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[Part 3.]

[Pages 67-89. Page numbers will appear in the text in brackets in bold print.]

[Transcription is Verbatim.]

[Footnotes appear in smaller font.]

Second Journal - November 4, 1751 to March 29, 1752.
Third Journal - November 15, 1753 to January 4, 1754.
Christopher Gist


JULY 16th 1751.

After You have returned from Williamsburg and have executed the Commission of the President & Council, if they shall think proper to give You One, otherwise as soon as You can conveniently You are to apply to Col Cresap for such of the Company's Horses, as You shall want for the Use of yourself and such other Person or Persons You shall think necessary to carry with You, and You are to look out & observe the nearest & most convenient Road You can find from the Company's Store at Wills's Creek to a Landing at Mohongeyela, from thence You are to proceed down the Ohio on the South Side thereof, as low as the Big Conhaway, and up the same as far as You judge proper, and find good Land—You are all the Way to keep an exact Diary & Journal & therein note every Parcel of good Land, with the Quantity as near as You can by any Means compute the same, with the Breadth, Depth, Course and Length of the several Branches falling into the Ohio, & the different Branches any of Them are forked into, laying the same as exactly down in a Plan thereof as You can, observing also the Produce, the several Kinds of Timber and Trees, observing where there is Plenty and where the Timber is scarce, and You are not to omit proper Observations on the mountainous, barren, or broken Land, that We may on your Return judge what Quantity of good Land is contained within the Compass of your Journey, for We woud not have You omit taking Notice of any Quantity [68] of good Land, tho not exceeding 4 or 500 Acres provided the same lies upon the River Ohio & may be convenient for our building Store Houses & other Houses for the better carrying on a Trade and Correspondence down that River.

1751.—Pursuant to my Instructions hereunto annexed from the Committee of the Ohio Company bearing Date 16th July 1751.

Monday Novr 4.—Set out from the Company's Store House in Frederick County Virginia opposite the Mouth of Wills's Creek and crossing Potomack River went W 4 M to a Gap in the Allegany Mountains upon the S W Fork of the said Creek—This Gap is the nearest to Potomack River of any in the Allegany Mountains, and is accounted one of the best, tho the Mountain is very high, The Ascent is no where very steep but rises gradually near 6 M, it is now very full of old Trees & Stones, but with some Pains might be made a good Waggon Road, this Gap is directly in the Way to Mohongaly, & several Miles nearer than that the Traders commonly pass thro, and a much better Way.

Tuesday 5.—Set out N 8o W 8 M, it rained and obliged Us to stop.

Wednesday 6.—The same Course 3 M hard Rain.

Thursday 7.—Rained hard and We coud not travel. Friday 8 —Set out the same Courses N 8o W 3 M, here We encamped, and turned to see where the Branches lead to & found they descended into the middle Fork of Yaughaughgaine—We hunted all the Ground for 10 M, or more and killed several Deer, & Bears, and one large Elk—The Bottoms upon the Branches are but narrow with some Indian Fields about 2000 Acres of good high Land about a Mile from the largest Branch.

From Saturday 9 to Tuesday 19.—We were employed in searching the Lands and discovering the Branches Creeks &c.

[69] Wednesday 20. —Set out N 45 W 5 M killed a Deer.

Thursday 21.—The same Course 5 M the greatest Part of this Day We were cutting our Way thro a Laurel Thicket and lodged by the Side of one at Night.

Friday 22.—Set out the same Course N 45 W 2 M and cut our Way thro a great Laurel Thicket to the middle Fork of Yaughyaughgaine then S down the said Fork (crossing a Run) 1 M, then S 45 W 2 M over the said Fork where We encamped.

Saturday 23.—Rested our Horses and examined the Land on Foot, which We found to be tolerable rich & well timbered but stony and broken.

Sunday 24.—Set out W 2 M then S 45 W 6 M over the S Fork and encamp'd on the SW Side about 1 M from a small Hunting Town of the Delawares from whom I bought some Corn—I invited these Indians to the Treaty at the Loggs Town, the full Moon in May, as Col Patton had desired Me; they treated Me very civilly, but after I went from that Place my Man informed Me that they threatened to take away our Guns and not let Us travel.

