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him into the wilderness, and from Washington's diary we find that during his sojourn here he was diligently reading the history of England, and the essays of the Spectator.
Such was Greenway Court in these its palmy days. We visited it recently and found it tottering to its fall, mouldering in the midst of a magnificent country, where nature still flourishes in full luxuriance and beauty.
Three or four years were thus passed by Washington, the greater part of the time beyond the Blue Ridge, but occasionally with his brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon. His rugged and toilsome expeditions in the mountains, among rude scenes and rough people, inured him to hardships, and made him apt at expedients; while his intercourse with his cultivated brother, and with the various members of the Fairfax family, had a happy effect in toning up his mind and manners, and counteracting the careless and self-indulgent habitudes of the wilderness
ENGLISE AND FRENCH CLAIMS TO THE OHIO VALLEYWILD STATE OF THE
COUNTRY-PROJECTS OF SETTLEMENTS—THE OHIO COMPANY_ENLIGHTEN ED VIEWS OF LAWRENCE WASHINGTON-FRENCH RIVALRY-CELERON DE BIENVILLE-HIS SIGNS OF OCCUPATION—HUGU CRAWFORD-GEORGE CROGIAN, A VETERAN TRADER, AND YONTOUR, HIS INTERPRETER-THEIR MISSION FROM PENNSYLVANIA TO THE OHIO TRIBES-CHRISTOPHER GIST, THE PIONEER OF TAE YADKIN-AGENT OF THE OHIO COMPANY—HIS EXPEDITION TO THE
OBATE TRADERS AT LOGSTOWX-NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE INDIANS-SCENES IN TUE OHIO COUNTRY-DIPLOMACY AT PIQUA-KEGS OF BRANDY AND ROLLS OF TOBACCO-GIST'S RETURN ACROSS KENTUCKY-A DESERTED HOME-FRENCH SCHEMES—CAPTAIN JONCAIRE, A DIPLOMAT OF Tuk WILDERNESS-HS SPEECH AT LOGSTOWN-THE INDIANS' LAND—"WIERE ?”
During the time of Washington's surveying campaigns among the mountains, a grand colonizing scheme had been set on foot, destined to enlist him in hardy enterprises, and in some degree to shape the course of his future fortunes.
The treaty of peace concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle, which had jut an end to the general war of Europe, had left undefined the boundaries between the British and French possessions in America; a singular remissness, considering that they had long been a subject in dispute, and a cause of frequent conflicts in the colonics. Immense regions were still claimed by both nations, and
each was now eager to forestall the other by getting possession of them, and strengthening its claim by occupancy.
The most desirable of these regions lay west of the Allegany Mountains, extending from the lakes to the Ohio, and embracing the valley of that river and its tributary streams. An immense territory, possessing a salubrious climate, fertile soil, fine hunting and fishing grounds, and facilities by lakes and rivers for a vast internal commerce.
The French claimed all this country quite to the Allegany mountains by the right of discovery. In 1673, Padre Marquette, with his companion, Joliet, of Quebec, both subjects of the crown of France, had passed down the Mississippi in a canoe quite to the Arkansas, thereby, according to an alleged maxim in the law of nations, establishing the right of their sovereign, not merely to the river so discovered and its adjacent lands, but to all the country drained by its tributary streams, of which the Ohio was one; a claim, the ramifications of which might be spread, like the meshes of a web, over half the continent.
To this illimitable claim the English opposed a right derived, at second hand, from a traditionary Indian conquest. A treaty, they said, had been made at Lancaster, in 1744, between commissioners from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and the Iroquois, or Six Nations, whereby the latter, for four hundred pounds, gave up all right and title to the land west of the Allegany Mountains, even to the Mississippi, which land, according to their traditions, bad been conquered by their forefathers.
It is undoubtedly true that such a treaty was made, and such a pretended transfer of title did take place, under the influence of spirituous liquors; but it is equally true that the Indians in question did not, at the time, possess an acre of the land con
veyed; and that the tribes actually in possession scoffed at their pretensions, and claimed the country as their own from time inmemorial.
Such were the shadowy foundations of claims which the two nations were determined to maintain to the uttermost, and which ripened into a series of wars, ending in a loss to England of a great part of her American possessions, and to France of the whole.
As yet in the region in question there was not a single white settlement. Mixed Iroquois tribes of Delawares, Shawnces, and Mingoes, lad migrated into it early in the century from the French settlements in Canada, and taken up their abodes about the Ohio and its branches. The French pretended to hold them under their protection; but their allegiance. if ever acknowledged, had been sapped of late years by the influx of fur traders from Pennsylvania. These were often rough, lawless men; half Indians in dress and habits, prone to brawls, and sometimes deadly in their feuds. They were generally in the employ of some trader, who, at the head of his retainers and a string of pack-horses, would make his way over mountains and through forests to the banks of the Ohio, establish his head-quarters in some Indian town, and disperse his followers to traffic among the hamlets, hunting-camps and wigwams, exchanging blankets, gaudy colored cloth, trinketry, powder, shot, and rum, for valuable furg and peltry. In this way a lucrative trade with these western tribes was springing up and becoming monopolized by the Pennsylvanians.
To secure a participation in this trade, and to gain a foothold in this desirable region, became now the wish of some of the most intelligent and enterprising men of Virginia and Maryland, among whom were Lawrence and Augustine Washington. With these view3 they projected a scheme, in connection with John Hanbury, a wealthy London merchant, to obtain a grant of land from the British government, for the purpose of forming settle ments or colonies beyond the Alleganies. Government readily countenanced a scheme by which French encroachments might be forestalled, and prompt and quiet possession secured of the great Ohio valley. An association was accordingly chartered in 1749, by the name of “ the Ohio Company," and five hundred thousand acres of land was granted to it west of the Alleganies; between the Monongahela and Kanawha rivers; though part of the land might be taken up north of the Ohio, should it be deemed expedient. The company were to pay no quitrent for ten years; but they were to select two fifths of their lands immediately; to settle one hundred families upon them within seven years; to build a fort at their own expense, and maintain a sufficient garrison in it for defence against the Indians.
Mr. Thomas Lee, president of the council of Virginia, took the lead in the concerns of the company at the outset, and by many has been considered its founder. On his death, which soon took place, Lawrence Washington had the chief management. His enlightened mind and liberal spirit shone forth in his earliest arrangements. He wished to form the settlements with Germans from Pennsylvania. Being dissenters, however, they would be obliged, on becoming residents within the jurisdiction of Virginia, to pay parish rates, and maintain a clergyman of the Church of England, though they might not understand his lan. guage nor relish his doctrines. Lawrence sought to have them exempted from this double tax on purse and conscience.
“It has ever been my opinion,” said he, “and I hope it ever