George Washington and the Half-King Chief Tanacharison Gallery

The following are sketches and photographs relevant to our book George Washington and the Half-King Chief Tanacharison: An Alliance That Began the French and Indian War. Because of publishing constraints, may of these images were not included in the book, but may be of interest to the reader.

George Washington (1732-1722)

Our sketch of Young George Washington in 1753, based on a painting by Charles Wilson Peale. At the time Washington was a twenty-one-year-old major in the Virginia Regiment, appointed by Virginia Lieutenant-Governor Robert Dinwiddie to deliver a message to the French commander on the Allegheny River, demanding that the French withdraw their troops from the area.

The Half-King Chief Tanacharison c.1700-1754

Tanacharison was a Seneca, the westernmost nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. The title “Half-King” was a British designation that recognized certain individuals as representatives of the Iroquois Council at Onondaga. Interestingly, the French used the term “Le Demi Roi” (the half-king in the same context. There were in fact several half-king, each with a different area of responsibility in supervising tribes in the Ohio region, which the Iroquois considered subservient. In Tanacharison’s case, it was the Wyandot, Mingo, and Lenape Indians. Tanacharison was a highly intelligent and savvy veteran of frontier diplomacy. He was fluent in several languages, including English, French, and several Indian dialects. Our sketch of Tanacharison is based purely on conjecture, as there are no known contemporary images of him.

Statue of Tanacharison

Statue of Tanacharison at Fort Necessity National Park. Here he is holding an Iroquois “Speech Belt,” which often is referred to by whites as a “Wampum Belt.”

Site of Logstown

Logstown, also known as Chiningue and Shenango at present Baden, Pennsylvania, about 14 miles downstream of the Forks of the Ohio. It was originally a Shawnee village, but just prior to the French and Indian War, became somewhat of a multi-national village populated by members of different Indian nations. It was the site of the 1752 Treaty of Logstown. The village was burned in 1754, and though it was rebuilt, it slowly became depopulated until it was finally abandoned.

Site of Fort Sandoské at the southern end of the DeLery Portage

Site of Fort Sandoské (c.1749-c.1754) on Sandusky Bay south of present Port Clinton, Ohio. This should not be confused with the British Fort Sandusky that was located south of Sandusky Bay, to the west of present Sandusky, Ohio. It was primarily a trading post for the Huron or Wyandot Indians of the area. The DeLery Portage allowed safer and more expeditious travel across the present Catawba Peninsula into Sandusky Bay, rather than having to negotiate the rougher longer route around the peninsula.

Sally at the site of Fort Venango at present Franklin, PA. Fort Venango was built by the British in 1760 near the site of the old French Fort Machault, which was abandoned in 1758 after the fall of Fort Duquesne.

Fort Venango was captured and destroyed by the Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763, and it’s garrison were either killed in the attack, or tortured to death after they were captured.

Paul at the site of French Fort Machault at present Franklin, Pennsylvania. The fort was built in 1754 at the confluence of French Creek and the Allegheny River, and was abandoned in 1758 after the English capture of Fort Duquesne in 1758.

Sally at the site of French Fort LeBœuf at present Waterford, Pennsylvania. The Fort was built in 1753 and abandoned by the French in 1759 after the British capture of Fort Duquesne and Fort Niagara. The British took over the fort, but it was destroyed by Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763.

Jumonville Glen, site of the opening skirmish of the French and Indian War on May 28, 1754. The French troops were bivouaced along the face of the stone cliff and Washington’s troops opened fire from about the position of the marker in the photo. Adam Stephen’s troops were deployed along the top of the cliff face firing down on the French troops. Tanacharison’s Indians sealed off the escape route to the right of the photo.

Reconstruction of Washington’s Fort Necessity at Fort Necessity Battlefield National Park. Tanacharison referred to the fort as “That little thing upon the meadow.”