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On 11/17/12 the following historical marker was dedicated at the veteran's memorial near Rostraver Township's borough building in Wesmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
 
Col. George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)
Veteran of King George’s, the French and Indian, and Revolutionary War, George Croghan’s 1749 grant includes most of Rostraver Township. Nearby Gratztown, named in 1780 for Croghan’s Jewish agents, was Croghan’s Sewickley Old Town trading post and anchored his local deed. Presumable purchasers were William Crawford for George Washington in today’s Perryopolis and modern Smithdale's 1758 pioneer, George Weddell. Once a Monongahela Indian village, Weddell’s terrace farm overlooked the former Shawnee town and Croghan’s trading post, burnt by Wolf and other Delawares during Pontiac's 1763 conspiracy, with partner Col. Clapham among the five killed.
An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, King George’s War found Croghan nearly engrossing Fort Detroit trade, fomenting an Indian revolt, and joining William Johnson on the Iroquois’ Onondaga Council. Croghan organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations and appointed Croghan its colonial agent. A few days before Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown, Croghan purchased his 200,000 acres from the Iroquois, later learning that the deeds would be void if in Pennsylvania.


He and Andrew Montour guided Virginia's Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist in 1750 and arranged its 1752 Logstown treaty. Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio had been abandoned in 1751 when Montour testified that the Indians did not want it. Virginia's 1754 stockade was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.
A captain in charge of the Indians under Col. Washington, then under Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 hurried from facilitating the Easton Treaty to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes' column for its fall. He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Lawrenceville Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion. Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and, except for the Shawnees during Dunmore's War, kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter.
Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety Chairman, and person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was exiled for treason in 1777 by General Edward Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial. The frontier lost its shield and the fourteenth state, with Pittsburgh its capital and Croghan the largest land owner, Indian agent, and likely governor.
Pennsylvania, Fort Pitt Museum, and the Daughters of the American Revolution declined Croghan’s historical marker for its most appropriate site, Point Park, and Pittsburgh's Morton Brown responded, “the City does not prefer to simply deny your request outright.” When Westmoreland County ruled out Cedar Creek Park, Croghan’s pivotal story found public expression for the first time here.
Placed November 2012 by Greater Monessen Historical Society
and Rostraver Township Historical Society
 
Following are e-mail messages, most recent last, about the history on ohiocountry.us, particularly regarding George Croghan's story beginning with the historian William Campbell, a professor at the California State University's Chico campus who has written extensively about Croghan.



On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 12:52 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Mr. Campbell,
 
    Can you help get a memorial for George Croghan erected in Pittsburgh's Point State Park?  Pennsylvania Department of Conservation Resources's Frances Stein is the decision maker currently opposed to the offer from Greater Monessen Historical Society to place on a low stone base a one meter square granite slab with an etching of Croghan's 1749 grants from the Indians totaling 200,000 acres, except for two square miles at the Point for a British fort and 200 words of his story to clarify what happened as a result?  If not here, I think I tell the story coherently on the website ohiocountry.us.  Croghan's story puts Ohio's history earlier than western Pennsylvania's (written for Alfred Cave's support), still it is reprehensible that Pittsburgh has not honored the man even by naming a street after him.  Please call Frances at 724-953-6698.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
 
P.S. Recently enjoyed reading your online New York piece about Croghan.
 
From: William Campbell
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 2:25 PM
To: Jim Greenwood
Subject: Re: Croghan memorial
Dear Jim,
I am not quite sure what you are asking me to do - the email was somewhat confusing. I'd be happy to help forward an attempt to have public recognition of Croghan.  That being said, after a quick glance at your webpage, I do not agree with notable elements of your interpretations of the past.  We both share an appreciation for Croghan and his contributions to early America, but I would need to know what exactly you are petitioning for  - with reference to the wording - before I agree to make a call.
   
All the best,
William 
On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
William,
 
  Thanks for your instant response.  The 200 words have not been written yet, but would relate to the Point and its forts if the memorial is placed there.  My work on Croghan is found at ohiocountry.us, including a critique of your 2009 article.  We are in disagreement about Croghan's public service, which was generous and unstinting, although undermined by his greed for land, particularly the 200,000 acres purchased in 1749.  Opinions about his character are of secondary importance to historical accuracy, which has suffered by the obvious suppression of his story.  To acknowledge it is deeply traumatic, for it is at odds with the national narrative that has a heroic George Washington as the central frontier figure.  It is a myth and Croghan's story is the reality that people like yourself have trouble accepting.  People will have to get over it.
 
