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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, 6th. We set out late in the day accompanied by the French General and four servants or soldiers, and
Friday, 7th. 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, 8th. We set out and travelled twenty-five miles to Cussewago, an old Indian town.
Sunday, 9th. 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, 10th. 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
Tuesday, 11th. 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 he sent several officers to conduct us to the fort, and they received us with a great deal of complaisance.*
Wednesday, 12th. , 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, 13th. The other General came. The Major delivered the letter, and desired a speedy answer ; the time
[* The name of the French fort to which Mr. Gist and Washington went, was Le Bæuf, now Waterford, near Le Beuf lake, Erie county, Pennsylvania.--Note by Dr. Mease.]
of year and business required it. They took our Indians into private council, and gave them several presents.
Friday, 14th. 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 ourselves. Our horses we had sent away some days before, to wait at Venango, if ice appeared on the rivers and creeks.
Sunday, 16th. 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, 17th. We set out, came to our Indians' camp. They were out hunting ; they killed three bears.
We stayed this day and
Tuesday, 18th. 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, 19th. We set out about seven or eight miles, and encamped, and the next day
Thursday, 20th. About twenty miles, where we were stopped by ice, and
worked until night. Friday, 21st. 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 one French canoe that was lost, with her cargo of powder and lead. This night we encamped about twenty miles above Venango.
Saturday, 22nd. Set out. The creek began to be very low, and we were forced to get out, to keep our canoe from oversetting, 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, 23d. We set out from Venango, travelled about five miles to Lacomick creek.
Monday, 24th. 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, 25th. Set out and travelled on foot to branches of Great Beaver creek.
Wednesday, 26th. 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 Iudians, 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, 27th. We rose early in the morning, and set out about two o'clock. Got to the Murthering town, on the south-east 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 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, &c. Major Washington insisted on travelling on the nearest way to the forks of Alleghany. We asked the Indian is 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 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 bim 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 to
ward us and fire. Said the Major, “ Are
“ Are you shot ?" "No," said I. Upon which the Indian run 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 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, 28th. 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, 29th. We set out early, got to Alleghany, made a rast, 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 frost-bitten, 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, 30th. We set out about ten miles to John Frazier's, at Turtle creek, and rested that evening.
Monday, 31st. 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, 1st January, 1754. We set out from John Frazier's, and at night encamped at Jacob's cabins.