moravian, says, "The Shawanos, a warlike people, lived in Florida, but having been subdued in war by the Moshkos, they left their land and moved to Susquehanna, and from one place to another. Meeting a strong party of Delawares, and relating to them their forlorn condition, they took them into their' protection as grandchildren; the Shawanos called the Delaware nation their grandfather. They lived thereupon in the Forks of the Delaware, and settled for a time in Wyoming. When they had increased again they removed by degrees to the Allegheny." When they came from the East to the Ohio, they located at and near Montour's Island, below the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela. The Delawares came with them to the West, both tribes having been ordered away from the valleys of the Delaware and Susquehanna by the Iroquois, whom they were compelled by conquest to recognize as their masters.
Some writers have said that the Shawanese came from the country west of the Ohio to Pennsylvania, but this is shown to be a mistake by the language of Hetaquantagetchy, a Six Nation chief, at a council held at Philadelphia Sept. 10, 1735. He gave an account of the murder of one of the Iroquois Indians by a small band or tribe of the hiawanese who were then located on the Allegheny, and added, " That the tribe of Shawano* complained of is called Shaweygira, and consists of about thirty young men, ten old men, and several women and children ; that it is supposed they are now returned to the place from whence they first came, which is below Carolina."
and subsequent movements is found in the minutes of a treaty council held at Philadelphia with the chiefs of the Six Nations, Aug. 26, 1732. The Shawanese were then settled on the Ohio, and it was desired to induce them to remove back to the Susquehanna, to remove them from the influence of the French, who, as it was reported, had made their appearance on the Allegheny: The Governor of Pennsylvania proposed to the Six Nations to use their influence with the Shawanese to that effect, and on the occasion of the council referred to recited to the assembled chiefs as follows :
" They were told that the Shawanese, who were settled to the Southward, besing made uneasy by their Neighbours, about Sixty Families of them came up to Conestogoe, about thirty-five years since, and desired leave of the Sasquehannah Indians who were planted there to settle on that River; that those Sas-quehannah Indians applied to this Government that they might accordingly Settle, and they would become answerable for their good Behaviour. That our late Proprietor arriving soon after, the Chiefs of the Shawanese & of the Sasquehannahs came to Philadelphia & renewed their Application ; that the Proprietor agreed to their Settlement, and the Shawanese thereupon came under the Protection of this Government; that from that time greater Numbers of the same Indians followed them and Settled on the Sasuehannah and Delaware; that as they had joyned themselves to the Sasquehannah Indians, who were dependent on the five Nations, they thereby also fell under their Brotection. That we had held several treaties with those Shawanese, and from their first coming were accounted and treated as our own Indians ; but that some of their young men having, between four and five years since, committed some Disorders, tho' we had fully made it up with them, yet, being afraid of the Six Nations, they had removed backwards to Ohio, and there had lately putt themselves under the Protection of the French, who had received them as their children. That we had sent a message to them to return, & to encourage them had laid out a large Tract of Land on the West of the Sasquehannah round the principal Town where they had last been settled, and we desired by all means that they would return thither."
But the Shawanese could not be induced to return to the lands which had been laid out for them "near Pextan, which should always be kept for them and their children for all time to come." In response to a message to that effect, four of their chiefs,—Opekethwa, Opakeita, Quassenungh, and Kataweykeita went from the Ohio to Philadelphia, where they arrived on the 28th of September, 1732,³ and after a council of three days' duration with the Governor, during which he used all his powers of persuasion to induce them to consent to the removal, "They answered
³Col: Rec., iii. 459.
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that the place where they are now settled Suits them much better than to live nearer; that they thought they did a Service to this Province in getting Skins for it in a place so far remote; that they can live much better there than they possibly can anywhere on Sasquehannah; that they are pleased, however, with the Land laid out for them, and desire that it may be secured to them." On the following day at a council held with the chiefs, "They were told there were Coats making for them, and other Cloaths,¹ with a Present, was providing ; the Proprietor presented their Chief with a very fine gilt Gun, as a mark of respect for their Nation, and told them he would send a Surveyor to run Lines about the Land intended for them, and that none but themselves and Peter Chartiere should be allowed to live on it." The attempt to remove them eastward from the Ohio was relinquished, and they, with the Delawares, were found there when the first white men (other than a few traders) came to this region.
In 1748 the strength of the Delawares at the head of the Ohio was one hundred and sixty-five warriors; that of the Shawanese one hundred and sixty-two ;² these figures being given by Conrad Weiser. Their chief settlement or village was Logstown³ (called by the French Chinigue, or Chinique), which was then 4 located on the right bank of the Ohio, several miles below the mouth of the Allegheny, and where also was the residence of the Iroquois sachem, Tanacharison, called the Half-King, whose authority overshadowed that of the Delaware and Shawanese chiefs, because he represented the power of the dreaded Six Nations. The seat of the Delaware "king," however, was not at Logstown, but higher up, near the head of the Ohio, on its left bank. In the journal of Maj. George Washington's trip to the French forts on the
¹ The four chiefs received" each of them a blue Cloth Coat lined with Balloon, a Shirt, a Hatt, a pair of Stockings, Shoes and buckles. . . And for a present to their Nation was ordered and delivered a piece of blue Strouds for blankets, one hundred weight of Powder, four hundred weight Bullets, ten gallons Rum, and two dozen Knives. And to John Wray, the interpreter who came down with them, five pounds." Two of the chiefs, however, were taken sick with smallpox and died in Philadelphia, where they were" buried in a handsome manner" by the orders of the Governor.
² Eleven years later (in 1759) George Croghan, deputy Indian agent under Sir William Johnson, in a report made to Gen. Stanwtx of the numbers of the several Indian tribes in the West, gave the numbers of the Delawares and Shawanese (who prior to that time had removed westward from their first location on the Ohio) as follows:
"The Delawares residing on the Ohio, Beaver Creek, and other branches of the Ohio, and on the Susquehanna, their fighting men are 600." [A considerable number of the Delawares being still residing on the Susquehanna, and these not being included in Weiser's return of their strength in 1748.]
" The Shawanese on Scioto, a branch of Ohio, 400 miles below Pittsburgh, 300 warriors."
³ When the Indians notified the French to quit the country in 1753 they ,aid, " We have a fire at Logstown, where are the Delawares and Shawanese."—Oolonial Records, v. 667.
4 A later village also called Logstown was on the opposite aide of the Ohio.
Logstown was " the first of the Indian towns on the road from Lancaster to Allegheny."—Col Rec.. viii. 289.
Allegheny in the fall of 1753 he says, " About two miles from this [the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela], on the southeast side of the river, at the place where the Ohio Company intended to erect a fort [at or very near the mouth of Chartiers Creek], lives Shingiss, king of the Delawares. We called upon him to invite him to a council at Logstown." This same Shingiss, who was generally styled "king," was in some of the official communications of that day mentioned as the chief sachem of the Delawares; his brother, Pisquitomen, being also a high chief in the nation. The "king" of the Shawanese in 1753 was Nochecona.5 In 1756, King Shingiss had removed his residence from the mouth of Chartiers Creek to " Old Kittaning" on the Allegheny, which was also a town of the Delawares. Maj. Edward Ward (who when an ensign, in command of a small force engaged in the spring of 1754 in building a fort at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela, was compelled to surrender the work to the French, who then named it Fort Du Quesne) said,6 "That in the year 1752, and before his surrender to. the French, there was a small Village Inhabited by the Delawares on the South East side of the Allegheny River, in the neighborhood of that place [the mouth of the Alle-. gheny], and that Old Kittaning, on the same side of the said River, was then Inhabited by the Delawares ; than about one-third of the Shawanese Inhabited Loggs Town on the West Side of the Ohio, and tended corn on the East Side of the River, and the other part of the nation lived on the Scioto River."
From his stronghold at Kittaning, Shingiss led his Delaware warriors against the settlements east of the mountains in the fall of 1755, after the defeat of Braddock, and at that time and through all the year 1756 he carried desolation and massacre through all that country from the Potomac to the Delaware. He was one of the most implacable and ferocious of all the savage leaders. " Were his war exploits all on record," says Heckewelder, " they would form an interesting document, though a shocking one. Conococheago, Big Cove, Shearman's Valley, and other settlements along the frontier felt his strong arm sufficiently to know that he was a bloody warrior, cruel in his treatment, relentless in his fury. His person was small, but in point of courage, activity, and savage prowess he was said to have never been exceeded by any one." It appears that he was succeeded by Tomaqui, or " King Beaver," as the latter name is found mentioned as that of the head of the Delaware nation in and after 1758. And in a list of Indians
5 See Colonial Records, v. 685.
6 In a "Deposition taken March 10, 1777, at the house of Mr. John Ormsby in Pittsburgh, etc., Agreeable to Notice given to Col. George Morgan, Agent for the Indiana Company, before James Wood and Charles Simms, pursuant to a resolution of the Honble, the Convention of Virginia, appointing them Commissioners for collecting Evidence on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia against the several Persons pretending to claim Lands within the Territory and Limits thereof under Deeds of Purchases from Indians."
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present at a treaty council held at Fort Pitt on the 5th of July, 1759, Shingiss, George, and Kickeusking were named as "chiefs and captains," the first named having been deposed from his higher dignity, doubtless on account of his bloody record as an inveterate enemy of the English, who were then masters of the country.
In or about 1753 the Delawares and Shawanese who had previously lived at Logstown removed to Sacunk, or Salt Lick Town, which was located at the mouth of Beaver Creek; but in 1759 the Delawares had migrated from that place to Kuskusky, or Kuskuskees, which was some miles above Sacunk, on the Beaver. At a council held on the 25th of February in that year at Fort Pitt (which, as Fort Du Quesne, had been taken from the French by Gen. Forbes three months before), King Beaver, of the Delawares, said, " The Six nations and you [Col. Hugh Mercer, afterwards Gen. Mercer, who was killed at Princeton, Jan. 3,1777] desired that I would sit down and smoke my pipe at Kuskusky. I tell you this that you may think no ill of my removing from Sacunk to Kuskusky, for it is at the great desire of my brothers, the English, and my uncles, the Six Nations ; and there I shall always hear your words." From Kuskusky, Sacunk, and Kittaning the Delawares and Shaw-anese not long afterwards migrated to the Muskingum and Scioto.
The white traders were persons of no little consequence among the Indians. The French traders were here somewhat in advance of those of the English-speaking race, though the latter made their appearance among the Delawares and Shawanese soon after their settlement on the Allegheny and Ohio, certainly as early as 1730. The first French trader known to have been among the Indians on the Allegheny was James Le Tort, who probably came as early as 1720. One of the speakers of the Shawanese at a treaty council held in 1732 said that when they (the Shawanese) came over the mountains from "Patowmack" (about 1728), they met a French trader, who told them that the French Governor was exceedingly anxious to see them at Montreal, and that upon his advice they went there. This was doubtless the "French gentleman" whom the Indians called Ca-hictodo, and who was frequently mentioned in the proceedings of the Pennsylvania Council in 1731-32.
Peter Chartier, whose name was afterwards given to one of the principal streams flowing through the present county of Washington, went out from Philadelphia to the Allegheny at or very soon after the time when the Shawanese migrated there.¹ He was the son of a French glover who had been established in that business in Philadelphia,² and was himself French
¹ Chartier had before that time become possessed of a tract of six hundred acres of land, near the place from which the Shawanese removed, and mentioned as " near Pextan."
² On the 24th of February,1707, a message "from the Queen of the Con-estogoe Indians" was received by the Provincial Council of Pennsylva-
in all his sympathies and inclinations, though he went to the wilderness ostensibly as an English trader. It is told that he at one time had a trading-post on the Ohio at the mouth of the creek which still bears his name (where King Shingiss was also located, as before mentioned) ; but he also established himself at a Shawanese village situated on the Allegheny, about twenty miles above the site of Pittsburgh. This place became known as " Chartier's Old Town." In 1744 he had decided to boldly take the side of the French, who were using great efforts to secure the Indian trade; and on the 18th of April in that year he, with a large body of Shawanese whom he had induced to join him for the purpose, surprised and took prisoners two other traders on the Allegheny, robbing them of their entire stock of goods, amounting to sixteen hundred pounds. The names of these two traders were James Dinnew and Peter Tostee. For this and numerous other villanies Char-tier was severely reprimanded and warned by Governor Thomas, of Pennsylvania, and this was his pretended excuse for joining the French interest, which he did at once, and on the 25th of April, 1745, the Governor announced the fact to the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania. During the same year Chartier persuaded the Shawanese at the Old Town to abandon their settlement at that place and remove to the Scioto. He was rewarded by a commission in the French service, but his subsequent career is not known.
In 1735, Abraham Wendall, a German trader, was living among the Indians on the Allegheny, this fact being mentioned by one of the Six Nation chiefs at a council held in Philadelphia on the 10th of September in that year. The chief also presented a letter from this Wendall, "written in low Dutch, giving information of some violence which had been committed by one of the tribes of the Shawanese." A .very early English trader who lived with the Indians on the Allegheny was John Fraser, who was referred to in a letter dated Sept. 9, 1753,³ written by Edward Ship-pen, as follows: " Weningo [Venango] is the name of an Indian town on Ohio [as the Allegheny was then often called], where Mr. Fraser has had a gunsmith-shop for many years ; it is situate eighty miles up said river beyond Logs Town." In the summer of 1753, when the French came down the Allegheny in force to build the forts at Le Boeuf and Venango, Fraser was driven away from the latter place and came down the river. Soon afterwards he located on the Monongahela, where he had a trading-post.
George Croghan (afterwards deputy Indian agent)
nia, informing "that divers Europeans, namely, Mitchel (a Swiss), Peter Bazalion, James Le Tort, Martin Chartiere, the ffrench Glover of Philadelphia, ffrank, a young man of Canada who was lately taken up here, being all ffrenchmen, and one from Virginia, who also spoke drench, had seated themselves, and built Houses upon the branches of the Pa-towmack within this Gov'mt, and pretended that they were in search of some Mineral or ore."
³ Col. Rec , v. 660.
THE INDIAN OCCUPATION - 19
came among the Ohio River Indians as a trader as early as 1748. Andrew Montour and Conrad Weiser (both afterwards trusted agents of the provincial government) came at about the same time. Hugh Crawford, John Gray, John Findley, David Hendricks, Aaron Price, Alexander McGinty, Jabez Evans, Jacob Evans, David Hendricks, William Powell, and Thomas Hyde were trading on the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio in 1752, and the six last named were in 1753 taken prisoners on the Allegheny by the French and Indians and sent to Montreal. Besides the traders above named, there were several others (whose names are not known) in the region contiguous to the head of the Ohio between 1748 and 1754, when they were all driven out by the French. Their trading-places were principally on the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, with Fraser's and a few others on the Monongahela below the mouth of the Youghiogheny, but none, as far as ascertained, on the smaller streams or in the interior.
There is nothing found either in written history or in tradition, to show that the section of country which now forms the county of Washington was ever the permanent home of any considerable number of Indians. These lands, like all those on the upper Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongahela, and eastward to the mountains, though claimed and partially occupied by the Delawares and Shawanese, were owned by their masters, the redoubtable Six Nations,¹
¹ The fact that the Six Nations were the acknowledged owners of this region of country, and that the Shawanese and Delawares were here only on sufferance, seems clear. At the treaty council held at Philadelphia. July 12,1742 (Col. Rec., iv. p. 580), and which has been already mentioned, the Six Nation chief, Canassatego, after a severe reprimand to the Delawares for having presumed to claim and sell lands to the whites, in which he said, " Why did you take it upon you to sell lands at all? You are women! you know you are women, and can no more sell lands than women," continued, "After our just reproof and absolute order todepart from the land, you are to take notice of what we have further to say to you. This string of Wampum serves to forbid you, your children and grandchildren to the latest posterity, from ever meddling in land affairs; neither you nor any who shall descend from you are ever hereafter to presume to sell any land."
At the treaty held with the Indians at Fort Pitt, in May, 1768, a Shawanese chief complained bitterly to the English of their encroachments, and said, " We desired you to destroy your forts. . . . We also desired you not to go down the river." In the next day's council, Guyasutha, a chief of the Six Nations, rose with a copy of the treaty of 1764, and said, "By this treaty you had a right to build forts and trading-houses where you pleased, and to travel the road of peace from the sun rising to the sun setting. At that treaty the Delawares and Shawanese were with me and they know all this well, and they should never have spoken to you as they did yesterday." Soon after the Shawanese chief, Kissinaughta, rose and said, apologetically, to the English, " You desired us to speak from our hearts and tell you what gave us uneasiness of mind, and we did so. We are very sorry we should have said anything to give offense, and we acknowledge we were in the wrong."
In the same year (1768) when the Pennsylvania commissioners, Allen and Shippen, proposed to the Indians to send a deputation of chiefs with the white messengers, Frazer and Thompson, to warn off the white sailers who had located without authority on the Monongahela Rivet and Redstone Creek, the " White Mingo" (whose " Castle" was on the west side of the Allegheny, a few miles above its mouth) and three other chiefs of the Six Nations were selected to go on that mission, but no notice was taken of the Delaware or Shawanese chiefs in the matter, which shows clearly enough that these two tribes were not regarded as having any ownership in the lands.
and by them regarded as merely a hunting-ground. At a meeting of the Council of Pennsylvania in August, 1753, "The Governor informed the Council . . . that he had seen Andrew Montour after his Return from Onondago, who told him that the Six Nations (as well as he, Mr. Montour, could learn from the Indians, though there were but few at home whilst he was at Onondago) were against both English and French building Forts and settling lands at Ohio, and desired they might both quit that country, and only send a few Traders with Goods sufficient to supply the wants of their Hunters; that they did not like the Virginians and Pennsylvanians making Treaties with these Indians, whom they called Hunters, and young and giddy Men and Children; that they were their Fathers, and if the English wanted anything from these childish People they must first speak to their Fathers."²
On another occasion (July 31, 1753) the Governor of Pennsylvania received by hand of Andrew Montour a message from the Six Nation chiefs, in which they said, " We thank you for the notice you are pleased to take of those Young Men [the Indians on the waters of the Ohio] and for your kind intentions towards them. They stand in need of your Advice, for they are a great way from us. We, on behalf of all the Indians, our Men, Women, Children, entreat you to give them good Advice. It is a hunting country they live in, and we would have it reserved for this use only, and desire that no Settlements may be made there, though you may trade there and so may the French. . . . We therefore heartily thank you for your Regards to us and our Hunters at Ohio, which we testify by A String of Wampum."
The Iroquois owners of the territory extending from the head of the Ohio to the Alleghenies merely permitted the Delawares and Shawanese to use it as a hunting-ground, yet they always boldly claimed these lands as their own, except when they were confronted
And it is related by George Croghan, in his account of a treaty council held with the Six Nations at Logstown in 1761, that " A Dunkard from Virginia came to town and requested leave to settle on the Yo-yo-gaine [Youghiogheny] River; a branch of the Ohio. lie was told that he must apply to the Onondaga Council, and be recommended by the Governor of Pennsylvania." The Onondaga Council was held on a hill near the present site of Syracuse, N. Y., and the central headquarters of the Six Nations.
Another fact that shows the Six Nations to have been the recognized owners of this region of country is that when the surveyors were about to extend the Mason and Dixon line westward, in 1767, the proprietaries asked not of the Delawares and Shawanese but of the Iroquois (Six Nations) permission to do so. This permission was given by their chiefs, who also sent several of their warriors to accompany the surveying party. Their presence afforded to the white men the desired protection, and the Shawanese’ and Delawares dared not offer any molestation. But after the Iroquois escort left (as they did at a point on the Maryland line), the other Indians became, in the absence of their masters, so defiant and threatening that the surveyors were compelled to abandon the running of the line west of Dunkard Creek.
Finally, it was not front the Delawares and Shawanese but from the Six Nations that the. Penns purchased this territory by the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768.
¹ Col. Rec., vol. v. pp. 635-37.
20 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
and rebuked by the chiefs of the Six Nations. At a conference held with the Indians at Fort Pitt in 1768, " the Beaver," a chief, speaking in behalf of the Delawares and Mohicans, said, "Brethren, the country lying between the river and the Allegheny Mountain has always been our, hunting-ground, and the white people who have scattered themselves over it have by their hunting deprived us of the game which we look upon ourselves to have the only right to. . . ." Washington, in his journal of a trip which he made down the Ohio from the mouth of the Allegheny in 1770, says, "The Indians who reside upon the Ohio, the upper part of it at least, are composed of Shawanese, Delawares, and some of the Mingoes. . . ." And it is certain that, though the Iroquois were the owners of these hunting-grounds, they were occupied almost exclusively by the Delawares and Shawanese. From their towns and settlements in the vicinity of the head of the Ohio, went forth from time to time the hunting parties of these tribes, which formed the principal part of the Indian population of the territory of the present county of Washington, as their temporary camps were almost the only Indian settlements in all the region lying between the Monongahela and the Ohio.
