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Sep
10

Guyasuta’s Speech

By
When:
September 10, 2017 @ 2:31 pm – 3:31 pm
2017-09-10T14:31:00-04:00
2017-09-10T15:31:00-04:00

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Compiled by Jim Moyer 9/10/17  still in construction.

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GUYASUTA’S SPEECH

Overlooking the 3 Rivers Area of Pittsburgh. This sculpture shows Guyasuta looking at a 21 year old George Washington …. Click photo to enlarge.

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Before we get to “THE SPEECH” let’s look at the 1770 trip GW takes to look at land surveyed for him.

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While on this trip GW meets the Indian who is reported to have made THE SPEECH.

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This is not a still life.  Move with mouse or touch screen to see area.
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Meeting Guyasuta Again

This is the same one who was in Pontiac’s Rebellion of 1763-1764, sometimes called Guyasuta’s War.

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Guyasuta also said he was one of the Indians who accompanied GW in 1753 to meet the French commander.

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28 October 1770

Meeting with Kiashuta & other Indian Hunters we proceeded only 10 Miles to day, & Incampd below the Mouth of a Ck. on the west the name of wch. I know not.

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Footnote from Founders Online: GW had met Guyasuta during his journey to the French commandant in 1753 (see entry for 30 Nov. 1753, n.49). After joining the French in 1755, Guyasuta had actively engaged in hostilities against the British during the French and Indian War and was a leader in Pontiac’s rebellion. After the war he was again friendly to the English and aided the firm of Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan in opening up the Illinois trade. He maintained his allegiance to the British during the Revolution and participated in the attack against Hannastown, Pa., in 1782. After the Revolution he settled in the area of Pittsburgh and died there about 1800.

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From Founders Online:

Sunday 28th.

Left our Incampment about 7 Oclock. Two Miles below, a sml. run comes in on the East side1 thro a piece of Land that has a very good appearance, the Bottom beginning above our Incampment, & continuing in appearance wide for 4 Miles down, to a place where there comes in a smal Run2 & to the Hills. And to where we found Kiashuta and his Hunting Party Incampd.

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Here we were under a necessity of paying our Compliments, As this person was one of the Six Nation Chiefs, & the head of them upon this River. In the Person of Kiashuta I found an old acquaintance. He being one of the Indians that went with me to the French in 1753. He expressd a satisfaction in seeing me and treated us with great kindness, giving us a Quarter of very fine Buffalo. He insisted upon our spending that Night with him, and in order to retard us as little as possible movd his Camp down the River about 3 Miles just below the Mouth of a Creek the name of which I could not learn (it not being large).3 At this place we all Incampd. After much Councelling the overnight they all came to my fire the next Morning, with great formality; when Kiashuta rehearsing what had passd between me & the Sachems at Colo. Croghan’s, thankd me for saying that Peace & friendship was the wish of the People of Virginia (with them) & for recommending it to the Traders to deal with them upon a fair & equitable footing; and then again expressd their desire of having a Trade opend with Virginia, & that the Governor thereof might not only be made acquainted therewith, but of their friendly disposition towards the white People. This I promisd to do.

1. Lee’s Creek, Wood County, W.Va.

2. Pond Creek, Wood County, W.Va.

3. Probably Shade River, Meigs County, Ohio.

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Monday 29th.

The tedious ceremony which the Indians observe in their Councellings & speeches, detained us till 9 Oclock.

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GUYASUTA links

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Canada’s Online biography

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyasuta (c.1725–c.1794) was an important leader of the Seneca

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Oriskany  6 AUGUST 1777

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Boris Karloff as Chief Guyasuta in  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconquered

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Guyasuta final resting place days at Darlington family home

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Some history on Guyastua

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Gist and Guyasuta Sculpture on Manchester Bridge before it was moved

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Washington and Guyasuta Sculpture at Point of View Park October 20, 2006 article

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Click on photo to enlarge and see all of it.

Guyasuta

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 The Legend of The Speech

There’s an unprovable speech perpetrated here.

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Guyasuta’s name is not mentioned

by the author of an Indian’s speech,

but  THAT SPEECH IS widely echoed

on the internet and in books,

AND ESPECIALLY in news articles to this day.

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So here’s that story of the Indian Chief observing an invincible Washington, one prophecied by this Indian to be a Chief of Nations.

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You’ll see it everywhere repeated, paraphrased, lauded, retold and retold and believed.

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One source only is the cause.

That source?

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George Washington’s adopted son,  Martha’s grandson:

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George Washington Parke Custis

(Born April 30, 1781 – Died October 10, 1857)

He is the grandson of Martha Washington.

He is the adopted son of George Washington.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Parke_Custis

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THE SPEECH

Read this unauthenticated speech and the footnotes following it.

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Start Quote:

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“I am a chief, and the ruler over many tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes, and to to the far blue mountains. I have travelled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day, when the white man’s blood, mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief: I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior?