Jim Greenwood
    
From: William Campbell
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: Croghan memorial

Dear Jim,
We are disagreement notably around the portrayal of a character, not the perpetuation of a nationalistic version of the past.  I think you are very misleading when referencing a vaguely defined myth 'people like myself' have trouble accepting.  My published work does not comment on such, and to reference me as doing so is inaccurate - not to mention somewhat humors considering my nationality.   
As for as I can tell, you would like to see Croghan in ways like O'Toole sees Johnson.  For myself, and other professionals in the field, this is very selective, "pop-history" - especially when one gets into notion of "Irishness" or nation building.  Have you read Alan Taylor's critique of O'Toole's work in the New Republic?  If not, I would suggest starting there.   Moreover, having just spoken with Fintan last week about Croghan while in Toronto, I am not so sure he himself would disagree with the idea that self-interest was the prime mover behind Croghan's actions.  In this respect, I would argue, Croghan is not unlike his contemporaries.  But, it is that story, the story of pragmatism and fluidity that I would argue plays a critical role in guiding the course of empire/nation in early America.  It is a story unobstructed by ideological underpinnings historians tend to suggest motivated "great men" to do "great things." So, if I understand your remarks correctly, the myth you imply I must "get over," is the myth my work takes issue with.      
With regard to Croghan, where we do agree is with regard to his importance in understanding the second half of eighteenth-century in North America.  In fact, I would argue that Croghan had far more agency along the borderlands - and thus in the path of North America's colonial past - than did the likes of Washington, Boone, or even Johnson. But that does not make him an incipient American, or a forgotten founding father, as Volwiler (and FJ Turner for that matter) saw him.  By the early 1770s, those in Whitehall and colonial capitals that had an interest in the lands and people west of the Appalachians, hung on Croghan's words and promises.  As the evidence suggests, he was well aware of this, and made the most of it.  And given his actions, I would suggest there is nothing "unstinting" about his public service.  But for me, that's what makes Croghan's yarn so fascinating.
In the end, we both seek historical accuracy.  How we approach obtaining such, is, perhaps, where we diverge.  Regardless, I do enjoy talking about all-thing-Croghan, and hope our differences do not impede further discussion.   
Do keep me updated with regard to plague - I would be happy to send a formal letter urging recognition of Croghan's Indian deeds in the area.  I must add, however, it may be of interest to you that the Haudenosaunee never received from Croghan (or his estate) the promised goods or sterling promised as payment for the lands in question!
with kind regards,
WC

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,
 
   Thanks for your nice reply.  The myth of Washington as the central figure in late colonial frontier events is well defined, deeply ingrained, and international.  What people have trouble accepting is Croghan's story because it is at odds with a national narrative inherently false and perpetuated for centuries.  I don't think you have grasped his story yet and Fintan O'Toole is even more in the dark.  It's clear that you have yet to read my work on Croghan.  When you do, I think you will find it clear, coherent, compelling and ground-breaking.  Intellectually, most historians recognize that the nationalistic version of early American history is false but their emotional attachment to it overwhelms critical thinking, creating the sort of confusion I find in your opening remarks and which my first few sentences address.
 
  More than being just an American, Croghan was a Native American.  Historians remain blind to this fundamental fact and focus on things like the debts and promises he defaulted on, rather than, for instance, that his descendants have been for generations the matriarchs of the Mohawks.  His sense of responsibility for the safety of the frontier led him time and again to extraordinary acts of physical courage, even when old and sick.  His recorded charitable acts are the tip of an iceberg that you have not properly gauged.  No one in need was ever turned away from Croghan Hall and everyone relied on him for Indian guides and safe conduct when travelling farther west.  As a western Pennsylvania, I am extremely proud of our finest and earliest great man, but that is irrelevant to our history, which has been suppressed and Croghan treated unjustly.   Any comments you have on my work are appreciated.  They have been met with a wall of silence at Heinz History Center and the region's newspapers are not interested in my discoveries about the period. 
 
Best wishes,
Jim 
 
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: Croghan memorial
Dear Jim,
Thanks for the email and continued dialogue.  I think, however, a couple of points of clarification are needed.  
First, and perhaps foremost, one would be hard pressed to locate the "well defined, deeply ingrained, and international" frontier myth you speak in most respected work on early America published in the last thirty years.  In my field, one only has to point to the works Calloway, Taylor, Anderson, Richter, Barr, Havard, Greer..... the list goes on......  to illustrate just how different the profession is from your depiction.  To suggest otherwise is to reveal the grasp out-dated histories of the frontier have on you.  To this point, your statement that we, professional historians, exhibit an "emotional attachment to [the myth that] overwhelms [our] critical thinking" is blatant conjecture and without merit.   I am not emotionally attached to those that I study, nor am I to a "national myth" with a supposed "international" reach.  Canadian students of early North America, for instance, could care less about George Washington and his doings in western Pennsylvania.  And on that note,  did you not just mentioned that as "a western Pennsylvania" you are "extremely proud of [your] finest and earliest great man"?  
 