On the Monongahela, at the mouth of Dunlap's Creek, where the town of Brownsville now stands, was the residence of old Nemacolin, who, as it appears, was a chief, but with very few, if any, warriors under him, though it is not unlikely that he had had a respectable following in the earlier years, before the whites found him here. It was this Indian who guided Col. Thomas Cresap across the Alleghenies in the first journey which he made to the West from Old Town, Md., for the Ohio Company in 1749. The route which they then pursued was known for many years as " Nemacolin's path." Later in his life this Indian removed from the Monongahela and located on the Ohio River. It is believed that the place to which he removed was the island now known as Blennerhassett's Island, in the Ohio, below Parkersburg, W. Va. ; the reason for this belief being that there is found, in Gen. Richard Butler's journal of a trip down that river in 1785, with Col. James Monroe (afterwards President of the United States), to treat with the Miami Indians, mention of their passing, in the river between the mouths of the Little Kanawha and Hocking, an island called " Nemacolin's Island." This was, without much doubt, the later residence of the old chief of that name.
An old Indian named Bald Eagle, who had been a somewhat noted warrior (but not a chief) of the Delaware tribe, had his 'home somewhere on the Upper Monongahela, but at what point is not precisely known. He was a very harmless and peaceable man and friendly to the settlers, yet he was killed without cause about 1770, and the cold-blooded murder was charged by the Indians upon white men. Of the Bald Eagle and the circumstances of his death Veech says, ".He was on intimate terms with the early settlers, with whom he hunted, fished, and visited. He was well known along our Monongahela border, up and down which he frequently passed in his canoe. Somewhere up the river, probably about the mouth of Cheat, he was killed, by whom or on what pretense is unknown.¹ His dead body, placed upright in his canoe, with a peace of corn-bread in his clinched teeth, was set adrift in the river." The canoe drifted ashore on the east side of the Monongahela, a short distance above the mouth of Ten-Mile Creek, where the wife of a settler recognized the old Indian and wondered that he did not leave his canoe. She examined more closely and found he was dead. This murder was regarded as a cold-blooded and unprovoked outrage by both Indians and whites.
It is said that the early settlers who came into what is now Washington County found here several Indian villages or camps; one of these being on Ten-Mile Creek, a short distance from the Monongahela, one on the Dutch Fork of Buffalo Creek, one on Raccoon Creek, in what is now Hanover township, and another on Mingo Creek. But this is only vague tradition, and it is by no means certain that any such ever existed at the places mentioned; and if they were there, it is not probable that they were anything more than temporary camps. The only Indian settlement of which there is any authentic account as having existed in Washington County was the one known all over Western Pennsylvania as Catfish Camp, located on ground that is within the limits of the present borough of Washington, on the small stream called by the Indians Wissameking, one of the branches of Chartiers Creek. This settlement, however, was not an Indian village, but merely for a time the residence or camp of the old Delaware, Tingooqua, or Catfish, who had been in his younger days a warrior (but not a chief) of that nation.² Mention of
¹ Withers. in his "Chronicles of Border Warfare," states the case differently, and gives the names of the murderers. He says, "The Bald Eagle was an Indian of notoriety, not only among his own nation, but also with the inhabitants of the Northwestern frontier, with whom he was in the habit of associating and hunting. In one of his visits among them he was discovered alone by Jacob Scott, William Hacker, and Eli. jab Runner, who, reckless of the consequences, murdered him, solely to gratify a most wanton thirst for Indian blood. After the commission of this most outrageous enormity, they seated him in the stern of a canoe, with a piece of journey-cake thrust into his mouth, and set him afloat, in the Monongahela."
² In some accounts of this Indian he is mentioned as "a celebrated Indian Chief, whose Indian name was Tingoocqua, or Catfish, who belonged to the Kuskuskee tribe of Indians, and occupied the hunting grounds between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River." But front his own words at the treaty council, as quoted in the text, it appears clear that he was not a chief, for he says, " I am only a messenger," is, the bearer of a message from the chiefs of his people. As to his having been a member of "the Kuskuskee tribe of Indians," it is proper to mention that Kuskuskes was a place or settlement, to which the Delawares had then recently removed from their older town of Sacunk at the mouth of Beaver. Of this new settlement of the Delawares Ch. Frederick Post said in July, 1758, " Kuskuskee is divided into four towns, to each at a distance front the others, and the whole consists of about ninety houses and two hundred able warriors." That Kuskuskes was then name of the place where Catfish then came front, instead of being the name.
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH CLAIMS TO THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY REGION - 21
this Indian is found in the proceedings of a treaty council held in the State-House at Philadelphia, Dec. 4, 1759, on which there were present among others Tingooqua and Joshua, " messengers from the Ohio."
" Tingooqua, alias Catfish,¹ arose, and taking four strings of Wampum, fheld two of them in his Fingers separate, and spoke: Brother,—I have not much to say ; I am only a messenger ; I came from Kuskuskes ; The Nation I belong to, as well as many others to the West of us, as far as the setting of the sun, have heard that you and Teedyuscung sat often together in council, and at length agreed upon a Peace ; and We are glad to hear that the Friendship and Harmony which of old always subsisted between our and your ancestors was raised up again and established once more. This was very agreeable to us, and We came here to see if what was related was true ; and we find it is true, which gives us great Satisfaction.¹
"Then taking hold of the other two Strings he proceeded : 'Brother,—Now that Teedyuscung and you have, thro' the goodness of Providence, brought.about a peace, we entreat you to be strong; don't let it slip; don't omit anything to render it quite secure and lasting; hold it fast; consider our aged Men and our young Children, and for their sakes be strong, and never rest till it be thoroughly confirmed. All the Indians at Allegheny desire you to do so, and they will do all they can likewise.' Gave a String of Wampum.
“‘Brother,—We make eleven Nations on the West of Allegheny who have heard what you and Teedyuscung have concluded at the Treaty of East* and as we all heartily agree to it, and are determined to join in it, we have opened a Road to where Teedyuscung Lives, and we, the Messengers, have traveled much to our satisfaction on the Road which he has made from his habitation to this Town. We have found it a very good Road, and all our Nations will use this Road for the time to come. We say nothing of the Six Nations; We do not reckon them among the Eleven Nations. We leave you to treat with them yourselves. We make no Road for them ; This is your own affair. We only tell you we do not include them in anything We say. I have done.' Gave four Strings of Wampum."
Neither the time when old Catfish withdrew from the main body of his tribe and took up his residence on the banks of Wissameking nor the duration of his stay at that place is known. He was found living there as early as 1770, and remained several years (making in that time two or three slight changes in the location of his camp or cabin), and afterwards mi-
of his tribe or nation, is proved by his own words, given in the minutes of the treaty council referred to, viz.: "The messenger observing one Sarah Gladdin amongst the people that were present, addressed the Governor, and told him ' That lie had in his house a eon of this woman's, a prisoner, al Kuskuskes, and that he would take care he should be delivered in the spring.'" Kuskuskee, then the principal settlement of the Delawares, was at that time the home of Catfish, who was himself a Delaware.
¹ Col. Records, vol. viii. p. 417.
grated to the Scioto country, where he died. For many years after his removal the place where he had lived in this county continued to be occasionally mentioned as " Catfish's Camp," and the name is still well known at the present day.
Beyond the story of old Catfish, and the doubtful traditions already mentioned of the existence of a few Indian settlements within the present limits of Washington County, there is, with reference to that territory, no Indian history to be given for the years prior to the opening of " Dunmore's war," in 1774. From that time on through the border warfare that raged until after the close of the Revolution the annals of this region are full of stirring events,—Indian incursions, massacres, and alarms,—which are to be narrated in succeeding chapters covering the period from 1774 to 1783.
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH CLAIMS TO THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY REGION—GEORGE WASHINGTON'S VISIT TO THE FRENCH FORTS IN 1753.
THE earliest written annals having reference to the region of country bordering the head-streams of the Ohio River date back to the year 1669, in which year the great French explorer, Robert Cavelier La Salle (having first obtained permission from the Governor-General of Canada), fitted out at his own expense an expedition having for its ultimate object the discovery and exploration of a great river (the Mississippi), which Indians reported to exist five hundred leagues westward from Montreal, and which was then supposed to flow into the Vermillion Sea, or Gulf of California. Setting out from La Chine, on the St. Lawrence, in July of the year named, he soon reached the western end of Lake Ontario, where he was taken ill with a fever, and during his sickness a part of his men deserted, which made it impracticable for him to continue by the route which he had originally decided on, which was through Lakes Erie, St. Clair, Huron, and Michigan to a point near the site of the present city of Chicago, and thence overland.
This plan of La Salle being thus frustrated by the loss of his men, he nevertheless determined not to give up the enterprise, and as soon as he had fully recovered he again started on his way with the remainder of his followers, crossed the Niagara River between the falls and Lake Erie, passed through the country of the Five Nations, found the Allegheny River, built canoes, embarked, and paddled down that stream to its confluence with the Monongahela, and thence down the Ohio to where they found its current broken by rapids, these being the same now known as the Falls of the Ohio, at Louisville, Ky. There his men positively refused to proceed farther down the river, and he was compelled to return, little thinking, prob-
22 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
ably, how near he had approached to the great river which it was the object of his journey to discover. Thirteen years later he reached it by a more northern route, passed down its swift current to the mouth, where, on the 9th of April, 1682, in full sight of the blue expanse of the, Gulf of Mexico, he reared a cross, and a column inscribed with the name and arms of the French sovereign, and took possession for him of the valley of the Mississippi and a contiguous country of indefinite extent, which, he named Louisiana, embracing, according to the French theory of possession, all the valley of the mighty stream and all the regions watered by its tributaries discovered and to be discovered in the future.
There is no doubt that LaSalle and the party who came with him down the Allegheny in 1669 were the first Europeans who ever saw that stream, the Monongahela, or the Ohio. Very little is known of any white visitors who came after them to this region during the eighty years next succeeding, for there is no definite account of the presence in this section of country of any other people than the native Indians and occasionally a white trader until near the middle of the eighteenth century, at which time both France and England were asserting their respective claims to the dominion of this wilderness region west of the mountains. It was in the conflict which resulted from the attempts of each of these rivals to expel the other, and to enforce their own alleged rights by the fact of actual possession, that the events occurred that are here to be narrated, and which mark the beginning of the history of the southwestern counties of Pennsylvania.
The English claimed the country by virtue of a treaty made with the Six Nations at Lancaster in June, 1744, when the Indians ceded to the British king an immense scope of territory west of the royal grant to Penn,¹ co-extensive with the limits of Virginia, which at that time were of indefinite extent. At a subsequent treaty held (in 1752) at Logstown, on the Ohio, below Pittsburgh, one of the Iroquois chiefs, who had also taken part. in the Lancaster treaty, declared that it had not been the intention of his people to convey to the English any lands west of the Alleghenies, but that, nevertheless, they would not oppose the white man's definition of the boundaries.
The Six Nations in council had also decided that, notwithstanding their friendship for the English, they would remain neutral in the contest which they saw was imminent between that nation and the French, both of which were now using every effort to strengthen themselves in the occupation of the territory bordering the head-waters of the Ohio.
The claim which France made to the ownership of the territory at the head of the Ohio was based on La Salle's discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi nearly seventy years before, and on the possession then taken for the French king of all the regions watered by that river and all its affluents. To fortify and confirm this claim they took measures to occupy the country bordering on the head-streams of the Ohio, and in this they were somewhat earlier, as well as more active and energetic, than the English.
The first mention found in any public document of the actual or probable presence of French people on any part of the territory of the province of Pennsylvania with intent to occupy the same under authority of their government is that which occurs in the records of a session of the Provincial Council' held at Philadelphia, Aug. 4, 1731. The message of the Governor which was on that occasion laid before the Council, and " being approved was ordered to be sent down to the House," concluded with these words:
"I have also another Affair of very great Importance to the Security of this Colony & all its Inhabitants to lay before you, which shall speedily be communicated to you," and
" The Governor then proceeded to inform the Board that the Matter mentioned in the close of the preceding Message related to Indian Affairs, & would be found to be likewise of very great Consequence to the whole Province, the Detail whereof His Honor said he would leave to Mr. Logan, to whom the Information had been first given, and who, from his long experience and, knowledge in those affairs, could give the best Account of it.
" That Gentleman then producing the Map of Louisiana, as inserted in a book called a New General Atlas, published at London in the year 1721, first observed from thence how exorbitant the French Claims were on the Continent of America; that by the Description in the said Map they claimed a great part of Carolina and Virginia, & had laid down Sasquehannah as a Boundary of Pensilvania. Then he proceeded to observe that by Virtue of some Treaty, as they alledge, the French pretend a Right to all Lands lying on Rivers, of the Mouths of which they are possessed. That the River Ohio (a branch of Mississippi) comes close to those mountains which lye about 120 or 130 Miles back of Sasquehannah, within the boundaries of this Province, as granted by the King's Letters Patent; that adjoining thereto is a fine Tract of Land called Allegheny, on which several Shawanese Indians had seated themselves; And that by the Advices lately brought to him by several Traders in those parts it appears that the French have been using Endeavours to gain over those Indians to their interest, & for this End a French Gentleman had come amongst them some years since, sent, as it was believed, from the Governor of Montreal, and at his Departure last year carried with him some of the Shawanese Chiefs to that Governour,
¹ It was supposed at that time that Penn's western boundary would not fall to the westward of the Laurel Hill.
² Colonial Records, vol. iii. pp. 401, 402.
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH CLAIMS TO THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY REGION - 23
with whom they, at their Return, appeared to be highly pleased ; That the same French Gentleman, with five or six others in Company with him, had this last Spring again come amongst the said Indians, and brought with him a Shawanese Interpreter, was well received by them, had again carried some of their Chiefs to the said Gov'r, & the better to gain the Affections of the said Indians brought with him a Gunsmith to work for them gratis. Mr. Logan then went on to represent how destructive this Attempt of the French, if attended with Success, may prove to the English Interest on this Continent, and how deeply in its consequences it may affect this Province, & after having spoken fully on these two heads, Moved that to prevent or putt a stop to these designs, if possible, a treaty should be sett on foot with the five Nations, who have an absolute authority as well over the Shawanese as all our Indians, that by their means the Shawanese may not only be kept firm to the English Interest, but likewise be induced to remove from Allegheny nearer to the English Settlements, and that such a treaty becomes now the more necessary because 'tis several years since any of those Nations have visited us, and no opportunity ought to be lost of cultivating & improving the Friendship which has always subsisted between this Government & them. . . ."
In the following year, on the 25th of August, at a council held at Philadelphia with several chiefs of the Six Nations, further information was gained concerning the movements of a certain Frenchman among the Shawanese on the Allegheny River. At this convention with the Six Nation chiefs, Hetaquantagetchty, the principal speaker, said, " That last Fall the French Interpreter, Cahictodo, came to Ohio River (or Alleganey) to build houses there, and to supply the Indians with goods, which they no sooner understood than they went out to forbid him, telling him that the lands on the Ohio belonged to the Six Nations, that the French had nothing to do with them, and advised him to go home ; but he not regarding their advice proceeded, upon which they sent to the French Governour to complain, but their Messengers were not returned when they came from home. That they know nothing certainly of what passed between Cahictodo and the Shawanese at Ohio."
The speaker was then asked, " Were not the French angry with those People for passing them and bringing their Peltry to trade with the English, and did they not endeavour to hinder them ?" To which he replied, " The French are angry, and not only endeavour to stop them, but threaten them, and some of those nations expect the French will fall on them ; but they regard it not; they find better usage from the English, and will have no more dealings with the French."
¹ Colonial Records, vol. Iii. pp. 439-40.
The Frenchman whom the Iroquois speaker called Cahichtodo was doubtless the same one who was mentioned in the proceedings of the Provincial Council in August of the previous year as above quoted ; but it does not appear from the account that he came to the Allegheny in any other capacity than that of a trader desirous of furnishing the Shawanese with goods in exchange for their peltry.
The first attempt on the part of either government to enforce their claims by taking actual possession of the region west of the Alleghenies in what is now the State of Pennsylvania was made by the French in 1749, in which year the commandant-general of Canada sent out an expedition under command of Louis Bienville de Celeron, with orders to proceed to the head of the Ohio,² and thence down that stream, taking formal possession of its valley and the contiguous country ; not, however, according to the English method, by establishing military posts and buildings and garrisoning forts, but by planting crosses and posts bearing devices representing the royal arms and insignia of France, and burying metallic plates duly inscribed with a record of the event, as evidences of actual occupation. The commander of the expedition performed the duty assigned to him, and in the manner indicated, erecting monuments and burying plates of lead at various points along the Allegheny and Ohio. Some of the Indians in the Seneca country (which embraced all the valley of the Upper Allegheny) obtained possession of one of these plates by some artifice (probably by digging it. up after it had been buried by Celeron), and it was taken by a Cayuga sachem and delivered to Col. (afterwards Sir William) Johnson, as will be more fully mentioned hereafter. The plate was of lead, three-eighths of an inch in thickness, and about eleven by seven and one-half inches on the face, upon which was stamped and cut ³ in rude capitals the following inscription in old French, viz. :
L'AN 1740, DV REGNE DE LOVIS XV. ROY DE FRANCE NOVS CELERON COMMANDANT D VN DETACHMENT ENVOI PAR MONSIEVR LE MARQUIS DE LA GALISSONIERE COMMANDANT GENERAL DE LA NOUVELLE FRANCE POVR RETABLIR LA TRANQUIL-
² Meaning the head of the river since known as the Allegheny, which having been discovered by the French explorers many years before anything was known of the Monongahela, was in those early times regarded as the main stream. The Iroquois name of the Allegheny was O-hee-go, and the French adventurers who passed down its current to the present city of Pittsburgh rendered the name Ohio (or sometimes Oyo), in conformity with the orthography of their language. In the English the pronunciation only is changed. It was not the French alone who regarded the Allegheny as the main Ohio, for we find that Washington in his journal and dispatches mentioned Venango as being situated "on the Ohio." Another name which the French gave to the Ohio, and applied to the stream even to the bead of the Allegheny, was " La Belle Riviere,"—The Beautiful River.
³ The whole Inscription was stamped except the date and place of interment. These were cut with a knife or other sharp Instrument in spaces which had been left blank for the purpose. The name " Paul de Brosse" was stamped on the back of the plate.
24 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
LITE DANS QUELQUES VILLAGES SAUVAGES DE CES CANTONS, AVONS ENTERRE CE PLAQVE AU CONFLUENT DE L'OHIO ET DE TCHADAKOIN CE 29 JVILLET PRES DE LA RIVIERE OYO, AUTREMENT BELLE RIVIERE, POUR MONUMENT DE RENOUVELLEMENT DE POSSESSION QVE NOVS AVONS PRIS DE LA DITTE RIVIERE OYO ET DE TOVTES CELLES QVI Y TOM-BENT, ET DE TOVTES LES TERRES DES DEUX COTES JVSQVE AUX SOVRCES DES DITTES RIVIERES AINSI QV'EN ONT JOVI OU DV JOVIR LES PRECEDENTS ROIS DE FRANCE ET QVILS S'Y SONT MAINTENVS PAR LES ARMES, ET PAR LES TRAITES SPECIALEMENT PAR CEVS DE RISVICK D'VTRECHT ET D'AIX-LA-CHAPELLE.¹
The expedition, sent out by command of the Marquis de la Galissoniere, as indicated by the inscriptions on the plates, was composed of the commandant, De Celeron (who was a captain in the French service and a chevalier of the Order of St. Louis), the Rev. Father Bonnecamps, a Jesuit, who was chaplain, " mathematicien," navigator, and astronomer for the party, Messieurs Contrecoeur, de Saussaye, Le Borgne, Philip and Chabert Joncaire,² and Coulon de Villiers (the last mentioned of whom, as also Contrecceur, afterwards took prominent parts in the campaigns against Washington and Braddock), two other officers and six cadets of the French service, twenty-four French soldiers, including petty officers and a gunsmith, fifty Indians of the Canadian tribes friendly to the French, and nearly two hundred voyageurs, who were to perform the severe labor of the expedition,—the paddling of the canoes, the transportation at the portages, and other kinds of heavy work. The detachment was abundantly supplied with arms, military equipments, and ammunition. The embarras of the campaign consisted of the necessary camp equipage, tools, and implements, leaden slabs to be buried at prominent points, provisions, and a large amount of merchandise intended for presents to the Indians of the Ohio Valley. A journal of the expedition was kept by Celeron. Father Bonnecamps also kept a journal, and made a map of the route, or what purported to be one, but which was very incorrect with regard to the rivers and smaller streams.
The officers and men of the expedition, having embarked in canoes, with their equipment and material, at La Chine, on the St. Lawrence, a few miles above
¹ Translation: In the year 1749, of the reign of Louis XV., king of France, we, Celeron, commandant of a detachment sent by Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniere, commandant-general of New France; to restore tranquillity in certain Indian villages of these districts, have buried this plate at the confluence of the Ohio and Tchadakoin [Chautauqua], this 29th of July, near the River Ohio, otherwise Beautiful River, as a monument of renewal of possession that we have taken of the said river Ohio and of all those which fall into it, and of all the lands on both sides as far as to the sources of said rivers, which the preceding kings of France have rightfully enjoyed and maintained by arms and by treaties, especially by those of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix-la-Chapelle..
² Sons of Chabert Joncaire, who lived among the Iroquois fur many. years, and died at Niagara in 1740.
