Winchester Conference

The Indians were aggressively pursuing their own plans. At the end of August, 1753, Tanacharison and group of Indians made a special diplomatic trip to tell the French to leave the Ohio region. Because of this trip the Tanacharison could not be present at the conference in Winchester, Virginia where the British would try to confirm the Indians’ permission for a British fort and trading post at the Forks of the Ohio River.

Virginia gathered an impressive delegation for the Winchester Conference in September, 1753. It included Lord Fairfax, Col. William Fairfax, Capt. William Trent, George Croghan, Fairfax, Christopher Gist, John Carlyle, interpreter Andrew Montour, Col. James Wood of Winchester, Capt. Thomas Bryan Martin (nephew and agent for Lord Fairfax), Capt. William Gilpin and William Cocke. Gov. Dinwiddie did not appear because Half King was not able to come due to his trip to the French. On the other side was the chief, Monacatoocha (Scarouady), sachems Shingas, Neuchyconer, Tomenebuck, Big Kettle, Raccoon and the warrior, Turtle, and about 90 other Indians including women and children. The Virginians did get the Indians to agree to have the colony build a stronghouse or storehouse at the Forks of the Ohio to supply the Indians with trade goods and deter the French with a show of force. However, the Virginians failed to get permission for settlements around the fort; the Indians did not want white settlers moving beyond the mountains.

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