Monday 25.—Set out W 6 M, then S 45 W 2 M to a Laurel Creek, where We encamped & killed some Deer.

From Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28.—We were examining the Lands which We found to be rocky and mountainous. Friday 29.—Set out W 3 M then N 65 W 3 M, N 45 W 2 M.

From Saturday 30 to Friday Decr 6.—We searched the Land several Miles round and found it about 15 M from the Foot of the Mountains to the River Mohongaly the first 5 M of which E & W is good level farming Land, with fine Meadows, the Timber white Oak and Hiccory—the same Body of Land holds 1o M, S, to the upper Forks of Mohongaly, and about 10 M, N, towards the Mouth of Yaughyaughgaine—The Land [70] nearer the River for about 8 or 9 M wide, and the same Length is much richer &, better timbered, with Walnut, Locust, Poplars and Sugar Trees, but is in some Places very hilly, the Bottoms upon the River 1 M, and in some Places near 2 M wide.

Saturday 7.—Set out W 6 M and went to an Indian Camp and invited them to the Treaty at the Loggs Town at the full Moon in May next, at this Camp there was a Trader named Charles Poke who spoke the Indian Tongue well, the Indian to whom this Camp belonged after much Discourse with Me, complained & said "my Friend You was sent to Us last Year from the Great Men in Virginia to inform Us of a Present from the Great King over the Water, and if You can bring News from the King to Us why cant You tell Him some thing from Me? The Proprietor of Pensylvania granted my Father a Tract of Land begining eight Miles below the Forks of Brandy Wine Creek and binding on the said Creek to the Fork and including the West Fork & all its Waters on both Sides to the Head Fountain—The White People now live on these Lands, and will neither let Me have Them, nor pay Me any Thing for Them—My Father's Name was Chickoconnecon, I am his eldest Son, and my Name is Nemicotton—I desire that You will let the Governor and Great Men in Virginia know this—It may be they will tell the great King of it, and he will make Mr Pen or his People give Me the Land or pay Me for it—This Trader here Charles Poke knows the Truth of what I say, that the Land was granted to my Father, & that He or I never sold it," to which Charles Poke answered that Chickoconnecon had such a grant of Land, & that the People who lived on it coud get no Titles to it, for that it was now called Mannor Lands—This I was obliged to insert in my Journal to please the Indian.

[71] Sunday Dec 8.—Stayed at the Indian Camp.

Monday 9.—Set out S 45 W 1 M, W 6 M,to the River Mohongaly—at this Place is a large Cavity in a Rock about 30 Feet long & 20 Feet wide & about 7 Feet high and an even Floor—The Entrance into it is so large and open that it lets in Plenty of Light, and close by it is a Stream of fine Water.

From Tuesday 10 to Friday 13.—We were examining the Lands which for 9 or 10 M, E is rich but hilly as before described, on the E Side the River for several Miles there are fine Bottoms a Mile wide and the Hills above them are extraordinary, rich and well timbered.

Saturday 14.—We had Snow. Sunday 15.—Crossed the River Mohongaly which in this Place is 53 Poles wide, the Bottoms upon the W Side are not above 100 Yards broad, but the Hulls are very rich both up and down the River, and full of Sugar Trees.

Monday 16.—Spent in searching the Land.

Tuesday 17.—Set out W 5 M the Land upon this Course hilly but very rich for about a Mile and a half, then it was level with good Meadows but not very rich for about a Mile & a half more, & the last 2 M next to Licking Creek was very good Land; upon this Creek We lodged at a hunting Camp of an Indian Captain named Oppaymolleah, here I saw an Indian named Joshua who spoke very good English; he had been acquainted with Me several Years, and seemed very glad to see Me, and wondered much where I was going so far in those Woods; I said I was going to invite all the great Men of the Indians to a Treaty to be held at Loggs Town, the full Moon in May next, where a Parcel of Goods, a Present from the King of Great Britain, would be delivered Them by proper Commissioners, and that these were the Goods which I informed them of last Year, by Order of the President of [72] Virginia, Col Lee, who was since dead, Joshua informed Them what I said, and they told Me, I ought to let the Beaver know this, so I wrote a Line to him by Joshua, who promised to deliver it safe, and said there was a Trader's Man who coud read it for him—This Beaver is the Sachemore or Chief of the Delawares. It is customary among the Indian Chiefs to take upon Them the Name of any Beast or Bird they fancy, the Picture of which they always sign instead of their Name or Arms.