Montreal, left the former place on the 15th of June, 1749, and proceeded up the great river to Lake Ontario, thence along the southern shore of that lake to Fort Niagara, where they arrived on the 6th of July. They made no halt here, but moved at once to the portage, and commenced the work of transporting their material and stores by land around the cataract. This labor occupied a week, and on the 13th they were again afloat on the waters of Niagara River above the rapids. From the river they entered Lake Erie, and pulled along its southeastern shore towards the landing-place of the portage over which they were to pass to reach the lake now called Chautauqua. Twice they were compelled by strong head winds to disembark and encamp on the shore, waiting for a favorable change of weather, but finally in the afternoon of the 16th they reached the landing-place, where the company disembarked, and the commander sent out two of his officers with a party of men to mark and clear the first part of the portage route.
They had heavy work before them,—to carry the canoes, laden with all their impedimenta, tons in weight, to be relaunched on the waters of an inland lake more than seven hundred feet higher than those of Erie,' and with an intervening ridge of fully two hundred feet additional altitude to be crossed in the portage of nearly ten miles in length. But it appears that Celeron took little account of the obstacles confronting him, and here, as at other stages of his long and difficult journey, he pushed on without hesitation and with remarkable energy. At dawn in the morning of the 17th he put his men in motion, and although the way was rugged, steep, and in many places apparently impassable, and a serious delay was caused by a heavy rain-storm, they traversed the portage, heavily laden as they were, in less than six full days, arriving on the shore of the highland lake on the 22d. It is not improbable that the small stream since known as Chautauqua Creek afforded them some little facility for water carriage, but if so it could only have been for a very small proportion of the distance between the two lakes.
At the end of the portage they halted a while to repair the canoes and give the wearied voyageurs an opportunity for a little rest after their fatiguing march from the shore of Lake Erie, but early in the day on the 23d the flotilla moved briskly on through the bright waters of Chautauqua, and in the same evening the men bivouacked on its shore within a league of the outlet through which the surplus waters of the lake flow to Conewango Creek, and with the current of the latter stream to the Allegheny. At this campground some of the Iroquois warriors of Celeron's party came on and reported that while fishing during the afternoon they had seen Indians, apparently
³ Chautauqua Lake is seven hundred and twenty-four and a half feet above the level of Lake Erie. The distance, as now traveled, between the two lakes is about eight and a half miles, but there is no reason to suppose Celeron made it in less than ten.
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH CLAIMS TO THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY REGION - 25
scouts, watching the movements of the canoe fleet, and that these had immediately disappeared when they found they were discovered. This circumstance gave Celeron no little concern, and at the end of the next day's journey he convened a council, by which it was decided to send out an officer with a party of the Canadian Iroquois who accompanied the expedition, taking belts of wampum and some presents, to find the scouts who had caused the alarm, accompany them to their villages, and there use all means to conciliate the people and allay their fears with regard to the objects of the advancing French column. In accordance with this decision, a party of the Canadian Indians was sent out under command of one of the Joncaires, who, failing to find the scouts on the path, proceeded to the Indian village of Broken Straw (called by the French Paille Coupee), where, as it appears, he was known, as had also been his father (Chabert Joncaire) before him. There he made some friendly and conciliatory speeches, to which the Indians in turn replied in equally friendly terms, yet still remained distrustful of the French and of the objects of the expedition.
The progress made by Celeron's force on the 24th of July was small. Embarking in the morning of that day, they soon reached and entered the outlet-stream, but the water was so low that it was found necessary to lighten the canoes, and carry a part of their loads overland to the deeper water below, so that at night the canoes had not advanced more than two miles down the stream. During the five days next succeeding their progress was but little more rapid, on account of low water, shoals, and tortuous channel, so that it was not until midday of the 29th that they debouched into the broad current of the Allegheny, which they called La Belle Riviere.
At the place where Celeron entered the Allegheny from the Conewango, "at the foot of a red-oak on the south bank of the Ohio River, and opposite a little island at the confluence of the two rivers, Ohio and Kanaugon"¹ (Conewango), he buried one of his leaden plates in token of French occupation and dominion. The arms of the king of France were affixed to a tree near by the place, and the other ceremonies usual among the French when taking pretended possession of new countries in the name of their sovereign were observed on this occasion.
Every movement of the French was seen and noted by the Indian scouts who were constantly lurking along their flanks, and who, of course, knew the spot where Celeron buried the metallic tablet. It is therefore probable that the plate which was buried opposite the mouth of the Conewango on the 29th of July was afterwards disinterred by the Indians, and that it was the same which was carried by the Cayuga sachem to Col. Johnson. The principal reasons for supposing this to have been the case are, first, that
¹ Description given in Celeron's Journal of the Expedition.
the date on the tablet was the same as that on which Celeron buried the plate opposite the mouth of the Conewango, and, second, that the inscription is to the effect that it was buried on the bank of the Ohio (Allegheny) at its confluence with another stream, the only discrepancy being that the name of that other stream as cut upon the plate differs from that which Celeron in his journal gives to the Conewango. But this fact. is by no means fatal to the supposition that the plate brought to Col. Johnson was the same which Celeron buried at that place, for at that time among the Indians a stream was frequently known by as many as four or five different names. The name of the stream in question (the Conewango) was spelled by Celeron in his journal in one place Kanaaiagon. and in another place Chanougon, while his " mathematicien," Bonnecamps. spelled it Kananouangon. It seems very reasonable to suppose that the stream down which the French came from the lake, Tchadakoin (Chautauqua), should have been called by them by the same name, and that they should have that name on the slab, with the date, at the time they buried it. There was an Indian village on the Conewango near its mouth called Kanaouagon, which the French visited after the ceremony of burying the plate. The Indian residents of this place called the stream and their village by the same name, which, as it appears, was then adopted by Celeron in place of the other name, Tchadakoin. But these are mere speculations, the facts can never be certainly known.
On the last day of July the expedition left the Indian settlement at the mouth of the Conewango and proceeded down the Allegheny, passing several Indian villages. At night the canoes were made fast to the shore, and the company encamped on the bank of the river, with sentinels regularly posted in accordance with military usage. This precaution was observed by Celeron during all the journey, partly, however, for the purpose of enforcing and preserving discipline among the reckless Canadian voyageurs. In the forenoon of the 3d of August they came to the mouth of the Riviere aux Boeufs, now known as French Creek, which enters the Allegheny from the northwest. Here they found a small Indian village, at which they made but a brief stop, and passed on down the river to a point -about nine miles below, where the expeditionary forces landed, and a second plate was buried " on the south bank of the Ohio [Allegheny] River, four leagues below the river Aux Bceufs, opposite a bald mountain, and near a large stone on which are many figures rudely cut." The stone referred to was an immense bowlder, upon which, on the side facing the river, were some Indian hieroglyphics, which caused the savages to regard the rock with superstitious awe.²
² This rock is described, and a view of it, including the hieroglyphics on its face, given in Schoolcraft's "Indian Tribes in the United States," vol. vi.
26 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
On the 4th of August the fleet of Celeron left the rock and moved on down the river. Two days later they passed a deserted Shawanese village called " Chartier's Old Town," where Peter Chartier had resided with the Indians some five years previously. Paddling on down the stream, they passed the site of the present city of Pittsburgh, but nothing is found to show that any plate was buried, or even a halt made there. On the 6th the expedition reached the old Indian village of Chiningue, or Logstown, some twelve miles below the mouth of the Monongahela. Here they found a great number of Indians of several different nations, and among them several English-speaking traders. This last-named fact roused the ire of Celeron, who promptly expelled the traders. warning them that if they dared to return they would do so at their peril ; and by one of them he sent the following letter to Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania, viz.:
"From our camp on La Belle Riviere, at an ancient village of Chaouanone, Aug. 6, 1749.
"SIR,—Having been sent with a detachment Into these quarters by Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniere, commandant-general of New France, to reconcile among themselves certain savage nations who are ever at variance on account of the war just terminated, I have been much surprised to find some traders of your government in a country to which England never had any pretensions. It even appears that the same opinion is entertained in New England, since in many of the villages I have passed through the English who were trading there have mostly taken flight. Those whom I first fell in with, and by whom I write you, I have treated with all mildness possible, although I would have been justified in treating them as interlopers and men without design, their enterprise being contrary to the preliminaries of peace signed five months ago. I hope, sir, for the future you will carefully prohibit this trade, which is contrary to treaties, and give notice to your traders that they will expose themselves to great risks in returning to these countries, and that they must impute only to themselves the misfortunes they may meet with. I know that our commandant-general would be very sorry to have recourse to violence, but he has orders not to permit foreign traders in his government.
"I have the honor to be with great respect,
"Sir, your humble and obedient servant,
Celeron found the Indians at Logstown wholly disinclined to form an alliance with the French or to yield the possession of the country to them, and they were too well disposed towards the English traders to relish their summary expulsion. The French commandant made a speech to them which they thought insulting, telling them that all the valley of the Beautiful River was owned by his master, the king of France ; that Frenchmen would supply them with goods, and that none others would be permitted to do so; that he was then on his way down the river to reprimand the Wyandots and other Western Indians, and to whip them to their homes for having traded with the English. All this had the effect to incense the savages against the French. There were at Logstown a considerable number of Iroquois and Abenakis, and the dissatisfaction felt by these being communicated to their Canadian kinsmen who were with Celeron, caused them to refuse to go farther with the expedition. They returned to their homes in the north, passing up the Allegheny River, over the route by which the expedition came; and tearing off the copper plates blazoned with the royal arms of France from the trees to which they had been affixed by Celeron's orders. Whether they also dug up the leaden slabs which had been buried on the shores of the Allegheny is not known, but it is not unlikely that they did so.
On the voyage down the Ohio from Logstown (or Chiningue) Celeron caused plates to be buried at four different points, viz.: at Kanououara or Wheeling Creek, on the 13th of August; at the mouth of the river Muskingum,¹ on the 15th of the same month ; at the mouth of Chinondaista (now known as the Great Kanawha), on the 18th ; and at the mouth of the Big Miami, on the 31st of August. This was the end of Celeron's voyage down the Ohio. From this point the expedition passed up the Miami to the head of canoe navigation, then marched through the wilderness to the Miami of the Lake (now the Maumee), and floated down that stream to Lake Erie. Thence, by way of that lake, the Niagara River (portaging round the falls as before), Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River, Celeron and his party returned to Montreal, where they arrived Nov. 10, 1749. In theory they had taken actual and permanent possession of the Upper Ohio Valley, and those of its tributaries (the lower river to the Gulf of Mexico being already in French occupation), but in fact they had accomplished nothing, for instead of securing the friendship and alliance of the Indians living on the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, they had intensified the distrust and enmity of those savages. The Pennsylvania and Virginia traders, too, who had been driven away by Celeron returned to Logstown immediately after his departure,² and were made welcome by the Indians, who made haste to renew their assurances of undiminished friendship for their brethren, the English.
In reference to the expedition of Celeron and his planting of the leaden plates, intended as a memorial and proof of the French occupation of the valley of the Ohio River, some extracts are here given front the minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania,³ viz. :
¹ The plates buried at the Muskingum and Kanawha were afterwards discovered, the former in the year 1798 by some boys who were bathing in the stream. Seeing a part of it protruding from the bank they dug it out, and knowing nothing of its historical value, cut off a part of it and melted the lead for bullets. The other part, however, was obtained from the boys by a gentleman, who sent it to Governor DeWitt Clinton, of New York, and it is still in existence in Boston, Mass. The plate which was buried at the mouth of the Kanawha was found in March, 1846, by a boy (a son of J. W. Beale, of Point Pleasant, Va.), who in playing along the river-bank saw the edge of the plate a few feet below the surface. It was dug out and preserved, with the inscription, entire.
² George Croghan, who was sent out by the Governor of Pennsylvania in August, 1749, with presents and belts to the Ohio Indians, reach ed Logstown soon after the French left, :tad in his report to the Governor he mentioned that "Monsieur Calderon with two hundred French soldiers" had left the village and gone down the river a short time previons to his arrival there.
³ See Colonial Records, vol. v. p. 507, el seq.
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH CLAIMS TO THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY REGION - 27
" 2d February, 1750.
"The Governor having received by the last Post a Letter from Governor Clinton of New York with some Papers relating to Indian Affairs, the same were read and sent to the Assembly, and are as follows:
"A Letter from Governor Clinton to Governor Hamilton.
" Sir,—Your Favour of the 22d instant I have received, and am glad that you are of the same opinion with me in relation to Indian Affairs. I send you a copy of an Inscription on a leaden Plate stolen from Jean Coeur [Joncaire] some months since in the Senecas' Country as he was going to the River Ohio, which plainly demonstrates the French Scheme by the exorbitant claims therein mentioned ; also a copy of a Cajuga Sachim's Speech to Colo. Johnson, with his Reply, on the subject matter of the plate, which I hope will come time enough to communicate to your Assembly."
This letter of Governor Clinton was dated " Fort George, 29th January, 1750." The speech of the Cayuga sachem, who, with a number of other Indians of the Five Nations, was at the house of Col. Johnson, is given in the minutes, as follows :
" Brother Corlear and Warraghiyagee [Gray Eyes]. I am sent here by the Five Nations (with a Piece of writing which the Senecas, our Brethren, got by some Artifice from Jean Coeur) to you Earnestly beseeching you will let us know what it means, and, as we put all our confidence in you our Brother, hope you will explain it ingeniously to us. [The speaker here delivered the square leaden plate and a wampum belt, and proceeded.] I am ordered further to acquaint you that Jean Coeur, the French Interpreter, when on his Journey (this last summer) to Ohio River, Spoke thus to the Five Nations & Others in our Alliance :
Children,—Your Father [meaning the French Governor] having, out of a tender regard for you, considered the great difficulties you labour under by carrying your Goods, Canoes, &c., over the great Carrying Place of Niagara, has desired me to acquaint you that, in order to ease you all of so much trouble for the future, he is resolved to build a House at the other end of said carrying Place, which he will furnish with all necessaries requisite for your use. . . Jean Coeur also told us that he was now on his way to Ohio River, where he intended to stay three years, and desired some of us to accompany him thither, which we refused ; whereupon he answered he was much surprised at our not consenting to go with him, inasmuch as it was for our interest and ease he was sent thither to build a House there; also at the carrying place between said River Ohio and Lake Erie,¹ where all the Western Indians should be supplied with whatever Goods they may have occa-
¹ The laud carriage between Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake, N. Y., and that between the lower end of that lake and the Conewango Creek, which flows into the Allegheny.
sion for, and not be at the trouble and loss of time of going so far to Market as usual [meaning Oswego]. After this he desired to know our opinion of the Affair and begged our consent to build in said Places. He gave us a large Belt of Wampum thereon desiring our answer, which we told him we would take some time to consider of."
To this speech Col. William Johnson replied, assuring the Cayuga sachem and his associates that he was always glad to see the Indians at his house, but particularly so on that occasion, as it gave him an opportunity of convincing them that their friends, the English, were worthy of their fullest confidence, while the French were and had always been their worst enemies. " But their scheme," added he, " now laid against you and yours (at a time when they are feeding you up with fine Promises of serving you in several Shapes) is worse than all the rest, as will appear by their own writing on this Plate.² This is an affair of the greatest Importance to you, as nothing less than all your Lands and best Hunting places are aimed at, with a view of secluding you entirely from us and the rest of your brethren, viz., the Philadelphians, Virginians, etc., who can always supply you with the necessaries of life at a much lower rate than the French ever did or could, and under whose protection you are and ever will be safer and better served in every respect than under the French. These and a hundred other substantial reasons I could give you to convince you that the French are your implacable enemies, but, as I told you before, the very Instrument you now brought me of their own writing is sufficient of itself to convince the world of their villanous designs ; therefore I need not be at the trouble, so shall only desire that you and all other Nations in Alliance with you seriously consider your own Interest, and by no means submit to the impending danger which now threatens you, the only way to prevent which is to turn Jean Coeur away immediately from Ohio, and tell him that the French shall neither build there or at the carrying Place of Niagara, nor have a foot of land more from you. Brethren, what I now say I expect and insist upon it being taken notice of and sent to the Indians of the Ohio, that they may immediately know the vile designs of the French."
A belt of wampum was then presented, and the Indian speaker replied,—
" Brother Corlaer and Warraghiyagee, I have with great attention and Surprise heard you repeat the substance of that Devilish writing which I brought you, and also with pleasure noticed your just Remarks thereon, which really agree with my own sen-
² At this point in hie speech to the Indians Col. Johnson translated to them the words upon the leaden plate. " I repeat here," he says, In his report of the conference, " the Substance of said writing, with some necessary additions, Giving a large Belt of Wampum to confirm what I said, which Belt, with the rest, are to be sent to all the nations as far as the Ohio River."
28 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
timents on it. I return you my most hearty thanks in the name of all the nations for your brotherly Love and cordial advice, which I promise you sincerely (by this belt of wampum) shall be communicated immediately and-verbatim to the Five Nations by myself, and, moreover, shall see it forwarded from the Senecas' Castle with belts from each of our own Nations to the Indians at Ohio, to strengthen your desire, as I am thoroughly satisfied you have our interest at heart."
Information of the French expedition down the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers under Celeron having been promptly forwarded to England, considerable anxiety was felt there as to the effect it might have upon the Indian tribes ; and the proprietaries of Pennsylvania wrote at once from London to Governor Hamilton a letter, which was received in January, 1750 (during a session of the Assembly), and from which an extract, having reference to the subject in question, is here given, viz.:
"The Account you give of a Party of French having come to Allegheny and laid claim to that Country, and the Tribes of Indians with whom we have lately entered into Treaty, a good deal alarms me ; and I hear that Party is returned to Canada, threatening to return with a greater Force next year. I have communicated the French Commandant's Letter and Paper, with an account of the Affair, to the Duke of Bedford and Lord Halifax, and I think something should be done immediately, if it can by consent of the Indians, to take possession. This, I think, you should advise with the Council and Assembly about, as it is of great Import to the Trade of the Province to have a Settlement there, and an House a little more secure than an Indian Cabbin. I make no doubt the Indians would readily consent to such a Settlement; and if there is Stone and Lime in the neighborhood, I think an House with thick walls of Stone, with small Bastions, might be built at no very great Expence, as it is little matter how rough it is within-side; or a wall of that sort perhaps fifty feet square, with a small Log House in the middle of it, might perhaps do better. The command of this might be given to the principal Indian Trader, and he be obliged to keep Four or Six Men at it, who might serve him in it, and the House be a magazine for Goods. If something of this sort can be done, we shall be willing to be at the expence of four hundred Pounds Currency for the building of it, and of one hundred Pounds a Year for keeping some men with a few Arms and some Powder; this, with what the Assembly might be induced to give, will in some measure protect the Trade, and be a mark of Possession. However few the Men are, they should wear an uniform Dress, that though very small it may look Fort like."
But the Assembly did not favor the project. " During the course of this Session,¹ the Governor had
¹ Col. Rec., vol. v. p. 516.
several private Conferences with the Speaker and some of the principal Members of the House on the state of Indian Affairs, and was in hopes that the Proposal of the Proprietaries would have induced them to encourage him to order the Persons intrusted with the Delivery of the Present at Ohio [George Croglian and Andrew Montour] to make the Indians some overtures of this sort ; but the Members appeared extremely averse to it, which obliged the Governor to desire Mr. Croghan to do no more than sound the Indians in a private manner, that he might know their Sentiments before he should do anything further in the matter, well knowing that unless the Assembly would go heartily into the Affair and make some Provision along with the
Proprietaries for the maintenance of the Fort or Block House, and the People to be appointed for this service, it would be to no purpose to stir in it." He therefore did no more than lay before the Assembly the preceding extract from the proprietaries' letter, on which no action was taken.
During the year following that of Celeron's expedition the Frenchman Joncaire was again among the Indians on the Allegheny endeavoring to remove the ill feeling which Celeron's overbearing conduct had occasioned, and to secure for his countrymen the friendship and confidence of the savages. George Croghan (who, with the half-breed, Andrew Montour, had been sent to the Ohio by Governor Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, with presents to the Indians in that vicinity), in a letter dated " Logstown, on the Ohio, Dec. 16, 1750," said to the Governor,—
" Sir,—Yesterday Mr. Montour and I got to this town where we found thirty warriors of the Six Nations going to war against the Catawba Indians. They told us that they saw John Coeur [Joncaire] about one hundred and fifty miles up the river at an Indian town, where he intends to build a fort if he can get liberty from the Ohio Indians. He has five canoes loaded with goods, and is very generous in making presents to all the chiefs of the Indians he meets with. He has sent two messengers to this town, desiring the Indians here to go and meet him, and clear the road for him to come clown the river, but they have so little respect for his message that they have not thought it worth while to send him an answer as yet."
Croghan was again among the Indians on the Ohio in the spring of 1751, and kept a journal of events which occurred during his stay. From that journal the following extracts are given as showing something of the movements of the French at that time, viz.:
" May 20.—Forty warriors of the Six Nations came to town [the Indian town of Chinique, otherwise called Logstown, located on the Ohio some miles below Pittsburgh] from the head of the Ohio with Mr. Joncoeur and one Frenchman more in company."