I would argue that, when seeking out works that only relate to Croghan (as your reprisal suggests), you have limited the scope of your analysis.  In other words, more reading is required.  If you disagree, I would encourage you to submit your work to an academic journal for peer evaluation.  "We," that is professional historians, are not all on the same page, so perhaps another opinion might be in order.  I'll add here that thick skin is a requirement.  
That being said, your commentary on the importance of Croghan to the tale that is the second-half of the eighteenth century in North America, is, to reiterate, where we find common ground.  But, to state that he was "Native American" is, to be blunt, offensive.  Moreover, to suggest that Croghan tirelessly engaged in acts of charity to protect the frontier and the people living there runs contrary to the mountain evidence that suggest otherwise - evidence that is not difficult to locate and document.   
Have you read my PhD dissertation?  Croghan is a central figure.  And as mentioned in an earlier email, that story will soon be on my desk once I get this other book out of the way.  When I do return to Croghan, I do hope we will have a chance to meet in person. We agree, the story of Croghan has been underrepresented, and I think we could learn much from each other given or shared interest in this colourful borderland character.
Best,
WC
   
 

On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 9:51 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,
 
      If you read my work, there is absolutely no evidence of it in anything you have written below.  Your comments are all in reaction to my e-mails.  I am the first to publish Croghan's Journal for 1763-64, an important contribution to scholarship that pales in comparison to the new things I say about him using sources you are quite familiar with, as you say.  I am the first to say and provide evidence that he organized and led the Ohio Confederation that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the New York Iroquois; that he realized sometime in 1750 that if his 200,000 acre grant fell into Pennsylvania, it would not be recognized and knowingly began helping the Ohio Company by guiding Christopher Gist through Ohio; I am the first to claim that he had Andrew Montour lie to the Pennsylvania Assembly that the Indians did not want a fort at the forks of the Ohio. then quote the Half King calling Croghan an Indian and one of our council at the 1752 treaty with the Ohio Company.  These are only a few of the new revelations about Croghan's life that I uncovered.  In place of anything specific about these remarkable discoveries, you have responded with the vague generalities and professorial arrogance found in your last response.  Intellectual dishonesty and or emotional attachment to the narrative that Croghan's story is at odds with fuels the denial of his story, signified by an attempt to shift the focus from what  happened and why to his supposedly bad character.  It is the traditional attitude toward him, yet you as a Croghan traditionalist accuse me of having "clearly pre-determined the end to the story."  What hypocrisy.
 
Best wishes,
Jim 

Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: Croghan memorial
Dear Jim,
We have obviously hit a roadblock with regard to constructive debate.  I hope we can remedy this.
I did read your work, in its entirety. You claim to be the first to do, say, and uncover many things with regard to Croghan, and that is simply incorrect with regard to most of what you just mentioned.  That is why I suggested much more reading and research was required on your end. On that note,  I'd be happy to send you specific information and references, especially as it relates to the specific points referenced in your last email.  That being said, your stated position towards engaging further material is disheartening, and that is why I mentioned you seem to have a pre-determined ending to your story.  
To this point, your continued insistence on assigning labels like  "Croghan traditionalist" "denialist" and so forth, is inaccurate and very misleading.  These sweeping statements suggest subtle and hidden agendas for those you are accusing.  Speaking for myself, they are agendas that simply do not exist, despite your unfounded claims.  That is why I suggested you appear to have more of an agenda, as a western Pennsylvanian and Croghan enthusiast, than I do.  I am not seeking to tell the story of "great things" done by a State's "first great man."  From a historical and cultural perspective, such an approach to the past is dated, very limited, and problematic.    
In the end, we can only benefit from constructive criticism. That means, however, that you must be willing to reflect on the shortcomings of your work and be willing to do more research. I have read your work, despite your disbelief, and see a number of problems with your narrative and your claims of first authorship and "discoveries."   You, however, have not read many critical works related to this topic and area of study.  To this point, I would be happy to send along references to help strengthen your analysis. But, as mentioned, much reading is required.  This is not arrogance, Jim, it's an offer and advice that you can chose to dismiss or utilize. It's the process of writing history.  My intension is not to come across as patronizing, but my problem with your approach to this topic is that you seem to have already dismissed resources and scholarly work that you haven't even read.  
I do hope we can salvage the discussion.   Despite your dismissive comments earlier, I do think we can learn much from each other with regard to Croghan.   
best,
William
 


On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 4:45 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,
 
  Any thing specific you can say about my telling of Croghan's story is appreciated, especially in regard to accuracy and originality.  Forgive me for asking for the evidence that anything I have said is incorrect.  Your take on Croghan is the traditional, generally accepted view of him as a scoundrel, something Wainwright tried very hard to substantiate and I think failed miserably, as I think you have.  That's a matter of opinion.  I'm interested in facts about Croghan.  You say most of the ones I'm discovered aren't new or are incorrect and that much reading on my part is required on my part.  That sounds to me like an evasion, but if there is anything new you or someone else has said of importance about Croghan, I'd be glad to read it.  Please do send specific information and references .  So far there haven't been any.  Having published my work on Croghan, the ball is no longer in my court.
 
