9/27/13 Friday at Morgantown, WV (Sand Springs RV Resort-GS)
After a leisurely morning routine, I got the blog posted, then my sister Lynn called. They were on their way to see our Miss Zanzibar! I hurried back to the rig and we got her straightened up in time. John met them at the lodge and guided them. It was such fun sharing what we love about our traveling home. Soon we all (Lynn and hubby Gene, John and I) jumped into their Camry for a great day of **(2330) scenic drives in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Fort Necessity. (National Historic Park: $5/person or free with Senior Pass) George Washington, leading British soldiers before the Revolution, had first come to this area (Pennsylvania and Ohio) to warn the French traders that this was British land, as well as to clear a path/trail for future settlers. The French, were driving out English traders and claiming the Ohio River Valley for France. His group came upon a French group unexpectedly. The French say they were ambushed without warning, the British say one of the French yelled out a warning and fired on the British, so gunshots ensued, with the British overtaking the French (an Indian killed their leader as well). George built Fort Necessity as a stockade for his prisoners, certain that the French would soon come to retaliate. When they did, he realized he’d built his stockade in a poor position, for they settled into the forest beyond to fire upon his men, who were in trenches surrounding the Fort. Of course, it poured rain the whole time. When George felt all may be lost, the French called out, asking if he wanted to “parlez”, which he did. The French were concerned because their Indian allies were all leaving that morning and the rain was demoralizing. So surrender document was drawn up, smudged in the rain. George signed it, agreeing to leave the area and for no British to return for a year. He also didn’t realize that the document noted that he had assassinated the French leader (not the Indian) and felt terrible about that for years, when he’d learned it was in the surrender. From the Park brochure: The confrontation at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the opening battle of the war fought by England and France for control of the North American continent. It was also the opening episode of a worldwide struggle known in North America as the French and Indian War and elsewhere as the Seven Years’ War. It ended in 1763 with the expulsion of French power from North America and India. The action at Fort Necessity was also the first major event in the military career of George Washington, and it marked the only time he ever surrendered to an enemy, then only 21 years old.
War Belt. This would be passed among the Indians to announce the coming of war. This belt is made with original red and blue glass trading beads that are 250 to 300 years old. The shell beads seen in the white hatchet are new wampum. Wampum was an important and sacred tool of communication used by many Indian tribes in the Ohio country. Each belt was specially woven so that each color, bead and pattern had a meaning. Similar to written European documents, wampum formalized treaties and outlined trade agreements.
After this full day, Lynn and Gene brought us back to our RV and returned to their place to get ready for the picnic they’re planning for tomorrow. We had supper, then dashed up to Cooper’s Rock, to see the sights and the sun set at 7:11 pm.