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Full text of "The journal of Major George Washington : sent by the Hon. Robert Dinwiddie, esq ; His Majesty's lieutenant-governor, and commander in chief of Virginia, to the commandant of the French forces on Ohio ; to which are added the Governor's letter and a translation of the French officer's answer ; with a new map of the country as far as the Mississippi"

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Darlington Memorial Library 

OIla0B. E./.^...Z. 





j O U R N A 

O F 

Major George JVajhingtofiy 


Hon, Robert Dinwiddie, Efqj 
His Majefty's Lieutenant-Governor, and 
Commandef in Chiief of Virginia:^ 


^ _ 

Commandant of the French Forces 


O H I O. 

To which are added, the 

Governor's LETTER: 

.. A N D A ^ 

Translation of the French Officer's Anfwer* 


A New M A p of the Country as far as the 


London, Reprinted for % Jefferys, the Corner 
of St. Martin's Lane, 


[Price One Shilling,] 

Maps, Plans a?id Charts jujl imported hy 
Thomas '^'evy'e.^y^^ Geographer to hi i Roy til 
Highnefs the Prince ^ Wales, 

LE Indies Orlentale, avec le cote de Coromandel, et 
TAnalife par M. D. Anville. 
Novelles Cartes de les Indies Orientale par M. D'apres de 

de Mannivellette. 
Theatre de la Guerre in Italic pat M. D' Anville, prem^ 

Partie, . 
Mappemende de M. Boulanfger avec fon Memoire, iri 

Memoire fur les nov. decouveitei" de TAmiral de Fonte^ 

avec Cartes 
Confiderations Geographiques : in Qi^iarto, avec 4 Cartes 

par M. Buache. 
Canada de Robert, 1753. 
Porter de France* par Jalliot, 1754. 
Dekiles Atlas complete, large t aper and fmall. 
The German Atlas compleat by Homan. 
Atlas de France, 175 1. 
The Chinefe Atlas by D' Anville. 

The Ruffian Atlas compiled and engraved at Peterfburgh. 
D'Anvilles's new Maps of Italy, North America, South 

America, Africa and the Eaftward Part of Alia 
Bellin's Sea Charts. 
. Plan of Rome 



Environs of Paris, 9 Sheeti 

■— Paris, one Sheet 

the Military School 

Verfailles, one Sheet 


^ — Nancy 

' I'Orient 

Speedily will be publijhed. 

A Map of the Seat of War in the Eaft IndieSi with 

a Memoir. 


S* -36 • -^^"^ ffT/^OTw JIwmSW 


AS it was thought advifeable by his 
Honour the Governor to have the 
follow i72g Account ofmj Proceedings to 
(ind from the French on Ohio, com-- 
mitted to Print ; / think I ca7^ do no 
lefs than apologize^ in fane Meafure^^ 
for the number lefs ImperfeBions of it. 

There intervened but one Day between 
my Arrival in WiUiamlburg, and the 
T'tme for the CounciT s Meetings for me 
to prepare and tranfcribe^ from the 
rough Minutes I had take?t i?t my Tra- 
vels^ this journal \ the writing of which 
only was fuficient to employ 7ne clofdy 
the whole Time^ confeque7itly admitted of 
no Leifure to co?2fult of a new and pro- 
per Form to offer it in^ or to correSi or 
a7?te72dthe Diciio7t of the old: Neither was 
I apprifed^ 77or did i7i the leaji co77ceivey 



when I wrote this for his Honour s Per-r 
tifal^ that it ever would be publijhed^ 
or even have more than a curfory Read- 
ing \ till I was informed^ at the Meet- 
ing of theprefent General Affembly^ that 
it was already in the Prefs. 

"There is nothing can recommend it to 

the Public^ b^t this. Thofe Things which 

came under the Notice of my own Ob- 

fervation^ I have been explicit and juji 

^in a Recital of: Thofe which I have 

gathered from Report^ I have bee7t par-- 
'ticularly cautious not to augment^ but 
collected the Opinions of the feveral In^ 
telligencers^ a7td feleSied from the 
whole^ the moji probable and confflent 

. G. Washington. 


J O U R N A L, ^r. 


JVednefday^ OHoher 317?, 1753. 

F^^^ WAS commiflioned and appointed by 
M I ^ the Honourable Robert Dinwiddte, Efq; 
^ <^ Governor, &c. of Vir^inia^ to vifit and 
k-^^J^ deliver a Letter to the Commandant of 
the French Forces on the Ohio^ and fet out on th^ 
intended Journey the fame Day : The next, I arrived 
at Frederick/burg^ and engaged Mr. Jacob Van^ 
Iraam^ to be my French Interpreter ; and proceed- 
ed with him to Alexandria^ where we provided 
NecefTaries. From thence we went to Winchejter^ 
and got Baggage, Horfes, ^c. and from thence 
we purfued the new Road to Wills-Creek^ where 
we arrived the 14th oH November, 

Here I engaged Mr. Gift to pilot us out, and 

alfo hired four others as Servitors, Barnaby Currin^ 

3 and 

( 6 ) 

and John Mac-^ire, Indian Traders, Henry Stew- 
ard^ and William Jenkins \ and in Company with 
thofe Perfons, left the Inhabitants the Day fol- 

I'he exceflive Rains and vaft Quantity of Snow 
which had fallen, prevented our reaching Mr. Fra- 
zier^s^ an Indian Trader, at the Mouth of Turlle- 
Creek, on Monongahela [River] till T'hrrfday the 2 2d. 
We were informed here, that Expreffes had been 
fent 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 impaffable, without 
fwimming our Horfes -, which obliged us to get 
the Loan of a Canoe from Frazier^ and to fend 
Barnaby Currin^ and Henry Steward^ down the 
Monongahela^ with our Baggage, to meet us at 
the Forks of Ohio^ about 10 Miles, there to crofs 
the Aligany.'^ ■ > . . . 

As 1 got down before the Canoe, I fpcnt fomc 
Time in viewing the Rivers, and the Land in^ the 
Fork ; which I think extremely well fituated for a 
Fort, as it has the abfolute Command of both Ri- 
vers. The Land at the Point is 20 or 25 Feet 
above the common Surface of the Water ; and a 
confide^able Bottom of fiat, well- timbered Land all 
around it, very convenient for Building : The 
Rivers are each a Quarter of a 'Milcj or more, 
acrofs, and run here very near at right Angles : 
Aligany bearing N. E. and Monongahela S. E. The 
former of theie two is a very rapid and fwifc run- 
ning Water ; the (3thcr deep and ftill, without any 
perceptible Fall. 

