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certain warm springs in a valley among the mountains, Binoe called the Berkeley Springs. There they camped out at night, under the stars: the diary makes no complaint of their accommodations; and their camping-ground is now known as Bath, one of the favourite watering-places of Virginia. One of the warm springs was subsequently appropriated by Lord Fairfax to his own use, and still bears his name.
After watching in vain for the river to subside, they procured a canoe, on which they crossed to the Maryland side; swimming their horses. A weary day's ride of forty miles up the left side of the river, in a continual rain, and over what Washington pronounces the worst road ever trod by man or beast, brought them to the house of a Colonel Cresap, opposite the south branch of the Potomac, where they put up for the night.
Here they were detained three or four days by inclement weather. On the second day they were surprised by the appearance of a war party of thirty Indians, bearing a scalp as a trophy. A little liquor procured the spectacle of a war-dance. A large space was cleared, and a fire made in the centre, round which the warriors took their seats. The principal orator made a speech, reciting their recent exploits, and rousing them to triumph. One of the warriors started up as if from sleep, and began a series of movements, half-grotesque, half-tragical; the rest followed. For music, one savage drummed on a deerskin, stretched over a pot half filled with water; another rattled a gourd, containing a few shot, and decorated with a horse's tail. Their strange outcries, and uncouth forms and garbs, seen by the glare of the fire, and their whoops and yells, made them appear more like demons than human beings. All this savage gambol was no novelty to Washington's companions, experienced in frontier life; but to the youth, fresh from school, it was a strange spectacle, which he sat contemplating with deep interest, and carefully noted down in his journal. It will be found that he soon made himself acquainted with the savage character, and became expert at dealing with these inhabitants of the wilderness.
From this encampment the party proceeded to the mouth of Patterson's Creek, where they recrossed the river in a canoe, swimming their horses as before. More than two weeks were now passed by them in the wild mountainous regions of Frederick County, and about the south branch of the Potomac, surveying lands and laying out lots, camped out the greater part of the time, and subsisting on wild turkeys and other game. Each one was his own cook; forked sticks served for spits, and chips of wood for dishes.
blown down; at another they were driven out of it by smoke; now they were drenched with rain, and now the straw on which Washington was sleeping caught fire, and he was awakened by a companion just in time to escape a scorching.
The only variety to this camp life was a supper at the house of one Solomon Hedge, Esquire, his majesty's justice of the peace, where there were no forks at table, nor any knives, but such as the guests brought in their pockets. During their surveys they were followed by numbers of people, some of them squatters, anxious, doubtless, to procure a cheap title to the land they had appropriated; others, German emigrants, with their wives and children, seeking a new home in the wilderness. Most of the latter could not speak English; but when spoken to, answered in their native tongue. They appeared to Washington ignorant as Indians, and uncouth, but "merry, and full of antic tricks." Such were the progenitors of the sturdy yeomanry now inhabiting those parts, many of whom still preserve their strong German characteristics.
"I have not slept above three or four nights in a bed," writes Washington to one of his young friends at home; "but after walking a good deal all the day, I have lain down before the fire upon a little straw or fodder, or a bearskin, whichever was to be had, with man, wife, and children, like dogs and cats; and happy is he who gets the berth nearest the fire."
Having completed his surveys, he set forth from the south branch of the Potomac on his return homeward; crossed the mountains to the great Cacapehon; traversed the Shenandoah valley; passed through the Blue Ridge, and, on the 12th of April, found himself once more at Mount Vernon. For his services he received, according to
At one time their tent was 1748-50.] SOJOURN AT GREENWAY COURT.
his note-book, a doubloon per day when actively employed, and sometimes six pistoles.1
The manner in which he had acquitted himself in this arduous expedition, and his accounts of the country surveyed, gave great satisfaction to Lord Fairfax, who shortly afterwards moved across the Blue Ridge, and took up his residence at the place heretofore noted as his " quarters." Here he laid out a manor, containing ten thousand acres of arable and grazing lands, vast meadows, and noble forests, and projected a spacious manor-house, giving to the place the name of Greenway Court.
It was probably through the influence of Lord Fairfax that Washington received the appointment of public surveyor. This conferred authority on his surveys, and entitled them to be recorded in the county offices, and so invariably correct have these surveys been found, that to this day, wherever any of them stand on re lord, they receive implicit credit.
For three years he continued in this occupation, which proved extremely profitable, from the vast extent of country to be surveyed and the very limited number of public surveyors. It made him acquainted also with the country, the nature of the soil in various parts, and the value of localities; all which proved advantageous to him in his purchases in after years. Many of the finest parts of the
While thus employed for months at a time surveying the lands beyond the Blue Ridge, he was often an inmate of Greenway Court. The projected manor-house was never even commenced. On a green knoll overshadowed by trees was a long stone building one story in height, with dormar windows, two wooden belfries, chimneys studded with swallow and martin coops, and a roof sloping down, in the old Virginia fashion, into low projecting eaves that formed a verandah the whole length of the house. It was probably the house originally occupied by his steward or land agent, but was now devoted to hospitable purposes and the reception of guests. As to his lordship, it was one
1 A pistole is 3 dolls. 60 cents. A doubloon is double that sum.
of his many eccentricities that he never slept in the main edifice, but lodged apart in a wooden house not much above twelve feet square. In a small building was his office, where quitrenti were given, deeds drawn, and business transacted with his tenants.
About the knoll were outhouses for his numerous servants, black and white, with stables for saddle-horses and hunters, and kennels for his hounds; for his lordship retained his keen hunting propensities, and the neighbourhood abounded in game. Indians, half-breeds, and leathernclad woodsmen loitered about the place, and partook of the abundance of the kitchen. His lordship's table was plentiful but plain, and served in the English fashion.
Here Washington had full opportunity, in the proper seasons, of indulging his fondness for field sports, and once more accompanying his lordship in the chase. The conversation of Lord Fairfax, too, was full of interest and instruction to an inexperienced youth, from his cultivated talents, his literary taste, and his past intercourse with the best society of Europe, and its most distinguished authors. He had brought books, too, with 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 Eidge, 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.
1750.] CONFLICTING CLAIMS TO THE OHIO VALLEY. 33
English and French Claims to the Ohio Valley—Wild state of the Country—Projects of Settlements—The Ohio Company—Enlightened Views of Lawrence Washington—French Rivalry—Celeron de Bienville—His Signs of Occupation—Hugh Crawford—George Croghan, a Veteran Trader, and Montour, his Interpreter—Their Mission from Pennsylvania to the Ohio Tribes—Christopher Gist, the Pioneer of the Yadkin, Agent of the Ohio Company—His Expedition to the Frontier—Reprobate Traders at Logstown—Negotiations with the Indians—Scenes in the Ohio Country—Diplomacy at Picqua—Kegs of Brandy and Rolls of Tobacco—Gist's Return across Kentucky—A Deserted Home—French Schemes—Captain Joncaire, a Diplomat of the Wilderness — His Speech at Logstown — The Indians' Land, "Where?"
Duitraa 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 put 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 colonies. 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, esta