" May 21.—Mr. Joncoeur, the French interpreter,
THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH CLAIMS TO THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY REGION - 29
called a council with all the Indians then present in town, and made the following speech. [Here follows Joncaire's speech to the Indians, in which he told them he had come.for an answer to the speech made to them by Celeron two years before, viz.: that Onontio, the Governor of Canada, desired them to turn away the English traders and deal wholly with the French. To this one of the Six Nation chiefs replied, saying that they would not turn the English away, but would continue to trade with them as long as they lived, and that if he, Joncaire, had anything to say, and was the man he pretended to be, he should 'say it to that man,' pointing to Croghan]."
" May 25.—I had a conference with Monsieur Joncoeur ; he desired I would excuse him, and not think hard of him for the speeches he made to the Indians requesting them to turn the English traders away and not to suffer them to trade, for it was the Governors of Canada who ordered him, and he was obliged to obey them, though he was very sensible which way the Indians would receive them, for he was sure the French would not accomplish their design with the Six Nations without it could be done by force, which he said he believed they would find to be as difficult as the method they had just tried, and would meet with the like success."
There was probably at that time no other Frenchman who was so popular among the Indians as was this same Joncaire, yet he found it impossible to accomplish the object for which he came,—to draw the savages into alliance with the French, and procure the expulsion of the English-speaking traders,—and he was compelled to relinquish the design and retire up the Allegheny, after having recorded his protest, and re-notified Governor Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, of the French claims to the country in a letter of which the following is a translation :
"DE CHINIQUE (LOOSTOWN), June 6, 1751.
"Sir,—Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniero, Governor of the whole of New France, having honored me with his orders to. watch that the English should make no treaty in the country of the Ohio, I have directed the traders of your government to withdraw. You cannot be ignorant, sir, that all the lands of this region have always belonged to the King of France, and that the English have no tight to come here to trade. My superior has commanded me to apprise you of what I have done, in order that you may not affect ignorance of the reasons of it; and he has given me this order with so much the greater reason because it is now two years since Monsieur Celeron, by order of the Marquis of Galissoniere, then Commandant-General, warned many English who were trading with the Indians along the Ohio against so doing, and they promised him not to return to trade on the lands, as Monsieur Celeron wrote you.
(Signed) " JONCAIRE,
" Lieutenant of a Detachment of the Navy."
In the year 1750 the " Ohio Company" (acting under an English charter and royal grant, obtained in 1749, sent its agent, Christopher Gist, to the Ohio River, to explore the country along that stream, with a view to its occupation and settlement. Under these instructions he viewed the country along the west bank of the river, from the mouth of the Allegheny
southwestwardly to the Falls of the Ohio (opposite the present city of Louisville, Ky.), and in the following year (1751) he explored the other side of the stream down to the mouth of the Great Kanawha. In 1752 he was present, as agent of the "Ohio Company," at the Logstown treaty, already mentioned, and took part, with Col. Joshua Fry and the two other commissioners of Virginia, in the proceedings with the chiefs of the Six Nations.
These and other movements on the part of those acting under authority of the British king caused the French to bestir themselves and move more energetically towards the occupation of the country west of the Alleghenies. Early in 1753 they began to move southward from Lake Ontario through the wilderness towards the Allegheny River, and on the 21st of May in that year intelligence was received that a party of one hundred and fifty French and Indians " had arrived at a carrying-place leading from the Niagara to the head of the Ohio." On the same day, in the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, "The Governor laid before the board several letters front Governor Clinton, inclosing accounts from Col. Johnson, and from the commanding officer at Oswego,¹ that a large Armament of French and Indians had passed by that Fort, destinated, as was suspected, for Ohio, in order to take Possession of that Country, and to build Forts on that River; whereupon he had dispatched Messengers to the Governors of Maryland and Virginia, and likewise Mr. West was sent to Sasquehannah, there to procure and send away two Messengers, one by Patowmack, and the other by Juniata to Ohio, to give the Indians notice of this, and to put them on their guard."²
Information was also received by Andrew Montour, who had then just come in from the country of the Six Nations, to the effect " that he found the Indians not a little intimidated at the large armament of French and Indians which had gone by Oswego, on their way to Ohio, especially after hearing what was said by seven Indians who came into Council while he was present and declared they were sent by the Governor of Canada to inform their Council that the
¹ The commanding officer referred. to (Lieut. Holland) wrote as follows:
" Oswego, May 15, 1753.
" Yesterday passed by here thirty odd French canoes, part of an Army going to Bell Riviere to make good their claim there ; and by a Frenchman who passed this also yesterday, on his way to Cajocha, gave me the following account, which he said he learned from common Report in Canada, viz. That the Army consisted of Six Thousand French, commanded by Monsieur Martin, who is ordered to Ohio to settle the Limits between us and them ; that they lay claim on all the Lands on any of the Rivers or Creeks descending or terminating in the great Lake; that if he meet with any opposition, he is to make good his claim by Force of Arms, and to build Forts in such Places as he shall think most convenient to secure their Right; that one Fort is to be built at Kasanosaiyogo (a carrying Place), and another at Diontarogo; they are also to oblige all the English they meet with, whether Traders or others, to evacuate the Place, as they look upon all we possess now as their undoubted Right, which they mean to support by Force of Arms.
² Col. Rec., vol. v. pp. 607-8.
- 3 -
30 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
King of France, their Master, had raised a number of soldiers to chastise the Twightwees and drive away all the English traders from Ohio, and take those lands under their own care, because the Indians acted a foolish part, and had not Sense enough to take care of their own Lands. It is true, Mr. Montour said, they ordered those seven Indians to tell the Governor of Canada they would not suffer him to build Forts there, nor take possession of those Lands, nor drive away the English; that those Lands belonged to the Indians, and that neither French nor English should have anything to do with them ; that the Indians were owners of the soil, and independent of both, and would keep the Lands in their own hands; but notwithstanding this answer, Mr. Montour said he saw plainly the Indians were frighted, and that there was a strong party for the French among the Indians, and the Senecas particularly were in their interest and countenanced the proceeding."
On the 25th of May further intelligence of the advance of the French towards the Allegheny was brought to Philadelphia by Michael Taafe and Robert Callender, Indian traders, who had just returned from the head of the Ohio. Callender reported that on the 7th of that month, when he was at Pine Creek, about twenty miles from the Indian village of Logstown, on the Ohio, in company with Capt. William Trent, of Virginia, George Croghan, and several other traders, they received a letter addressed to all the traders by John Fraser, also a trader, living at Weningo (Venango), about one hundred miles up the Allegheny, which letter informed them that he (Fraser) had received intelligence from the Mingo Indians " that there were then, and had been since March last, one hundred and fifty French and Indians at a carrying-place¹ which leads from Niagara to the heads of the Ohio, building canoes and making other preparations for the reception of a large body of French and Indians who were expected there every day with eight pieces of brass cannon and a large quantity of ammunition and provisions ; that on the 8th of May they received full confirmation of the above account by two Indians who were sent by the Council at Onondaga to give the Ohio Indians notice of the preparations the French were making to attack them." When this intelligence came to the villages on the Ohio there was great excitement among the Indians, and one of the Mingoes at Logstown went to a Frenchman² who had been there for some time, told him of
¹ At Chautauqua Lake, New York.
² The person referred to, who was known among the Indians as "the White Frenchman," was Monsieur La Force, the same one who was with Jumonville when Col. Washington attacked and killed the latter near Fort Necessity, in May, 1754, and who in several accounts is mentioned as having been then in command of the French force. On this occasion he had come among the Indians at Logstown to secure their alliance with the French, and having failed to accomplish it had become abusive to them. In the Colonial Records, vol. vi. page 22, is given " A speech made by Monsieur La Force, the French Gentleman that was at Logs Town when Mr. Montour and I [George Croghan] left it, to the Six Nations there," viz.:
the news, and said that he (the Frenchman) had been amusing the Indians during the past winter with stories "as sweet as if his tongue was sweetened with sugar," but warned him that he should certainly be the first man to lose his scalp if his countrymen should make any attempt to attack the Indians or their friends, the English.
The French forces which had been seen passing through Lake Ontario and at the Chautauqua carrying-place moved by the same route which had been pursued by Celeron four years before to the Allegheny, and down that river to Weningo (Venango), where they at once proceeded to erect a stockade fort.
Another French force disembarked at a point farther west on Lake Erie, moved across the country to French Creek, then called La Riviere, aux Boeufs, and built upon that stream the fort called by them Le Boeuf. Both these forts were finished before the end of September, that at Venango being completed as early as August, as is shown by the following extract from a letter written by John Fraser (the trader who had formerly been located at Venango, but was driven away from there by the French) to Mr. Young,³ dated " Forks [present site of Pittsburgh], Aug. 27, 1753," viz.:
" . . . . Capt. Trent was here the night before last, and viewed the ground the fort is to be built upon, which they will begin in less than a month's time. 4 The money has been laid out for the building of it already, and the great guns are lying at Williamsburg, Va., ready to bring up.
" The French are daily deserting from the new Fort. One of them came here the other day with Capt. Trent; he has him .along wIth him to Virginia; he has given the true Account of the Number of the French and all their Designs ; there are exactly Twenty-Four Hundred of them in all ; here is inclosed the Draught of the Fort the French built a little way the other side of Sugar Creek, not far from Weningo, where they have Eight Cannon. . . . The Captain of the French that took John Trotter from
" Children,—I came here to know your minds, whether you intend to side with the English or not; and without asking you I am convinced that you have thrown away your fathers and taken to your brothers, the English. I tell you now that you have but a short time to see the Sun, for in twenty days you and your brothers tho English shall all die l"
Whereupon the speaker of the Six Nations made him this reply,—
"Fathers,—You tell us in twenty days we and our Brethren the English must all die. I believe you speak true, that is, you intend to kill us if you can; but I tell you to be Strong and bring down your Soldier. for We are ready to receive you in battle, but not in Peace. We are afraid of you, and after an Engagement you will know who are the best Men, you or we."
³ Colonial Records, v. 659.
4 Referring to a fort which the Ohio Company were preparing to build at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny.
It was not, however, commenced "in less than a month's time" from that date as told in the letter, but was commenced in the following February by the same Capt. Trent, and surrendered to the French be completion, as will be noticed hereafter. It then became the hiatoric Fort Du Quesne.
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S VISIT TO THE FRENCH FORTS IN 1753 - 31
Weningo was the White French Man that lived last Winter at Logs Town." This last named being the same one (La Force) before mentioned as having been threatened by the Indian with the loss of his scalp if his countrymen should make any attempt to attack the Indians or their English friends.
The alarm of the Indians at the head of the Ohio was very great when they heard of the building of the forts at Le Bceuf and Venango, and of the large French force which was gathered at the two posts. The old Half-King, Tanacharison (an Iroquois sachem living at Logstown, and representing the power of the Six Nations on the Ohio), immediately went up the Allegheny to remonstrate with the French commandant at Le Boeuf against the occupation of the country belonging to the Indians, but the French officer treated him very contemptuously, told him the country was owned by the king, his master, " and discharged him home, and told him he was an Old Woman, and that all his nation was in their [the French] Favour only him, and if he would not go home he would put him in Irons. He came home and told the English to go off the place, for fear they should be hurt, with Tears in his Eyes." And when other chiefs afterwards went up the river to warn the French to abandon their designs, the commandant treated them in much the same way in which he had treated the Half-King. " But this I will tell you," said he, " I am commanded to build four strong houses, viz.: at Weningo, Monongalio Forks, Logs Town, and Beaver Creek, and ,this I will do."¹
On learning of the great alarm of the Indians at the Forks of the Ohio, and knowing them to be steadfast in their friendship for the English, Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, immediately sent them " One hundred Small Arms, Powder, Shot, and some Cloathing," to be placed in charge of Capt. William Trent, Christopher Gist, and Andrew Montour, " who were empowered to distribute them to the Indians as their Occasion and Behaviour should require." The Governor of Pennsylvania too, on receiving the intelligence conveyed in John Fraser's letter of August 27th (before quoted), laid the matter before the Assembly, who thereupon voted £800, to be placed in the Governor's hands, and expended by him at his discretion for the safety of the Indians and traders at the Forks of the Ohio, the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela.
The intelligence of the aggressive movements of the French caused the English home government to adopt more energetic measures than had previously been employed to meet and resist their advance into the Ohio River country. Among the official communications addressed by the Earl of Holderness, secretary of state, to the governors of the several American provinces was one to Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, containing directions concerning the French
¹ Colonial Records, v. 667.
encroachments. The letter of the secretary was sent by a government ship, and reached Dinwiddie in October, 1753. In pursuance of the instructions contained, the Governor appointed and commissioned ² GEORGE WASHINGTON, then a youth of only twenty-one years, but one of the adjutants-general of the Military forces of Virginia, as bearer of dispatches to the commanding officer of the intruding French on the Ohio ; ³ charged, also, with the duty of ascertaining the numbers and equipment of the French forces there, what forts, if any, they had erected, and various other items of military intelligence, which are made clear in his letter of instructions, of which the following is a copy :
" Whereas, I have received information of a body of French forces being assembled in a hostile manner on the river Ohio, intending by force of arms to erect certain forts on the said river within this territory, and contrary to the dignity and peace of our sovereign, the King of Great Britain,
"These are therefore to require and direct you, the said George Washington, forthwith to repair to Logstown, on the said river Ohio, and, having there informed yourself where the said French forces have posted themselves, thereupon to proceed to such place, and, being there arrived, to present your credentials, together with my letter, to the chief commanding officer, and in the name of his Britannic Majesty to demand an answer thereto.
"On your arrival at Logstown you are to address yourself to the Half-King, to Monacatoocha, and the other sachems of the Six Nations, acquainting them with your orders to visit and deliver my letter to the French commanding officer, and desiring the said chiefs to appoint you a sufficient number of their warriors to be your safeguard as near the French as you may desire, and to wait your further direction.
"You are diligently to inquire into the numbers and force of the French on the Ohio and the adjacent country ; how they are likely to be
2 Following is a copy of the commission :
"To GEORGE WASHINGTON, ESQUIRE, ONE OF THE ADJUTANTS-GENERAL
OF THE TROOPS AND FORCES IN THE COLONY OF VIRGINIA.
"I, reposing especial trust and confidence in the ability, conduct, and fidelity of you, the said GEORGE WASHINGTON, have appointed you my express messenger; and you are hereby authorized and empowered to proceed hence with all convenient and possible dispatch to the part or place on the river Ohio where the French have lately erected a fort or forts, or where the commandant of the French forces resides, in order to deliver my letter and message to him ; and after waiting not exceeding one week for an answer, you are to take your leave and return immediately back.
"To this commission I have set my hand and caused the great seal of this dominion to be affixed, at the city of Williamsburg, the seat of my government, this 30th day of October, in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of his Majesty George the Second, king of Great Britain, &c., &c., annoque Domini 1753. ROBERT DINWIDDIE."
And the following was the tenor of the Governor's passport:
" To all to whom these presents may come or concern, greeting:
"Whereas, I have appointed George Washington, Esquire, by commission under the great seal, my express messenger to the commandant of the French forces on the river Ohio, and as he is charged with business of great importance to his Majesty and this dominion,
"I do hereby command all his Majesty's subjects, and particularly require all in alliance and amity with the crown of Great Britain, and all others to whom this passport may come, agreeably to the law of nations, to be aiding and assisting as a safeguard to the said George Washington and his attendants in his present passage to and from the river Ohio, as
aforesaid. ROBERT DINWIDDIE."
³ He had previously sent Capt. William Trent on a similar errand. In a letter to the Lords of Trade he said, " My last to you was on the 16th of June, to which I beg you to be referred. . . . The person sent as a commissioner to the commandant of the French forces neglected his duty, and went no farther than Logstown on the Ohio. He reports the French were then one hundred and, fifty miles farther up the river, and ,I believe was afraid to go to them."
32 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
assisted from Canada; and what are the difficulties and conveniences of that communication, and the time required for it.
" You are to take care to be truly informed what forts the French have erected, and where; how they are garrisoned and appointed, and what is their distance from each other, and from Logstown; and from the best intelligence you can procure, you are to learn what gave occasion to this expedition of the French ; how they are likely to be supported, and what their pretensions are.
"When the French commandant has given you the required and necessary dispatches, you are to desire of him a proper guard to protect you as far on your return as you may judge for your safety against any straggling Indians or hunters that may be ignorant of your character and molest you. Wishing you good success in your negotiation, and safe and speedy return, I am, &c.
" WILLIAMSBURG, 30 October, 1753."
On the day of his appointment Washington left Williamsburg, and on the 31st reached Fredericksburg, Va., where he employed Jacob Van Braam as a French interpreter. The two then went to Alexandria, where some necessary purchases were made. Thence they proceeded to Winchester, where packhorses were purchased; after which they rode to Wills' Creek (Cumberland, Md.), arriving there on the 14th of November. "Here," said Washington in his journal of the tour, " I engaged Mr. Gist ¹ to pilot us out, and also hired four others as servitors,—Barnaby Currin and John McQuire, Indian traders, Henry Steward, and William Jenkins ; and in company with these persons left the inhabitants the next day."
The party, now including seven persons, moved from Wills' Creek in a northwesterly direction, and proceeded by way of Gist's place ² to Fraser's, on the Monongahela at the mouth of Turtle Creek. They had found the traveling through the wilderness so difficult that the journey to this point from Wills' Creek occupied a week. Referring to this part of the route the journal says, " The excessive rains and vast quantities of snow which have fallen prevented our reaching Mr. Fraser's, an Indian trader, at the mouth of Turtle Creek, on Monongahela River, till Thursday, the 22d. We were informed here that expresses had been sent a few days before to the traders down the river, to acquaint them with the French general's death, and the return of the major part of the French army into winter-quarters. The waters were 'quite impassable without swimming our horses, which obliged us to get the loan of a canoe from Fraser, and to send Barnaby Currin and Henry Steward down the Monongahela with our baggage to meet us at the Forks of the Ohio."
Crossing the Alleghegheny, Washington found Shingiss, the Delaware king, who accompanied the party to Logstown, which they reached in twenty-five days from Williamsburg. On their arrival they found the
¹ Christopher Gist, agent of the " Ohio Company," who, a few month's previously—in 1753—had located and built a cabin near the centre of the territory of the present county of Fayette, at the place now known as Mount Braddock.
² " According to the best observation I could make," said Washington in his journal, " Mr. Gist's new settlement (which we passed by) bears about west-northwest seventy miles from Wills' Creek."
Indian Monakatoocha, but the Half-King was absent, hunting. Washington told the former, through his Indian interpreter, John Davidson, that he had come as a messenger to the French general, and was ordered to call and inform the sachems of the Six Nations of the fact. The Half-King ³ was sent for by runners, and at about three o'clock in the afternoon of the 25th he came in, and visited Washington in his tent, where, through the interpreter, Davidson, he told him that it was a long way to the headquarters of the French commandant on the Allegheny. " He told me," says the journal, "that the nearest and levelest way was now impassable by reason of many large miry savannahs; that we must be obliged to go by Venango, and should not get to the near fort in less than five or six nights' sleep, good traveling." He told Washington that he must wait until a proper guard of Indians could be furnished him. "The people whom I have ordered in," said he, "are not yet come, and cannot until the third night from this; until which time, brother, I must beg you to stay. I intend to send the guard of Mingoes, Shannoahs, and Delawares, that our brothers may see the love and loyalty we bear them."
Washington was anxious to reach his destination at the earliest possible time, but, in deference to the wishes of the friendly Tanacharison, he remained until the 30th of Novernber, when, as it is recorded in the journal, "We set out about nine o'clock with the Half-King, Jeskakake, White Thunder, and the Hunter, and traveled on the road to Venango, where we arrived the 4th of December, without anything remarkable happening but a continued series of bad weather. This is an old Indian town, situated at the mouth of French Creek, on Ohio, and lies near north about sixty miles from Logstown, but more than seventy the way we were obliged to go."
On the 7th the party set out from Venango for the French fort, and reached it on the 11th, having been greatly impeded " by excessive rains, snows, and bad traveling through many mires and swamps." On the 12th, Washington waited on the commander (M. Legardeur de St. Pierre, 4 a Knight of St. Louis), acquainted him with the business on which he came, and in the afternoon exhibited his commission, and delivered the letter from Governor Dinwiddle. While it was being translated he employed his time in taking the dimensions of the fort and making other observations with which he was charged. In the evening of the 14th he received the answer of th commandant to the Governor; but although he w now ready to set out on his return, he could not away until the second day after that, as the Frenc³
³ Tanacharison, the Half-King, was and always continued to be a and steadfast friend of the English, but he lived less than a year f the time when Washington met him at Logstown. His death occurned at Harrisburg, Pa. (then Harris' Ferry), in October, 1754.
4 This was not the same commandant who had previously abused Half-King and called him an "Old Woman," that officer having about two months before.
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S VISIT TO THE FRENCH FORTS IN 1753 - 33
although treating him with the greatest outward show of politeness, were using every artifice with his Indians to seduce them from their allegiance and friendship to the English, and were constantly plying them with brandy, which made the Indians loth to leave the place. Washington could not well go without them, and even if he could have done so, he would have been very unwilling to leave them behind him, subject to the dangerous influence of the French officers and French brandy.
