Archived Story

American Heritage: Arrival at Turtle Creek

Published 10:18pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

George Washington has now arrived at Turtle Creek to meet with the French commander concerning their incursion into what the British considered their territories. However, when he arrived, the news was not good. Upon his arrival, an Indian trader informed him the French commander had recently died.

If the French could gain control of the Ohio River, they would be able to connect their settlements in Canada, Illinois and in New Orleans. The British, however, needed control of this area so that they could expand their territory by building more developments and settlements in the western areas. This spot was extremely valuable to both nations.

As time went on, travel become more and more difficult. There was no way to cross the rivers except by swimming the horses across. So he got a canoe to take the baggage down the river for 10 miles, to the forks of the Ohio River. His plan was to cross the Alleghany River at that point.

While in the area, Washington made full use of his experience as a surveyor. He spent some time checking out the rivers and the land layout in the area. He surmised it was a very good prospect for a fort, since it was located in a position that allowed access to very important rivers. It was an ideal spot for the defense of these valuable river territories.

The land was raised above the river level by 20 to 25 feet.

Washington finally decided that he needed to make contact with some of the natives of the area. If he could meet them, maybe he could persuade them to give him information about the French presence in the area. The tobacco and other things he brought along would be a good incentive for the Indians to cooperate by giving him the information he needed.

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