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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


Narrator: Rival claims to the Ohio Valley ignited in 1753 when two thousand French troops began erecting forts along the river. Impressed with the show of force, and angered by the advancing Virginia settlements, Shawnees cut off trade with the British and joined the French.

Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie, a former Scottish merchant, sent troops to secure a fort at the forks of the Ohio, the strategic center of the Ohio Valley.

One hundred and fifty militiamen were led by Major George Washington and Captain Andrew Lewis. En route, Washington learned that French troops had beat him to the forks and built Fort Duquesne there, but he chose to continue on.

Near the Monongahela River, Washington defeated a small French patrol then built a crude defense, Fort Necessity, in preparation for the main attack he knew would come.

On July 3rd a force of several hundred Indians and French troops assaulted the fort. Greatly outnumbered, Washington surrendered.

The French let Washington go after he promised to stay away from the Ohio for a year. One of Washington’s guides, an Iroquois, said later that the French acted like cowards in the engagement and the English like fools.

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