Whilbr Heading
Search | Use Google Search

Words or Phrase:

Search Method Help Image

Left Nav Image    Home   |   Links   |   Contact Us   |   Facebook   |   Digital Whilbr
Yellow Bar image
Description ImageWhilbr Description


Collection Dropdown Image
Allegany County
Category Divider
Garrett County
Category Divider
Washington County
Category Divider
Civil War in Maryland
Category Divider
Genealogy Resources
Category Divider
Photographs and Prints
Cumberland and Washington's Formative Years

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Cumberland and Washington's Formative Years


J. William Hunt

Editor Cumberland Sunday Times

This year (1954) is the midpoint in a series of Bicentennials that emphasize the importance of the Cumberland area in the three formative years of George Washington's life (1753, 1754 and 1755).

Starting with his diplomatic mission to the French on the Ohio at the age of 21, this three-year period includes Washington's first experience as a commander of troops in the field (1754) and his training in British military techniques under Major General Edward Braddock (1755).

The young Virginian's trek to Venango, Fort Le Boeuf and the other French posts between the Great Lakes and Fort Duquesne, really began at Wills Creek (Cumberland) on November 15, 1753, and it was on January 6, 1754, that he arrived back at Wills Creek with Christopher Gist who had joined him at this point on the westward journey. The road between Williamsburg, Virginia, and Wills Creek was a well traveled route, but from Cumberland to the Ohio there was only the Nemacolin Trail 200 years ago, and only Gist and a few hardy traders were able to follow that poorly defined path through the wilderness. Washington spent the night of November 14 at Wills Creek preparatory to starting the dangerous portion of his journey, and also rested in Cumberland a day and night (January 6) before the return to Williamsburg to report to Governor Dinwiddie.

The diaries of Gist and Washington and standard histories have made the details of the 1753-54 mission to the French so familiar that it is deemed unnecessary to repeat the established facts. So it is with Washington's 1754 military activities that reached a climax (or anti-climax, if you prefer) in the Fort Necessity engagement. Even more familiar is Washington's association with Braddock in 1755 and the memorable defeat of the British forces on the Monongahela as they neared the French military bastion, Fort Duquesne.

Of primary interest, particularly to those who reside in the Tableland


J. William Hunt

J. William Hunt, mentioned elsewhere in this issue, has for many years served the Cumberland area as a cultural leader and journalist. The Editor of TABLELAND TRAILS is specially indebted to him for his sustained interest, assistance, and counsel over a period of twenty years, commencing with the promotion of the Mountain Choir Festival. Mr. Hunt is a native of Tunnelton, Preston County, West Virginia.


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

Footer Image     Contact Webmaster  |  Copyright Information Top Line Image