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Washington’s trip out West

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October 5, 2015 all-day
2015-10-05T00:00:00-04:00
2015-10-06T00:00:00-04:00
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Washington’s trip out West

Compiled by Jim Moyer 3/17/2016, 7/11/2016, 8/23/2016, 9/9/17, 9/10/17.  This story has many facets, many angles. Read in bits and pieces. Come back later. This story is still being revised.

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Pencil Sketch by Jim Moyer. Click on picture to enlarge.

Just around the bend towards the River Bottom land, lived perhaps the largest Sycamore ever recorded.  With its peeling, it looks like a white ghost in the deep dark primeval forest.   You can’t see it here.

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Yet just around the bend was always what Fort Loudoun was about.

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Reducing Fort Duquesne was not the goal, just a means to this end: River Bottom Land.

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And this final goal took decades to achieve.

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It all started with a promise.

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The Proclamation of 1754 by Lt Gov Dinwiddie of 200,000 acres in the Ohio Country.

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The Proclamation of 1763 at the end of the war, contradicted that promise.

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The people GW met and those who travelled with him all have stories themselves.

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Read about Guyasuta. And about a speech echoed all over the internet.  And he’s not the only top Chief GW meets and re-acquaints along the way.

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Not exactly Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness going up the Congo.

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Nor is it Apocalypse Now, the adapted story of going up the Mekong or Stephen King’s IT.

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Tinted Foggy Morning, picture by Jim Moyer. Click on picture to enlarge.

But a primeval forest along the huge Ohio and Kanawha River can get Halloweeny, especially this time of year October to December 1770, with buffalo, strange birds, ghostly huge trees and Indians in it.

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Click on the name of Crawford.  His brother Valentine Crawford travelled with GW.

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The brother of Valentine, Captain William Crawford who was a lifelong friend of GW and who surveyed this very land  GW was traveling to view,  and who was in all the military exploits with GW, is burned at the stake in the Ohio Country in 1782 and becomes national headlines with a popular song and whose head was decapitated off a statue just this 25 August 2017.

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Read about the politics of the land grab.

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Read in bits and pieces.   Come back later. This story is still being constructed.

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Topics Covered Here:

1.  Backward or Forward Looking?

2. The Journey in 1770, Dates and Sources

3. Guyasuta

4. Fake News: Guyasuta’s Speech

5. More Fake News: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

6. Land Grab

7. More Diary Excerpts

8. Largest Sycamore Ever Recorded

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LOOKING BACKWARD OR FORWARD?

We read history as though it is forward looking.

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But for the people in it, they were looking backwards.

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There are still matters from the past to resolve.

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Washington makes an October to December 1770 trip out west to scope out land promised him and his men from Lt Gov Dinwiddie in 1754.

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Even though the Boston Massacre happened 5 March 1770, GW is still looking to resolve the promise of land authorized by Lt Gov Dinwiddie 16 years ago.

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Washington goes to Ohio Country to finally pick the land entitled him and his men all these years later from the promise by long gone Lt Gov Dinwiddie in his 19 February 1754 Proclamation.

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THE JOURNAL

Dates of Washington’s Journey

October 5, 1770 to December 1, 1770

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Founders Online website references to this Journey:

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See  link on GW’s diary for this trip on Founders Online October 5, 1770 to December 1, 1770

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See Founders Online documents for the whole year of 1770, January to December

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More on this trip from Founders Online

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Journal of George Washington written during an expedition  along the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers:

extracted from The Writings of George Washington, by Jared Sparks, Volume II  (Boston: Charles Tappan, 1846), pages 516-534  Journal of a Tour to the Ohio River.  1770.

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http://www.wvculture.org/history/settlement/washingtonjournal1770.html

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LETTERS at beginning of trip

From George Washington at Mount Vernon wrote to Botetourt, 5 October 1770:

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-08-02-0261

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Meeting Guyasuta Again

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Before we get to “THE SPEECH” which is echoed all around the internet,  let’s look at the 1770 trip GW takes to look at land surveyed for him and while on this trip meeting the Indian who is reported to have made this speech.

