George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 29 October 1770]

Monday 29th. The tedious ceremony which the Indians observe in their Councellings & speeches, detained us till 9 Oclock. Opposite to the Creek just below wch. we Incampd, is a pretty long bottom,1 & I believe tolerable wide; but abt. 8 or 9 Miles below the aforemend. Creek, & just below a pavement of Rocks on the west side, comes in a Creek2 with fallen Timber at the Mouth, on which the Indians say there is wide bottom’s, & good Land. The River bottom’s above for some distance is very good, & continues for near half a Mile below the Creek. The pavement of Rocks are only to be seen at low water. Abt. a mile, or a little better below the Mouth of the Creek there is another pavement of Rocks on the East side in a kind of Sedgey Ground. On this Creek many Buffaloes use[d to be] according to the Indians Acct. Six Miles below this comes in a small Creek3 on the west side at the end of a small naked Island, and just above another pavement of Rocks. This Creek comes thro a Bottom of fine Land, & opposite to it (on the East side the River) appears to be large bottom of very fine Land also. At this place begins what they call the great Bent. 5 Miles below this again, on the East side, comes in (abt. 200 yds. above a little stream or Gut) another Creek; which is just below an Island,4 on the upper point of which are some dead standing trees, & a parcel of white bodied Sycamores. In the Mouth of this Creek lyes a Scycamore blown down by the wind. From hence an East line may be Run 3 or 4 Miles; thence a North Line till it strikes the River, which I apprehend woud Include about 3 or 4000 Acres of exceeding valuable Land. At the Mouth of this C[ree]k which is 3 or 4 Miles above two Islands (at the lower end of the last, is a rapid,5 & the Point of the Bend) is the Wariors Path to the Cherokee Country. For two Miles & an half below this the River Runs a No. Et. Course, & finished what they call the Great Bent. Two Miles & an half below this again we Incampd.

1The Long Bottom is in Meigs County, Ohio.

2Big Sandy Creek enters the Ohio at Ravenswood, W.Va. GW later acquired 2,448 acres of bottomland in this area (writings description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 34:438).

3Probably Oldtown Creek, which flows into the Ohio from the west.

4George’s Island in the Ohio just above Big and Little Mills creeks, which enter the river from the east.

5Letart’s Rapids, Mason County, W.Va. The islands were unnamed but are numbered 44 and 45 in cramer description begins Zadok Cramer. The Navigator: Containing Directions for Navigating the Monongahela, Allegheny, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers . . . and a Concise Description of their Towns, Villages, Harbours, Settlements, &c. 7th ed. Pittsburgh, 1811. description ends , 94. Pownall noted that “the Water is so rapid that they are obliged to haul the Canoes with Ropes in coming up for near a Furlong along the South East Side” (pownall description begins Thomas Pownall. A Topographical Description of the Dominions of the United States of America. Edited by Lois Mulkearn. Pittsburgh, 1949. description ends , 139).

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