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Cumberland and Washington's Formative Years


Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information

   



Cumberland and Washington's Formative Years

By

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




ID:
gctt150

Creator:
J. William Hunt

Notes:
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.

Date:
1954

Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Contributor:
Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Subject:
Maryland, History

Coverage:
Western Maryland, 1750-1963

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

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