Finally, on the 16th, he induced the Half-King and other Indians to leave, and set out from the fort for Venango, which was reached on the 22d. There the chiefs were determined to remain for a time, and therefore Washington's party was compelled to proceed without them, accompanied only by the Indian, Young Hunter, whom the Half-King had ordered to go with them as a guide. The journal of Washington narrates the events of this stage of the journey as follows: " Our horses were now so weak and feeble, and the baggage so heavy (as we were obliged to provide all the necessaries which the journey would require), that we doubted much their performing it. Therefore, myself and the others, except the drivers, who were obliged to ride, gave up our horses for packs to assist along with the baggage. I put myself in an Indian walking-dress, and continued with them three days, until I found there was no probability of their getting home in reasonable time. The horses became less able to travel every day, the cold increased very fast, and the roads were becoming much worse by a deep snow, continually freezing; therefore, as I was uneasy to get back to make report of my proceedings to his Honor, the Governor, I determined to prosecute my journey the nearest way through the woods on foot. Accordingly I left Mr. Van Braam in charge of our baggage, with money and directions to provide necessaries from place to place for themselves and horses, and to make the most convenient dispatch in traveling. I took my necessary papers, pulled off my clothes, and tied myself up in a watch-coat. Then, with gun in hand and pack on my back, in which were my papers and provisions, I set out with Mr. Gist, fitted in the same manner, on Wednesday, the 26th."
On the following day the two travelers fell in with a party of French Indians,¹ one of whom fired on
¹ Gist, however, in his diary, does not mention any party of Indians, but only the one who fired on them. He says, " We rose early in the morning and set out about two o'clock, and got to the Murderingtown, on the southeast fork of Beaver Creek. Here we met an Indian whom I thought I had seen at Joncaire's, at Venango, when on our journey up to the French fort. This fellow called me by my Indian name, and pretended to be glad to see me. I thought very ill of the fellow, but did not care to let the Major (Washington) know I mistrusted him. But he soon mistrusted him se much as I did. . . . It was very light and snow was on the ground. The Indian made a atop and turned about. The Major saw him point his gun at us, and he fired. Said the Major, ' Are you sbot?" No,' said I, upon which the Indian ran forward to a big
them, but fortunately missed. They took the fellow in custody, and kept him with them till nine o'clock at night, when they let him go, and they continued on their way, walking all night, to be out of reach of pursuit. On ale next evening at dark they reached the Allegheny just above Shannapin's town. In crossing the river on an improvised craft, Washington was thrown off into the icy current, where the water was ten feet deep, but saved himself by catching at the logs of the raft. They were then obliged to land on an island, and to pass the night there, but in the morning found the river sufficiently frozen to enable them to cross in safety on the ice to the left bank of the river. They suffered severely from cold and exposure, and Gist had his fingers and toes frozen, but they finally succeeded in reaching Fraser's, at the mouth of Turtle Creek, on the Monongahela, in the evening of the 30th of December.
The journal proceeds : " As we intended to take horses here (at Fraser's), and it required some time to find them, I went up about three miles, to the mouth of the Youghiogany, to visit Queen Alliquippa, who had expressed great concern that we passed her in going to the fort. I made her a present of a watch-coat and a bottle of rum, which latter was thought much the better present of the two. Tuesday, the 1st of January, we left Mr. Frasees house, and arrived at Mr. Gist's, at Monongahela, the 2d, where I bought a horse and saddle." From Gist's Washington proceeded on his return journey, and, without experiencing any notable incident or adventure (except meeting a party bound for the Forks of the Ohio for the purpose of building a fort there, as will hereafter be noticed), reached Williamsburg on the 16th of January, 1754, and delivered the letter of the French commandant to Governor Dinwiddie.
The preceding narrative of the journeying of Governor Dinwiddie's young envoy to and from the French fort "Le Boeuf" is given in these pages at considerable length, less on account of the importance of the events and incidents related than because it has reference to the first appearance of George Washington in the territory west of the Alleghenies, which he afterwards frequently visited, and became largely interested in as a property-owner. Within this territory is the spot which has become historic as his first battle-ground, and here were first disclosed his highest military abilities, in the wild and disordered retreat of Braddock's army from the field of disaster on the Monongahela.
standing white-oak, and began loading his gun, but we were soon with him. I would have killed him, but the Major would not suffer me. We let him charge his gun. We found he put in a ball, then we took care of him."
34 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
FRENCH OCCUPATION AT THE HEAD OF THE OHIO —WASHINGTON'S CAMPAIGN OF 1754.
THE result of Washington's expedition was to show beyond all doubt that the design of the French was to occupy in force all the country bordering the headwaters of the Ohio River. Thereupon Governor Dinwiddie transmitted Washington's statement to England, and meanwhile, without waiting for instructions from the home government, commenced preparations for raising a force to be sent to the " Forks of the Ohio" (Pittsburgh), to take possession of that point, and to construct a defensive work to enable them to hold the position against the French. A party had already gone forward from Virginia across the mountains for the same purpose, it being the one alluded to in Washington's journal of the trip to Le Bteuf, where he says, "The 6th [of January, on his return from Gist's to Wills' Creek] we met seventeen horses loaded with materials and stores for a fort at the fork of the Ohio, and the day after, some families going out to settle."
The first military force that moved westward having the Ohio River for its objective-point was a company under Capt. William Trent, which marched from Virginia in January, 1754. From Wills' Creek Capt. Trent moved his force of about thirty-three men ¹ over the same route which Washington had traversed to Gist's settlement. From Gist's he marched to the Monongahela, at the mouth of Redstone Creek, where his men were for a time employed in erecting a store-house (called the " Hangard") for the Ohio Company. After completing it they continued their march to the site of the present city of Pittsburgh, which place they reached on the 17th of February, and there met Christopher Gist and several others. They immediately commenced work in the construction of the fort, preparation for which had been begun in the previous August, as has been shown by Fraser's letter of that date. But at that time it was the Ohio
¹ That the strength of Trent's company did not exceed thirty-three men is stated in the deposition (elsewhere given in this work) of Ensign (afterwards Major) Ward, the officer in command when the company and the fort which they were building at the head of the Ohio were surrendered to the French about two months later. There appears no reason to doubt Ward's statement, as he was certainly in a position to know the facts; and it is difficult to reconcile it with what is found in a letter addressed by Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, to Governor Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, dated Williamsburg, March 21, 1754, and also in a letter from George Croghan to Governor Hamilton, dated March 23, 1754. In the letter first referred to Dinwiddie says, ". . . In January I commissioned William Trent to raise one hundred men; he had got seventy and has begun a fort at the forks of the Monongalio." And Croghan (who had then just returned east from the Ohio) said in his letter, "Mr. Trent had received a commission from the Governor of Virginia, and had enlisted about seventy men before I left Ohio. I left him and his men at the mouth of Monongalio building a fort, which seemed to give the Indians great pleasure and put them in high spirits" ( Colonial Records, vi. page 21). Perhaps Croghan included soldiers and laborers, while Ward had reference only to the former. There seems to be no other explanation of the discrepancy in the statements.
Company who proposed to do it; now it was to be done under direction of the government of Virginia.
Not long after the commencement of the work, Capt. Trent returned by way of the Hangard and Gist's to Wills' Creek, and Lieut. Fraser went to his home Oil the Monongahela, at the mouth of Turtle Creek, leaving the other commissioned officer, Ensign Ward, in charge of the men engaged in the construction of the fort.
The work progressed slowly (on .account of the severity of the weather) for about two months, when suddenly, on the 17th of April, Ensign Ward found himself confronted by a hostile force of about seven hundred French and Indians, having with them eighteen light pieces of artillery. This force, which had come down the Allegheny River in sixty bateaux and a great number of canoes, was under command of Capt. Contrecoeur, who at once demanded a surrender of the work and position. The responsibility lay wholly with Ward, as he was the only commissioned officer with the force ; but the Half-King, Tanscharison, who was present, and firm as ever in his loyalty to the English, advised the ensign to reply to Contrecoeur that as he was not an officer of rank, and had no authority to answer the demand, he hoped that the French commander would wait until the arrival of his superior officer, whom he would at once send for. But Contrecoeur refused to accede to this, and demanded immediate surrender, saying that, in case of non-compliance, he would immediately take possession by force of arms.
It was of course impracticable for this ensign's command of about thirty-three men to hold the position against a force of more than twenty times their number, with artillery ; and, therefore, the unfinished fort was surrendered ² without fluffier parley. The French
² The following from the " Calendar of Virginia State Papers and other Manuscripts, 1652 to 1781, preserved in the capitol at Richmond; arranged and edited by William Palmer, M.D., under authority of the Legislature of Virginia, vol. i., 1876," gives authentic information as to Captain Trent's operations at the head of the Ohio, and the surreuder of the partially constructed fort by Ensign Ward to the French comman der, viz.:
"Deposition taken March 10, 1777, at the house of Mr. John Ormsby, in Pittsburgh, &c. Agreeable to Notice given to Col. George Morgan, Agent for the Indiana Company, before James Wood and Charles Simms, pursuant to a resolution of the Honble, the Convention of Virginia appointing them Commissioners for Collecting Evidence on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia against the several Persons pretending to claim Lands within the Territory and Limits thereof, under Deeds of Purchases from Indians.
"Major Edward Ward Deposeth and saith that in the beginning of the year 1754, William Trent Esquire was appointed by Governor Din. widdie of Virginia, Captain of a Company to be raised, of which this Depotent was appointed Ensign, by the said Trent. Who assembled the Chief' and Deputies of the Six Nations, and requested of them permission to Erect a Trading House at the Junction of the Allegheny and Monongshale Rivers, to carry on a Free and open Trade with the Six Nations, and their dependants; which was granted by the said deputies, with this restriction, that he was to form no Settlements or improvements on the said Land, but on the Contrary to Evacuate the same when required by the Six Nations.
" After which the said Capt. Trent inlisted a number of men not ex. seeding thirty-three, and proceeded to erect a Fort at the place before mentioned. That on the 17th of April following, and before the Fort
WASHINGTON'S CAMPAIGN OF 1754 - 35
commander received Ensign Ward with great politeness, invited him to supper that evening, and entertained him for the night. On the morning of the 18th, Ward took his departure, marched his men up the valley of the Monongahela, and on the 19th arrived at the mouth of Redstone Creek. From that point he pushed on by way of Gist's, and thence to the Great Crossings of the Youghiogheny, and arrived at Wills' Creek on the 22d of April. The fort which Ward had been compelled to surrender to Contrecoeur was completed by the French force with all practicable dispatch, and named " Fort Du Quesne" in honor of the Marquis Du Quesne, the French Governor-General of Canada.
While the events already related were in progress, troops, intended for the occupation of the " Forks of the Ohio," were being raised and organized under the authority of Governor Dinwiddie, in Virginia, and the first detachment of these was sent forward under command of Lieut.-Col. George Washington, who, on the 31st of March, had received from the Governor a commission (dated March 15th) of that grade, in the Virginia regiment of which Col. Joshua Fry was the commanding officer, with orders to take the troops then quartered in Alexandria, and to march them to the Ohio, "there to help Capt. Trent to build forts, and to defend the possessions of his Majesty against the attempts and hostilities of the French."
The detachment thus ordered forward under Washington consisted of two companies of infantry, commanded respectively by Capt. Peter Hogg and Lieut. James Van Braam.¹ Besides the commanding officer and the two company commandants, the force consisted of " five subalterns, two sergeants, six corporals, one drummer, and one hundred and twenty soldiers,
was nearly completed, this Deponent, who commanded in the absence of Cspt. Trent, was put to the necessity of surrendering the possession to a Superior number of Troops, commanded by a French Officer, who demanded it in the name of the King of France; at which time the Half-King, and a number of the Six Nations in the English Interests were present. This deponent further saith that in the year 1752, and before his surrender to the French, there was a email Village, Inhabited by the Delawares, on the South East side of the Allegheny River, in the neighborhood of that place, and that old Kittanning, on the same side of the said River, was then Inhabited by the Delawares; that about one-third of the Shawanese Inhabited Loggs Town on the West Side of the Ohio, and tended Corn on the East Side of the River—and the other part of the nation lived on the Scioto River. That the Deputies of the Six Nations after the surrender Joined the Virginia Forces, Commanded by Colossi George Washington, who was then on his march at the Little Meadows, and continued with him in the service of Virginia till after the defeat of Monsieur La Force and a party of French Troops under his Command. And the deponent further saith that subsequent to the defeat of Colo. Washington at the great Meadows, the Shawanese, Delaware', and many of the Western Tribes of Indians, and an inconsiderable number of Renegades of the Seneca Tribe, one of the Six Nations, joined the French, and Prosecuted a War against the Frontiers of the States f Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, till the conclusion of the Peace with the Indians in the year 1759, but that he ever underwood that the Body of the Six Nations continued the firm Friends of the English. . . ."
¹ The same person who, in the preceding autumn, had accompanied. Washington to Fort Le Boeuf es French interpreter.
one surgeon,² and one Swedish gentleman, who was a volunteer."
On Tuesday, the 2d of April, at noon, the force marched out of Alexandria with two wagons, and camped that night six miles from the town. From that time nothing of note occurred in fifteen days' marching, except that the detachment was joined by a small company under Capt. Stephen, ³ bringing the total strength of the command up to about one hundred and fifty men.
Washington kept no regular journal on the expedition, but he made hasty notes of many occurrences ; which notes were captured by the French at the battle of the Monongahela in 1755, and were by them preserved and published, though Washington said afterwards that they had distorted parts of them. One memorandum, dated April 19th, is to this effect: " Met an express who had letters from Capt. Trent, at the Ohio,4 demanding a reinforcement with all speed, as he hourly expected a body of eight hundred French.5 I tarried at Job Pearsall's for the arrival of the troops, where they came the next day. When I received the above express, I dispatched a courier to Col. Fry, to give him notice of it.
"The 20th.—Came down to Col. Cresap's [Old Town, Md.] to order the detachment, and on my route had notice that the fort was taken by the French. That news was confirmed by Mr. Ward, the ensign of Capt. Trent, who had been obliged to surrender to a body of one thousand French and upwards, 6 under command of Capt. Coutrecoeur, who was come down from Venango with sixty bateaux and three hundred canoes, and who, having planted eighteen pieces of cannon against the fort, afterwards had sent him a summons to depart."
Ensign Ward, as before mentioned, arrived at Wills' Creek on the 22d. Washington, on receiving Ward's account of the surrender of the fort to the French, convened a council of war at Wills' Creek to determine on the proper course to be pursued in this exigency. The council was held on the 23d, and decided " that it would be proper to advance as far as Red-
² Dr. James Craik, afterwards the family physician of Washington, and his intimate and life-long friend.
³ Afterwards Gen. Stephen, of the Revolutionary army, under Washington.
4 Capt. Trent appears to have attempted to conceal the fact that he had absented himself from his command at the Forks of the Ohio, leaving Ensign Ward in charge, an offense for which he was severely censured by Governor Dinwiddie, who, on discovering it, proposed to have him court-martialed for it.
5 Reinforcements had gone on about that time from Canada to the French on the Allegheny. On the 27th of March the commanding officer at Oswego (Lieut. Holland) had sent notice that "an Indian from Cataraqui had seen a few days before four hundred French on their way to the Ohio, and understood that two hundred more were to follow." Information was also brought to Philadelphia by Conrad Weiser from the Ohio that the Six Nations had sent word of three columns of French passing Lake Ontario on their way to the Ohio, the first column having four hundred men, the second three hundred, and the third four hundred, and that more were to come.
6 Ward overestimated the numbers of Contrecoeur's force, as it was very natural that he should do under the circumstances.
36 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
stone Creek, on Monongahela, about thirty-seven miles on this side of the fort, and there to raise a fortification, clearing a road broad enough to pass with all our artillery and baggage, and there to wait for fresh orders." The reasons for this decision were, " First, That the mouth of Redstone is the first convenient place on the river Monongahela. Second, That stores are already built at that place for the provisions of the company, wherein our ammunition may be laid up ; our great guns may be also sent by water whenever we should think it convenient to attack the fort. Third, We may easily (having all these conveniences) preserve our people from the ill consequences of inaction, and enc9urage the Indians, our allies, to remain in our interests." When the council had arrived at this decision, Ensign Ward was sent forward to acquaint Governor Dinwiddie with the facts as well as to make his own report, taking with him an interpreter, and one of the young Indians, while another Indian runner was sent to the Half-King, at the Ohio, to notify him of the projected advance of the Virginians.¹ " I thought it proper also," said Washington, "to acquaint the Governors of Maryland and Pennsylvania of the news."
After a few brief preparations Washington's forces moved out on the path leading to the Great Crossings of the Youghiogheny, cutting out the road as they proceeded ; so that it was not until the 9th of May that they reached the Little Crossings (Castleman's River). While they were at this place (May 11th) Washington sent out a reconnoitering party of twenty-five men, under command of Capt. Stephen and Ensign Peyronie, with orders to scout along the line of advance, as far as Gist's place, "to inquire where La Force² and his party were ; and in case they were in the neighborhood, to cease pursuing, and take care of themselves ;" and, also, "to examine closely all the woods round about," and if any straggling Frenchman should be found away from the others, to capture, and bring him in to be examined for information. " We were exceedingly desirous," said Washington, "to know if there was any possibility of sending down anything by water, as also to find out some convenient place about the mouth of Redstone Creek, where we could build a fort."
Washington's force left the Little Crossings May 12th, and on the same day he received, by courier,
¹ The Half-King had sent by some of his Indians to Washington, at Wills' Creek, an address or speech with belts of wampum. To that speech Washington now sent back by the runner a written reply, assuring him of the friendship and gratitude of the English, and that they were moving towards the Ohio in force, and clearing a road for a much larger army with great guns. He also requested the Half-King to come up and meet him on the way, to assist him by his wise counsel. To this request Tanacharison responded by meeting Washington between the Youghiogheny and Gist's, as will be seen.
² La Force was a Frenchman, who had been sent out from Fort Du Quesne about the 1st of May with a small party of French and Indians, ostensibly for the purpose of capturing deserters: but Washington, who had received information from an Indian runner sent by the Half-King, believed they had other purposes in view, and therefore ordered the reconnaissance.
letters informing him that Col. Fry was at Winchester with upwards of one hundred men, and would start in a few days to join the advance detachment; also that Col. Innis was on the way with three hundred and fifty Carolinians. On the 16th the column met two traders, who said they were fleeing for fear of the French, parties of whom had been seen near Gist's. These traders told Washington that they believed it to be impossible to clear a road over which wagons or artillery-pieces could be taken to the mouth of Redstone Creek. On tile 17th, Ensign Ward rejoined Washington, having come from Williamsburg, with a letter from the Governor, notifying him that Capt. Mackay, with an independent company of one hundred men, exclusive of officers, was on the way, and that he might expect them at any day. Two Indians came in from " the Ohio" the same evening, and reported that the French at Fort Du Quesne were expecting reinforcements sufficient to make their total force sixteen hundred men. Washington reached the Youghiogheny on the 18th, and remained there five clays. On the 24th, at two o'clock in the afternoon, his force arrived at the Great Meadows, in what is now Fayette County. In the morning of that day, when the column was a few miles southeast of the Meadows, two Indian runners came in from the Ohio with a message from the Half-King saying that " the French army" was already on the march from Fort Du Quesne to meet the advancing force of Washington, and also notifying him that Tanacharison and the other chiefs would soon be with him to hold a council, as Washington had requested in the dispatch sent to him from Wills' Creek.
On the same afternoon that the troops arrived at the Great Meadows, a trader came in saying that he had come from Gist's, where the evening before he had seen two Frenchmen ; he also knew that a .strong French force was in the vicinity of Stewart's Crossings on the Youghiogheny. This report confirmed the news received from the Half-King, and thereupon Washington decided to remain for a time at the Meadows, and avail himself of the advantage offered by the position. There were here, as he said in his notes, " two natural intrenchments," which he caused to be strengthened to some extent artificially, and within these slight defenses he placed a part of the troops with the wagons. The troops worked two or three days in strengthening the position, and on the 27th of May Washington wrote, " We have with nature's assistance made a good intrenchment, and by clearing the bushes out of the meadows prepared a charming field for an encounter." Probably he never afterwards used so unmilitary an adjective in describing the construction and surroundings of a fortification.
On the 25th several small detachments were sent out from the camp with orders to reconnoiter the road ³ and the Indian trails, to examine the woods and
³ That is, the path which had been slightly cleared by Capt. Tree and the Ohio Company's party in the previous winter.
WASHINGTON'S CAMPAIGN OF 1754 - 37
every part of the country thoroughly, " and endeavor to get some news of the French, of their forces, and of their motions." But these parties returned in the evening of the same day without having made any discoveries.
Early on the morning of the 27th, Christopher Gist arrived from his plantation, and reported that at about noon on the preceding day a French detachment of about fifty men had visited his house and committed considerable depredation there. He also said he had seen their tracks within five miles of the Virginians' camp. On receipt of this information, Washington sent out a detachment of seventy-five men under Capt. Hogg, Lieut. Mercer, and Ensign Fey-ronie in search of the French force. Information had already been received that a party of Indians, finder the friendly Half-King, had come up the Monongahela, and was probably not very far from the Great Meadows. On the evening of the 27th, an Indian messenger from Tanacharison came to Washington with the information that the Half-King—whose camp, he said, was only six miles away—had seen the tracks of two Frenchmen, which he followed stealthily, and had thereby discovered the French party encamped in a rocky ravine, secluded, and difficult of access, and situated about half a mile from the trail.¹
On receiving this intelligence, Washington was suspicious that the secret movements of the French were part of a stratagem to draw some of his forces away from the camp and then attack it. He therefore ordered the ammunition to be placed in a safe position, under a guard strong enough to prevent it from capture in case of attack, and then set out immediately, with the rest of his men,² for the camp of the Half-King. The night was rainy and very dark ; the path over which they traveled was narrow, rough, and hard to distinguish ; but they persevered, and in the morning at a little before sunrise reached the Half-King's camp, where, at a council held with the old sachem, it was determined to proceed at once to attack the French camp.