Best wishes,
Jim
 
 
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 11:43 AM
Subject: Re: Croghan memorial
Dear Jim,
I will be sure to send along some specific references. But, give me a week or so to send you a list - I will also send you an electronic copy of my dissertation.  I am in Chicago at the moment doing research, and my window isn't that big, so I can't afford to lose a day right now.  But, I do have a couple of questions that will help expedite the process:
1) Have you already combed through the Wharton-Willing Papers, William Johnson Papers, Baynton, Wharton and Morgan Papers, and the Etting Collection at the HSP?
2) Have you read (off the top of my head), Stephen Auth's "The Ten Years' War"; Eric Hinderaker's "Elusive Empires"; Jane Merritt's "At the Crossroads";  Daniel Ward's "Breaking the Backcountry"; Daniel Barr's (ed.) "Boundaries Between Us"; Richard White's "Middle Ground"; Alan Taylor's "William Cooper's Town" and "Divided Ground"; and Peter Silver's "Our Savage Neighbor"?   They are excellent works that will give you an idea about what the professional looks like as it relates to studies of interaction throughout the northeastern borderlands during the era of Croghan. You would benefit greatly from reading these works.
Oh, I almost forgot.  There are problems with this article, but it is interesting.  James Fennimore Cooper’s “William Cooper and Andrew Craig’s Purchase of Croghan’s Land” in The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association, New York History (12)4 1931. 
Finally, I would like to ask that we both avoid making statements that are speculative and counter-productive.  I am not, for instance, evading anything.  Moreover, before stating someone's work has "failed miserably," perhaps you subject your own work to the rigors of professional criticism.  There is no agenda in the historical profession to suppress well-documented arguments.  A good argument based on solid research is always welcomed. To insinuate such, especially since you are not a professional historian, is again, quite frustrating.  If you have run into some problems with regard to the acceptance of your arguments, you should check your facts, analysis, etc.  Finally, the ball is always in your court, as it is mine, when there are points of contention. 
Best,
William


On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 12:53 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,
 
  Thank you for the reading list.  Except for Cooper's defense of his father's bargain basement purchase of Croghan property, I have not read the authors you cite or combed through anything.  I assume you have and can point to something specific I have presented as history that is wrong.  I don't accept that Croghan was not an Indian, the evidence that he was is overwhelming.  So was William Johnson and a number of other ethnically European and African people.  I know I am the first to say and document that Croghan is the key figure for Ohio Country between the 1740s and the Revolution and the first to advance Wainwright's work, the last important version of Croghan's story.  As far as I know, you are currently the leading professional Croghan scholar.  The Croghan enthusiast on the Pennsylvania panel that found my text for a Croghan marker and brief history confusing is another professional historian, so is the woman who doesn't think it would be a good idea to honor Croghan with a memorial at the Point so that people reading it could understand the region's history.  You have been combing through the records to dishonor Croghan, so you could write her with your list and a bibliography of the historians below who I guess you are saying support your position.  What you can't do is make a significant correction to my telling of Croghan's story, or at least you haven't yet.  Which of my facts is wrong?  Where does my analysis fail?  If there is no agenda in the historical profession to suppress well-documented arguments, why is a non-professional the first to say that Croghan's story is the key to understanding Ohio Country events?  Without him at the center, only the superficial, disconnected, Washington-based current version is possible and the Ohio Indians permitting Virginia to settle and build a fort at the Point inexplicable.  This becomes obvious to the average person reading my work, but for professional historians is confusing, irrelevant, and in your case, without merit.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood     
   

Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: Croghan memorial
Another follow-up... The first time Croghan's 1763-4 journal was published was in December 1831 by American Monthly Journal of Geology - then reprinted in 1875 by the New Jersey Enterprise Book and Job Printing Establishment (Burlington, NJ, 1875). 

