Originally published in 1938, this authoritative, scholarly and intensely readable narrative tells the story of the settlement of French Creek Valley, Pennsylvania. Reynold’s narrative describes every aspect of French Creek Valley history and draws heavily from his expansive private collection of original records and documents. Material is included describing the early explorers of the region and the first French trading posts; pioneer life; the discovery of oil; famous visitors such as George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, John James Audobon, Zachery Taylor and James Buchanan; the War of 1812; the town of Meadville; the Beaver and Erie Canal; Civil War times and finance; the railroad’s arrival in Meadville and much more. French Creek Valley was the scene of a seminal event in the birth of the nation, a prelude to the French and Indian War and subsequently the American Revolution. Then only twenty-one years old, Major George Washington was dispatched to the valley by Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia to seek redress for French intrusions into the Ohio Valley from the French commandant at Fort le Boeuf (located on the western-most fork of French Creek). Amongst over 100 illustrations is a facsimile of a letter written by George Washington to Brigadier Ewing, dated December 14th, 1776; a fascinating (though unsubstantiated) tale is included in the appendix explaining how the letter was lost. The appendix also features three letters written by Henry Bouquet to Brigadier General Monckton dating to the 1760s. An index to names, places and subjects adds to the value of this work.
John Earle Reynolds
(1938, 1999), 2015, 5½x8½, paper, index, 438 pp.