The Celoron Expedition to the Ohio Country, 1749: The Reports of Pierre-Joseph Celoron and Father Bonnecamps


Few Americans have heard of the 1749 French expedition into western Pennsylvania and southern Ohio, known as the Céloron Expedition. The limited interest in this trek has often centered on the lead plates that the French buried along the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. France was pressured to take action as English traders became dominant in the disputed Ohio territory. The French sent Captain Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville with a large force to show the flag and compel the English traders to leave. This book contains the reports of Céloron, the expedition's commander, and the Jesuit priest, Father Bonnecamps. The two reports complement each other. Céloron wrote of how he dealt with the Native Americans and otherwise conducted his assignment. Bonnecamps detailed the flora, fauna and other aspects of natural science, as well as activities of the expedition. Taken together, the two reports give an excellent snapshot of the Ohio country just prior to the final French and Indian War.

These journals, published over seventy-five years ago in The Ohio Archaeological and Historical Publications, Volume XXIX (1920), have not been readily accessible to the public. Additions to this new edition include an introduction, annotations, maps and an index of names, places and events. The maps show the locations of French forts in western Pennsylvania, and the routes Céloron followed from Montreal to Lake Chautauqua, and Lake Chautauqua to Pickawillany. Anyone interested in North American colonial history and/or Native American cultural history will appreciate the importance of this volume.

Andrew Gallup has a master's degree in anthropology from The College of William and Mary in Virginia and a B.A. degree in history from Michigan State University. He has written and edited several works on the French and Indian War.

Andrew Gallup

(1997), 2008, 5½x8½, paper, index, 110 pp.

ISBN: 9780788406065