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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.

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. 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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The Echo Chamber isn’t just for Politics.

The Echo Chamber is for History too.

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The Echo – an illusion implying multiple sources, multiple verifications.

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We all know that just one source spawns thousands of copycats.

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Or do we? The best of us get caught up in it, no?

And a Good Lie? Why do you think Hollywood always messes with the Story?

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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 (April 30, 1781 – October 10, 1857)

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

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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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Start of Footnotes under that speech in the book:

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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 people 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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Rabbit Hole.   Side Tunnels. A Warren. A maze. See what I mean? The Truth. Too Much.

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IS THE SPEECH TRUE?

Back to why THE SPEECH by the unnamed Indian is a myth.

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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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Notice GW’s adopted son never mentions the name of the Indian? It is Guyasuta (many spellings – GW spells it Kiashuta).

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See excerpt below of what GW records is said.

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.   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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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? Or a speech making a prophecy he 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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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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 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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Still nothing like that speech GW’s adopted son says he heard from Dr Craik.

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 Nothing like that speech is there in GW’s Diary?

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But you’ll find it all over the internet, because it’s a great wanna-believe-it-exciting tale.

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And not that the guilt of others proves guilt but many writers of that time filled in the gaps.

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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” 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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BACK TO CONTEXT OF TIME

The Actual 1770 trip

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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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And the Story Teller?  They tap in to the need.

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Sure everyone wants the truth, but  . . . aren’t we the audience always poised to look for something amazing? Or something confirming our needs?  Or something confirming our wish? Our beliefs?

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So . . . breathe in a yoga breath . . . ready for the long version?

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We read history as though it is forward looking.

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See 5 March 1770 The Boston Massacre.

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But for the people in it, there are still matters from the past to resolve.

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See 5 October 1770 to 31 December 1770 – Washington’s trip out west.

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See 2 years later,

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GW poses for his first portrait in his French and Indian War uniform. Awesome story here.

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THE LAND GRAB

See this story on George Washington’s 1770 trip to view the promised lands.

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This trip by these members of the Ohio Company came to look at land promised by Lt Gov Dinwiddie to Washington and his Men of 1754.

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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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A HARD NARROW PROMISE:

Mind you. The promise of land was only to the men of 1754 (Jummonville, Fort Necessity) and not to anyone after, not even to those of the failed Braddock Expedition of 1755 or to those of the Forbes Expedition of 1758.

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Exact Limits of the Promise

George Washington indicates

this Proclamation if 1754 only refers to

the actions of 1754

and not of the later Braddock

or Forbes Expeditions.

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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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Washington wrote a letter 8 December 1769 to stipulate that and confirm that.

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Vandalia Colony Wikipedia link

And this Ohio Company concerning this “Ohio Country” was working on creating a new Colony called Vandalia whose Governor might be GW’s former aid de camp, George Mercer.

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The land grab speculation would be in violation of Britain’s Proclamation Line of 1763, designed to stop the westward march and therefore expensive Indian Hostilites.

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VIOLATION OF THE BOUNDARIES SET IN 1763

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Proclamation of 1763 shows the boundaries stopping White Settlement of Indian Lands so that future expensive Indian Wars could be avoided.

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GW writes a letter 17 September 1767 to one of his former soldiers William Crawford  predicting the Proclamation of 1763 will fall.

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Washington suggests to ignore it to protect their future claims and to keep these designs a secret so they don’t get in trouble with the King.

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-08-02-0020

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THE BOUNDARIES ARE MOVED IN 1768

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BUT the Treaty of Fort Stanwix 1768 moved the line dramatically west. So the Land Grab was ON.  See map in this National Park Service link.

