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Ohio First Claimed by France

Ohio’s first exploration by a European was by a Frenchman, Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (pictured at right). He investigated the Great Lakes area in 1669-70, claiming 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.

 

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge

 

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Rene Robert Cavelier


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