He is not of the

red-coat tribe—he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do—himself is alone exposed. Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were levelled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss—’twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded him from harm. He can not die in battle. I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council-
fire of my fathers, in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is a something, bids me speak, in the voice of prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies—he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn, will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire !”*

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Custis’ footnotes for that speech:

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* He addressed Washington, through Nicholson, the interpreter

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* This narrative the author of the Recollections received from the lips of Dr. Craik,

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Washington does not mention the circumstance in his Diary.

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It was a peculiar trait of his character to avoid everything, either in speech or writing, that had a personal relation to himself, in this manner.

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In his Diary he mentions a visit from an embassy of the Six Nations, led by White Mingo, who made a speech.

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But that occurred on the nineteenth of the month; while the incident that forms the subject of   this chapter, did not occur until they had reached the mouth of the Kanawha, after   the thirty-first.

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The Reverend Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian minister at Hanover, in Virginia,during the earlier portions of the French and Indian war (and in 1759, was president
of the college at Princeton), preached several patriotic discourses after the defeat of
Braddock, to arouse his countrymen to action.

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In one of these, entitled “Religion and Patriotism the constituents of a good Soldier,” he remarked, in allusion to the remarkable preservation of Washington on the bloody field of Monongahela, “I can not but hope Providence has hitherto preserved him in so signal a manner, for some important service to his country.”

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It is an interesting fact, that Washington never received the slightest wound in battle.

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End of Footnotes.

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End Quote.

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From Page 303 and 304 of this link:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433082397302;view=2up;seq=326;size=125

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The Long Book Title indicates 3 authors involved in its production:

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Recollections and private memoirs of Washington, by his adopted son, George Washington Parke Custis, with a memoir of the author, by his daughter; and illustrative and explanatory notes. By Benson J. Lossing. Published: Philadelphia, J. W. Bradley, 1861.

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Read about the 3 authors:

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George Washington Parke Custis (April 30, 1781 – October 10, 1857)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Parke_Custis

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Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (October 1, 1808 – November 5, 1873)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Anna_Custis_Lee

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Benson John Lossing (February 12, 1813 – June 3, 1891)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benson_John_Lossing

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http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=61135260

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More from that book:

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“Doctor Craik then related the romantic and imposing incident of the old Indian’s prophecy, as it occurred on the banks of the Ohio in 1770, observing that, bred, as he himself was, in the rigid discipline of the Kirk of Scotland, he possessed as little superstition as any one, but that really there was a something in the air and manner of an old savage chief delivering his oracle amid the depths of the forest, that time or circumstance would never erase from his memory, and that he believed with the tawny prophet of the wilderness, that their beloved Washington was the
spirit-protected being described by the savage, that the enemy could not kill him, and that while he lived the glorious cause of American Independence would never die.*

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Page 223

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while Doctor Craik, pleased with this confirmation of his faith in the Indian’s prophecy, nodded to the officers who composed the party of the preceding evening, and then, pointing to Heaven, seemed to say, in the words of the savage prophet, “The Great Spirit protects him; he can
not die in battle.”

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Page 224 from the link:

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https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433082397302;view=2up;seq=246;size=175

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IS THE SPEECH TRUE?

No proof there is of this wonderful speech.

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George Washington records meeting this Indian but nothing about the particulars of the speech as reported by his adopted son, Martha’s grandson.

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Even George Washington’s adopted son, his Wife’s grandson, notes that George Washington  did not record this speech in his diary, that “This narrative the author of the Recollections received from the lips of Dr. Craik ” who accompanied GW on that trip.

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HOW DO WE KNOW IT’S GUYASUTA?

Notice GW’s adopted son never mentions the name of the Indian?

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GW’s adopted son offers a rationale for GW’s ommission.  “It was a peculiar trait of his character to avoid everything, either in speech or writing, that had a personal relation to himself, in this manner.

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Plausible, that Guyasuta was the speech maker

GW commented on his own reaction to the speech:

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“After much counseling over night, they all came to my fire the next morning with great formality; when Kiashuta, rehearsing what had passed between me and the Sachems at Colonel Croghan’s, thanked me for saying, that peace and friendship with them were the wish of the people of Virginia, and for recommending it to the traders to deal with them upon a fair and equitable footing; and then again expressed their desire of having a trade opened with Virginia, and that the governor thereof might not only be made acquainted therewith, but with their friendly disposition towards the white people. This I promised to do.”

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TEDIOUS

The next day GW further comments on his own reaction to all the speechmaking:

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29th.- The tedious ceremony, which the Indians observe in their counsellings and speeches, detained us till nine o’clock.

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So, apparently THE SPEECH and speeches did not impress GW.

