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ated on the south or west fork of French Creek, near the water: and is almost surrounded by the Creek, and a small branch of it which forms a kind of island. Four houses compose the sides. The bastions are made of piles driven into the ground, standing more than twelve feet above it, and sharp at the top; with portholes cut for the cannon, and loop-holes for the small arms to fire through. There are eight six-pound pieces mounted in each bastion, and one piece of four pound before the gate. In the bastions are a guard house, chapel, doctor's lodging, and the commander's private store: round which are laid platforms for the cannon and men to stand on. There are several barracks without the fort, for the soldiers' dwelling, covered, some with bark, and some with boards, made chiefly of logs. There are also several other houses, such as stables, smith's shop, &c. I could get no certain account of the number of men here; but according to the best judgment I could form, there are an hundred, exclusive of officers, of which there are many. I also gave orders to the people who were with me, to take an exact account of the canoes which were hauled up to convey the forces down in the spring. This they did, and told fifty of birch bark, and an hundred and seventy of pine; besides many others which were blocked out, in readiness for being made."*

A plan which Washington afterwards made of this fort, was forwarded to the British government.

Monsieur de St. Pierre, having consulted with Captain Reparti, the next officer in rank, prepared an answer to the letter of the governor, couched in a determined and firm, but respectful tone; in which he said that as he acted by instructions from the governor of Canada, he could not comply with the summons to retire; and that it was not his province nor his duty to discuss treaties, which should be referred to his superior.

The weather continuing very inclement, and the horses of the party becoming daily weaker, Washington sent them with haste to Venango, intending, as M. de St. Pierre had offered him a canoe or two, to return to that place by water. The French commandant again endeavoured to detain the Indians, by means of presents and various artifices. But Washington succeeded in getting the whole party embarked, on the 16th of December.

The passage down the creek was very tedious and fatiguing. "Several times," says Washington in his journal, "we had like to have been staved against rocks; and many times all hands

*Marshall's Notes, p. 8.

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were obliged to get out, and remain in the water half an hour or more, in getting over the shoals. At one place the ice had lodged, and made it impassable by water; we were therefore obliged to carry our canoe across a neck of land a quarter of a mile over." They reached Venango on the 22d, which was distant from the fort, by the winding of the stream, about one hundred and thirty miles, and there found their horses. The proceedings of Washington for the next five or six days will be best related in the words of his journal. They furnish a noble example of resolution and hardihood.

"Our horses were now so weak and feeble, and the baggage so heavy, (as we were obliged to provide all the necessaries which the journey would require,) that we doubted much their performing it. Therefore, myself and others, except the drivers, who were obliged to ride, gave up our horses, for packs to assist along with the baggage. I put myself in an Indian walking-dress, and continued with them three days, until I found there was no probability of their getting home in a reasonable time. The horses became less able to travel every day; the cold increased very fast; and the roads were becoming much worse by a deep snow, continually freezing; therefore, as I was uneasy to get back to make report of my proceedings to his honour the governor, I determined to prosecute my journey, the nearest way through the woods on foot. Accordingly, I left Mr. Van Braam in charge of our baggage, with money and directions to provide necessaries from place to place for themselves and horses, and to make the most convenient despatch in travelling.

"I took my necessary papers, pulled off my clothes, and tied myself up in a watch-coat. Then, with gun in hand, and pack on my back, in which were my papers and provisions, I set out with Mr. Gist, fitted in the same manner, on Wednesday, the 26th. The day following, just after we had passed a place called Murdering Town, (where we intended to quit the path and steer across the country for Shanapin's Town,) we fell in with a party of French Indians who had lain in wait for us. One of them fired at Mr. Gist or me, not fifteen steps off, but fortunately missed. We took this fellow into custody, and kept him until about nine o'clock at night, then let him go, and walked all the remaining part of the night without making any stop, that we might get the start so far as to be out of the reach of pursuit the next day, since we were well assured they would follow our track as soon as it was light. The next day we continued travelling until quite

dark, and got to the river about two miles above Shanapin's. We expected to have found the river frozen, but it was not, only about fifty yards from each shore. The ice, I suppose, had broken up above, for it was driving in vast quantities.

"There was no way for getting over but on a raft, which we set about making with but one poor hatchet, and finished just after sunsetting. This was a whole day's work. We next got it launched, then went on board and set off, but before we were half way over, we were jammed in the ice in such a manner that we expected every moment our raft to sink, and ourselves to perish. I put out my setting pole to try to stop the raft, that the ice might pass by, when the rapidity of the stream threw it with so much violence against the pole, that it jerked me out into ten feet water; but I fortunately saved myself by catching hold of one of the raft logs. Notwithstanding all our efforts, we could not get to either shore, but were obliged, as we were near an island, to quit our raft and make to it.

"The cold was so extremely severe, that Mr. Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes frozen, and the water was shut up so hard that we found no difficulty in getting off the island the next morning on the ice, and went to Mr. Frazier's. We met here with twenty warriors who were going to the southward to war; but coming to a place at the head of the Great Kenawha, where they found seven people killed and scalped, (all but one woman with very light hair,) they turned about and ran back, for fear the inhabitants should rise, and take them as the authors of the murders. They report that the bodies were lying about the house, and some of them much torn and eaten by the hogs. By the marks which were left, they say they were French Indians of the Ottowa nation, &c., who did it. As we intended to take horses here, and it required some time to find them, I went up about three miles to the mouth of the Yohogany, to visit Queen Alliquippa, who had expressed great concern that we had passed her in going to the fort. I made her a present of a watch-coat and a bottle of rum, which latter was thought much the best present of the two."

They left Mr. Frazier's on Tuesday the first day of January, 1754, and the next day arrived at Mr. Gist's, at Monongahela. On the 6th they arrived at Wills's Creek, after a very fatiguing and disagreeable journey. «From the 1st of December to the 15th," says Washington, "there was but one day on which it did not rain or snow incessantly; and throughout the whole journey,

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