Making Sense of the First Big Gun Fight in Ohio: Archaeology at Pickawillany


I will be giving a presentation this Saturday at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Roscoe Village on research conducted by OHS archaeologists over the past decade at the site of Pickawillany, located in Miami County, Ohio. Pickawillany was a mid-1700s English trading post constructed within a large Miami Indian town. At the same time the French claimed all of the Ohio Country north and west of the Ohio River as theirs and very much resented this unwanted incursion into their domain. After a contentious few years of attempting to bring the Miami back to their side and break their ties with the English, the French made a decisive move against Pickawillany to settle the question of the Miamis loyalties once and for all.

On June 21, 1752 a large force of Ottawa Indians and French Coureurs de Bois led by Charles Langlade attacked Pickawillany, destroyed the Indian town and killed the Miami Chief Memeskia or Old Briton as he was known to the English. Before withdrawing, the French forces looted the trading post and with the exception of two that made good their escape, killed or captured those English traders on site that day. For all practical purposes Pickawillany ceased to exist.

Over the past ten years or so and using both high and low tech methods Ohio Historical Society archaeologists assisted by Hocking College field school students have been investigating the site trying to discover where the traders compound might have been located and where particular events might have taken place.

The presentation will be at 3:00 PM on Saturday March 1at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Roscoe Village near Coshocton. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for students and free for Friends of the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum. Hope to see you there!

Bill Pickard

Posted February 27, 2014
Topics: Archaeology

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