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 7:23 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,
 
   Have made the correction, thank you very much.  Have read some of the books on your second reading list, and quoted historians you mentioned in early e-mails.  I'm not doing much reading right now.  I'm finishing the first draft of a novel, my first, or trying to.  I also have a project going to compare the DNA of Monongahela and Omaha tribes to see if they are related.  You're busy with other things as well, so I appreciate the time and mental effort in offering corrections.  You have an astounding interest in Croghan, for whatever reason, frankly it's a mystery.  Croghan was a heroic leader, so was Washington and that played out in a rivalry that had Washington replace Croghan  as Ohio Country's and Western Pennsylvania's  most influential person in 1777.   Some of the horrible events that followed are mentioned on the map of Ohio Country on  my website, so it might have been better if he had supported Croghan instead of suppressed him.  The suppression of Croghan's story is the story now and you have taken the part of finding evidence for Croghan the villain, instead of for what he did.  Based on evidence mainly from his two biographers that make him the key figure in Ohio Country events between King George's War and 1777, I am the first to say so and easily prove, as I believe my histories do, and factual corrections, like the one about the journal, are deeply appreciated.  We Pennsylvanians have a tradition of treating everyone as friends, and I can see it is one of yours. 
 
Best wishes,
Jim 

Sent: Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 2:12 PM
        
   Dear Jim,
I will be sure to pass along more specific references when I have time to review further - especially as related to the points you mentioned earlier, and those stated on your website.  I am happy to hear I have been of some help.  
I must add here that my intension is not to paint anyone a villain (again, I must correct you for making such statements) but rather to recount the events, personality, and thus the history of a person that is derived from extensive research.  Research is what influences my portrayal of Croghan, and until you can find the time to analyze the slew of primary sources related to Croghan and early America, unfortunately your tale of "what he did" will remain incomplete.  We both agree that there is much more to Croghan than what is offered in the pages of Volwiler and Wainwright - but getting to that story is a futile task if one doesn't do the research.
All the best with your current work - it sounds very interesting. 
Best,
William  



On Wed, Jul 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:

Dear William,
 
    Thanks for the nice message.  I will be happy to read anything you e-mail, including your dissertation.  Any errors you find in my histories regarding Croghan or the Jumonville Glen incident would also be appreciated.  Doubtless they are there, but I don't think they will be material to the argument I make in the three booklets.   Concerning Croghan, the format of a short biography does not lend itself to extensive detail or the complete story and I defer to Wainwright, Volwiler, yourself and other scholars in that regard.  My understanding of Croghan's life is still evolving, but I am confident that what I have written so far is accurate and a prerequisite for grasping the significant events in Ohio Country from the 1740s onward, and that it profoundly alters the accepted national narrative.  The details of Croghan's story are abundant.  He was a prolific writer, as you well know, and relevant material can be found in profusion in libraries throughout the country.  The research I have done informs my work and the research I have not done seems to me unlikely to contradict it in any significant way, but I will not be hard to convince if there is evidence that I am wrong.   
 
Best wishes,
Jim

From: Alan Gutchess
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2010, 12:36 PM

        Mr. Greenwood, While we are not opposed to your marker, there is also nothing we can do to make it happen.  The History Center's management of the Fort Pitt Museum is for the museum only.  We have no "site" outside of the actual footprint of the museum building, thus we cannot place a marker outside the building.  Everything outside that footprint is DCNR, not PHMC or Heinz History Center.  The decision making about markers in the park is, as I understand it, entirely the realm of DCNR and Riverlife.  You must work through their system.  We have no capability to bypass it for you.  Alan   Alan Gutchess Director Fort Pitt Museum Point State Park, 101 Commonwealth Place Pittsburgh PA  15222 412-281-9285 www.heinzhistorycenter.org From: Jim Greenwood [mailto:green605@comcast.net]
Sent: Sat 7/24/2010 3:11 PM
To: Alan Gutchess
Subject: George Croghan Memorial

Dear Dr. Gutchess,    Greater Monessen Historical Society has asked the state to permit the placement of a memorial to George Croghan near the main entrance of Point State Park.   It will be a meter square granite slab on a stone base with a 1749 map of Croghan's land purchases excluding two square mile at the Point for a British fort and text about his role in regional events.  Ohiocountry.us has the short Croghan biography and related work that informs the following:                                                                              George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)                                                                   [etching of his 1749 purchase and map of region]            An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, during King George's War Croghan engrossed Fort Detroit trade, fomented an Indian rebellion, and joined William Johnson on the Onondaga Council.  He organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations, appointing Croghan colonial agent.  Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown a few days after Croghan's 200,000 acre purchase, void if in Pennsylvania.  Late in 1750 Croghan guided Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist and arranged its Logstown treaty in 1752 after sabotaging Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio.     Ohio Company's fort was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.  A captain in charge of Indians under Col. Washington and Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but as William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 he hurried from negotiating the Easton Treaties to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes column for its fall.  He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion.  Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter, except the Shawnees during Dunmore's War.     Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety of Chairman, and the person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was declared a traitor in 1777 by General Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial, dashing any hope for the fourteenth colony of Vandalia, with Pittsburgh as capitol and Croghan its Indian agent and largest land owner.       Should the state refuse its offer, Greater Monessen Historical Society would like Heinz History Center to provide a site outdoors at Fort Pitt Museum.  The Center's mission statement should make approval almost automatic, for Croghan's key role in regional history is undeniable.  I will e-mail Andy Masich  and others at the Center informing them of the offer and asking for their support, which I hope you will give as well.   Best wishes, Jim Greenwood