About two Miles from this, on the South Eaft 
Side of the River, at the Place where the Ohio 

* The Ohio and Aligany are the fame Riyer. 


( 7 ) 

Company intended to eredt a Fort, lives Shtngifsi 
king of the Delawares : We called upon him, tO 
invite him to Council. at the Loggs-Town, 

As I had taken a good deal of Notice Yeflerday 
of the Situation at the Forks, my Curi|j^ty led me 
to examine this more particularly, and I think 
it greatly inferior, either for Defence or Advanta- 
ges ; efpecialiy the latter : For a Fort at the Forks 
would be equally well (ituated on the Ohio, and have 
the entire Command of the Monongahela •, which runs 
up to our Settlements and is extremely well de- 
figned for Water Carriage, as it is of a deep ftill 
Nature. Befides a Fort at the Fork might be built 
at a much lefs Expence, than at the other Place. — 

Nature has well contrived this lower Place, for 
Water Defence 5 but the Hill whereon it muft (land 
being about a Quarter of a Mile in Length, and 
then defcending gradually on the Land Side, will 
render it difficult and very expenfive, to make a 
fufficient Fortification there. — The whole Flat upoil 
the Hill m.uft be taken-in, the Side next the De- 
fcent made extremely high, or elfe the Hill itfelf 
cut away : Otherwife, the Enemy may raife Bat- 
teries within that Diftance without being expofed 
to a fmgle Shot from the Fort. 

Shingifs attended us to the Loggs-To^n^ where 
we arrived between Sun-fetting and Dark, the 25th 
Day after I left Williamjburg. We travelled over 
Ibme extreme good and bad Land, to get to this 

As foori as I came into Town, I went to Mona- 
katoocha (as the Half-king was out at his hunting- 
Cabbin on little j5^^i;^r-Creek, about 15 Miles oS) 
and informed him by John Davifon my Indian In- 
terpreter, that I was fent a Meffeneer to the French 
General; and was ordered to* call upon the Sa- 
chems of the Six Nations^ to acquaint them with 


( 8 ) 

it. — I gave him a String of Wampum +, and i 
Twift of Tobacco, and defired him to fend for the 
Half-King ; which he promifed to do by a Runner 
In the Morning, and for other Sachems. — I invited 
him and the other great Men prefent to'my Tent^ 
where they ftay'd about an Hour and return'd. 

According to the beft Obfervations I could makcj 
Mr. Giff's new Settlement (which we pafs'd by) 
bears about W.N. W. 70 Miles from /F?//^- Creek 5 
Sbanapins^ or the Forks N. by W. or N. N. W. 
about 50 Miles from that -, and from thence to th6 
Loggs-To^^m^ the Courfe is nearly Weft about 18 
or 20 Miles: So that the whole Diftance, as we 
went and computed it, is atleaft 135 or 140 Miles 
from our back Inhabitants. 

25/i), Came to Town four often Frenchmen who 
had deferted from a Company at xhtKu/kufkas^ which 
lies at the Mouth of this River. I got the follow- 
ing Account from them. They were fent from 
New-Orleans with 100 Men, and 8 Canoe-Loads 
of Provifions to this Place j where they expedled to 
have met the fame Number of Men, from the Forts 
on this Side Lake Erie^ to convoy them and the 
Stores up, who were not arrived when they ran-off. 

I enquired into the Situation of the French^ ori 
the Mijjijfi'pp', their Number, and what Forts they 
had built. They inform'd me. That there were 
four fm.all Forts between Netv-Orleans and the 
Black- IJlands^ garrifon'd with about 30 or 40 Men, 
and a few fmall Pieces in each : That zt New-Orle- 
ans^ which is near the Mouth of the MiJJiffippiy 
there are 35 Companies, of 40 Men each, with ^ 
pretty ftrong Fort mounting 8 Carriage Guns ; and 
at the Black-J/lands there are feveral Companies, 
and a Fort with 6 Guns. The Black-ljlands are 

f A kind of Indian Mofiey ; alfo giveil as a Prefent or Mark 
6f Friendlhip. 


( 9 3 

about 130 Leagues above the Mouth of the Ohio^ 
which is about 350 above New-Orleans, They ajfo 
acquainted me, chat there was a i'mall paliilado'd 
Fort on the Obio^ at the Mouth of the G^^/y^ about 
60 Leagues from the Mijjiftpi. The Obaijh * heads 
near the Weft End ot Lake Erie^ and affords the 
Communication between iht French on Mijfiffippi 
anu chofe on the Lakes. Thefe Deferters came up 
'from the lower Shanoah Town with one Broivn^ an 
Indian Trader, and were going to P^/At^/^//?^?^. 

About 3 o'clock this Evening the Half- King 
came to 1 own. I went up and invited him with 
Davifcn^ privately, to my Tent -, and drfir'd him 
to relate lome of the Particulars of his Journey to 
the French Commandant, and Reception there : 
Alfo to give me an Account of the Ways and Dif- 
rance. He told me, that the nearefl and Icveileft 
Way was now impaffable, byReafon of many large 
mirey Savannas ; that we mufh be obliged to go by 
Venango^ and fhould not get to the near Fort under 
5 or 6 Nights Sleep, good Travelling. When he 
went to the Fort, he faid he was received in a very 
ftern Manner by the late Commander ; Who afk'd 
him very abruptly, what he hAd come about, and 
to declare his Bufinefs : Which he laid he did in th-e 
following Speech, 

Fathers^ I am ccme to tell you your own Speeches -, 
what your own Mouths have declared. Fathers^ l^ou^ 
in former Days, fet a Silver Bafcn bejcr£ us^ wherein 
there was the Leg of a Beaver , and dejir^ d all the 
Nations to come and eat of it % to eat in Peace and 
Plenty^ and not to be churhfo to one another : And 
that if any fuch Pcrjcn JJjould be found to be a D/f- 
turber^ I h^re lay down ly the Edge of the Difb a 

* Or Ji^abajh, writien by the French Quahach. 

B Rod, 

r 10 ) 

Rod^ which you mufi fccurge them with ; and if I your 
Father^ jloould get fooiifi^ in my old Days^ I defire 
you may ii[e it upon me as well as others. 