The party whose movements had been reported by
¹ "On the 27th of May the Half-King sent Col. Washington Notice that a Party from the French Army was hankering about his Camp; if he would march some of his People to join them, he did not doubt of cutting them off. Col. Washington marched that Night and came up to the Indiana; one of the Indian Runners tracked the French Men's Feet and came up to their Lodgment ; they discovered our People about one hundred yards distant, flew to their Arms, and a small Engagement ensued. We lost one Man and another wounded ; the French had Twelve killed and Twenty-one taken Prisoners, who are now in our Prison; the Indians scalped many of the dead French, took up the Hatchet against them, sent their Scalps and a String of black Wampum to several other Tribes of Indians, with a desire that they should also take up the Hatchet against the French, which I hope they have done.—Letter of Gov. Dinwiddie to Gov. Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, dated June 21, 1854.—Colonial Records. vi. p. 55.³
² Most accounts have it that the force which Washington took with him on that night consisted of only forty men ; but the language of his notes, though not entirely clear, indicate that the number left to guard the ammunition was about forty, and that the remainder of his force accompanied him on the expedition.
Gist and others was the " French army," of whose departure from Fort Du Quesne Washington had been apprised. In some historical accounts of the campaign it has been stated that it was under command of. M. La Force, but this was not the case ; it was commanded by M. de Jumonville,³ a French ensign, who was accompanied by La Force, but the latter was simply a volunteer, and held no military command in the expedition. Afterwards the French authorities and writers claimed that Jumonville himself was not engaged in a military enterprise, but that he was merely an envoy or bearer of dispatches, charged by the commandant at Fort Du Quesne with the duty of delivering a communication to the commanding officer of the English force, and that the military party which accompanied him was acting simply as his guard while performing this service. But if it was simply a guard to a peaceful envoy, then certainly its leader adopted a very strange course in lurking near Washington's encampment for two days, and hiding his men in an obscure and gloomy glen among rocks and brushwood.
It having been determined to attack Jumonville's party, Washington's men and Tanacharison's Indians left the headquarters of the latter, and marched " Indian file" to near the French camp, where a line was formed, with the English on the right and the Indians on the left, and in this order the combined forces moved to the attack. It was not a complete surprise, for the French discovered their assailants before they were within rifle-range. The right, under Washington, opened fire, and received that of the French. The conflict lasted only about a quarter of an hour,
³ Following is a translation of the orders given by M. de Contrecoeur to Jumonville for this expedition:
"Be it known that the captain of a company belonging to the detachment of marines, commander-in-chief at the Ohio Fort Du Queens, Prequ' Isle, and Riviere aux Boeufs, hath given orders to M. de Jumonvine, an ensign of the troops, to depart immediately, with one officer, three cadets, one volunteer [La Force], one English interpreter, and twenty-eight men, to go up as far as the High Lands, and to make what discovery be can; be shall keep along the river Monongahela in Periaguas as far as the Hangard, after which he shall march along until he finds the road which leads to that said to have been cleared by the English. As the Indians give out that the English are on their march to attack us (which we cannot believe, since we are at peace), should M. de Jumonville, contrary to our expectations, hear of any attempt intended to be made by the English on the lands belonging to the French King, he shall immediately go to them and deliver them the summons we have given him. We further charge him to dispatch a speedy messenger to us before the summons be read, to acquaint us of all the discoveries he hath made, of the day he intends to read them the summons, and also to bring us an answer from them, with all possible diligence, after it is read.
" If M. de Jumonville should hear that the English intend to go on the other side of the Great Mountain [the Alleghenies] he shall not pass the High Lands, for we would not disturb them in the least, being desirous to keep up that union which exists between the two crowns.
" We charge M. de Jumonville to stand upon his guard against every attempt, either from the English or the Indians. If he should meet any Indians, he shall tell them he is traveling about to see what is transacting on the King's territories, and to take notice of every road, and shall show them friendship. Done at the camp at Fort Du Queene, the 23d of
38 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
when the French surrendered. Their loss was ten killed and one wounded. Among the killed was M. de Jumonville.¹ All the dead men were scalped by Tanacharison's Indians. Washington's loss was one man killed and two wounded.
The prisoners, twenty-one in number (among whom were La Force, M. Drouillard, and two cadets), were marched to the Half-King's camp, and thence to the Great Meadows. Two days later they were sent to Winchester, Va., with a guard of twenty men, under command of Lieut. West, who was also accompanied by Mr. Spindorph.
On the 30th, Washington " began to raise a fort with small palisadoes, fearing that when the French should hear the news of that defeat we might be attacked by considerable forces." The defenses which his men had constructed at the Great Meadows camp prior to this probably consisted of parapets, formed of logs (laid horizontally) and earth, along the crests of the " two natural intrenchments," which have already been mentioned, and the discovery of which at the Great Meadows, together with the advantage of a small stream that flowed near them, seems to have been a principal reason for his selecting that place as a site for his fortified camp and temporary base of operations.
The little stockade which Washington built after the fight at Jumonville's camp was evidently a very slight and primitive affair, for on the 2d of June it was completed, and religious services were held in it. In the previous evening the Half-King had arrived, bringing with him some twenty-five or thirty families of Indians, who had fled from the lower Monongahela and the neighborhood of Logstown for fear of the vengeance of the French. The fugitive party numbered between eighty and one hundred persons, including women and children. Among them was "Queen" Alliquippa and her son. Her heart had evidently been touched in its tenderest chord by Washington's present of a bottle of rum to her in the preceding December, and now she came to place herself under his protection, and she doubtless had visions of future favors from him. But the presence of these refugees was very embarrassing to the young commander on account of prospective scarcity of provisions, and for many other reasons, and the inconvenience was afterwards increased by the arrival of other parties of non-combatant Indians. One of these was a party of Shawanese, who came to the fort on the 2d of June, and others came in on the 5th and 6th. Washington wished to be disencumbered of these hangers-on, and tried to have a rendezvous of friendly Indians established at the mouth of the Red-
¹ The killing of Jumonville was stigmatized by the French as the assassinatiod of a peaceful envoy, and their writers have covered thousands of pages with accusations against Washington as commander of the attacking force. Even a greater amount of writing has been done by American historians to refute those false allegations. But the character of WASHINGTON needs no vindication, and certainly none will be offered in these pages.
stone Creek, but did not succeed in effecting his purpose.
On the 6th of June, Christopher Gist arrived from Wills' Creek, with information that Col. Fry, commanding officer of the Virginia regiment, had died at that place on the 30th of May while on his way to the Great Meadows with troops. By his death Washington succeeded to the command of the regiment. On the 9th, Maj. Muse arrived from Wills' Creek with the remainder of the regiment and nine small swivel-guns, with ammunition for them. But although the last of the regiment had now arrived, the total force under Washington was but little more than three hundred men, in six companies, commanded respectively by Capts. Stephen, Jacob Van Braam, Robert Strobo, Peter Hogg, Andrew Lewis,² Polson, and George Mercer. Among the subalterns were Lieuts. John Mercer and Waggoner, and Ensigns Peyronie and Tower. Maj. Muse, as a man of some military experience, was detailed as quartermaster, and Capt. Stephen was made acting major.
Maj. Muse, on his arrival, reported that Capt. Mackay, of the South Carolina Royal Independent Company, had arrived with his command at Wills' Creek, and was not far behind him on the march to Great Meadows. He (Mackay) arrived on the following day (June 10th), having with him a force of about one hundred men, five days' rations of flour, sixty cattle on the hoof, and a considerable supply of ammunition. As Capt. Mackay was a regular officer in the royal service, he displayed from the first a disinclination to act under the orders of a "buckskin colonel" of Virginia provincial troops. This feeling extended to the private soldiers of the Carolina company, but no act of pronounced insubordination resulted from it.
Two days after the arrival of Capt. Mackay, some. of Washington's scouts brought in word that they had discovered a French party, numbering, by estimate, about ninety men, between Gist's and Stewart's Crossings of the Youghiogheny. This intelligence caused. the colonel to start out with about one hundred and thirty men and thirty Indians to find them ; but before leaving the Meadows he took the same precaution that he observed when he went out to attack the party under Junionville,—that is, he directed all his ammunition and stores to be placed in the sa possible position within the palisade, and set a stro guard over it, with orders to keep the strictest watch until his return ; for he still feared that the reported movement by the French was part of a stratagem by which they hoped to capture the work in the absence of a large part of its defenders.
On moving out with his party, however, he soon met an Indian party, who
² Afterwards Gen. Lewis, who fought the battle of Point Pleasant in Dunmore's war of 1774. He was a relative of Washington, and it is said that in 1775 the latter recommended him for the appointment which he himself soon after received, that of commander-in-chief of the American armies.
WASHINGTON'S CAMPAIGN OF 1754 - 39
informed him that the alarm was unfounded, for, that instead of the reported party of ninety, there were but nine F4renchmen, and these were deserters. Thereupon he returned to the camp, leaving a small party to take the deserters and bring them in, which they accomplished soon afterwards.
Finding that there was as yet no French force in his vicinity, Washington now resolved to advance towards Redstone, and accordingly on the 16th moved out on the path towards Gist's, taking with him his artillery pieces, some of the wagons, and all his men except the Carolinians under Mackay, who were left behind at the fort to guard the stores. This was done to avoid a possible conflict of authority with Mackay, who was indisposed to have his company perform its share of labor in clearing the way for the passage of the train.
This labor was found to be so great, that the force under Washington was employed thirteen days in making the road passable from the fort to Gist's, though the distance was only thirteen miles. Before reaching Gist's (on the 27th), Capt. Lewis was sent ahead, with Lieut. Waggoner, Ensign Mercer, and a detachment of seventy men, to attempt the opening of a practicable road beyond Gist's towards Redstone. Another detachment, under Capt. Poison, was sent out in advance to reconnoitre.
On the 29th of June, Washington arrived at Gist's, and there received information that a strong French force was advancing up the Monongahela. Thereupon he at once called a council of war, at which it was resolved to concentrate all the forces at that point, and there await the French attack. Intrenchments were immediately commenced and pushed with all possible vigor; a messenger was sent to call in Lewis' and Poison's detachments, and another to the Great Meadows with a request to Capt. Mackay to march his force without delay to Gist's. He promptly responded, and Lewis and Poison also came in the next morning. On their arrival Washington called a second council of war, which reversed the decision of the first, and resolved, without a dissenting voice, to abandon the work at Gist's and retreat to Wills' Creek, over the route by which they had advanced. This decision was at once acted on.
In the retreat, the means of transportation being very deficient, it is said that " Colonel Washington set a noble example to the officers by leading his own horse with ammunition and other public stores, leaving his baggage behind, and giving the soldiers four pistoles to carry it forward. The other officers followed this example. There were nine swivels, which were drawn by the soldiers of the Virginia regiment over a very broken road, unassisted by the men belonging to the Independent Company [Mackay's], who refused to peCorm any service of the kind. Neither would they act as pioneers, nor aid in transporting the public stores, considering this a duty not incumbent on them as king's soldiers. This conduct had a discouraging, effect upon the soldiers of the Virginia regiment, by dampening their ardor and making them more dissatisfied with their extreme fatigue."¹
The journey between Gist's and the Great Meadows, which Washington, on his outward march, had been unable to perform in less than thirteen days, was now made in less than two days, notwithstanding the insufficiency of transportation and the severe labor which the men were obliged to perform in hauling the artillery pieces and military stores, and the retreating column reached the fortified camp at Great Meadows on the 1st of July.
It had been the intention, as before noticed, to continue the retreat to Wills' Creek, but on the arrival at the Meadows, Washington found that it was impracticable to go on, for, says Sparks, " His men had become so much fatigued from great labor and a deficiency of provisions, that they could draw the swivels no farther, nor carry the baggage on their backs. They had been eight days without bread, and at the Great Meadows they found only a few bags of flour: It was thought advisable to wait here, therefore, and fortify themselves in the best manner they could till they should receive supplies and reinforcements. They had heard of the arrival at Alexandria of two independent companies from New York twenty days before, and it was presumed they must by this time have reached Wills' Creek. An express was sent to hasten them on with as much dispatch as possible."
When it had been decided to make a stand at the fortified camp at Great Meadows, Washington gave orders for the men to commence without delay to strengthen the rude defenses which had already been erected. More palisades were added, the stockade was extended and salient angles formed, and a broad but shallow ditch was made outside the fort, materially adding to the strength of the work. Outside this ditch there was constructed a line of defense similar in character to the modern rifle-pits, but all joined in one extended trench, further protected in front by a low parapet of logs, embanked with the earth thrown from the trench. The work was done under the supervision of Capt. Robert Stobo, who had had some experience in military engineering. When completed, Washington named it " Fort Necessity," as expressive of the necessity he was under to stand there and fight, because of his inability to continue the retreat to Wills' Creek, as he had intended. The extreme scarcity of provisions, and other supplies too, made the name appropriate.
Washington's selection of a site for his fortification has been often and severely criticised by military men as being badly calculated for defense, and commanded on three sides by high ground and closely approaching woods. The location was undoubtedly chosen partly on account of the peculiar conformation of the ground, which Washington called " natural
40 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
intrenchments," and which materially lightened the labor of construction, and still more on account of the small stream which flowed by the spot, and across which at one point the palisade was extended, so as to bring it within the work, and furnish the defenders with an abundant supply of water, a consideration of vital importance if the fort was to be besieged.
Sparks, in describing the fort and its location, says, "The space of ground called the Great Meadows is a level bottom, through which passes a small creek, and is surrounded by hills of moderate and gradual descent. This bottom, or glade, is entirely level, covered with long grass and small bushes [Washington mentioned the clearing away of the bushes which covered the ground when the work was commenced], and varies in width. At the point where the fort stood it is about two hundred and fifty yards . wide from the base of one hill to that of the opposite. The position of the fort was well chosen, being about one hundred yards from the upland or wooded ground on the one side, and one hundred and fifty on the other, and so situated on the margin of the creek as to afford easy access to the water. At one point the high ground comes within sixty yards of the fort, and this was the nearest distance to which an enemy could approach under shelter of trees. The outlines of the fort were still visible when the spot was visited by the writer in 1830, occupying an irregular square, the •dimensions of which were about one hundred feet on each side. One of the angles was prolonged farther than the others, for the purpose of reaching the water in the creek. On the west side, next to the nearest wood, were three entrances, protected by stout breastworks or bastions. The remains of a ditch, stretching round the south and west sides, were also distinctly seen." If Sparks had been in the least acquainted with military matters, he probably would not have spoken of a fortified position as being " well chosen" when it was commanded on three sides by higher ground, in no place more than one hundred and fifty yards distant, with the opportunity for an enemy to approach on one side within sixty yards under cover of woods.
Leaving Washington and his little army in occupation of their frail defenses at the Great Meadows, let us take a brief glance at the enemy which was approaching them from Fort Du Quesne by way of the Monongahela Valley.
The French force which was marching in pursuit of Washington was commanded by M. Coulon de Villiers,¹ from whose journal of the campaign a few extracts are here given : ".June the 26th.—Arrived at Fort Du Quesne about eight in the morning, with the several [Indian] nations, the command of which the General had given me. At my arrival, was informed that M. de Contrecoeur had made a detachment of
¹ Both De Villiers and Contrecoeur had been with Crleron's expedition five years before.
five hundred French, and eleven Indians of different nations on the Ohio, the command of which he had given to Chevalier le Mercier, who was to depart the next day. As I was the oldest officer, and commanded the Indian nations, and as my brother ² had been assassinated, M. de Contrecoeur honored me with that command, and M. le Mercier, though deprived of the command, seemed very well pleased to make the campaign under my orders. . . .
" The 28th.—M. de Contrecoeur gave me my orders, the provisions were distributed, and we left the fort at about ten o'clock in the morning. I began from that instant to send out some Indians to range about by land to prevent being surprised. I posted myself at a short distance above the first fork of the river Monongahela, though I had no thought of taking that route. I called the Indians together and demanded their opinion. It was decided that it was suitable to take the river Monongahela, though the route was longer.
"The 29th.—Mass was said in the camp, after which we marched with the usual precaution.
"30th.—Came to the Hangard, which was a sort of fort built with logs, one upon another, well notched in, about thirty feet in length and twenty in breadth; and as it was late, and would not do anything without consulting the Indians, I encamped about two musket-shots from that place. At night I called the sachems together, and we consulted upon what was best to be done for the safety of our periaguas (large canoes), and of the provisions we left in reserve, as also what guard should be left to keep it.
"July the 1st.—Put our periaguas in a safe place. Our effects, and everything we could do without, we took into the Hangard, where I left one good sergeant, with twenty men and some sick Indians. Ammunition was afterwards distributed, and we began our march."
The force of De Villiers consisted of five hundred Frenchmen and about four hundred Indians.³ Marching from the Hangard in the morning of the 1st of July (at which time Washington's force was approaching the Great Meadows on its retreat from Gist's plantation), the French and Indian column moved towards Gist's, where De Villiers expected to find Washington, his Indian scouts having reported the English force to be at that place.
"At about eleven o'clock," continues the journal, " we discovered some tracks, which made us suspect we were discovered. At three in the afternoon, halt.; ing no news of our rangers, I sent others, who met those sent before, and not knowing each other, were near upon exchanging shots, but happily found their
² Meaning M. de Jumonville, who was Villiers' half-brother.
³ The force of "five hundred French and eleven Indians" which De Villiers mentions in his journal as having been detached under command of Mercier for this expedition, had been augmented by the large Indian force which De Villiers brought with him down the Allegheny to Fort Du Quesne.
WASHINGTON'S CAMPAIGN OF 1754 - 41
mistake; they returned to us and declared to have been at the road which the English were clearing ; that they were of opinion no body had been that way for three days. We were no longer in doubt of our proceedings being known to the English."
At daybreak in the morning of the 2d the French force left its bivouac of the previous night and marched towards Gist's. "After having marched some time we stopped, for I was resolved to proceed no farther until I had positive news ; wherefore I sent scouts upon the road. In the meanwhile came some of the Indians to me whom we had left at the Han-gard ; they had taken a prisoner, who called himself a deserter. I examined him, and threatened him with the rope if he offered to impose on me. I learned that the English had left their post [at Gist's] in order to rejoin their fort, and that they had taken back their cannon. Some of our people finding that the English had abandoned the camp we went thereto, and I sent some men to search it throughout. They found several tools and other utensils hidden in many places, which I. ordered them to carry away. As it was late I ordered the detachment to encamp there. . . We had rain all night."
When day broke on the morning of the 3d of July the weather was still wet and gloomy, but De Villiers moved forward at once'with the main body, scouting parties having been sent in advance the previous evening. The rain continued, and increased during the long hours of the march towards Fort Necessity, but the French column pressed on with energy, and with all possible speed, for, said De Villiers, " I foresaw the necessity of preventing the enemy in their works." It also appears that he took the pains to ride away from the road into the woods, to make a flying visit to the rocky defile where Jumonville had last his life five weeks before. " I stopped," he says, "at the place where my brother had been assassinated, and saw there yet some dead bodies," and then proceeds : " When I came within three-quarters of a league from the English fort I ordered my men to march in columns, every officer to his division, that I might the better dispose of them as necessity would require." His column was now within striking distance of the fort, after a drenching and dreary march of seven hours from Gist's.
Meanwhile, at Fort Necessity, Washington had been apprised of the arrival of the French at Gist's on the 2d, and had been constantly on the alert during the night. Not long after sunrise on the 3d some of the advance scouts of the French were seen, and one of Washington's men on picket was brought in wounded, but after this, three or four hours-passed without further demonstrations. In the middle of the for noon word came by scouts that the enemy in strong force was within two hours' march, and afterwards reports of their progress were brought in from time to time. Washington formed his forces in line of battle outside the defenses, awaiting the enemy's appearance, and hoping to induce him to attack in the open field. Finally, at a little before noon, the French appeared in the edge of the woods towards the northwest and began firing at long range, but did no execution. After a time, finding that the enemy manifested no disposition to make a general attack, Col. Washington withdrew his men within the defenses, the Carolinians occupying the rifle-pit trenches behind the low log pararet which formed the outer line (though they were afterwards driven out, not by the enemy's fire, but the torrents of rain that inundated the trenches in which they were posted). The French, finding their fire ineffectual from their distant position in the woods to the northwest,¹ moved to the left, where, of the eastern and southeastern side of the fort, the forest line was within fair musket-range of the work. From this new position they opened fire with more effect ; the battle became general, and continued through the remainder of the day. An account of the conflict at Fort Necessity is thus given by Sparks :
"At eleven o'clock they [the French] approached the fort and began to fire, at the distance of six hundred yards, but without effect. Col. Washington had drawn up his men on the open and level ground outside of the trenches, waiting for the attack, which he presumed would be made as soon as the enemy's, forces emerged from the woods, and he ordered his men to reserve their fire till they should be near enough to do execution. The distant firing was supposed to be a stratagem to draw Washington's men into the woods, and thus take them at a disadvantage. He suspected the design, and maintained his post till he found the French did not incline to leave the woods and attack the fort by an assault, as he supposed they would, considering their superiority of numbers. He then drew his men back within the trenches, and gave them orders to fire according to their discretion, as suitable opportunities might present themselves. The French and Indians remained on the side of the rising ground which was nearest to the fort, and, sheltered by the trees, kept up a brisk fire of musketry, but never appeared in the open plain below.
