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HISTORY OF CANADA.   67

pleaded earnestly, but vainly, that settlers might be sent out from France, to occupy the border lands upon which British settlement was pressing, and to support the garrisons at and beyond Detroit.

The Ohio Valley.—Up to this time New France had not come into direct conflict with the more southern British colonies, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas, whose western borders reached the Alleghanies. Beyond this range, to the west, lay the valley of the Ohio, part of the great interior valley of the Mississippi which France claimed as her own. Into the Ohio valley traders from these British colonies had pushed their way over the mountains. Galissonniere found that the turbulent spirit, which of late had been marked among the Indians of the west, was owing largely to the influence of these traders, whose wares were better and cheaper than those to be had at the French trading posts. The governor therefore decided that a force must be sent to show both British and Indians that France had not abandoned her claim to any part of the region traversed by La Salle. Accordingly, Celoron de Bienville with a force of about two hundred men landed in the summer of 1749 on the south shore of Lake Erie. Crossing to the little Lake Chautauqua, he descended the Alleghany to the main stream of the Ohio. He then followed that stream to where the Miami enters it, ascended the Miami, crossed over to the Maumee, and so passed out again to Lake Erie. A notary accompanied the expedition to make a formal record of this "renewal of possession." Bienville reported that the Indians of this region, who were relatively numerous, were inclined to the British, whose traders were to be found in nearly every village. De Bienville also reported that he had driven off the interlopers and had given them written protests to be handed to the governors of the British colonies. In this same year, in order to strengthen the line of communication with the west, a garrison was sent to the trading post at Toronto, and a fort was built there, called, after the colonial minister, Fort Rouille.

The British traders of Pennsylvania and Virginia declined to admit the right of the French to exclude them from the Ohio valley. A company was formed in Virginia to acquire land for settlement west of the Alleghanies, and, had the assemblies of Virginia and Pennsylvania supported their proposals, British settlers would have acquired a foothold in the valley before the


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