By 1748, the year that a young Virginian first began surveying
in the mountainous backcountry of his colony, the French discovered that the Ohio River provided a shorter way to move between Quebec in the north and New Orleans in the south. They began to build forts and trading posts along this route to protect it.
The English moved quickly to thawrt this plan. In the winter of 1753-54 Virginia sent a young militia officer to deliver a demand to the French that they must vacate the Ohio territory that England claimed.
The French rejected the demand. The challenge had now been given. Both sides now rushed to the Ohio country to fortify their claim. They both headed for the Forks of the Ohio where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio.
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