On the banks of the Ohio River in what is now Baden, PA (Beaver County), 15-18 miles northwest of Pittsburgh PA, once stood a town of as many as 80 structures called Logstown. This small town would host visitors from British and French as well as meetings between native tribes and representatives from the French and British governments. Logstown is believed to have been established in the early to mid 1740’s.
In 1748, Conrad Weiser, a German settler from Eastern Pennsylvania visited Logstown. Weiser was a well known interpreter of Native American languages. Upon Weiser’s arrival he was greeted by the natives firing muskets in the air to welcome him. Weiser worked as a diplomat and negotiator between the Native nations and the Pennsylvania colony. Weiser’s visit was to bring gifts and maintain the friendship between Penn’s British Colony and those who lived at Logstown including members of the Leni Lanape (Delaware), Shawnee, Seneca-Cayuga, Miami, Mohawk, and Wyandot. After the arrival of Europeans, many tribes were pushed to the west and many other died from diseases that came with the Europeans that previously had not existed on the continent.
In 1749, Ensign Celeron de Blainville led a French Military expedition down the Allegheny River and onto the Ohio River to explore and map the area as French territory. In their travels, Blainville buried lead markers marking the areas his group explored as French Territory. Blainville was not happy to find British traders present at Logstown, nor was he happy to find that the native people within the camp were also loyal to the British whom they had been trading with. Blainville and his men, including a Jesuit priest named Joseph Pierre Bonnecomps stayed at Logstown for three tense days, then continued on their journey.
In 1752, Treaty Negotiation were held between British representatives including Christopher Gist who was well known to the people at Logstown and was there representing the Ohio Company, Colonel Joshua Fry, James Patton, and Lunsford Lomax representing the Virginia Colony. Andrew Montour attended as a translator for the Virginians. Tanacharison also known as Half-King spoke as one of the representatives of the Iroquois Confederacy. Tanacharison stated his people did not consider that the 1744 Anglo-Iroquois Treaty of Lancaster had ceded the colonists any land beyond the Allegheny Mountains, but he promised the Iroquois would not molest any English settlements southeast of the Ohio River. Tanacharison also formally requested a fort to be built at the Forks of the Ohio. Construction of which was started by Captain William Trent of the Ohio Company in February of 1754. The limited parts of the fort that had been built were taken by the French in April of 1754. There is a great deal of information on the treaty and negotiations here.
Logstown was much more than a trading post along the Ohio River. The rivers were the highways of the time period, each of these stops whether they were native, settler or military were important to trade and travel. Logstown became very important to diplomacy in the colonies.
Ohio History Central: http://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Logstown
Explore PA History: http://www.explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-210
Treaties Portal: http://treatiesportal.unl.edu/earlytreaties/treaty.00004.html