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Thomas Walker, Andrew Lewis and James Wood letter to Edmund Pendleton(1775)

  • MS 2013.9
  • 1 item

On June 24, 1775, the House of Burgesses appointed George Washington (who didn’t attend), Thomas Walker, Andrew Lewis, James Wood, John Walker and Adam Stephen commissioners to confer with leaders of the Ohio Indians. They were to negotiate the neutrality of the western tribes in the conflict between England and the American colonies and confirm the treaty made between Governor Dunmore and the western tribes in the fall of 1774. By that treaty, the Ohio River was established as a boundary between the colonists and the various tribes. The Continental Congress sent Lewis Morris and James Wilson as commissioners to negotiate with the tribes. Morris and Wilson conducted their negotiations separately from the Virginians. The conference was held at Pittsburg in October, 1775.

Andrew Lewis was the victorious American commander at the Battle of Point Pleasant which was the decisive engagement of Dunmore’s War. Lewis ordered the construction of a fort, Fort Blair, at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers which was burnt by the Shawnees as the conference was beginning. James Wood, future governor of Virginia, was sent west to invite the leaders of the various Indian tribes to the conference. Thomas Walker was a physician and explorer. He led a team that surveyed and explored Kentucky in 1750 for the Loyal Land Company. Walker served as chair of the Virginia delegation to the conference at Pittsburgh.