From: William Campbell
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2010, 12:17 PM

Dear Jim,
My apologies for the delay.  I have been on the move these few weeks and in-and-out of email contact.
I have looked quickly at the below text, and think it could use some factual/grammatical revision.  The latter might be something is delaying the process.  I would be happy to send you an edited version for review, but will need a couple of weeks to get to this.  In the meantime, it might help your cause to contact the said individuals below that are considering placing this marker, and mention that you have contacted me and that I have agreed to help revise and edited the marker.  Just a thought.
best, William  

PS - what 1749 etching are you planning on using?  There is more than one version. 
On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 4:46 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,       Pennsylvania is dragging it s feet on placing the Croghan marker in Point Park.  A message to Governor Rendell got some action and a response is promised in a few weeks.  I've asked Heinz History Center to place the marker outside its Fort Pitt Museum and gave them the following description and text:  
The marker will be a meter square granite marker with a 1749 map of Croghan's land purchases excluding two square mile at the Point for a British fort and text about his role in regional events.  Ohiocountry.us has the short Croghan biography and related work that informs the following:
 
                                                                           George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)
 
                                                                [etching of his 1749 purchase and map of region]
 
 
       An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, during King George's War Croghan engrossed Fort Detroit trade, fomented an Indian rebellion, and joined William Johnson on the Onondaga Council.  He organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations, appointing Croghan colonial agent.  Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown a few days after Croghan's 200,000 acre purchase, void if in Pennsylvania.  Late in 1750 Croghan guided Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist and arranged its Logstown treaty in 1752 after sabotaging Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio.
    Ohio Company's fort was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.  A captain in charge of Indians under Col. Washington and Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but as William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 he hurried from negotiating the Easton Treaties to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes column for its fall.  He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion.  Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter, except the Shawnees during Dunmore's War.
    Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety of Chairman, and the person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was declared a traitor in 1777 by General Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial, dashing any hope for the fourteenth colony of Vandalia, with Pittsburgh as capitol and Croghan its Indian agent and largest land owner.
 
 
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
August 4, 2010 letter

Dear Mr. Greenwood,

     Governor Edward G. Rendell has asked me to respond to your letter that you addressed to him on July 12, 2010, regarding your request through the Greater Monessen Historical Society tio install a memorial at Point State Park in honor of George Croghan.

     Please know that interpreting the park's historical, cultural, and natural resources is important to the Bureau of State Parks, especially in this case at Point State Park in Pittsburgh.  In the year 2003, the Point State Park Comprehensive Master Plan was developed to address various items necessary to the operation of the park.  On of the findings of the master plan was the need for a specific interpretive plan.  The Point State Park Interpretive Plan was completed in January 2009.  This plans notes that the main interpretive theme of the park focuses on "The Point's strategic location at the Forks of the Ohio [which] has rendered this a place of international consequence and importance."  The plan also addresses waysides, exhibits, publications, and programming with the Fort Pitt Block House and the Fort Pitt Museum.  The 32 recommendations in the plan provide for a cohesive visitor experience.  This includes recognizing the National Historical Landmark designation, recreational uses of the park, environmental concerns and the space limitations of the 36-acre park.  Several of these interpretive recommendations are currently being developed.

     Although George Croghan was an important figure in the history of the region, we can not approve the placement of a memorial in his honor on state park property.  One concern noted during the development of the two plans I referred to above was the potential of having too many signs in the park.  Much of the interpretion recommended in the plan calls for the use of various techniques to connect resources to the visitor (programs, publications, audio, website, etc. . .) rather than signs or memorials.  As an alternative to a memorial for Mr. Croghan, you may wish to consider developing a program or brochure that would be available to the public to tell the story of Mr. Croghan.

     Thank you for your interest in Pennsylvania State Parks.  If you have any questions, please contact Lori Nygard, Park Operations and Mainenance Planning Division, at 717-783-3307.