Now Fathers^ it is you who are the Dijiurhers in 
this Land^ by coming and building your 'Fowns \ and 
taking it away unknown to us^ and by Force. 

Father s.^ We kindled a Fire a long Time ago, at a 
Place called Montreal, where we defired you to fiay, 
and not to come and intrude upon our hand. 1 now 
dejire you may di [patch to that Place -, for be it known 
to ycUy Fathers, that this is our Land, and not 


Fathers, I defire you may hear me in Civilnefs ; // 
not, we muft handle that Rod which was laid down 
for the Ufe of the ahfireperous. If ycu had come in 
a peaceable Manner, like our Brothers the Englifb, 
we Jhould not have been againfi your trading with us, 
as they do \ but to come, Fathers, and build 
Houses upon our Land, and to take it by 
Force, is what we cannot submit to. 

Fathers, Both you and the Engliih are white, we 
live in a Country between ; therefore the Land belongs 
to neither one nor f other : But the Great Being above 
allowed it to he a Place of Refidence J or us -, fo Fa- 
thers, I defire you to withdraw, as I have done our 
Brothers the EngliU^ : For I will keep you at Arms 
length. I lay this down as a Trial for both, to fee 
which will have the greatefi Regard to it, and that 
Side we will ft and by, and 7nake equal Sharers with us. 
Our Brothers the Engliili have heard this., and I 
come now to tell it to you -, for lam not afraid to dif- 
charge you off this Land. 

This he faid was the Subflance of what he fpoke 
to the General, who made this Reply. 


( II ) 

Now my Child^ I have heard your Speech : Tcu 
Jpoke firft^ hut it is my ^Jime to /peak now. Where 
is my Wampum that you took away^ with the Marks 
of iowns in it ? This Wampum 1 do not know, which 
you have difc barged me off the hand with : But you 
need not put your f elf to the Trouble of fpeaking^ for I 
will not hear you. I am yiot afraid of Flies^ or Muf- 
quitos^ for Indians are fuch as thofe. I tell ycu^ down 
that River I will go, and wilt build upon it, accord- 
ing to my Command. If the River was blocked up, 1 
have Forces fv.fficient to burfi it open ^ and tread under 
my Feet all that Jland in Oppcfition, together with 
their Alliances \ for my Force is as the Sand upon the 
Sea Shore: Therefore., here is your Wampum., Ifi^^Z 
it at you. Child., you talk fooli/h-, you fay this Land 
belongs to you, but there is not the Black of my Nail 
yours. 1 faw that hand fo oner than yen did, before 
the Shannoahs and you were at War : Lead was the 
Man who went down, and took F off effion of that Ri- 
ver : It is my Land, and I will have it, let who will 
ftand'Up for, or fay-againji, it, Fll buy and fell with 
the Englifh, -(niockingly). If People will be rul^d 
by me, they may expect Kindnefs, but not elfe. 

The Half- King told me he enquired of the Gene- 
ral ahcr two Englifhmen who were made Prifoners, 
and received this Anfwer. 

Child, Tou think it is a very great Hardjhip that 
■I made Prifoners of thofe two People at Venango. 
Don*t you concern yourf elf with it : We took and car- 
ried them to Canada, to get Intelligence of what the 
Englifh were doing in Virginia. 

He informed me that they had built two Forts, 
one on Lake £n>, and another on French-Crcck, 

B OL near 

( 12 ) 

near a fmall Lake about 15 Miles afunder, and a 
large Waggon Road between : They are both built 
after the fame Model, but different in the Size; 
chat on the Lake the largeft. He gave me. a Plan of 
them, of his own drawing. 

The Indians enquired very particularly after their 
Brothers in Carolina Goal. 

Tiiey alfo alked what Sort of a Boy it was who 
was taken from the ^^-.z^/^-Branch ; for they wer€ 
told by fome Indians^ that a Party of French Indians 
had carried a white Boy by the Kiijkujka 1 own, to-. 
wards the Lakes. 

z6ih. We met in Council at the Long-Houfe, 
about 9 o'clock, where 1 fpoke to them as 

Brothers y I have called you together in Council^ by 
Order of your Brother the Governor of Virginia, to 
acquaint ycu^ that lamjent^ with all pojfible Difpatch-, 
to vijit^ and deliver a Letter to the French Comman- 
dant^ of very great Importance to your Brothers the 
Englifli \ and [dare jay^ to you their Friends and 

I was defired^ Brothers^ hy your Brother the Go- 
vernor^ to call upon you^ the Sachems of the Nations, 
to inform you of it^ and to afk your Advice ard Ajfifi- 
ance to proceed the neareji and befi Road to the French. 
Tou fee. Brothers^ F have gotten thus far on my 

His Hofiour likewife defired me to apply to you for 
Jonie of your young Men, to conduU and provide Fro^ 
vifions for us on our Way, and be a Safeguard againfi 
thofe French Indians who have taken up the Hatchet 
againfi us. I have fpoke this particularly to you. 
Brothers^ becaufe his Honour our Governor treats you 
as good Friends and Allies 5 and holds you in great 


( 13 > 

Eft^em, ^0 confirm what I have faid^ J give you 
this Siring of H'ampum, 

After they had confirdercd for fome Time on the 
above Difcourfe, the Half- King got up and fpo'ke. 

"Now^ my Brothers^ in Regard to what my Bro- 
ther the Governor has defir.ed me, I return you this 

I rely upon you as a Brother ought to do, 'as you 
fay we are Brothers and one People : We fJoall put 
Heart in Hand, and fpeak to our Fathers the French 
concerning the Speech they made to me -, and you may 
depend that we will endeavour to he your Guard. 

Brother^ as you have afied m^y Jldvice, I hope 
you will he ruled by it, and fiay till I can provide a 
Company to go with you. 'The French Speech-Belt is 
not here., I have it to go for to my hufiting-Cabbin : 
Likewife the People whom I have ordered in, are not 
yet corne^ nor cannot till the third Night from this ; 
//'// which 'Time, Brother, I muft beg you to fiay. 

I intend to fend a Guard of Mingo's, Shannoahs, 
and Delawares, that cur Brothers may fee the Love 
and Loyalty we bear them. 

