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other fort, he was received by Monsieur le Gardeur de St. Pierre, the commanding officer on the Ohio, to whom he delivered the letter of Mr. Dinwiddie: and, having received an answer from him, returned with infinite fatigue, and much danger from the hostile Indians, to Williamsburg. The exertions made by Mr. Washington on this occasion, the perseverance with which he surmounted the difficulties of the journey, and the judgment displayed in his conduct towards the Indians, raised him very much in the public opinion, as well as in that of the lieutenant-governor. His journal, drawn up for the inspection of Mr. Dinwiddie, was published, and generally considered as strongly evincing the solidity of his judgment, and the fortitude of his mind*.
* It will not be unacceptable to the reader to peruse this first report of a young gentleman, who afterwards performed so distinguished a part in the revolution of his country:-it is therefore in. serted at large. . I was commissioned and appointed by the Hon. Robert Din. widdie, Governor, &c. of Virginia, to visit and deliver a letter to the commandant of the French forces on the Ohio, and com. menced the intended journey on the same day. The next I arrived at Fredericksburg, and engaged Mr. Jacob Vanbraam to be my French interpreter, and proceeded with him to Alexan. dria, where we provided necessaries. From thence we went to Winchester, and got baggage, horses, &c. and from thence we pursued the new road to Willis's Creek, where we arrived the 14th of November.
As the answer from the commandant of the French forces on the Ohio indicated no disposition
Here I engaged Mr. Gist to pilot us out; and also hired four others as servitors-Barnaby Currin and John M.Quire, Indian traders, Henry Steward and William Jenkins--and in company with those persons left the inhabitants the next day. The excessive rains and vast quantity of snow which had fallen, prevented our reaching Mr. Frazier's, an Indian trader at the mouth of Turtle Creek, on Monongahela River, till Tliursday 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 Frazier, and to send Barnaby Currin and Henry Steward down the Monongahela with our baggage, to meet us at the Forks of the Ohio, about ten miles, there to cross the Aległany.
As I got down before the canoe, I spent some time in viewing the rivers and the land in the Fork, which I think extremely well situated for a fort, as it has the absolute command of both rivers. The land at the point is twenty or twenty-five feet above the common surface of the water, and a considerable bottom of flat well-timbered land all around it, very convenient for building. The rivers are each a quarter of a mile or more across, and run here very nearly at rignt angles ; Aleghany bearing N. E. and Monongahela S. E. : the former of these is a very rapid and swift running water ; the other deep and still, without any perceptible fall. .
About two miles from this, on the south-east side of the river, at the place where the Ohio Company intended to erect a fort,
to withdraw from that country, it was deemed necessary to make some preparations to maintain the
lives Shingiss, 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 yesterday of the situation at the Forks, my curiosity led me to examine this more particularly; and I think it greatly inferior, either for defence or advantages, especially the latter. For a fort at the Forks would be equally well situated on the Ohio, and have the entire command of the Monongahela, which runs up our settlement, and is extremely well designed for water-carriage, as it is of a deep, still nature: besides, a fort at the Fork might be built at much less expence than at the other place.
Nature has well contrived this lower place for water defence ; but the hill whereon it must stand being about a quarter of a mile in length, and then descending gradually on the land-side, will render it difficult and very expensive 10 make a sufficient fortification there. The whole flat upon the hill must be taken in; the side next the descert made extremely high, or else the hill itself cut away; otherwise the enemy may raise batteries within that distance without being exposed to a single shot from the fort.
Shingiss attended us to the Loggs Town, where we arrived, be. tween sun-setting and dark, the twenty-fifih day after I left Williamsburg. We travelled over some extremely good and bad land to get to this place.
As soon as I came into town, I went to Monakatoocha (as the half king was out at his hunting-cabin on Little Beaver Creek, about fifteen miles off) and informed him by John Davidson, my Indian interpreter, that I was sent a messenger to the French general, and was ordered to call upon the sachems of the Six Nations to acquaint them with it. I gave him a string of wampum
right asserted over it by the British crown : and the asseinbly of Virginia determined to authorise the
and a twist of tobacco, and desired him to send for the half king; which he promised to do by a runner in the morning, and for other sachems. I invited him and the other great men present to my tent, wliere they stayed about an hour and relurned.
According to the best observation I could make, Mr. Gist's new settlement (which we passed by) bears about W. N. W. seventy miles from Willis's Creek; Shanapins, or the Forks, N. by W. or N. N. W. about fifty miles from that, and from thence to the Loggs Town, the course is nearly west, about eighteen or twenty miles; so that the whole distance which we went we computed to be at least one hundred and thirty-live or one hundred and forty miles from our back inhabitants. - 25th. Came to town four of ten Frenchimen, who had deserted from a company at Kuskuskas, which lies at the mout! of this river. I got the following account from them:-They were sent from New Orleans with a hundred men and eight canoe-loads of provisions to this place, where they expected to have met the same number of men from the forts on this side of Lake Erie to convoy them and the stores ur, who were not arrived when they ran off.
. I inquired into the situation of the French on the Mississipi, their numbers, and what forts they had built. They informed me that there were four small forts between New Orleans and the Black Islands, garrisoned with about thirty or forly men, and a few small pieces in each. That at New Orleans, which is near the mouth of the Mississipi, there are thirty-five companies of forty men cach, with a pretty strong fort mounting eight carriage guns; and at the Black Islands there are several companies and a fort with six guns. The Black Islands are about a hundred and thirty leagues above the mouth of the Ohio, which is about three hundred and
governor, with the advice of council, to raise a regiment for that purpose, to consist of three hun
fifty above New Orleans. They also acquainted me that there was a small palisadoed sort on the Ohio, at the mouth of the Obaish, about sixty leagues from the Mississipi. The Obaish heads near the west end of Lake Erie, and affords the communication between the French on the Mississipi and those on the Lakes.
These deserters came up from the lower Shanoah Town with one Brown, an Indian trader, and were going to Philadelphia.
About three o'clock this evening the half king came to town. I went up and invited him, with Davidson, privately to my tent, and desired him to relate some of the particulars of his journey to the French commandant, and of his reception there; also to give me an account of the ways and distance. He told me that the nearest and levelest way was now impassable, by reason of many large miry savannas; that we must be obliged to go by Venango, and should not get to the near fort in less than five or six night's
sleep, good travelling. When he went to the fort he said he was - received in a very stern manner by the late commander, who asked him very abruptly what he had come about, and to declare his business; which he said he did in the following speech :
" Fathers, I am come to tell you your own speeches; what your own mouths have declared. Fathers, you in former days set a silver bason before us, wherein there was the leg of a beaver, and desired all the nations to come and eat of it, to eat in peace and plenty, and not to be churlish to one another; and that if any such person should be found to be a disturber, I here lay down by the. edge of the dish a rod, which you must scourge them with; and if your father should get foolish in my old days, I desire you may use it upon me as well as others. “Now, fathers, it is you who are the disturbers in this land, by