Wednesday 18.—Stayed at the Camp.

Thursday 19.—Set out W 3 M, S 45 W 2 M, W 1 M to a Branch of Licking Creek.

Friday 20.—Set out W 1 M, S 45 W 6 M and encamped.

From Saturday 21 to Tuesday, Janry 7.—We stayed at this Place, We had a good Deal of Snow & bad Weather—My Son had the Misfortune to have his Feet frostbitten, which kept Us much longer here than We intended however We kill'd Plenty of Deer Turkeys &c and fared very well—The Land hereabouts very good but to the W and SW it is hilly.


Wednesday Janry 8—My Son's Feet being somewhat better, We set out S 30 W 5 M, S 45 W 3 M, the Land middling good but hilly—I found my Son's Feet too tender to travel, and we were obliged to stop again.

From Thursday 9 to Sunday 19.—We stayed at this Place—While We were here We killed Plenty of Bear Deer & Elk, so that We lived very well.

Monday 20.—We set out W 5 M—here we were stopped by Snow.

Tuesday 21.—Stayed all the Day in the Camp.

Wednesday 22.—Set out S 45 W 12 M, where we scared a Panther from Under a Rock where there was Room enough for Us, in it We encamped & had good Shelter.

[73] From Thursday 23 to Sunday 26.—We stayed at this Place & had Snow and bad Weather.

Monday 27.—Set out S 45 W 6 M, here We had Snow & encamped.

From Tuesday 28 t0 Friday 31.—Stayed at this Place, the Land upon these last Courses is rich but hilly and in some Places Stony.

Saturday Feb 1.—Set out S 45 W 3 M, S 45 E 1 M, S 2 M, S 45 W 1 M, crossed a Creek on which the Land was very hilly and rocky yet here and there good Spots on the Hills.

Sunday 2.—S 45 W 3 M, here We were stopped by Snow.

From Monday 3 till Sunday 9.—We stayed at this Place and had a good Deal of Snow & bad Weather.

Monday 10.—Set out S 45 W 8 M—The Snow hard upon the Top & bad traveling.

Tuesday 11.—The same Course S 45 W 2 M, then W 1 M, S 45 W 4 M.

Wednesday 12.—Killed two Buffaloes and searched the Land to the NW which I found to be rich & well timbered with lofty Walnuts, Ash, Sugar Trees &c but hilly in most Places.

Thursday 13.—Set out W 1 M, S 45 W 2 M, W 2 M, S 45 W 2 M, W 2 M—In this Day's Journey We found a Place where a Piece of Land about 100 Yards square & about 10 Feet deep from the Surface had slipped down a steep Hill, somewhat more than its own Breadth, with most of the Trees standing on it upright as they were at first, and a good many Rocks which appeared to be in the same Position as they were before the Ground slipt: It had bent down and crushed the Trees as it came along, which might plainly be seen by the Ground on the upper Side of it, over which it had passed—It seemed to have been done but two or three Years ago—In the Place from whence it removed was a [74] large Quarry of Rocks, in the Sides of which were Veins of several Colours, particularly one of a deep yellow, about 3 Feet from the Bottom, in which were other small Veins some white, some a greenish Kind of Copperas: A Sample of which I brought in to the Ohio Company in a small Leather Bag N° 1—Not very far from this Place We found another large Piece of Earth, which had slipped down in the same Manner—Not far from here We encamped in the Fork of a Creek.

Friday 14.—We stayed at this Place—On the NW Side of the Creek on a rising ground by a small Spring We found a large Stone about 3 Feet Square on the Top, and about 6 or 7 Feet high; it was all covered with green Moss except on the SE Side which was smooth and white as if plaistered with Lime. On this Side I cut with a cold Chizzel in large Letters,

FEBY 1751

Saturday 15.—Set out S 45 W 5 M, rich. Land but hilly, very rich Bottoms up the Creek but not above 200 Yards wide.

Sunday 16.—S 45 W 5 M thro rich Land, the Bottoms about 1/4 of a Mile wide upon the Creek.