As I had Orders to jnake all pofllble Difparch, 
and waiting here was very contrary to my Incli- 
nation, I thanked him in the moft luirable Manner I 
could; and told him, that my Bufinefs required the 
greateft Expedition, and v;ould not admit of that 
Delay. He was not well pleafed that I ihould offer 
to go before the Time he had appointed, and told 
fne, that he could not confent to our going without 
a Guard, for Fear fome Accident (hould befal us, 
and draw a Refledlion upon him. Bcfides, fays he,, 
this is a J\latter of no frjiall Moment, and muft 


C 14 ) 
not be entered into without due Confidefation ; For 
now I intend to deliver up the French-SpQech-Bdt^ 
and make the Shanoahs and Delawares do the 
fame. And accordingly he gave Orders to King 
Shingifsy who was prefent, to attend on fVednefday 
Night with the Wampum ; and two Men of their 
Nation to be in Readinefs to fet-out with us next 
Morning. As I found it was impoffible to get-off 
without affronting them in the mod egregious 
Manner, I confenced to flay. 

I gave them back a String of Wampum which I 
met with at Mr. Frezicr's, and which they had fent 
with a Speech to his Honour the Governor, to 
inform him, that three Nations of French Indians^ 
viz. Cbippoways^ Ottoways^ and Orundaks^ had 
taken-up the Hatchet againft the Englijh \ and de- 
fired them to repeat it over again : But this they 
poftponed doing till they met in full Council with 
the Shannoahs and 'Delaware Chiefs. 

27/^. Runners were difpatched very early for 
the Sbannoah Chids. The Half-King fet out himfelf 
to fetch the i^r^wf/:?- Speech-Belt from his hunting 

2Slb. He returned this Evening, and came with 
M-onokatoocha^ and two other Sachems to my Tent; 
and begged (as they had complied with his Ho- 
nour the Governor's Requefl, in providing Men, 
^f.) to know on what Bufmefs we were going to 
the French ? this was a Queflion I all along ex- 
peded, and had provided as fatisfa6tory Anfwers 
to, as I could \ which allayed their Curiofity a 

Monokatoocha informed miC, that an Indian from 
Venango brought News, a few Days ago, that the 
French had called all the Mmgo's^ Delawares^ &c. 
together at that Place; and told them, that they 


i 15 ) 
intended to have been down the River this Fall, 
but the Waters were growing cold, and the Winter 
advancing, which obHged them to go into Quarters : 
But that they might afluredly exped them in the 
Spring, with a far greater Number ; and defired 
that they might be quite paffive, and not to in- 
termeddle, unlefs they had a Mind to draw all 
their Force upon them : For that they expedled to 
fight the Englijh three Years (as they luppofed there 
would be fome Attempts made to flop them) in 
which Time they fliould conquer : But that if 
they fnould prove equally ftrong, they and the. 
EngU/h^ would join to cut them all off, and divide 
the Land between them : That though they had 
loft their General, and fome few of their Soldiers, 
yet there were Men enough to reinforce them, 
and make them Mailers of the Ohio. 

This Speech, he faid, was delivered to them by 
one Captain Joncaire their liUerpreter in Chief, 
living at Venango^ and a Man of Note in the Army. 

29/^. The Half-King and Monokatoochay came 
very early, and begged n;e to ftay one Day m.ore: 
For notwithftanding they ^had ufed all the Diligence 
in their Powder, the Shanoah Chiefs had not brought 
the Wampum they ordered, but would certainly 
be in fo-night ; if not, they would delay me no 
longer, but would fend it after us as foon as they 
arrived. When I found them fo prefling in 
their Requeft, and knev/ that returning of Wam- 
pum was the abolifhing of Agreements ; and 
giving this up, was fhaking-off all Dependance 
upon the French^ I confented to flay, as 1 believed 
an Offence offered at this Crifis, might be attended 
with greater ill Confequence, than another Day's 
Delay. They alio informed me, th^LtShingifs could 
not get- in his Men 5 and was prevented from com- 


( Ig ) 

ing himfelf by his Wife's Sicknefs, (I bdieve, by 
Fear of the French)-,- but that the Wampum of thatj 
Nation was lodged with Knftaloga one of theif- 
Chiefs at i/^enango. 

In the Evening late they came again and ac- 
quainted me that the Sbannoabs were not yet arriv- 
ed, but that it fhould not rttard the Profecutiort 
of our Journey. He delivered in my Hearing, the 
Speeches that were to be made to the French by 
Jejkakakey one of their old Chiefs, which wa^ 
giving-up the Belt the late Commandant had afked 
for, and repeating near the lame speech he hinri- 
felf had done before. 

He alfo delivered a String of Wampum to this 
Chief, which was fent by King Shingifi, to be given 
to Kuftaloga^ with Orders to repair to the French^ 
and deliver-up the Wampum. 

He likewife gave a very large String of black 
and white Wampum, which was to be fent up 
immediately to the Six iNations, if the French re- 
fufcd to quit the Land at this Warning •, which 
was the third and iaft Time, and was the Right 
of tnis Jejkakake to deliver. 

^Qth. Laft Night the great Men aQemblcd to 
their Council-Houfe, to confult further about this 
Journey, and who were to go : The Refult of 
which was, that only three of their Chiefs, with 
one of their beft Hunters, fhould be our Convoy. 
The Reafon they gave for not lending more, after 
what had been propofed at Council the 26th, was, 
that a greater Number might give the French Suf- 
picions of fome bad Defign, and caufe them to 
be treated rudely : But T rather think they could 
not get their Hunters in. 

We fet out about 9 o'Clock with the Half-King, 
Jejkakake^ White Thunder^ and the Hunter •, and 


( 17 ) 

travelled on the Road to Venango^ where we ar- 
rived the 4th 0^ Decemher^ without any Thing re- 
markable happening but a continued Series of bad 

This is an old Indian Town, fituated at the 
Mouth of French Creek on Ohio , and lies near N, 
about 60 Miles from the Lc^^j-Town, but more 
than 70 the Way we were obliged to go. 

We found the French Colours hoifted at a Houfe 
from which they had driven Mr. John Frazier, an 
Englijh Subjedt. I immediately repaired to it, to 
know where the Commander refided. There were 
three Officers, one of whom, Capt. Joncaire^ in- 
formed me, that he had the Command of the 
Ohio : But that there was a General Officer at the 
near Fort, where he advifed me to apply for an 
Anfwer. He invited us to fup with them j and 
treated us with the greateft Complaifance. 

