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Pickawillany

Ohio’s first exploration by a European was by a Frenchman, Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. He investigated the Great Lakes area in 1669-70, claiming all of Ohio for the country of France.

Beginning in 1682, all of Ohio was considered to be a French possession, however, the British colony of Virginia also claimed it to be part of their land holdings. The Ohio territory, among others, would be in dispute for nearly a century (1689-1763) between the French and English as they engaged in a series of colonial campaigns in North America.

It was not until around 1730 that traders from Virginia and Pennsylvania began to encroach into Ohio. This caused Great Britain’s George II to award a land grant in 1749 to the Ohio Company to settle and trade in Ohio. This new influx of English traders and would-be settlers eventually precipitated the French and Indian War (1754-1763) between the English/their Indian allies and the French/their Indian allies.

France and Great Britain, along with other countries, were involved in the Seven Years’ War in Europe (1756-1763). This concluded with the Treaty of Paris after France lost the Seven Years War, giving England undisputed right to territory that included Ohio. With this treaty, all land north of the Ohio River became English soil.

In 1774, Great Britain made this territory, including Ohio, part of Canada (attaching it to Quebec), annoying the American Colonies and adding another reason for those who sought separation from the ‘mother country.’ Following the Revolutionary War, Great Britain, in September 1783, formally relinquished its right to control the area to the United States.

Pickawillany is First English Settlement

Many historians believe that the first English settlement in this area was in what is now northern Miami County. Established in 1747-1748, it was called Pickawillany, located at the point where the Loramie Creek runs into the Miami River. At its peak, Pickawillany was home to 400 Indian families and up to 50 whites.

As land claim and trading right conflicts continued to escalate between France and England, confrontations began to occur throughout the disputed territory. It is believed that Pickawillany was one of the first battles of what would become the French and Indian War; a battle precipitated by the Miami Valley Indians request for help against the French and the positive response of the English. After the battle of Pickawillany in 1752, little war action occurred in Shelby County and the Indians continued to use this area for hunting grounds. The few white men that entered the region during the next twenty years were trappers and traders.

'Immigration' segment written in November, 1997 by David Lodge

 

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