Monday 17.—The same Course S 45 W 3 M, W 3 M, S 45 W 3 M, S 20 W 3 M, S 8 M, S 45 W 2 M over a Creek upon which was fine Land, the Bottoms about a Mile wide.

Tuesday Feb 18—S 10 M over the Fork of a Creek S 45 W 4 M to the Top of a high Ridge, from whence We coud see over the Conhaway River—Here We encamped, the Land mixed with Pine and not very good.

Wednesday 19.—Set out S 15 M, S 45 W 6 M to the Mouth [75] of a little Creek, upon which the Land is very rich, and the Bottoms a Mile wide—The Conhaway being very high over-flowed some Part of the Bottoms.

Thursday 2o.—Set out N 45 W 2 M across a Creek over a Hill, then S 80 W 10 M to a large Run, all fine Land upon this Course—(We were now about 2 M from the River Conhaway)—Then continued our Course S 80 W 10 M, the first 5 M good high Land; tolerably level the last 5 thro the River Bottoms, which were a Mile wide and very rich, to a Creek or large Run which We crossed, & continued our Course S 80 W 2 M farther & encamped.

Friday 21.—The same Course S 80 W still continued 8 M further; then S 2 M to the Side of the River Conhaway, then down the said River N 45 W 1 M to a Creek where We encamped—The Bottoms upon the River here are a Mile wide, the Land very rich—The River at this Place is 79 Poles broad.

Saturday 22.—Set out N 45 W 4 M, W 7 M, to a high Hill from whence We coud see the River Ohio, then N 45 W 12 M to the River Ohio at the Mouth of a small Run where We encamped. The Bottoms upon the River here are a Mile wide & very good, but the high Land broken.

Sunday 23.—Set out S 45 E 14 M over Letort's Creek— The Land upon this Creek is poor, broken, & full of Pines— Then the same Course S 45 E 10 M and -encamped on the River Side upon fine rich Land the Bottoms about a Mile wide.

Monday 24.—Set out E 12 M up the River all fine Land the Bottoms about 1-1/2 Miles wide, full of lofty Timber: then N 5 M crossing Smith's Creek. The Land here is level & good, but the Bottoms upon the River are not above 1/2 a Mile wide—then N 45 E 8 M to a Creek called Beyansoss where We encamped.

[76] Tuesday 25.—We searched the Land upon this Creek which We found very good for 12 or 13 M up it from the River—The Bottoms upon it are about 1/2 a Mile wide, & the Bottoms upon the River at the Mouth of it a Mile wide, and very well timbered.

Wednesday 26.—Set out N 45 E 13 M to the River Ohio at the Mouth of a Creek called Lawwellaconin; then S 55 E 5 M up the said Creek—The Bottoms upon this Creek are a Mile wide & the high Land very good, & not much broken, & very well timbered.

Thursday 27 Friday 28 & Saturday 29.—Rained and we coud not travel—Killed four Buffaloes.

Sunday March 1 and Monday 2.—Set out N 30 E 10 M to a little Branch full of Coal then N 30 E 16 M to Nawmissipia or Fishing Creek—My Son hunted up this Creek (where I had cut the Letters upon the Stone) which he said was not above 6 M in a streight Line from this Place—The Bottoms upon this Creek are but narrow, the high Land hilly, but very rich and well timbered.

Tuesday 3.—Set out N 30 E 18 M to Molchuconickon or Buffaloe Creek.

Wednesday 4.—We hunted up and down this Creek to examine the Land—The Bottoms are of a Mile wide & very rich, a great many cleared Fields covered with white Clover, the high Land rich, but in general, hilly.

Thursday 5.—Set out N 30 E 9 M to a Creek called Neemokeesy where We killed a black Fox & two Bears—Upon this Creek We found a Cave under a Rock about 150 Feet long & 55 feet wide; one Side of it open facing the Creek, the Floor dry—We found it had been much used by Buffaloes & Elks who came there to lick a kind of saltish Clay which I found in the Cave, and of which I took a sample in a Leather Bag N. 2.

[77] Friday March 6 —We stayed at the Cave—Not very far from it We saw a Herd of Elks near 30 one of which my Son killed.