The Wine, as they dofed themfelves pretty plen- 
tifully with it, foon banifhed the Reftraint which 
at firft appeared in their Converfation ; and gave a 
Licence to their Tongues to reveal their Sentiments 
more freely. 

They told me. That it was their abfolute De-^ 
fign to take Poffeffion of the Ohio, and by G— they 
would do it : For that altho' they were fenfible the 
Englifb could raife two Men for their one ; yet they 
knew, their Motions were too flow and dilatory to 
prevent any Undertaking of theirs. They pretend 
to have an undoubted Right to the River, from a 
Difcovery made by one La Solle 60 Years ago -, and 
the Rife of this Expedition is, to prevent our fet- 
tling on the River or Waters of it, as they had 
heard of fome Families moving-out in Order 
thereto. From the beft Intelligence I could get, 
there have been 1500 Men on this Side Ontario 

C Lake 

( i8 ; 

Lake : But upon the Death of the General all were 
recalled to about 6 or 700, who were left to gar- 
rifon four Forts, 150 or there abouts in each. The 
firft of thtm is on Frefjch-Cvttk^ near a fmall 
Lake, about 60 Miles from Venango^ near N.N. W. 
the next lies on Lake Erie, where the greater Fart 
of their Stores are kept, about 15 Miles from the 
other. From this it is 120 Miles to the carrying 
Place, at the Falls of Lake £r/>, where there is a . 
fmall F'ort; .which they lodge their Goods at, in 
brinpinsf them from Montreal, the Place whence all 
their Stores come from. The next Fort lies about 
?.o Miles from this, on Ontario-hdkQ. Between 
this Fort and Montreal there are three others, the 
firtl of which is near oppofite to the Englifh F'ort 
Ofwego. From the Fort on Lake Erie to Montreal 
is about 600 MileSj which they fay requires no 
more, if good Weather, than four Weeks Voyage, 
if they go in Barks or large Veffels, fo that they may 
crofs the Lake : But if they come in Canoes it will 
require 5 or 6 Weeks, for they are obliged to keep 
under the Shore. 

5//^. Rain'd exceflively allDay, which prevented 
our Travelling. Capt. Joncaire fent tor the Half- 
King,as he had but juft heard that he came with me: 
He afFeded to be much concerned that I did not 
make free to bring them in before. I excufed it in 
the bed Manner I was capable, and told him, I 
did not think their Company agreeable, as 1 had 
heard him fay a good deal in Dilpraife of Indians in 
general. But another Motive prevented me from 
bringing them into his Company : I kn.ew he was 
Interpreter, and a Perfon of very great Influence 
among the Indians, and had lately ufed all pofTible 
Means to draw them over to their Interefl •, there- 
fore I was defirous of giving no Opportunity that 
could be avoided. When 

( 19 ) 
When they came in, there was great Pleafure ex- 
prefTed at feeing them. He wondred how they could 
be i'o near without coming to vifit him •, made fe- 
veral trifling Prefents -, and appHed Loquor fo fall, 
that they were foon rendred incapable ot the Bufinefs 
they came about, notwithftanding the Caution which 

was given. 

6tb. The Half-King came to my Tent, quite 
fober, and infilled very much that 1 fhould ilay and 
hear what he had to fay to the French. 1 fain would 
have prevented his fpeaking any ^Thing, till he 
came to the Commandant -, but could not prevail. 
He told me, that at this Place a Council Fire was 
kindled, where all their Bufinefs with thefe People 
was to be tranfacled -, and that the Management of 
the Indian Affairs was left folely to Monfieur Jofi- 
caire. As I was defirous of .knowing the IfTue 
of this, 1 agreed to {lay : But fent our Horles a little 
Way up French Creek, to raft over and encamp ; 
which 1 knew would make it near Nisfht. 

About lo o'clock they met in Council. The 
King ipoke much the fame as he had before done 
to the General ; and offered the French Speech-Belt 
which had before been demanded, with the Marks 
of four Towns on it, which Monfieur Joncaire re- 
fufed to receive ; but defired him to carry it to the 
Fort to the Commander. 

']th. Monfieur La Force ^ Commiffary of the 
French S*;ores, and three other Soldiers came over 
to accompany us up. W^e found it extremely 
difncult to get the Lidians off To-day, as every 
Stratagem had been ufed to prevent their going-up 
v/ith me. . I had laft Night left John Davifon (the 
Indian interpreter whom I brought v.'ith me from 
Town, and ilrictly charged him not to be out of 
their Company, as I could not get them over to 

C 2 my 

( ZO ) 

my Tent , for they had fome Bufinefs with Kuftaloga^ 
chiefly to know the Reafon why he did not deUver 
np the ir^^c^ Belt which he had in Keeping: But 
I was obUged to fend Mr. Gift over To-day to fetch 
them; which he did with great Perfuafion. 

At 1 1 o'clock we fet out for the Fort, and were 
prevented from arriving there till the iith by 
exceffive Rains, Snows, and bad Travelling, through 
many Mires and Swamps. Thefe we were obliged 
to pafs, to avoid crofiing the Creek, which was 
impoflible, either by fording or rafting, the Water 
was fo high and rapid. 

We pafTed over much good Land fince we left 
Venango, and through feveral extenfive and very 
rich Meadows •, one of which I believe was near 
four Miles in Length, and confiderably \yide in 
fome Places. 

i2th. I prepare'd early to wait upon the Com- 
mander, and was received and conduced to him 
by the fecond Officer in Command. I acquainted 
him with my Bufinefs, and offered my CommifTion 
and Letter: Both of which he defired me to keep 
till the Arrival of Monfieur Riparti, Captain, at 
the next Fort, who was fent for and expeded every 

This Comm.ander is a Knight of the military 
Order of St. Lewis, and named Legardeur de St. 
Piere, He is an elderly Gentleman, and has much 
the Air of a Soldier. He was fent over to take the 
Command, immediately upon the Death of the 
late General, and arrived here about feven Days 
before rne. 

At 2 o'clock the Gentlem;^ who was fent for 
arrived, when I offered the Letter, iyc, again ; 
which they received, and adjourned into a private 
Apartment for ^he Captain to trandate, v/ho uq- 


( ^I ) 

derftood a little Englijh. After he had done it, the 
Commander defired I would walk-in, and bring 
my Interpreter to pertife and corredi: itj which 
1 did. 

