American West

Northwest Ordinance

Northwest Ordinance

After gaining independence from Great Britain, one of the many contentious issues facing the United States were competing claims to western lands. These lands were generally referred to as the Northwest…

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Allegheny Expedition

A 21-year old George Washington was directed to deliver an ultimatum the French in the Ohio Valley

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Bullskin Lands

Bullskin Run, also known as Bullskin Creek, is a tributary of the Shenandoah River, located in present-day Jefferson County West Virginia, formerly part of Frederick County in Virginia.  The surrounding Bullskin Lands, taking their name from the creek, are comprised of fertile farmland characteristic of the Shenandoah Valley. George Washington began acquiring tracts of land along Bullskin Run while in the service of Lord Thomas Fairfax as a young surveyor in the 1750s.  He continued to expand his holdings along Bullskin Run, eventually owning thousands of acres of property, tracts of which he leased to tenant farmers while operating his own personal plantation.

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Christopher Gist

"And, for his honesty and zeal I think I dare vouch," explained George Washington when describing his opinion of Christopher Gist.1 Born near Baltimore, Maryland in 1705, Christopher Gist was one of six children born to Richard and Zepporah Gist. Little is known of Gist's early years. In 1728 at the age of twenty-three, Gist married Sarah Howard with whom he had six children.

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Conotocarious

In the fall of 1753, as French forces moved into the Ohio Valley to build a series of forts, George Washington?

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Dismal Swamp Company

A land-speculation venture, the Dismal Swamp Company was founded in 1763 to drain, tame, and make profitable?

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George Croghan

George Croghan was a prominent trader, frontiersman, and Indian agent.

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George Washington's Kentucky Lands

Though George Washington’s first land purchase was in 1752, in Frederick County, Virginia, his holdings soon encompassed lands in West Virginia and extended westward into Pennsylvania, New York and the Ohio Valley.  Kentucky land would be among Washington’s last acquisitions.  He said of his purchasing philosophy, “It is true I am not fond of buying a Pig in a Poke.”

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Hugh Henry Brackenridge

Hugh Henry Brackenridge was a Scottish-born Pennsylvanian preacher, politician, writer, and jurist, who – though not strictly a Founding Father himself – was intimately familiar with several founders, James Madison in particular.

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Jacob Van Braam

Jacob Van Braam was a soldier in the Dutch and British armies and a translator on George Washington?s expeditions into the Ohio Country between 1752 and 1754.

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Mississippi Land Company

The Mississippi Land Company was George Washington's most ambitious speculation in western land prior to the Revolutionary War.

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Northwest Ordinance

After gaining independence from Great Britain, one of the many contentious issues facing the United States were competing claims to western lands. These lands were generally referred to as the Northwest Territory and included the current states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.

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Ohio River Valley

More than a decade after he left the army to become a gentleman farmer, George Washington traveled back?

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Proclamation Line of 1763

The Proclamation Line of 1763 was a British-produced boundary marked in the Appalachian Mountains at the Eastern Continental Divide. Decreed on October 7, 1763, the Proclamation Line prohibited Anglo-American colonists from settling on lands acquired from the French following the French and Indian War. This measure advanced British governmental efforts to discourage westward expansion in the decade before the American Revolution, an objective motivated by a number of sociopolitical and economic factors. Officials in London feared that an increased Anglo-American presence in the western territory would encourage Native American violence that, when paired with resistance from French settlers in the region, would incite another expensive conflict for the empire. In addition, the British government viewed westward expansion as a threat to their mercantile economic system, expressing concern that opening up the west to farming families would provide the colonies with opportunities to gain economic independence through commercial agriculture. While Britain intended for the boundary line to alleviate tensions between Anglo settlers and indigenous peoples, eager colonists largely ignored the proclamation and settled beyond the boundary with few consequences from the government.

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Surveying

George Washington was an avid land surveyor throughout his life. As a rigorous outdoorsman, Washington?

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The "Indian Prophecy"

In October 1770, George Washington, his personal physician Dr. James Craik, and a group of fellow soldiers journeyed to the Ohio Country. According to Craik's recollections, an indigenous sachem (local chief) visited Washington and recalled his perspective on the Battle of Monongahela, fought 15 years earlier on July 9, 1755. Although Washington had fought in the battle, no bullets harmed him that day. Awed at Washington’s seeming invincibility, the sachem prophesized that Washington would someday lead a powerful empire. Although Washington did not record the incident, Dr. Craik attested to this “Indian Prophecy” repeatedly, and his account was recorded in some early biographies of Washington. Washington’s adopted son George Washington Parke Custis even propagated the story with an 1827 play named The Indian Prophecy. For many Americans, the prophecy demonstrated how God providentially protected Washington to bring about the birth of the United States.

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The Kanawha Tracts

The Great Kanawha River, also known as the Kanawha River, is a tributary of the Ohio River formed by?

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The Potomac Company

George Washington founded the Potowmack Company - an enterprise dedicated towards improving the navigation on the Potomac and to the growing west.

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Washington and the West

Perhaps more than any other leader of the Revolutionary Era, George Washington was shaped by his experiences?

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