¹ De Villiers' account of the opening of the fight was as follows: As we had no knowledge of the place, we presented our flank to the fort, when they began to fire upon us, and almost at the same time I perceived the English on the right, in order of battle, and coming towards us. The Indians, as well as ourselves, set up a great cry, and advanced towards them, but they did not give us time to fire upon them before they sheltered themselves in an intrenchment which was adjoining to their fort, after which we aimed to invest the fort, which was advantageously enough situated in a meadow within a musket-shot from the woods. We drew as near to them as possible that we might not expose his Majesty's subjects to no purpose. The fire was very brisk on both sides, and I chose that place which seemed to me the most proper in case we should be exposed to a sally. We fired so briskly as to put out (if I may use the expression) the fire of their cannon with our musket-shot." But, concerning the first part of the above account by De Villiers, Washington afterwards wrote, " I cannot help remarking on Villiers' account of the battle of and transaction at the Meadows, as it is very extraordinary, and not less erroneous than iyconsistent. He says the French received the first fire. It is well known that we received it at six hundred paces' distance."
42 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
"The rain fell heavily through the day, the trenches were filled with water, and many of the arms of Col. Washington's men were out of order and used with difficulty. In this, way the battle continued from eleven o'clock in the morning till eight at night, when the French called and requested a parley.¹ Suspecting this to be a feint to procure the admission of an officer into the fort, that he might discover their condition, Col. Washington at first declined listening to the proposal but when the call was repeated, with the additional request that an officer might be sent to them, engaging at the same time their parole for his safety, he sent out Capt. Van Braam, the only person under his command that could speak French except the Chevalier de Peyronie, an ensign in the Virginia regiment, who was dangerously wounded and disabled from rendering any service on the occasion. Van Braam returned, and brought with him from M. de Villiers, the French commander, proposed articles of capitulation. These he read and pretended to interpret, and some changes having been made by mutual agreement, both parties signed them about midnight."
It was, a mortifying close to Washington's first campaign, and the scene must have been a most dismal one when he signed the capitulation at dead of night amid torrents of rain, by the light of a solitary spluttering candle,² and with his dead and wounded men around him ; but there was no alternative, and he had the satisfaction at least of knowing that he had done his best, and that all his officers, with a single exception, ³ had behaved with the greatest coolness and bravery.
The articles of capitulation were of course written in French. The following translation of them shows the terms granted to Washington, viz.:
"ARTICLE 1.—We grant leave to the English commander to retire with all his garrison, and to return peaceably into his own country, and
¹ The account given by De Villiers of the closing scenes of the battle, and of the call for a parley, is as follows: " Towards six at night the fire of the enemy increased with more vigor than ever, and lasted until light. We briskly returned their fire. We took particular care to secure our posts to keep the English fast up in their fort all night; and after having fixed ourselves in the best position we could we let the English know that if they would speak to us we would stop thing. They accepted the proposal ; there came a captain to the place where I was. I sent M. la Mercier to receive him, and I went to the Meadow, where I told him that as we were not at war we were very willing to save them from the cruelties to which they exposed themselves on account of the Indians; but if they were stubborn we would take away from them all hopes of escaping; that we consented to be favorable to them at present, as we were come only to revenge my brother's assassination, and to oblige them to quit the lands of the king my master. . . ."
² An officer who was present at the capitulation wrote: " When Mr. Van Braam returned with the French proposals we were obliged to take the sense of them from his mouth ; it rained so hard that he could not give us a written translation of them, and we could scarcely keep the candle lighted to read them by."
³ When ip the following August the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a vote of thanks to Washington and his officers " for their bravery and gallant defense of their country" at Fort Necessity, the names of all the officers were mentioned except that of the major of the regiment, who was charged with cowardice in the battle, and Capt. Van Brawn, who was believed to have acted a treacherous part in interpreting the articles of capitulation.
promise to hinder his receiving any insult from us French, and to restrain, as much as shall be iu our power, the Indians that are with us.
" ARTICLE 2 —It shall be permitted him to go out and carry with him all that belongs to them except the artillery, which we reserve.
"ARTICLE 3.—That we will allow them the honors of war,—that they march out with drums beating and one swivel gun,—being willing thereby to convince them that we treat them as friends.
" ARTICLE 4.—That as soon as the articles are signed by both parties the English colors shall be struck.
" ARTICLE 5.—That to-morrow, at break of day, a detachment of French shall go and make the garrison file off, and take possession of the fort.
"ARTICLE 6.—As the English have but few oxen or horses left, they are at liberty to hide their effects, and come again and search for them when they have a number of horses sufficient to carry them off, and that for this end they may have what guards they please, on condition that they give their word of honor to work no more on any buildings in this place, or any part on this side of the mountains.
"ARTICLE 7.—And as the English have in their power one officer, two cadets, and most of the prisoners made at the assassination of M. de Jumonville, and promise to send them back with a safe guard to Fort Du Quesne, situate on the Ohio, for surety of their performing thi³ article as well as this treaty, M. Jacob Van Braam and Robert Stobo, both captains, shall be delivered as hostages till the arrival of our French anti Canadians above mentioned. We oblige ourselves, on our side, to give an escort to return these two officers in safety, and expect to have our French in two months and a half at farthest."
The capitulation was signed by Washington, Mackay, and Villiers. The latter had cunningly caused the articles to be so worded that the English officers (who knew nothing of the French language) were made to sign an apparent acknowledgment that the killing of Jumonville 4 was an act of assassination. It was expected that Van Braam, the so-called interpreter, knowingly connived at the deception, and this opinion was firmly held by Washington, who afterwards wrote in reference to it as follows : " That we were wilfully or ignorantly deceived by our interpreter in regard to the word assassination I do aver, and will to my dying moment, so will every officer that was present. The interpreter was a Dutchman, little acquainted with the English tongue, therefore might not advert to the tone and meaning of the word in English ; but whatever his motives were for so doing, certain it is he called it the death or the loss of the Sieur Jumonville. So we received and so we understood it, until, to our great surprise and mortification, we found it otherwise in a literal translation."
The numbers of the English forces engaged in th battle at the Great Meadows is not precisely know The Virginia regiment went in three hundred strong, including officers, and their loss in the engageme was twelve killed and forty-three wounded . 5 Cap Mackay's company numbered about one hundr but its losses in killed and wounded were not o ficially stated. On the French side, according to statement of De Villiers, the losses were two Fren men and one Indian killed, fifteen Frenchmen two Indians seriously, and a number of others sligh wounded.
4 "We made the English," said Villiers, "consent to sign that had assassinated my brother in his camp."
5 By Washington's own official statement.
WASHINGTON'S CAMPAIGN OF 1754 - 43
On the 4th of July, at break of day, the troops of Washington filed out of the fort with drums beating and colors flying, and ( without any transportation for their effects other,than was afforded by the backs and shoulders of the men, and having no means of carrying their badly wounded except on improvised stretchers) moved sadly away to commence their weary journey of sixty miles over hills and streams to Wills' Creek.
Upon the evacuation of the fort by Washington the French took possession, and immediately proceeded to demolish the work, while." M. le Mercier ordered the cannon of the English to be broken, as also the one granted by capitulation, they not being able to carry it away." The French commander very prudently ordered the destruction of some barrels of rum which were in the fort, to guard against the disorder and perhaps bloodshed which would probably have ensued if the liquor had been allowed to fall into the hands of the Indians.
De Villiers felt no little anxiety lest the expected reinforcements to Washington should arrive, which might place him in an unpleasant position and reverse the fortunes of the day. He therefore lost no time, and took his departure from the Great Meadows at as early an hour as possible, and marched about two leagues before he encamped for the night. On the 5th, at about nine o'clock in the forenoon, he arrived at Gist's, where he demolished the stockade which Washington had partially erected there, " and after having detached M. de la Chauvignerie to burn the houses round about," continued on the route towards Redstone to a point about three leagues northwest of Gist's, where his forces made their night bivouac. In the morning of the 6th they moved at an early hour, and reached the mouth of Redstone at ten o'clock. There they " put their periaguas in order, victualed the detachment, carried away the reserve of provisions which they had left there, found several things which the English had hidden," and then, after burning the "Hangard" store-house, embarked and went down the Monongahela. In the passage down the river, says De Villiers, " we burned down all the settlements we found," and about four o'clock in the afternoon of the 7th of July they arrived at Fort Du Quesne.
As to the manner of the departure of Washington's troops from the surrendered fort, De Villiers said, "The number of their dead and wounded moved me to pity, notwithstanding my resentment for their having in such a manner taken away my brother's life. The savages, who in everything had adhered to my wishes, claimed the right of plunder, but I restrained them; however, the English being frightened fled, and left their tents and one of their colors." But Washington, commenting on these statements of De Villiers, said, in a letter written not long after wards, "That we left our baggage and horses at the Meadows is certain ; that there was not even a possibility to bring them away is equally certain, as we had every horse belonging to the camp killed or taken away during the action, so that it was impracticable to bring anything off that our shoulders were not able to bear, and to wait there was impossible, for we had scarce three days' provisions, and were seventy miles from a supply, yet to say that we came off precipitately is absolutely false, notwithstanding they did, contrary to the articles, suffer their Indians to pillage our baggage¹ and commit all kinds of irregularity. We were with them until ten o'clock the next day ; we destroyed our powder and other stores, nay, even our private baggage, to prevent its falling into their hands, as we could not bring it off. When we had got about a mile from the place of action we missed two or three of the wounded, and sent a party back to bring them up ; this is the party he speaks of. We brought them all safe off; and encamped within three miles of the Meadows. These are circumstances, I think, that make it evidently clear that we were not very apprehensive of danger. The colors he speaks of as left were a large flag of immense size and weight; our regimental colors were brought off, and are now in my possession.” ²
From his camping-ground, three miles southeast of the demolished fort, the Virginia regiment, with Mackay's South Carolinians? moved forward in the morning of the 5th of July, and fording the Youghiogheny at the Great Crossings, retraced their steps over the route previously traveled, and reached Wills' Creek after a slow and very toilsome journey. From that place Washington went to Alexandria, and the Virginia troops returned to their homes. Mackay's Carolina company remained at Wills' Creek, and together with two independent companies from New York,—all under command of Col. James Innes,—erected the fortification afterwards called " Fort Cumberland." This was then the western outpost of English power, and in all the country west of the mountains there was left no bar to French occupation and supremacy.
¹ "We all know that the French are a people that never pay any regard to treaties longer than they find them consistent with their interest, and this treaty [the Fort Necessity capitulation articles] they broke ba-mediately by letting the Indians demolish and destroy everythingour people had, especially the doctor's box, that our wounded should meet with no relief."—Extract from a letter written by Col. James Inner to Gott. Hamilton, dated Winchester, July 12, 1754.
² It appears that the Half-King, Tanacharison, had a poor opinion of Washington's ability as a military commander, and freely expressed that opinion to the Indian agent and interpreter, Conrad Weiser, who reported it as follows :
"The colonel [Washington] was a good-natured man, but had no experience. He took upon him to command the Indians as his slaves, and would have them every day upon the scout, and to attack the enemy by themselves, but would by no means take advice from the Indians. He lay in one place from one full moon to the other, without making any fortifications except that little thing on the Meadow, whereas had he taken advice and built such fortifications as he [Tanacharison] advised him he might easily have beat off the French. But the French in the engagement," Ile said, " acted like cowards, and the English like fools."
44 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION IN 1755.
THE news of Washington's defeat, and the consequent domination of the French over the broad territory west of the Alleghenies, was forwarded without delay to England, where it produced a general alarm and excitement, and roused the ministry to a determination to retrieve the disaster and expel the French, at whatever cost, from the valleys of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers. In pursuance of this determination, it was decided to send out a military force, to march from the Potomac to the " Forks of the Ohio," there to wrest from the French, by force of arms, their most menacing possession,—Fort Du Quesne. ¹
The expeditionary force, which was intended to be a very formidable one (for that early day), was to be composed. of the Forty-fourth and Forty-eighth Royal Regiments of Foot,² commanded respectively by Col. Sir Peter Halket and Col. Thomas Dunbar, with some other troops to be raised in Virginia and other American provinces. The command of the expedition was given to Maj.-Gen. Edward Braddock, of the regular British army, who was also made commander-in chief of all his Majesty's forces in America.
Gen. Braddock sailed from Cork, Ireland, on the 14th of January, with the two regular regiments, on board the fleet of Admiral Keppel, of the British navy. The fleet arrived in Hampton Roads on the 20th of February, and the general, with the admiral, disembarked there and proceeded to Williamsburg, Va., for conference with Governor Dinwiddie. There, also, the general met his quartermaster-general, Sir John Sinclair, who had preceded him to America, and had already visited Fort Cumberland to make the preliminary arrangements for the campaign. " Virginia levies" had already been raised for the purpose of being incorporated with the Forty-fourth and Forty-eighth Regiments, and these levies had been ordered to Alexandria, whither, also, the fleet was ordered for disembarkation of the troops.
Leaving Williamsburg, Gen. Braddock, Sir John Sinclair, and the admiral arrived on the 26th at Alexandria, which place was the headquarters of the expedition for nearly two months, during which time (on the 14th of April) a council was held there, composed of the commander-in-chief, Admiral Keppel, Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia ; Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts ; Governor Delancey, of New York ; Governor Morris, of Pennsylvania ; and Governor Sharpe, of Maryland ; at which Conference the plan
¹ There were, however, two other expeditions projected,—one against Niagara and Frontenac, under Gen. Shirley, and another against Crown Point, under Gen. William Johnson; but the principal one was that intended for the reduction of Fort Du Quesne.
² These regiments, however, were far from being full, numbering only about five hundred men each.
of the campaign ³ was deckled on, and arrangements made to facilitate the forwarding of the provincial troops destined for the expedition.
Sir John Sinclair was dispatched from Alexandria soon after his arrival with orders to proceed to Winchester, Va., and thence to Fort Cumberland, to complete all arrangements for the army's transportation. By his advice Braddock adopted the plan of moving his force from Alexandria in two divisions, viz.: one regiment and a portion of the stores to proceed to Winchester, whence a new road was nearly completed to Fort Cumberland, and the other regiment, with the remainder of the stores and the artillery, to move to the fort (which had been designated as the general rendezvous) by way of Frederick, Md. Accordingly, on the 9th of April, Sir Peter Halket left Alexandria for the fort, by way of Winchester, with six companies of the Forty-fourth Regiment, leaving the other four companies behind under command of Lieut.-Col. Gage` to escort the artillery. On the 18th Col. Dunbar, with the Forty-eighth, marched for Frederick, Md., and the commander-in-chief left Alexandria for the same place on the 20th, leaving Gage to follow with the artillery. When Dunbar arrived at Frederick he found that there was no road to Cumberland through Maryland,' and accordingly,, on the 1st of May, he recrossed the Potomac, struck the Winchester route, and nine days later was in the neighborhood of the fort. " At high noon on the 10th of May, while Halket's command was already encamped at the common destination, the Forty-eighth was startled by the passage of Braddock and his staff through their ranks, with a body of light-horse galloping on each side of his traveling chariot, in haste to reach Fort Cumberland. The troops saluted, the drums rolled out the Grenadiers' March, and the cortege passed by. An hour later they heard the booming of the artillery which welcomed the general's arrival, and a little later themselves "encam on the hillsides about that post." The artillery corted by Gage arrived at the fort on the 20th.
Arriving at the fort on the 10th, the general remained there about one month, during which time his expeditionary force was completed and organized. Two companies, Rutherford's and Clarke's, had been stationed at the fort during the winter, and were still there. The Forty-fourth and Forty-eighth regulars
³ The council, however, had really nothing to do with the adoption of the plan of operations, which was made entirely according to the martinet ideas and opinions of the commander-in-chief.
4 The same Gage who as major-general commanded the British Forces in Boston in 1775.
5 Capt. Orme, in his journal of the expedition, says, "The general ordered a bridge to be built over the Antietum, which being furnished and provision laid upon the road Col. Dunbar marched with his regiment from Frederick on the 28th of April, and about this time the bridge over the Opeccon was finished for the passage of the artillery, and floats were built on all the rivers and creeks." The " Autietum" here mentioned is the same historic stream whose locust-fringed banks witnessed thw terrific battle between the Union and Confederate hosts under McClellan and Lee, on the 17th of September, 1862.
BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION IN 1755 - 45
had been augmented to a total of fourteen hundred men by the addition of Virginia and Maryland levies at Alexandria. A company of Virginia light-horse, under command of Capt. Stewart, acted as the general's body-guard. A body of seventy provincials was formed into two companies of pioneers, each having a captain, two subalterns, and two sergeants, and with these was also a very small company of guides. A lieutenant, Mr. Spendelow, and two midshipmen from Admiral Keppel's fleet were present with about thirty sailors to have charge of the cordage and tackles, necessary for the building of bridges and the hoisting of artillery pieces and other heavy material over precipices. The other provincial troops brought the to al number up to about two thousand one hundred and fifty, including officers, but exclusive of wagoners and the usual complement of non-combatant camp-followers, among whom were a number of women. There were eight friendly Indians who accompanied the expedition. The forces of Gen. Braddock were brigaded by his orders as follows :
First Brigade, commanded by Sir Peter Halket, composed of
The Forty-fourth Regiment of Regulars.
Capt. John Rutherford's} Independent Companies of New York.
Capt. Horatio Gated ¹}
Capt. William Poison's Company of Pioneers and Carpenters.
Capt. William Peyronie's Virginia Rangers.
Capt. Thomas Waggener's Virginia Rangers.
Capt. Eli Dsgworthy's Maryland Rangers.
Second Brigade, commanded by Col. Thomas Dunbar, composed of
The Forty-eighth Regiment of Regulars.
Capt. Paul Derlerie's South Carolina detachment.
Capt. Dobb's North Carolina Rangers.
Capo. Mercer's Company of Carpenters and Pioneers.
Capt. Adam Stephen's ²}
Capt. Peter Hogg's} Virginia Rangers.
Capt. Thomas Cocke's}
Capt. Andrew Lewis had been sent with his company of Virginians to the Greenbrier River for the protection of settlers there, but he afterwards rejoined Braddock's column on its way to Fort Du Quesne.
The field-officers under Braddock were Lieutenant-Colonels Burton and Gage; Majors Chapman and Sparks; Brigade-Major Francis Halket; Major Sir John Sinclair, deputy quartermaster-general ; Matthew Leslie, assistant quartermaster-general. The secretary to the commanding general was William Shirley, and his aides-de-camp were Capt. Robert Orme, George Washington,³ and Roger Morris.
¹ Afterwards Major-General Gates, to whom Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga.
² Afterwards General Stephen, of the Revolutionary army.
³ After his return from the Fort Necessity campaign, Col. Washington's rank, as well as that of other colonial officers, was reduced by royal order, which caused him to resign his commission, and at the time et Gen. Braddock's arrival in America he was not in the military service. But Braddock, well aware of the importance of securing his services, urged :Washington to take the position of volunteer aide-de-tamp on his staff, and the offer, so earnestly pressed, was accepted.
Spark, in his " Life of Washington" (page 58), in speaking of Washington's acceptance of Braddock's proposition to accompany him on the expedition as a member of his military family, says, "His views on the abject were explained, with a becoming frankness and elevation of mind, in a letter to a friend: I may be allowed,' said he, 'to claim
Christopher Gist and Nathaniel Gist, his son, accompanied the expedition as principal guides. George Croghan and Andrew Montour were with the general as Indian interpreters.
" The soldiers were ordered to be furnished with one new spare shirt, one new pair of stockings, and one new pair of shoes ; and Osnabrig waistcoats and breeches were provided for them, as the excessive heat would have made the others insupportable ; and the commanding officers of companies were desired to provide leather or bladders for the men's hats." 4
The transportation which was collected at Fort Cumberland for the use of Braddock's force consisted of one hundred and ninety wagons and more than fifteen hundred horses. When he landed in Virginia he expected that " two hundred wagons and one hundred and fifty carrying-horses" would be furnished by the provincial authorities, but when he arrived at Frederick, Md., he found that not more than a tenth part that number had been raised, and that some of these even were in an unserviceable condition. Upon learning this he burst out in fierce invective against the inefficiency, poverty, and lack of integrity among the provincials, and declared that the expedition was at an end, for that it was impracticable to proceed without one hundred and fifty wagons, and a corresponding number of horses at the very least. But Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who was present at Frederick, told the general that the Pennsylvania farmers were able to furnish the necessary transportation, and that he (Franklin) would contract for a specified sum to deliver one hundred and fifty wagons and the necessary horses at Fort Cumberlapd within a given time, whereupon Braddock proceeded on his march; and in about two weeks Franklin had caused the specified number of wagons and animals to be at the fort. Gen. Braddock was very grateful for this service, and he warmly complimented Franklin in a letter which he wrote to the Secretary of State, dated at Wills' Creek, June 5th, as follows :
" Before I left Williamsburg the quartermaster-general told me that I might depend on twenty-five hundred horses and two hundred wagons from Virginia and Maryland ; but I had great reason to doubt it, having experienced the false dealings of all in this country with whom I had been concerned. Hence, before my departure from Frederick, I agreed with Mr. Benjamin Franklin, postmaster in Pennsylvania, who has great credit in that province, to hire one
some merit if it is considered that the sole motive which invites me to the field is the laudable desire of serving my country, not the gratification of any ambitious or lucrative plans. This, I flatter myself, will manifestly appear by my gluing as a volunteer, without expectation of reward or prospect of obtaining a command, as I am confidently assured it is not in General Braddock's power to give me a commission that I would accept. . . . It is true I have been importuned to make this campaign. by Gen. Braddock as a member of his family, he conceiving, I suppose that the small knowledge I had an opportunity of acquiring of the country and the Indians is worthy of his notice, and may be useful t him in the progress of the expedition."