I ph. The chief Officers retired, to hold a Council 
of War; which gave me an Opportunity of taking 
the Dimenfions of the Fort, and making what Ob- 
fervations I could. 

It is fituated on the South, or Weft Fork of 
French Creek, near the Water; and is almoft fur- 
rounded by the Creek, and a fmall Branch of it 
which forms a Kind of Ifland. Four Houfes 
compofe the Sides. The Baftions are made of Piles 
driven into the Ground, ftanding more than i2Feet 
above it, and fharp at Top : With Port-Holes cut 
for Cannon, and Loop- Holes for the fmall Arms to 
fire through. There are eight 6 lb. Pieces mounted, 
in each Baftion; and one Piece of four Pound before 
the Gate. In the Baftions are a Guard Houfe, 
Chapel, Dodor's Lodging, and the Comn ider's 
private Store: Round which are laid Plat-Fon..^ for 
the Cannon and Men to ftand on. There are feveral 
Barracks without the Fort, for the Soldiers Dwell- 
ing ; covered, fome with Bark, and fome with 
Boards, made chiefly of Loggs. There are alfo 
feveral other Houfes, fuch as Stables, Smiths 
Shop, ^c. 

I could get no certain Account of the Number 
of Men here : But according to the beft Judgment 
I could form, there are an Hundred exclufive cf 
Officers, of which there are many. I alfo gave 
Orders to the People who were with me, to take 
an exadt Account of the Canoes v/hich were hauled- 
yp to convey their Forces down in the Spring. 
This they did, and told 50 of Birch Bark, and 
1 70 of Pine; befides many others which were block- 
fd-outj in Readinefs to make, i^th. As 

( 22 ) 

i^th. As the Snow encreafed very faft, and our 
Horics daily became weaker, 1 lent them off un- 
loaded-, under the Care oi Barnaby Currin and two 
others, to make all convenient Difpatch to Venango^ 
and there wait our Arrival, if there was a Pofped 
of the Rivers freezing: Tf not, then to continue 
down to Shanapin's Town, at the Forks of Ohioy 
and there to wait till we came to crofs Aliganey *, in- 
tending n)yfclf to go down by Water, as I had 
the Offer of a Canoe or two. 

As I .found many Plots concerted to retard the 
Indians Bufineis, and prevent their returning with 
me ; 1 endeaVGur'd all that lay in my Power to 
frullrate their Schemes, and hurry them on' to exe- 
cute their intended Defign. They accordingly pref- 
fed tor Admittance this Evening, which at Length 
was o-ranted tritm, privarely, with the Commander 
and one or tv/o otner Officers. The Half-King told 
me, that he offer'd the Wampum to the Comman- 
der, who evaded taking it, and made many fair 
Promifes of Love and Friendfhip -, faid he wanted 
to live in Peace, and trade amicably with them, as 
a Proof of which he would fend fome Goods imme- 
diately down to the Logg's-To-^n for them. But I 
rather think the Defign of that is, to Lr-ng away all 
our draggling Traders they meet with, as I pri- 
vately underftood they intended to carry an Officer, 
i<$c. with them. And what rather confirms this 
Opinion, I was enquiring of the Commander, by 
what Authority he had made Prifoners of feveral of 
our Englijh Subjeds. He told me that the Country 
belong'd to them-, that no Englijhmm had a Right 
to trade upon thofe W^aters ; and that he had Or- 
ders to make every Perfon Prifoner who attempted 
it on the Ohio, or the Waters of it. 

( *3 ) 

1 enquir'd of Capt. Riparti about the Boy who was 
tarried by this Place, as it was done while the Com- 
mand devolved on him, between theDeath of the late 
General, and the Arrival of the prefent. He ac- 
knowledged, that a Boy had been carried pad; and 
that the Indians- had two or three white Men's 
Scalps, (I was told by fome of the Indians at Venango 
Eight) but pretended to have forgotten the Name of 
the Place which the Boy came from, and all the Par- 
ticular Fads, though he had quellion'd him for" 
fome Hours, as they were carrying him pad. I 
likewife enquired what they had done with John 
Trotter and James Mac Clocklan, two Penfyhania 
Traders, whom they had taken, with all their 
Goods. They told me, that they had been fent 
to Canada^ but were now returned Home. 

This Evening I received an Anfwer to his Honour 
the Governor's Letter from the Commandant. 

I c^thy The Commandant ordered a plentiful Store 
of Liquor, Provifion, ^c, to be put on Board our 
Canoe ; and appeared to be extremely complaifant, 
though he wasexerting every Artifice which he could 
invent to fet our own Indians at Variance with us, 
to prevent their going 'till alter our Departure. Pre- 
fents. Rewards, and every Thing which could be 
fuggefted by him or his Officers.* I can't fay 
that ever in my Life I fuffer'd fo much Anxiety as I 
did in this Affair : I faw that every Stratagem which 
the moft fruitful Brain could invent, was pradlifed, 
to win the Half- King to their Intereft; and that 
leaving him here was giving them the Opportunity 

they aimed at, 1 went to the Half- King and 

prels'd him in the ftrongeft Terms to go : He told 
me the Commandant would not difcharge him 'till 
the Morning. I then went to the Commandant, 
and defired him to do their Bufinefsi and com plain'd 


( 24 ) 

of ill Treatment: For keeping them, as they were 
Part of my Company, was detaining me. This 
he promifed not to do, but to forward my Journey 
as much as he could. He protefted he did not keep 
them, but was ignorant of the Caufe of their Stay ; 

though I foon found it out:^ He had promifed 

them a prefent of Guns, &c. if they would wait 
'till the Morning. 

As I was very much prefs'd, by the Indians^ to 
wait this Day for them, I confented, on a Promife, 
That nothing fhould hinder them in the Morning. 

1 6th. The French were not flack in their Inven- 
tions to keep the Indians this Day alfo : But as they 
were obligated, according to Promife, to give the 
Prefent, they then endeavoured to try the Power 
of Liquor; which I doubt not would have prevailed 
at any otherTime than this: But I urgeci and infilled 
with the King fo clofely upon his Word, that he 
refrained, and fet-off with us as he had engaged. 

