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The Ohio Company of Virginia and the Westward Movement 1748-1792

  by Kenneth P. Bailey SALE PRICE $29.95  

The Ohio Company of VirginiaA discussion of the origins of the Ohio Company (a formidable land speculating and settling organization), its activities from 1748 to 1754, the Pennsylvania-Virginia rivalry, and the closing years of the Company.

No study of the French and Indian War can be complete without the study of the principal land companies competing for land during the great land rush of the mid-eighteenth century of which the Ohio company was by far the largest. Organized in 1748 by a group of influential men, most of whom were Virginians. The Ohio Company was founded primarily with the purpose of securing a share of the Indian trade west of the Alleghenies, a trade that primarily up to that point, had been mainly in the hands of Pennsylvanians and the French.

The company also planned to construct forts and roads, make settlements, and develop this country. But a study of the Ohio Company is more than a study of trade and land development schemes, it is a study of exploration of a new frontier and its Indian policy and problems, of colonial jealousy and conflict, and of traders and trader problems. All of this taking place during the struggle between the French and English for control and possession of North America, of British control and imperial policy, and of the on going boundary disputes between Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The story of The Ohio Company is of major importance in the story of colonial advancement into the Indian lands of Western Pennsylvania and the Ohio country. The history of the Ohio Company divides itself quite naturally into 4 main periods. The first period of The Ohio Company begins in 1748 with its formation and organization, primarily by Virginians, and includes exploration of the then Ohio Country by Christopher Gist. The second phase of The Ohio Company of Virginia covers roughly the years of the French and Indian War in North America and the ruination of much of the property of the company. The third phase of the Ohio Company begins and ends with the legal avenues pursued by the members of The Ohio Company in their attempt to reclaim its original land titles put on hold by the Proclamation of 1763 at the end of the French and Indian War. The final phase ends with The Ohio Company disbanding in dismal failure.

Chapters discuss company origin, personnel of the company, exploration of Christopher Gist, Pennsylvania and Virginia’s rivalry, Logstown and Winchester conferences and the most important chapter “The Company and the F& I War.” Originally published in 1939, The Ohio Company’s success varied inversely to England’s success against France. When England’s position was insecure, the company received British approval and support, but when Britain’s star was ascending, favoritism toward the company waned. The story of the French and Indian War and the interests of The Ohio Company of Virginia are indelibly intertwined.

Hardback, 1939 (reprint), 373 pp., Was $39.95, now $29.95.
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