Sincerely,

Signed David A. Sariano for

John W. Norbeck
Director
Bureau of State Parks
P.O. Box 8551
Harrisburg, PA  17105-8551

 
August 9, 2010
 
Mr. John W. Norbeck,
Director
Bureau of State Parks
DCNR
P.O. Box 8551
Harrisburg, PA 17105
 
cc: Governor Edward G. Rendell
 
Dear Mr. Norbeck,

Thank you for a response to Greater Monessen Historical Society's request to place a George Croghan memorial in Point State Park. In declining the offer, you list as one concern the potential for too many historical markers in the park. No other concerns are mentioned, but I have heard the La Salle plaque used as an example of inappropriate signage. A Croghan marker is not only appropriate, but essential to understanding the history of the Point and links the markers already there. There is only one history of the Point and from 1749 into the Revolution, the period of its international significance and importance, George Croghan is central to it, as the marker text and image of his 1749 land purchases makes clear.
 
Speaking for Greater Monessen Historical Society and as a regional historian, it is impossible to know that interpreting the park's history is important to the Bureau of State Parks as you ask us to do, otherwise you would not deny visitors to the 36-acre park the vital historical information found on the Croghan marker and nowhere else in the park. An alternative site will be found for the marker this year and it will remain for centuries to come a reproach to the Bureau of State Parks and Pennsylvania during Governor Rendell's administration.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
 
James R. Greenwoods
 


 Dear Jim,
Thanks for the update.  The start of a new semester is approaching and I am on deadline for my first book project.  As a result, I will not be able to get back to all-things-Croghan for a couple of months.  My apologies for the delay, but I must plow thorough the necessaries first. As for Washington being a scoundrel, you don't have to convince me of that! When it came to western lands, most speculators were. 
Have you read the book "The Indiana Company" by Lewis?  If not, I would suggest getting a hold of it.  It's an oldie, but a goodie with regard to the evolution of speculation and land claims in the Ohio Country.  
All the best,
William

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear William,
 
   Here is a photo of what will be etched on a sixteen by twelve inch piece of black granite and affixed to the Croghan marker:
 
 
 
As you probably know, William Crawford wrote Washington about how that scoundrel Croghan was not satisfied when the survey for his 100,000 acre deed was run and had it run again from a starting point farther up the Monongahela River to deprive Washington of land that he claimed on Chartiers Creek.  The implication was that Croghan was taking in more than the 100,000 acres that he purchased from the Indians, which may have been true, but the above image establishes the certainty that the first survey was around 40,000 acres short of 100,000.  Coupled with Margaret Bothwell's discovery that Washington's deed for his land was dated three years into the future and signed by Governor Dunmore on July 5, 1775 when he was on a British Man of War on the York River and Washington had just taken command of the Continental Army at Boston, and that in 1784 Washington journeyed to court  in Western Pennsylvania to have fifteen or more families evicted from property they bought from Croghan and had been living on for more than twenty years, perhaps you can understand some of why I admire Croghan and think Washington was a scoundrel.
 
 
Best wishes,
Jim
From: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky )

To: Noam Chomsky
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 11:22 AM
Subject: George Croghan's story

Dear Dr. Chomsky,

   Our national narrative is at odds with the life of George Croghan, which explains seminal historical events regarding George Washington, details found in 1925 and 1959 Croghan biographies.  My Reappraisal on website ohiocountry.us is a short update.  Intellectually, few still believe the Cherry Tree Myth, yet the story it was created to counter remains taboo.  Can you help break it?

Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood

From: Noam Chomsky
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 12:47 PM
To: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky )
Subject: Re: George Croghan's story

Thanks for letting me know about all of this.  As for the Washington myths, I thought they were pretty well exploded by work like Larry Friedman's some years ago.
 
NC
 

----- Original Message ----- From: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky ) To: Noam Chomsky Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 2:48 PM Subject: Re: George Croghan's story
NC
 
    Haven't read Friedman, but believe my 2002 booklet on Jumonville Glen is the first to point out that Washington lied about how many men he had there.  Only later did I realize that the Cherry Tree Myth grew out of this and the other misrepresentations he made about the incident.  He would not have been there except that Croghan had purchased 200,000 acres from the Iroquois at Logstown a few days before Celeron arrived on his expedition claiming the upper OhioValley for France in 1749.  About a year later Croghan realized that if his deeds fell into PA, they would be void.  He had organized and led the Ohio Confederation that PA recognized as independent of the New York Six Nations after being put on the Onondaga council in 1746.  In 1748 PA appointed him its colonial representative, in effect he negotiated with himself.  It was no trick to buy the 200,000 acres or get the Ohio tribes to make a treaty with the hated Virginians of the Ohio Company, but it profoundly altered history.  From King George's War beginning in 1744 until 1777 when he was Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety Chairman, and person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral so the British and their Indian allies could not raid the frontier, he was the key figure in the region's events.  His long rivalry with Washington, beginning with the Fort Necessity campaign, ended in 1777 when he was declared a traitor.  He cleared himself in a 1778 Philadelphia trial but was not permitted to return to his home and fur trading business in Pittsburgh.  Your sense of justice and disdain for the right-wing politics based on suppressed history may not shield you from the trauma Croghan's story induces in people.  Thanks for your interest,
 