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BACK TO THE 1770 TRIP

Begins   5 October     1770

Ends    31 December 1770

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THE JOURNAL OF THIS 1770 TRIP

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This is the simplest unedited one:

http://www.wvculture.org/history/settlement/washingtonjournal1770.html

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This is the same journal as above but handsomely annotated:

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http://founders.archives.gov/?q=Volume%3AWashington-01-02&s=1511311112&r=2730

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This is a daily separate journal different from the main journal of the trip by GW:

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http://founders.archives.gov/?q=Volume%3AWashington-01-02&s=1511211112&r=2671

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1770 TRIP OUTLINE OF VANDALIA

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GW at Mount Vernon writes to Botetourt, 5 October 1770 on the first day of his trip west:

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http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-08-02-0261

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Excerpts of Journal :

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OCTOBER

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28the October   …And to where we found Kiashuta and his hunting party encamped. Here we were under a necessity of paying our compliments, as this person was one of the Six Nation chiefs, and the head of those 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 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, and, in order to retard us as little as possible, moved his camp down the river just below the mouth of a creek, the name of which I could not learn.

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

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PREVIOUS TO ABOVE IN OCTOBER

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Other than River Bottom land, white oak and sycamores get noticed.

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Watercolor by Jim Moyer

17th. – Dr. Craik and myself, with Captain Crawford and others, arrived at Fort Pitt, distant from the Crossing forty-three and a half measured miles. In riding this distance we passed over a great deal of exceedingly fine land, chiefly white-oak, especially from Sewickly Creek to Turtle Creek, but the whole broken; resembling, as I think all the lands in this country do, the Loudoun lands. We lodged in what is called the town, distant about three hundred yards from the fort, at one Mr. Semple’s, who keeps a very good house of public entertainment. The houses, which are built of logs, and ranged in streets, are on the Monongahela, and I suppose may be about twenty in number, and inhabited by Indian traders. The fort is built on the point between the rivers Allegany and Monongahela, but not so near the pitch of it as Fort Duquesne stood. It is five-sided and regular, two of which near the land are of brick, the others stockade. A moat encompasses it. The garrison consists of two companies of Royal Irish, commanded by Captain Edmondson.

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18th. – Dined in the Fort with Colonel Croghan and the officers of the garrison; supped there also, meeting with great civility, from the gentlemen, and engaged to dine with Colonel Croghan the next day at his seat, about four miles up the Allegany.

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19th. – Received a message from Colonel Croghan, that the White Mingo and other chiefs of the Six Nations had something to say to me, and desiring that I would be at his house about eleven, where they were to meet. I went up and received a speech, with a string of wampum from the White Mingo, to the following effect.

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“That as I was a person whom some of them remember to have seen, when I was sent on an embassy to the French, and most of them had heard of, they were come to bid me welcome to this country, and to desire that the people of Virginia would consider them as friends and brothers, linked together in one chain; that I would inform the governor, that it was their wish to live in peace and harmony with the white people, and that though there had been some unhappy differences between them and the people upon our frontiers, they were all made up, and they hoped forgotten; and concluded with saying, that their brothers of Virginia did not come along them and trade as the inhabitants of the other provinces did, from whence they were afraid that we did not look upon them with so friendly an eye as they could wish.”

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To this I answered, after thanking them for their friendly welcome, “that all the injuries and affronts, that had passed on either side, were now totally forgotten, and that I was sure noting was more wished and desired by the people of Virginia, than to live in the strictest friendship with them; that the Virginians were a people not so much engaged in trade as the Pennsylvanians, which was the reason of their not being so frequently among them; but that it was possible they might for the time to come have stricter connexions with them, and that I would acquaint the government with their desires.”

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After dining at Colonel Croghan’s we returned to Pittsburg, Colonel Croghan with us, who intended to accompany us part of the way down the river, having engaged an Indian called the Pheasant, and one Joseph Nicholson an interpreter, to attend us the whole voyage; also a young Indian warrior.