We had a tedious and very fatiguing PaiTage 
down the Creek. Several Times we had like to have 
been ftaved againft Rocks; and many Times were 
obliged all Hands to get- out and remain in the 
Water Half an Hour or more, getting over the 
Shoals. At one Place the Ice had lodged and made 
it impalTable by Water ; therefore we were obliged 
to carry our Canoe acrofs aNeck.of Land, a Quar- 
ter of a Mile over. We did not reach Venango^ till 
the 2 2d, where we met with our Horfes. 

This Creek is extremely crooked, I dare fay the 
Diilance between the Fort and Venango can't be lefs 
than 130 Miles, to follow the Meanderir. 

2 3 J, When I got Things ready .to fet-ofF, Ifent 
for ths Half- King, to know whether he intended to 
go with us, or by Water. He told me that White- 
Thunder had hurt himfelf much, and was fick and 


f 25 ) 

linable to walk ^ therefore he was obliged to carry 
him down in a Canoe. As I found he intended to 
flay here a Day or two, and knew that Monfieur 
Joncaire would employ every Scheme to fet him 
againft the Englijh as he had before done •, I told 
him I hoped he would guard againft his Flattery, 
and let no fine Speeches influence him in their Fa- 
vour. Hedefired I might not be concerned, for he 
knew the French too well, for any Thing to engage 
him in their Behalf; and that though he could not 
go down with us, he yet would endeavour to meet 
at the Forks with Jofeph Campbell^ to dehver a Speech 
for me to carry to his Honour the Governor. He 
told me he would order the young Hunter to at* 
tend us, and get Provifion, &c. if wanted. 

Our Horfes were now fo weak and feeble, and the 
Baggage fo heavy (as we were obliged to provide 
all the Neceffaries which the Journey would require^ 
that we doubted much their performing it : there- 
fore myfelf and others (except the Drivers who 
were obliged to ride) gave-up our Horfes for Packs, 
to affift along with the Baggage. I put myfelf in 
an Indian walking Drefs, and continued with them 
three Days, till 1 found there was no Probability cf 
their getting home in any reafonableTime. The Hor- 
fes grew lefs able to travel every Day ; the Cold in- 
creafed very faft ; and the Roads were becoming 
much worfe by a deep Snow, continually freezing : 
Therefore as I was uneafy to get back, to make Re- 
port of my Proceedings to his Honour the Gover- 
nor, I determined to profecute my Journey the near- 
eft Way through the Woods, on Foot. 

Accordingly I left Mr. Vanhraam in Charge of 
our Baggage ; with Money and Diredions, to pro- 
Yide Neceffaries from Place to PUce for themfelves 

D anti 

( 26 ) 

and Horfes, and to make the mod convenient Di- 
patch in Travelling. 

I took my neceffary Papers •, pulled-ofF my 
Cloaths ; and tied my felt up in a Match Coat. Then 
with Gun in Hand and Pack at my Back, in which 
were my Papers and Provifions, I fet-out v/ith Mr. 
Gifi^ fitted in the fame Manner, on IVednefday the 
26th. The Day following, juft after we had palled 
a Place called the Murdering-Tov/n (where we in- 
tended to quit the Path, and fteer acrofs the Country 
for Shannapins Town} we fell-in with a Party o^ French 
Indians, who had lain in Wait for us. One of them 
fired at Mr. G//^ or me, not 15 Steps off, but fortu- 
nately miffed. We took this Fellow into Cuflody, 
and kept him till about 9 o'Clcck at Night : 
Then let him go, and walked all the remaining Part 
of the Night without making any Stop ; that we 
might get the Start, fo far, as to be out of the 
Eeach of their Purfnit the next Day, fince we were 
well affured they would follow our Tra6t as foon as 
it was light. The next Day v/e continued travelling 
till quite dark, and got to the River about two Miles 
above Shannapins. We expected to have found the 
Ki\er frozen, but it was not, only about 50 Yards 
from each Shore : The Ice I fuppole had broken up 
above, for it was driving in vaft Quantities. 

There was no Way for getting over but on a Raft : 
Which we-fet about, v/ith but one poor Hatchet, 
and finifhed jufl after Sun-fetting. This was a whole 
Day's Work : we next got it launched, and went on 
Board of it : Then fet-ofF. But before we were Half 
Way over, we were jammed in the Ice, in fuch a 
Manner that we expected every Moment our Raft to 
fmk, and ourfelves to perifh. I put-out my fetting 
Pole to try to flop the Raft, that the Ice mjight pafs 
by ; when the Rapidity of the Stream threw it with 


( 27 ) 

fo much Violence againft the Pole, that it j irked me 
out into ten Feet Water : But I fortunately faved 
myfelf by catching hold of one of the Raft Logs. 
Notwithilanding all our Efforts vv'e could not get 
the Raft to either Shore ; but were obliged, as we 
were near an Ifland, to quit our Raft and make to i^ 

The Cold was fo extremely fevere, that Mr. Gift 
had all his Fingers, and fome of his Toes frozen ; 
and the Water was fhut up fo hard, that we found 
no Difficulty in gctting-off the Illand, on the Ice, in 
the Morning, and went to Mr. Frazier's, We met 
here with 20 Warriors who were going to the South- 
ward to War : But coming to a Place upon the Head 
of the great Kunnaway^ v/here they found feven Peo- 
ple killed and fcalped (all but one Woman with 
very light Hair) they turned about and ran back 
for Fear the Inhabitants fhould rife and take them 
as the Authors of the Murder. They report that 
the Bodies were lying about the Houfe, and fome 
of them much torn and eaten by Hogs : By the 
Marks which were left, they fay they were French 
Indians of the Oz/cw^Ty Nation, &c. who did it. 

As we intended to take Horfes here, and it re- 
quired fome Time to find them, I went-up about 
three Miles to the Mouth of T^aughyaughgane to vifit 
Queen Alliquippa, who had exprefitd great Concern 
that we paired her in going to the Fort. I made 
her a Prefent of a Matchcoat and a Bottle of Rum •, 
which latter was thought much the befb Prefent of 
the two. 