4 Capt. Orme's Journal.
46 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
hundred and fifty wagons and the necessary number of horses. This he accomplished with promptitude and fidelity ; and it is almost the only instance of address and integrity which I have seen in all these provinces."
It has been said that, in procuring the wagons and horses from the Teutonic farmers in the Southern Pennsylvania counties, he was materially aided by the presence of Braddock's quartermaster-general. " Sir John Sinclair ¹ wore a Hussar's cap, and Franklin made use of the circumstance to terrify the German settlers with the belief that he was a Hussar, who would administer to them the tyrannical treatment they had experienced in their own country if they did not comply with his wishes."
At a council of war held at Fort Cumberland the order of march was determined on, viz.: the advance was to be led by " a party of six hundred men, workers and coverers, with a field-officer and the quartermaster-general ; that they should take with them two six-pounders, with a full proportion of ammunition ; that they should also take with them eight days' provisions for three thousand two hundred men ; that they should make the road as good as possible, and march five days towards the first crossing of the Yoxhio Geni,² which was about thirty miles from the camp, at which place they were to make a deposit of provisions, building proper sheds for its security, and also a place of arms for the security of the men. If they could not in five days advance so far, they were at the expiration of that time to choose an advan-
¹ This same Sir John Sinclair was a man of very rough speech and imperious and domineering character, as is made apparent by the following extract from a letter written by Messrs. George Croghan, James Burd, John Armstrong, William Buchanan, and Adam Hoopes to Governor Morris, of Pennsylvania, dated Fort Cumberland, April 16, 1755, at which time some of the companies, as well as Sir John himself, had already reached the rendezvous. The writers of the letter had been appointed to view and lay out a road over the mountains, and had returned from their mission to the fort. In the letter they say, " Last evening we came to the camp, and were kindly received by the officers, but particularly Capt. Rutherford. We waited for Sir John coming to camp from the road towards Winchester, who came this day at three o'clock, but treated us in a very disagreeable manner. He is extremely warm and angry at our province ; he would not look at our draughts, nor suffer any representations to be made to him in regard to the province, but stormed like a lion rampant. He said our commissionto lay out the road should have issued in January last, upon his first letter; that doing it now is doing nothing; that the troops must march on the first of May ; that the want of this road and the provisions promised by Pennsylvania has retarded the expedition, which may cost them their lives, because of ohe fresh number of the French that are suddenly like to be poured into the country; that instead of marching to the Ohio he would in nine days march his army into Cumberland County, to cut the roads, press wagons, etc.; that he would not suffer a soldier to handle an axe, but by fire and sword oblige the inhabitants to do it, and take every man that refused to the Ohio, as he had yesterday some of the Virginians; that he would kill all kind of cattle, and carry away the horses, burn houses, etc.; and that if the French defeated them by the delays of this province, that he would with his sword drawn pass through the province and treat the inhabitants as a parcel of traitors to his master; that he would to-morrow write to England by a man-of-war, shake Mr. Penn's proprietaryship, and represent Pennsylvania as disaffected. . . . and told us to go to the genel•al, if we pleased, who would give us ten bad words for one he had given."
tageous spot, and to secure the provisions and men a before. When the wagons were unloaded the field officer with three hundred men was to return to camp, and Sir John St Clair with the first engineer was to remain and carry on the works with the other three hundred."³
This advance detachment was to be followed by the remainder of the forces in three divisions, in the following order : First, Sir Peter Halket's command, with " about one hundred wagons of provisions, stores, and powder ;" second, Lieut.-Col. Burton, " with the independent companies, Virginia, Maryland, and Carolina Rangers," taking the artillery, ammunition, and some stores and provisions ; third, Col. Dunbar's brigade, " with the provision-wagons from Winchester, the returned wagons from the advanced party, and all the carrying-horses."
In accordance with this order, Maj. Chapman with a body of six hundred men, and accompanied by Sir John Sinclair, marched at daybreak on the 30th of May, but " it was night before the whole baggage had got over a mountain about two miles from camp. . . . The general reconnoitred this mountain, and determined to set the engineers and three hundred more men at work on it, as he thought it impassable by howitzers. He did not imagine any other road could be made, as a reconnoitring-party had already been to explore the country ; nevertheless, Mr. Spendelow, lieutenant of the seamen, a young man of great discernment and abilities, acquainted the general that in passing that mountain he had discovered a valley which led quite round the foot of it. A party of a hundred men with an engineer was ordered to cut a road there, and an extreme good one was made in two days, which fell into the other road about a mile on the other side of the mountain."
" Everything being now settled, Sir Peter Halkot with the Forty-fourth Regiment, marched on the 7th of June ; Lieutenant-Colonel Burton, with the independent companies and Rangers, on the 8th, and Colonel Dunbar, with the Forty-eighth Regiment, on the 10th, with the proportions of baggage as was settled by the council of war. The same day the general left Fort Cumberland, and joined the whole at Spen-delow Camp, about five miles from the fort."' Th camp was named in honor of Lieut. Spendelow, who discovered the route around the foot of the mountain.
At Spendelow Camp a reduction of baggage was made, and the surplus sent back to the fort, together with two six-pounders, four cohorns, and some powder and stores, which cleared about twenty wagons of their loads, " and near a hundred able horses we given to the public service. . . . All the king's wagons were also sent back to the fort, they being too heavy, and requiring large horses for the shafts which could not be procured, and country wagons were fitted for powder in their stead."
³ Orme’s Journal
BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION IN 1755 - 47
On the 13th the column moved to Martin's plantation ; on the 15th it " passed the Aligany Mountain. which is a rocky ascent of more than two miles, in many places exceedingly steep; its descent is very rugged and almost perpendicular; in passing which we entirely demolished tl.ree wagons and shattered several." That night the First Brigade camped about three miles west of Savage River. On the 16th the head of the column reached the Little Meadows, ten miles from Martin's plantation ; but the rear did not arrive there until the 18th. At this place they found Sir John Sinclair encamped with three hundred men, this being the farthest point he could reach in the five days specified in the orders.
At the Little Meadows the general adopted a new plan of campaign,—to move forward with a division composed of some of his best troops, with a few guns and but little baggage, leaving the remainder of his force behind to bring up the heavy stores and artillery.
This decision was taken largely through the advice of Washington, who, although not of rank to sit in the councils of war, possessed no small share of the general's confidence, by reason of the experience he had gained in the campaign of the preceding year. He gave it as his opinion that the movement of the army was too slow, on account of the, cumbrous wagon-train, which on the march stretched out for a distance of more than three miles, thus not only retarding the progress of the forces, but affording an excellent opportunity for lurking partie; of the enemy to attack and destroy some lightly-defended part of it before help could arrive from the main body. He had from the first urged the use of pack-horses instead of wagons for the greater part of the transportation, and although his advice was ignored by the general, its wisdom now became apparent. Orme's Journal says that by the grxperience of the four days' march from Spendelow Camp to the Little Meadows, " it was found impossible to proceed with such a number of carriages. The horses grew every day fainter, and many died ; the men would not have been able to have undergone the constant and necessary fatigue by remaining so many hours under arms, and by the great extent of the baggage the line was extremely weakened. The general was therefore determined to move forward with a detachment of the best men, and as little incumbrance as possible."
The selected force destined to move in the advance consisted of between twelve and thirteen hundred men. "A detachment of one field-officer with four hundred men and the deputy quartermaster-general marched on the 18th to cut and make the road to the Little Crossing of the Yoxhio Geni, taking with them two six-pounders with their ammunition, three wagons of tools, and thirty-five days' provisions, all on carrying-horses, and on the 19th the general marched with a detachment of one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, the two eldest grenadier companies, and five hundred rank and file, the party of seamen, and eighteen light-horse, and four howitzers with fifty rounds each, and four twelve-pounders with eighty rounds each, and one hundred rounds of ammunition for each man, and one wagon of Indian presents; the whole number of carriages being about thirty. The howitzers had each nine horses, the twelve-pounders seven, and the wagons six. There was also thirty-five days' provisions carried on horses." The troops left behind with Col. Dunbar numbered about nine hundred, including four artillery officers. Eighty-four wagons and all the ordnance stores and provisions not immediately needed by the advance column were also left in his charge.
The advanced force under Braddock reached the Little Crossings (Castleman's River) on the evening of the 19th, and camped on the west side of the stream. At this camp Washington was taken seriously ill with a fever, and when the troops marched the next morning he was left behind with a guard and proper attendance¹ and comforts. As soon as able he was to come on with the rear division under Col. Dunbar ; but it has been stated that he asked and received from Gen. Braddock a promise that the fort should not be attacked until he had recovered and rejoined the assaulting column. It does not, however, seem reasonable to suppose that he would have wished to jeopardize the success of the expedition by asking such an indefinite delay, nor that Braddock would, under any circumstances, have bound himself by such a promise.
In four days from his departure from the Little Meadows, Gen. Braddock's column had made nineteen miles, and arrived at the Great Crossings of the Youghiogheny, which the troops crossed without bridging.² On the 24th of Juhe they passed an Indian camp, recently vacated, which gave indications that it had been occupied by about one hundred and seventy persons. " They had stripped and painted some trees, upon which they and the French had written many threats and bravadoes, with all kinds
¹ In some accounts of this sickness of Washington, it has been stated that Dr. James Craik (who was with the expedition is a surgeon in the Virginia troops, and who was also the life-long friend and physician of Washington) was left behind at the Little Crossings to attend him, but such does not appear to have been the case. The Hon. James Finley, in a letter written to the editor of Niles' Register, dated Youngstown, Pa., March 27,1818, relates some conversations which he had with Washington in reference to Braddock's campaign, from which letter the following extracts are made: "On on@ occasion, iu a mixed company, some question being asked of me, then sitting next the President (Washington), about the Big Meadows and Dunbar's Run, by Col. 8prigg, of Maryland, which I could not answer, the President, to whom I referred the question, in answering them described Dunbar's camp, to which the remains of Braddock's army retired after the defeat. . . . Looking round seriously to me, he said, 'Braddock was both my general and my physip cian. I was attacked with a take fever on the march, and ha left a sergeant [not a surgeon] to take care of me, and James' fever powders, with directions how to give them, and a wagon to bring me on when I would be able, which was only the day before the defeat.'"
² An entry in Orme's Journal for this day is to this effect: "The 24th of June we marched at five in the morning, and passed the second branch of the Yoxhio Geni, which is about one hundred yards wide, about three feet deep, with a very strong current."
48 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
of scurrilous language." The French had received early information of Braddock's coming, and parties of them with their Indian allies had advanced east beyond the Laurel Hill to meet the English ; not for the purpose of attacking them, but to hover along their front and flanks, to spy out their movements, murder stragglers, and to keep the commandant at Fort Du Quesne informed, from day to day, of the progress of the English forces. From the time when the troops crossed the Youghiogheny, hostile Indians were always near them along the route, and evidences of their presence multiplied with each succeeding day's march.
In fact, nearly all the savages west of the mountains were now ranged on the side of the French. A few only of the Indian allies of the English had remained true to them after the surrender of Fort Necessity, and among these were Monacatoocha, the successor of the friendly Half-King, ¹ and Scarooyada, whose acquaintance Washington had made on his trip to Le Bceuf in the previous year. These two chiefs, with nearly a hundred and fifty Seneca and Delaware warriors, had joined the English on their march, and proposed to accompany them as scouts and guides. They could without doubt have rendered great service in that capacity, and if the warnings of their forest experience had been listened to, might perhaps have saved Braddock's army from the disaster which overtook it. But the general despised and rejected their services, and treated them with so much of slight and contempt that they finally retired in disgust and left him to his:fate.
On the 25th of Jane, " at daybreak, three men who went without the sentinels were shot and scalped." Gen. Braddock was greatly incensed at these murders, and issued an order directing that " every soldier or Indian shall receive five pounds for each Indian scalp." At their halting-place on the same evening they found the marks of another French and Indian camp, so lately vacated that the fires were yet burning. " The Indians who had occupied it," said Orme, "had marked in triumph upon trees the scalps they had taken two days before, and many of the French had written on them their names and sundry insolent expressions. We picked up a commission on the march, which mentioned the party being under the command of the Sieur Normanville. This Indian camp was in a strong situation, being upon a high rock, with a very narrow and steep ascent to the top. It had a spring in the middle, and stood at the termination of the Indian path to the Monongahela, at the confluence of Redstone Creek. By this path the party came which attacked Mr. Washington last year, and also this which attended us. By their tracks they seemed to have divided here, the one party going straight forward to Fort Du Quesne, and the other
¹ The Half-King, Tanacharison, had died in the preceding October, at Harris' Ferry (now Harrisburg), on the Susquehanna.
returning by Redstone Creek to the Monongahela. A captain, four subalterns, and ninety volunteers marched from the camp with proper guides to fall in the night upon that party which we imagined had returned by the Monongahela. They found a small quantity of provisions and a very large bateau, which they destroyed," but they saw nothing of the foe they were sent to capture.
On the 27th of June the troops reached Gist's plantation, where they found Lieut.-Col. Burton and Sir John Sinclair, with a detachment of about four hundred men, who had been sent forward to cut out the road in advance of the main body. On the 28th the forces moved on from Gist's, crossed the Youghiogheny on the 30th, and thence moved northward along the route of the old Iroquois war trail, leading to the Allegheny. On the 3d of July " we marched," says Orme in his journal, "about six miles to the Salt Lick Creek.² Sir John St Clair proposed to the General to halt at this camp, and to send back all our horses to bring up Colonel Dunbar's detachment." which was then encamped at Squaw's Fort, about three miles east of the Great Crossings of the Youghiogheny, in the present county of Somerset. Upon this suggestion of Sir John, the general convened a council of war, composed of Col. Sir Peter Halket, Lieut.-Cols. Gage and Burton, Maj. Sparks, and Sir John Sinclair, D.Q.G. After due consideration of the proposition, " the council were unanimously of the opinion not to halt there for Col. Dunbar, but to proceed the next morning." The camp where this council of war was held was about one and one-half miles below the site of the present town of Mount Pleasant, in Westmoreland County. From this place the column marched on to the Great Sewickley; thence to the Brush Fork of Turtle Creek, where Braddock halted in indecision, as the crossing of dig stream and the passage through the ravines appeared hazardous. He finally decided to abandon the route originally proposed from this point along the ridges to Fort Du Quesne, and accordingly, turning sharply to the left, he moved towards the Monongahela, encamping on the night of the 8th of July about two miles east of the river, below the mouth of the Youghiogheny. It was at this camp that Washington (although not yet fully recovered from his illness) rejoined the army, having left Col. Dunbar's force near the Great Meadows, and came on " in a covered wagon," under protection of a detachment sent on to guard a pack-horse train laden with provisions for the advance column.
On the morning of the 9th of July the troops marched to the Monongahela and crossed to the southw shore, moving thence on the left bank for about thr miles ; then recrossed the river at Fraser's, just below the mouth of Turtle Creek. The crossing w completed at about one o'clock in the afternoon, an
² Now known as Jacobs Creek.
BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION IN 1755 - 49
when the column reformed on the right bank of the ' Monongahela, it was within three-fourths of a mile of the place where the French with their Indian allies lay hidden along the slopes of the forest defile which, ere the sun went down on that memorable day, was to be reddened by the blood of the bravest, and made historic for all time as "Braddock's Field" of disaster and defeat.
The bloody battle of the Monongahela has been too often described to require repetition here. It resulted in the utter defeat and rout of the English, and the headlong flight of the survivors to the south side of the river at the point where they had crossed. The force which entered the defile was fourteen hundred and sixty strong,¹ including officers and privates. Of this force four hundred and fifty-six were killed and four hundred and twenty-one wounded, making a total of eight hundred and seventy-seven ; while only five hundred and eighty-three escaped unhurt. Of eighty-nine commissioned officers, sixty-three were killed or wounded, including every officer above the rank of captain except Col. Washington, who, however, was a colonel only by courtesy. Of the captains, ten were killed and five wounded ; of the lieutenants, fifteen killed and twenty-two wounded. Gen. Braddock had four horses shot under him, and while mounting the fifth received the wound which proved mortal. Washington bad two horses shot under him. Sir Peter Halket (next in command to Braddock) was killed instantly. Secretary Shirley was killed.
Col. Burton, Sir John Sinclair, and Lieut.-Col. Gage were among the wounded, also Brig.-Maj. Halket, Dr. Hugh Mercer,² Maj. Sparks, and Capt. Orme. Of the naval officers present, Lieut. Spendelow and Midshipman Talbot were killed. A number of women and officers' servants were also killed and scalped, though every wagoner escaped. One hundred beeves were captured by the enemy, also the general's papers (orders, instructions, and correspondence), and the
military chest, containing £25,000 in money, as well as all of Washington's papers, including his notes referring to the Fort Necessity campaign of the previous year. The journal of Capt. Orme alone of all the military papers was saved. All the artillery, ammunition, baggage, and stores fell into the hands of the French and Indians, and the dead and badly wounded
were left on the field to be scalped and tortured by the savages, who, however, strangely enough, made little show of pursuit.
Braddock, when he received his fatal wound, expressed a wish to be left to die on the field, and this wish came near being gratified. Nearly all his panic-stricken followers deserted him, but his aide-de-camp, Orme, and Capt. Stewart, of the Virginia light-horse, stood faithfully by him, and at the imminent risk of their own lives succeeded in bearing him from the woods and across the river. On reaching the south side of the Monongahela the general, though suffering intense pain from his wound, gave orders that the troops should be rallied and a stand made at that place, but this was found impossible. A few subordinate officers and less than one hundred soldiers were all who remained around him. Of this Capt. Orme's journal says, " We intended to have kept possession of that ground till we could have been reinforced. The general and some wounded officers remained there about an hour, till most of the men ran off. From that place the general sent Mr. Washington to Col. Dunbar with orders to send wagoners for the wounded, some provisions and hospital stores, to be escorted by the two youngest grenadier companies, to meet him at Gist's plantation, or nearer if possible. It was found impracticable to remain here, as the general and officers were left almost alone; we therefore retreated in the best manner we were able. After we had passed the Monongahela the second time, we were joined by Lieut.-Col. Gage, who had rallied near eighty men. We marched all night and the next day, and about ten o'clock that night we got to Gist's plantation."
During the time when Gen. Braddock was advancing to the Monongahela, Col. Dunbar was toiling slowly along with the rear division, the artillery, and heavy stores. Leaving the Little Crossings soon after Braddock's departure, he came on by the same route, passing the ruins of Fort Necessity on the 2d of July, and a few days later reached the place, high up on the Laurel Hill, which is known to this day as " Dunbar's Camp," ³ and where he then encamped his troops and parked his trains. This was the end of Dunbar's outward march, for he there received from the Monongahela battle-field the fearful tidings which forbade all thoughts of a farther advance.
It was to this camp that " Mr. Washington" (as he was designated by Orme, he holding no military rank under Braddock) was ordered from the lower crossing of the Monongahela to proceed with all possible speed, and with peremptory orders' to Col. Dunbar to send
3 Col. Burd, who visited this place in 1759, when on his way to erect a fort on the present site of Brownsville, said of Dunbar's camp that it was "the worst chosen piece of ground for an encampment I ever saw."
It was known that there was ill feeling on the part of Dunbar towards the commander-in-chief, and it was thereford thought necessary to send the most positive orders in Braddock's name to insure obedience.
¹ The force had Increased by nearly two hundred men between the Mos when Braddock moved forward from the Little Meadows with between twelve and thirteen hundred men and the time when they reached the Monongahela. This Increase was made principally by small detach-meats which were detailed from the rear-guard, under Dunbar, as guards lo the trains which were sent forward with supplies to the advance.
² Afterwards Gen. Mercer, who was killed at the battle of Princeton, Jan. 3,1777. The wound which he received at the battle of the Monongahela was a very severe one. He was left on the field with the other badly wounded, but managed to conceal himself behind a fallen tree, where he witnessed the atrocities committed by the savages on the other wounded men and on the dead. His place of concealment was not dissevered by the Indiana, who soon left the field. When darkness came es he crept from the woods, crossed the Monongahela, and after wandering In the woods for many days with his wound undressed, and nearly !wished, he at last reached Fort Cumberland in safety.