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20th. – We embarked in a large canoe, with sufficient store of provision and necessaries, and the following persons, besides Dr. Craik and myself, to wit, Captain Crawford, Joseph Nicholson, Robert Bell, William Harrison, Charles Morgan, and Daniel Rendon, a boy of Captain Crawford’s, and the Indians, who were in a canoe by themselves. From Fort Pitt we sent our horses and boys back to Captain Crawford’s, with orders to meet us there again on the 14th day of November. Colonel Croghan, Lieutenant Hamilton, and Mr. Magee, set out with us. At two we dined at Mr. Magee’s, and encamped ten miles below, and four above Logstown. We passed several large islands, which appeared to be very good, as the bottoms also did on each side of the river alternately; the hills on one side being opposite to the bottoms on the other, which seem generally to be about three or found hundred yards wide, and so vice versa.

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21st. – Left our encampment about six o’clock, and breakfasted at Logstown, where we parted with Colonel Croghan and company about nine o’clock. At eleven we came to the mouth of the Big Beaver Creek, opposite to which is a good situation for a house, and above it, on the same side, that is the west, there appears to be a body of fine land. About five miles lower down, on the east side, comes in Raccoon Creek, at the mouth of which and up it appears to be a body of good land also. All the land between this creek and the Monongahela, and for fifteen miles back, is claimed by Colonel Croghan under a purchase from the Indians, which sale he says is confirmed by his Majesty. On this creek, where the branches thereof interlock with the waters of Shurtees Creek, there is, according to Colonel Croghan’s account, a body of fine, rich, level land. This tract he wants to sell, and offers it at five pounds sterling per hundred acres, with an exemption of quitrents for twenty years; after which, to be subject to the payment of four shillings and two pence sterling per hundred acres; provided he can sell it in ten-thousand-acre lots. At present the unsettled state of this country renders any purchase dangerous. From Raccoon Creek to Little Beaver Creek appears to me to be little short of ten miles, and about three miles below this we encamped; after hiding a barrel of biscuit in an island to lighten our canoe.

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The Largest Sycamore

Was recorded by George Washington on this trip

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The largest sycamore ever recorded was in 1770 recorded by the one and only George Washington near the junction of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers; he recorded in his journal the tree was approximately 14 meters in circumference! Go measure out a piece of string 14 meters in length and go wrap it around the biggest tree you can find. I bet your “incredibly large tree” will be tiny in comparison to your string! This tree, for obvious reasons since trees don’t live forever, is no longer standing but it’s not uncommon for a sycamore to be 6 or 7 meters in circumference if rooted in deep soil.

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http://botanicalmusings.blogspot.com/2013/11/sycamores-natures-ghosts-in-woods.html

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On November 4th, 1770, George Washington recorded this:

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4th. – After passing these hills, which may run on the river near a mile, there appears to be another pretty good bottom on the east side. At this place we met a canoe going to the Illinois with sheep; and at this place also, that is, at the end of the bottom from the Kenhawa, just as we came to the hills, we met with a sycamore about sixty yards from the river of a most extraordinary size, it measuring, three feet from the ground, forty-five feet round, lacking two inches; and not fifty yards from it was another, thirty-one feet round. After passing this bottom, and about a mile of hills, we entered another bottom and encamped. This bottom reaches within about half a mile of the rapid at the point of the Great Bend.

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Sources:

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https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Ancestor%3AGEWN-01-02-02-0005&s=1511311111&r=30

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http://www.wvculture.org/history/settlement/washingtonjournal1770.html

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Another Tree as comparison

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Centuries before English settlers arrived in North America, a white oak tree took root in what is now the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards, New Jersey. This tree would grow to have a trunk circumference of 18 feet and reach 100 feet tall. After years of showing rot, this landmark of natural history was declared dead, forcing crews to cut down the 600-year-old tree this week. 

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Source:

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http://www.mountvernon.org/blog/2017/04/the-600-year-old-george-washington-oak-tree

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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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