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Tedious? How tedious is GW’s being invincible in battle?  How tedious is a speech prophesizing GW will become Chief of Nations as in head of the 13 Colonies?

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Instead GW reported that Guyasuta’s speech mentioned  trade and relations with the White People.

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DR CRAIK RECORD ANYTHING?

So did Dr Craik really tell GW’s adopted son that Guyasata said something different than what GW reported?

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No writings by Dr Craik of that moment have been discovered.  So we have hearsay.

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Not 100% provable either way.   And if not provable, why is this speech reported as fact in countless news articles and books to this day?

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CONNECTING GUYASUTA TO THE SPEECH

 The only other remark GW makes of Guyasuta: “In the person of Kiashuta I found an old acquaintance, he being one of the Indians that went with me to the French in 1753. He expressed a satisfaction at seeing me, and treated us with great kindness, giving us a quarter of very fine buffalo. He insisted upon our spending that night with him”

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SO not only is The Speech unsubstantiated, but later authors attributed this speech to Guyasuta because of these entries in GW’s diary.

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 Nothing of that speech is in GW’s Diary.

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But you’ll find it all over the internet, as though there was proof the speech was really made.

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Many writers of that time filled in the gaps.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SAID

These authors of that time thought of what the actor in that story MIGHT have said.

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Even if NOT EXACTLY the words, at least the sense of what might have been said is true.

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GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH

“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” is one GIGANTIC example. See:

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Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death”—Granddaddy of Revolution Mythologies

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And now we come back to our opening on this section:

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The real story?

It’s longer than a lie.

Myths are compact.

Myths get to the point.

The truth?

It’s a rabbit hole.

Endless byways, sideways.

A lie is so brief it is the soul of wit.

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SIDE TRIP TO MORE ON GUYASUTA

See Links on this Guyasuta:

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Canada’s Online biography

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guyasuta (c.1725–c.1794) was an important leader of the Seneca

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Oriskany 6 AUGUST 1777

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Boris Karloff as Chief Guyasuta in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconquered

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Guyasuta final resting place days at Darlington family home

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Some history on Guyastua

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Gist and Guyasuta Sculpture on Manchester Bridge before it was moved

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Washington and Guyasuta Sculpture at Point of View Park October 20, 2006 article

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YOU WILL LIKE THIS MAP !

Navigate Google Car with Mouse or Touch screen to look at statue of  Guyasuta and GW:

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https://goo.gl/maps/rQgA2MvRtFP2

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19 February 1754 Proclamation

Letter from Dinwiddie to Washington in January 1754, before the all important 19 February 1754 Proclamation, promising land to the men who signed up for duty.

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-01-02-0031

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Limits of the Promise

Later Washington indicates this Proclamation only refers to the actions of 1754 and not of the later Braddock or Forbes Expeditions.  See letter from George Washington to Botetourt, 8 December 1769 :

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“It has been distantly askd, for I must own I never heard the matter regularly questiond, whether the Troops employd in the subsequent campaigns were not entitled to a share also of this 200,000 Acres of Land?5 to this it may be answerd, that a moments recurrance to the state of affairs in 1754 & the occn of raising Troops at that early period will demonstrate at once the Impropriety of such expectns, if any such there be; For 300 Men were adjudgd suff⟨ic’t⟩ to the Service then under contemplation, & 200,000 Acres of Land was offered as a bounty to obtain them; and though the number proovd insufft to accomplish the purpose for wch they were rais’d (as thousands afterwards likewise did) yet it is a Fact very well known that this body of Troops did actually advance into the Country claimd by the Enemy, & built a Fort there which they were obligd to surrender to supr Numbrs.

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Besides, they woud beg leave to make this one observation more, in proof of their exclusive right to this Grant; and that is, that the next Campaign was made by His Majesty’s Troops under the Comd of Genl Braddock; and that all the Troops enlisted in this Colony after that time, did it upon a quite differt, & much better establishment, the Officers recg higher pay, & the Men greater bountys.

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It must plainly appear therefore, in my humble opinion at least, that the grant of this Land was merely local, confind to that particular Enterprize then in view, and coud by no means be construed to extend to the multitude which afterwards engagd in the course of a Ten years War.”

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Colonel Peachey, previously a Captain, who along with George Mercer were of the original 2 companies beginning the building of Fort Loudoun later petitions for land promised by Dinwiddie’s 19 February 1754 Proclamation.  But Peachey was not in the original 1754 expedition which was the only adventure promised this land as Washington had insisted.

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The following entry appears in the minutes of the Virginia council for 15 June 1770:

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“…it is the Opinion of the Board that the Petitioners are not intitled to any share of the said two hundred thousand Acres of land; but that the same is appropriated and limited to the first Adventures only”

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Newspaper article

Interesting sidelights to the area of that trip and a trip in 1784:

http://pcj.stparchive.com/Archive/PCJ/PCJ10312012P08.php

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