Saturday 7.—Set out N 30 E 7 M to the Ohio River—The Bottoms here were very rich and near 2 M wide, but a little higher up, the Hill seemed very steep, so that We were obliged to leave the River & went E 6 M on very high Land, then N 9 M thro' very good high Land tolerable level to a Creek called Wealin or Scalp Creek where We encamped.

Sunday 8.—We went out to search the Land which We found very good for near 15 M up this Creek from the Mouth of it, the Bottoms above a Mile wide & some Meadows—W e found an old Indian Road up this Creek.

Monday 9.—Set out N 45 E 18 M to a Creek—The same Course 3 M to another Creek where We encamped—These Creeks the Traders distinguish by the Name of the two Creeks.

Tuesday 10.—We hunted up and down these Creeks to examine the Land from the Mouths of Them, to the place where We had crossed near the Heads of Them, in our Way to the Conhaway—They run near parallel at about 3 or 4 M Distance, for upwards of 3o M—The Land between Them all the Way is rich & level, chiefly Low Grounds & finely timbered with Walnuts, Locusts, Cherry Trees, & Sugar Trees.

Wednesday 11.—Set out E 18 M crossing three Creeks all good Land but hilly then S 16 M to our old Camp, where my Son had been frost-bitten. After We had got to this Place in our old Tract, I did not keep any exact Account of Course and Distance, as I thought the Rivers & Creeks sufficiently described by my Courses as I came down.

Thursday 12.—I set out for Mohongaly crossed it upon a Raft of Logs from whence I made the best of my Way to Potomack—I did not keep exactly my old Tract but went more [78] to the Eastward & found a much nearer Way Home: and am of Opinion the Company may have a tolerable good Road from Wills Creek to the upper Fork of Monhongaly, from whence the River is navigable all the Way to the Ohio for large flat bottomed Boats—The Road will be a little to the Southward of West, and the Distance to the Fork of Mohongaly about 70 M—While I was at Mohongaly in my Return Home an Indian, who spoke good English, came to Me & said—That their great Men the Beaver and Captain Oppamylucah (these are two Chiefs of the Delawares) desired to know where the Indian's Land lay, for that the French claimed all the Land on one side the River Ohio & the English on the other Side, and that Oppamylucah asked Me the same Question when I was at his Camp in my Way down, to which I had made him no Answer—I very well remembered that Oppamylucah had asked me such a Question, and that was at a Loss to answer Him as I now also was: But after some Consideration "my Friend" said I, "We are all one King's People and the different Colour of our Skins makes no Difference in the King's Subjects, You are his People as well as We, if you will take Land & pay the King's Rights You will have the same Privileges as the White People have, and to hunt You have Liberty every where so that You dont kill the White Peoples Cattle & Hogs"—To this the Indian said, that I must stay at that Place two Days and then he woud come & see Me again, He then went away, and at the two Days End returned as he promised, and looking very pleasant said He woud stay with Me all Night, after He had been with Me some Time He said that the great Men bid Him tell Me I was very safe that I might come and live upon that River Where I pleased—that I had answered Them very true for We were all one King's People sure enough & for his Part he woud come to see Me at Wills's Creek in a Month.

[79] March—From Thursday 12 to Saturday 28. —We were traveling from Mohongaly to Potomack for as We had a good many Skins to carry & the Weather was bad We traveled but slow.

Sunday arrived at the Company's Factory at Wills's Creek.


THIS Day came before Me Christopher Gist & made Oath on the holy Evangelists that the two journals hereunto annexed, both which are signed by the said Christopher Gist; the first containing an Account of his Travels and Discoveries down the River Ohio & the Branches thereof, for the Ohio Company in the Years 1750 & 1751 together with his Transactions with the Indians and his Return Home. And the other containing an Account of his Travels and Discoveries down the said River Ohio on the SE Side as low as the Big Conhaway made for the said Ohio Company in the Years 1751 & 1752 & his return to Wills's Creek on Potomack River (as in a Platt made thereof by the said Christopher Gist and given in to the said Ohio Company may more fully appear) are just & true except as to the Number of Miles, which the said Christopher Gist did not actually measure and therefore cannot be certain of Them, but computed Them in the most exact Manner he coud & according to the best of his Knowledge. Given under my Hand this ___ Day of ___ 175_.

[80] 1753.