^uefday the id Day of January^ we left Mr. 
Frazier^s Houfe, and arrived at Mr. Gift's at Mo- 
nongahsla the 2d, where I bought a Horfe, Saddle, 
&c. the 6th we met 17 Horfes loaded with Materi- 
als and Stores for a Fort at the Forks of Ohio^ and 
the Day after fame Families going-out to fettle : 

D 2 Thi* 

( 28 ) 

This Day we arrived at Wills Creek, after as fa- 
tiguing a Journey as it is polTible to conceive, renr 
dered fo by exceffive bad Weather. From the firft 
Day of December to the 15th, there was but one Day 
on which it did not rain or fnow inceffantly ; and 
throughout the whole Journey we met-with no- 
thing but one continued Series of cold wet Weather, 
which occafioned very uncomfortable Lodgings -, 
efpecially after we had quitted our Tent, which was 
feme Screen from the Inclemency of it. 

On the I ith I got to Belvoir ; where I flopped one 
Day to take neceflary Reft -, and then fet out, and 
arrived in VVilliamJbiirgh the i6th -, when I waited 
upon his Honour the Governor with the Letter I 
had brought from the French Commandant \ and to 
give an Account of the Succefs of my Proceedings. 
This I beg Leave to do by offering the foregoing 
Narrative as it contains the moft remarkable Oc- 
currences which happened in my Journey. 

I hope what has been faid will be fufficient to 
make your Honour fatisiied with my Condud: ; for 
that was my Aim in undertaking the Journey, and 
chief Study throughout the Profecution of it. 

With the Hope of doing it, I, with infinite Plea- 
fuve fubicribe myfelf. 

Your Flpnour's moft Obedient, 

A.nd very humble Servant, 

G. JVaJlmigton, 

p r 

«9 ) 

COPT of his Honour the Governor's Letter, 
to the Commandant of the French Forces ori 
the Ohio, jent by Major Wafliington, 

S I R, 

TH E Lands upon the River Ohio^ in the 
Weftern Parts of the Colony of Virginia^ are 
fo notorioudy known to be the Property of the 
Crown of Great-Britain ; that it is a Matter of equal 
Conpern and Surprize to me3 to hear that a Body 
of French Forces are eredling FortrelTes, and mak-r 
ing Settlements upon that River, within his Majef- 
ty's Dominions. 

The many and repeated Complaints I have re- 
ceived of thefe A6ls of Hoftility, lay me under the 
Neceflity, of fending, in the Name of the King 
rny Matter, the Bearer hereof, George Wa/hington^ 
Efq-, one of the Adjutants General of the Forces of 
this Dominion i to complain to you of the Encroach- 
ments thus made, and of the Injuries done to the 
Subje6ls of Great-Britain^ in open Violation of the 
Law of Nations, and the Treaties now fubfifting 
between the two Crowns. 

If thefe Fadls are true, and you fhall think fit to 
jufcify your Proceedings, I mufb defire you to ac- 
quaint me, by whofe Authority and Inilrudions 
you have lately marched from Canada^ with an 
armeci Force ^ and invaded the King of Great- 

_ ( 30 ) 
Britain's Territories, in the Manner complained of? 
that according to the Purport and Refolution of 
your Anfwer, I may adl agreeably to the Commif- 
fion I am honoured with, from the King my 

However Sir, in Obedience to my Inftru6lions, 
it becomes my Duty to require your peaceable De- 
parture ; and that you would forbear profecuting a 
Purpofe fo interruptive of the Harmony and good 
Underftanding, which his Majefly is defirous to 
continue and cultivate with the moil Chriilian 

I perfuade myfelfyou will receive and entertain 
Major Waflnngton with the Candour and Politenefs 
natural to your Nation ; and it will give me the 
greateil Satisfa(5lion, if you return him with an An- 
fwer fuitable to my Wiihes for a very long and lail- 
ing Peace between us. I have the Honour to fub- 
fcribe myfelf, 

S I R, 

Your moil obedient, - 

Humble Servant, 

Robert Dinwiddie, 

Williamjhurghy in Virginia^ 7 
O^ober ^1% 1753. \ 


( 3^ ) 

TRJNSLATlONofa Letter from Mr. 
Legardeur de St. Piere, a principal Fvtnch. 
Officer^ in Anfwer to the Gover?2or'$ Letter. 

S I R, 

AS I have the Honour of commanding here in 
Chief, Mr. ^ajhington delivered me the 
Letter which you wrote to the Commandant of the 
French Troops. 

I fhould have been glad that you had given him 
Orders, or that he had been inclined to proceed to 
Canada^ to fee our General ; to whom it better be- 
longs than to mc to fet-forth the Evidence and Rea- 
lity of the Rights of the King, my Mader, upon 
the Lands fituated along the River Ohio^ and to 
conteft the Pretenlions ot the King of Great- Britain 

I fhall tranfmit your Letter to the Marquis Du- 
guifne. His Anfwer will be a Law to me ; and if he 
fhall order me to communicate it to you. Sir, you 
may be afiured I fhall not fail to difpatch it to you 

As to the Summons you fend me to retire, I do 
not think myfeif obliged to obey it. Whatever may 
be your Inftrudlions, I am here by Virtue of the 
Orders of my General ; and I intreat you. Sir, not 
to doubt one Moment, but that I am determin'd 
to conform myfeif to them with all the Exadlnefs 


f 32 ) 
and Refolution which can be cxpedled from the bett 

I don't know that in the Progrefs of this Cam- 
paign any Thing has pafTed which can be reputed an 
A6t of Hoftility, or that is contrary to the Treaties 
which fubfift between the two Crowns-, the Continu- 
ation whereof as much interefts, and is as pleafmg 
to us, as the Engtijh. Had you been pieafed, Sir, 
to have defcended to particularize the Fads which 
occafioned your Complaint, I fhould have had the 
Honour of anfwering you in the fulled, and, I am 
perfuaded, moft fatisfadlory Manner. 

I made it my particular Care to receive Mr. Wajh- 
ington^ with a Diftindtion fuitable to your Dignity, 
as well as his own Quality and great Merit. I flat- 
ter myfelf that he will do me this Juftice before you. 
Sir; and that he will fignify to you in the Man- 
ner I do myfelf, the profound Refped with which 
I am, 


Your moft humble, and 
moft obedient Servant, 

Lbgardeur de St. Piere* 

Frcm the Fort fur La Riviere au Beuf, 
the i^th ^/December 1753. 

eacidified using the Bookkeeper process 
eutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
-eatment Date: Dec. 2003 



1 1 1 Thomson Park Drive 
Cranberry Township, PA 1 6066 

>9^ - "W >t