1758-1784

Looking West

1784 trip to the Ohio River
In 1784, Washington was 52 years-old and a hero of the American Revolution, which ended just one year earlier. At this time, he was concerned about Mount Vernon and his western land holdings, but he was constantly drawn into the politics of the young republic.
In September, he set out for the Ohio again with his long-time friend, Dr. Craik. His trip had two purposes. First, he wanted to inspect his own western land holdings. His second purpose was to explore the possibility of a water route connecting the Potomac River to the Ohio Valley. This was a dream that was partly realized with the construction of the C&O Canal decades later.
Diaries of George Washington
‍September 10, 1784
The Road from the Old Town to Fort Cumberland we found tolerably good, as it also was from the latter to Gwins, except the mountain which was pretty long (though not steep) in the ascent and descent. But from Gwins to Tumberson’s it is intolerably bad—there being many steep pitches of the Mountain—deep & miry places and very stony ground to pass over.
After leaving the waters of Wills Creek which extends up the Mountain (Allegany) two or three miles as the road goes, we fell next on those of George’s Creek, which are small. After them, upon Savage River which are more considerable though from the present appearance of them does not seem capable of navigation.
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Page from Washington’s diaries
dated September 10, 1784

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