Wednesday 14 November, 175.—Then Major George Washington came to my house at Will's Creek, and delivered me a letter from the council in Virginia, requesting me to attend him up to the commandant of the French fort on the Ohio River.

Thursday 15.—We set out, and at night encamped at George's Creek, about eight miles, where a messenger came with letters from my son, who was just returned from his people at the Cherokees, and lay sick at the mouth of Conegocheague. But as I found myself entered again on public business, and Major Washington and all the company unwilling I should return I wrote and sent medicines to my son, and so continued my journey, and encamped at a big hill in the forks of Youghiogany, about eighteen miles.

Friday 16.—The next day set out and got to the big fork of said river, about ten miles there.

Saturday 17.—We encamped and rested our horses, and then we set out early in the morning.

Sunday 18 —And at night got to my house in the new settlement, about twenty-one miles, snow about ancle deep.

Monday 19—Set out, cross Big Youghiogany, to Jacob's cabins, about twenty miles. Here some of our horses straggled away, and we did not get away until eleven o'clock.

Tuesday 20.—Set out, had rain in the afternoon; I killed a deer; travelled about seven miles.

Wednesday 21.—It continued to rain. Stayed all day.

Thursday 22 —We set out and came to the mouth of Turtle Creek, about twelve miles, to John Frazier's, and he was very kind to us, and lent us a canoe to carry our baggage to the forks, about ten miles.

(See West Pennsylvania and Virginia map #2)

Friday 23 —Set out, rid to Shannopin's town, and down [81] Allegheny to the mouth of Monongahela, where we met our baggage, and swimmed our horses over Allegheny, and there encamped that night.

Saturday 24.—Set out; we went to king Shingiss, and he and Lawmolach went with us to the Logstown, and we spoke to the chiefs this evening, and repaired to our camp.

Sunday 25.—They sent out for their people to come in. The Half King came in this afternoon.

Monday 26.—We delivered our message to the Half King and they promised by him that we should set out three nights after.

Tuesday 27.—Stayed in our camp. Monacatoocha and Pollatha Wappia gave us some provisions. We stayed until the 29th when the Indians said, they were not ready. They desired us to stay until the next day and as the warriors were not come, the Half King said he would go with us himself, and take care of us.

Friday 30.—We set out, and the Half King and two old men and one young warrior, with us. At night we encamped at the Murthering town, about fifteen miles, on a branch of Great Beaver Creek. Got some corn and dried meat.

Saturday 1 December.—Set out, and at night encamped at the crossing of Beaver creek from the Kaskuskies to Venango about thirty miles. The next day rain, our Indians went out a hunting, they killed two bucks. Had rain all day.

Monday 3.—We set out and travelled all day. Encamped at night on one of the head branches of Great Beaver creek about twenty-two miles.

Tuesday 5.—Set out about fifteen miles, to the town of Venango, where we were kindly and complaisantly received by Monsieur Joncaire, the French interpreter for the Six Nations.

[82] Wednesday 5.—Rain all day. Our Indians were in council with the Delawares, who lived under the French colors, and ordered them to deliver up to the French the belt, with the marks of the four towns, according to desire of King Shingiss. But the chief of these Delawares said, "It was true King Shingiss was a great man, but he had sent no speech, and," said he," I cannot pretend to make a speech for a King." So our Indians could not prevail with them to deliver their belt; but the Half-King did deliver his belt, as he had determined. Joncaire did every thing he could to prevail on our Indians to stay behind us, and I took all care to have them along with us.

Thursday 6.—We set out late in the day accompanied by the French General and four servants or soldiers, and

Friday 7.—All encamped at Sugar creek, five miles from Venango. The creek being very high we were obliged to carry all our baggage over on trees, and swim our horses The Major and I went first over, with our boots on.

Saturday 9.—We set out and travelled twenty-five miles to Cussewago, an old Indian town.

Sunday 9.—We set out, left one of our horses here that could travel no further. This day we travelled to the big crossing, about fifteen miles, and encamped, our Indians went out to look out logs to make a raft; but as the water was high, and there were other creeks to cross, we concluded to keep up this side the creek.

Monday 10.—Set out, travelled about eight miles, and encamped. Our Indians killed a bear. Here we had a creek to cross, very deep; we got over on a tree, and got our goods over.

Tuesday 11.—We set out, travelled about fifteen miles to the French fort, the sun being set. Our interpreter gave the commandant notice of our being over the creek; upon which [83] he sent several officers to conduct us to the fort, and they received us with a great deal of complaisance.

Wednesday 12.—The Major gave the passport, showed his commission, and offered the Governor's letter to the commandant, but he desired not to receive them, until the other commander from Lake Erie came, whom he had sent for, and expected next day by twelve o'clock.

Thursday 13.—The other General came. The Major delivered the letter, and desired a speedy answer, the time of year and business required it. They took our Indians into private council, and gave them several presents.

Friday 14.—When we had done our business, they delayed and kept our Indians, until Sunday, and then we set out with two canoes, one for our Indians, and the other for our selves. Our horses we had sent away some days before, to wait at Venango, if ice appeared on the rivers and creeks.

Sunday 16.—We set out by water about sixteen miles, and encamped. Our Indians went before us, passed the little lake, and we did not come up with them that night.

Monday 17.—We set out, came to our Indians camp. They were out hunting, they killed three bears. We stayed this day, and

Tuesday 18.—One of our Indians did not come to camp. So we finding the waters lower very fast, were obliged to go and leave our Indians.

Wednesday 19.—We set out about seven or eight miles, and encamped, and the next day

Thursday 20.—About twenty miles, where we were stopped by ice, and worked until night.

Friday 21.—The ice was so hard we could not break our way through, but were obliged to haul our vessels across a point of land and put them in the creek again. The Indians and three French canoes overtook us here, and the people of [84] one French canoe that was lost, with her cargo of powder and lead. This night we encamped about twenty miles above Venango.

Saturday 22.—Set out. The creek began to be very low and we were forced to get out, to keep our canoe from over-setting, several times; the water freezing to our clothes and we had the pleasure of seeing the French overset, and the brandy and wine floating in the creek, and run by them, and left them to shift for themselves. Came to Venango, and met with our people and horses.

Sunday 23.—We set out from Venango, travelled about five miles to Lacomick creek.

Monday 24.—Here Major Washington set out on foot in Indian dress Our horses grew weak, that we were mostly obliged to travel on foot, and had snow all day. Encamped near the barrens.

Tuesday 25.—Set out and travelled on foot to branches of Great Beaver creek.

Wednesday 26.—The Major desired me to set out on foot, and leave our company, as the creeks were frozen, and our horses could make but little way. Indeed, I was unwilling he should undertake such a travel, who had never been used to walking before this time. But as he insisted on it, I set out with our packs, like Indians, and travelled eighteen miles. That night we lodged at an Indian cabin, and the Major was much fatigued. It was very cold; all the small runs were frozen, that we could hardly get water to drink.

Thursday 27.—We rose early in the morning, and set out about two o'clock. Got to the Murthering town, on the southeast fork of Beaver creek. Here we met with an Indian, whom I thought I had seen at Joncaire's, at Venango, when on our journey up to the French fort. This fellow called me by my Indian name, and pretended to be glad to see me. He [85] asked us several questions, as how we came to travel on foot, when we left Venango, where we parted with our horses, and when they would be there, etc. Major Washington insisted on travelling on the nearest way to forks of Alleghany. We asked the Indian if he could go with us, and show us the nearest way. The Indian seemed very glad and ready to go with us. Upon which we set out, and the Indian took the Major's pack. We travelled very brisk for eight or ten miles, when the Major's feet grew very sore, and he very weary, and the Indian steered too much north-eastwardly. The Major desired to encamp, to which the Indian asked to carry his gun. But he refused that, and then the Indian grew churlish, and pressed us to keep on, telling us that there were Ottawa Indians in these woods, and they would scalp us if we lay out; but to go to his cabin, and we should be safe. I thought very ill of the fellow, but did not care to let the Major know I mistrusted him. But he soon mistrusted him as much as I. He said he could hear a gun to his cabin, and steered us more northwardly. We grew uneasy, and then he said two whoops might be heard to his cabin. We went two miles further; then the Major said he would stay at the next water, and we desired the Indian to stop at the next water. But before we came to water, we came to a clear meadow; it was very light, and snow on the ground. The Indian made a stop, turned about; the Major saw him point his gun toward us and fire. Said the Major, "Are you shot? " "No," said I. Upon which the Indian ran forward to a big standing white oak, and to loading his gun; but we were soon with him. I would have killed him; but the Major would not suffer me to kill him. We let him charge his gun; we found he put in a ball; then we took care of him. The Major or I always stood by the guns; we made him make a fire for us by a little run, as if we intended to sleep there. I said, to the Major, "As you [86] will not have him killed, we must get him away, and then we must travel all night." Upon which I said to the Indian, "I suppose you were lost, and fired your gun." He said he knew the way to his cabin, and ‘twas but a little way. "Well," said I, "do you go home; and as we are much tired, we will follow your track in the morning; and here is a cake of bread for you, and you must give us meat in the morning." He was glad to get away. I followed him, and listened until he was fairly out of the way, and then we set out about half a mile, when we made a fire, set our compass, and fixed our course, and travelled all night, and in the morning we were on the head of Piney creek.

Friday 28.—We travelled all the next day down the said creek, and just at night, found some tracks where Indians had been hunting. We parted, and appointed a place a distance off, where to meet, it being then dark. We encamped; and thought ourselves safe enough to sleep.

Saturday 29.—We set out early, got to Alleghany, made a raft, and with much difficulty got over to an island, a little above Shannopin's town. The Major having fallen in from off the raft, and my fingers frostbitten, and the sun down, and very cold, we contented ourselves to encamp upon that island. It was deep water between us and the shore; but the cold did, us some service, for in the morning it was frozen hard enough for us to pass over on the ice.

Sunday 30.—We set out about ten miles to John Frazier's, at Turtle creek, and rested that evening.

Monday 31.—Next day we waited on queen Aliquippa, who lives now at the mouth of Youghiogany. She said she would never go down to the river Alleghany to live, except the English built a fort, and then she would go and live there.

Tuesday January 1, 1754.—We set out from John Frazier's and at night encamped at Jacob's cabins.

[87] Wednesday 2.—Set out and crossed Youghiogany on the ice. Got to my house in the new settlement.

Thursday 3.—Rain.

Friday 4.—Set out for Will's creek, where we arrived on Sunday January 6.



CHRISTOPHER GIST was of English descent. His grandfather was Christopher Gist, who died in Baltimore County in 1691. His grandmother was Edith Cromwell. They had one child, Richard, who was Surveyor of the Western Shore and was one of the Commissioners for laying off the town of Baltimore. In 1705 he married Zipporah Murray, and Christopher was one of three sons. He was a resident of North Carolina when first employed by the Ohio Company. He married Sarah Howard. He had three sons, Nathaniel, Richard and Thomas, and two daughters, Anne and Violette. Nathaniel was the only son that married. With his sons, Nathaniel and Thomas, he was with Braddock on his fatal field of battle. Urged by bribes and the promise of rewards, two Indians were persuaded to go out on a scouting expedition. As soon as they were gone, Christopher Gist, the General's guide, was dispatched on the same errand. On the 6th both Indians and Gist rejoined the army, having been within half a mile of the fort. Their reports were favorable and the army advanced. After Braddock's defeat he raised a company of scouts in Virginia and Maryland and did service on the frontier, being then called Captain Gist.

In 1756 he went to the Carolinas to enlist Cherokee Indians for the English service. For a time he served as Indian Agent. He died in the summer of 1759, of smallpox, in South Carolina or Georgia. Richard Gist was killed in the battle of King's Mountain. Thomas lived on the plantation. [89] Anne lived with him until his death, when she joined her brother Nathaniel in Kentucky. Nathaniel was a Colonel in the Virginia Line, during the Revolutionary War, and afterwards removed to Kentucky, where he died early in the present century. He left two sons, Henry Clay and Thomas Cecil. His eldest daughter, Sarah, married the Hon. Jesse Bledsoe, United States Senator from Kentucky. His grandson, B. Gratz Brown, was the Democratic candidate for Vice-President in 1872. The second daughter of Colonel Gist married Colonel Nathaniel Hart, a brother of Mrs. Henry Clay. The third daughter married Dr. Boswell, of Lexington, Kentucky. The fourth married Francis P. Blair, and they were the parents of Montgomery Blair and Francis P. Blair. The fifth married Benjamin Gratz, of Lexington, Kentucky.


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