Jim

From: Noam Chomsky
To: Jim Greenwood
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 3:31 PM
Subject: RE: George Croghan's story'

Sounds very interesting.  Will try to find time to pursue these leads.   NC

From:
Brown, Morton Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 4:17 PM To: green605@comcast.net Cc: Molnar, Katherine Subject: Croghan Piece

Mr. Greenwood,

I just called and left a message on your home phone, but though that I would give you some thoughts in an email incase we keep missing one another.

I have reviewed your description of the Croghan monument and think I understand from your last email that you are now seeking to place the piece in Schenley Park, and all of the other locations you mentioned are now off the table: Point State Park, Gateway median, Lawrenceville, etc.

I would offer the following questions and suggestions to you regarding this proposal:

1) Why this person/why this site? The first question/burden on your part is to clearly describe the relationship of the proposed monument/historical marker to its proposed site. You mentioned a family relationship between Mary Schenley and Mr. Croghan, but what is the direct connection between Croghan and Schenley Park—the proposed site? Is there a direct connection?

2) If there is already existing signage and interpretive information regarding Mr. Croghan in Point State Park (seemingly a more appropriate location in any case), then why would the City want or need to provide another plaque or space for a monument to this same person in another public space? Residents and visitors already travel to Point State Park with the intent of visiting an historic site and museum and are generally interested in history of this kind—this is a known historical location that already makes mention of Mr. Croghan. In your opinion, it seems, Mr. Croghan needs more attention than he is currently getting and the way to get this from your perspective, is to place another marker in a city park. You would need to develop a very convincing argument to this point if you proceed.

3) The proposed text for the piece needs work. You should get a professional to draft concise and appropriate text for a piece like this that matches in scale in scope other historical references or interpretive signage. The proposed text is a little hard to follow and could use some grammatical work as well.

4) The proposal description states that the piece itself would be made of granite approximately one meter square. What is the rationale behind this? You should consider whether this piece should be a memorial, monument, historical marker or historical plaque and be prepared to explain your reasoning as to what you have decided upon. Again the context of the site in relation to the piece is an essential consideration. It sounds to me that this project would be better served by taking on the manifestation of a historical marker (those blue metal signs with the yellow text) or an historical plaque that would be placed in a site that would have relevance and a direct connection to the referent---Mr. Croghan. Consider, for instance, Is there a spot in Pittsburgh where there was an overland passage for the fur trade that Croghan was a part of....?

At the end of the day, you could propose this to the City’s Art Commission and the HRC and the two Commissions along with City administrators/Parks and Public Works Directors’ approval could decide the matter.

We do not have a strict policy on monuments and memorials at this time, but as you can imagine it is very difficult for City staff to choose between who may or may not place a memorial on City property. We are also very guarded against our parks and open spaces becoming full of memorials. Even I, as the Public Art Manager, would not want to see every square inch of public land overrun by artwork. This is not the primary function or intent of public space, but is often a wonderful attribute to public space when and if there is an appropriate piece for a conducive site.

Therefore, we do not wish to discourage your proposal, but do wish to impart to you the above concerns and considerations. I hope you can understand my position, which is that I must be fair and equitable to all residents of Pittsburgh and in doing so must ensure that any time there is a proposal to take a piece of public land for any purpose much scrutiny, public hearing and support must be provided.

Please review the aforementioned concerns, and either email or call at your convenience.

Thank you
Morton Brown

Public Art Manager
Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street, 4th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

morton.brown@city.pittsburgh.pa.us
office
: 412.255.8996
cell: 412.901.1546

From: Jim Greenwood
To: Morton Brown
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010, 11:11 PM
Mr. Brown,
 
    Thank you for taking so much time to talk on the phone yesterday. In answer to your e-mail questions:
 
1.  Schenley Park is part of the Indian purchase Croghan made in 1749, the 40,000 deed that excluded about two square at the Point for a British fort.  The park, Carnegie Mellon campus, and the Blockhouse at the Point became the property of James O'Hara and later donations by grand-daughter Mary Croghan Schenley, whose paternal grandfather William immigrated from Ireland at sixteen under George Croghan's care.  [This information to be added as part of a revised text if a Schenley Park site for the marker is permitted].
 
2.  Other than a newly added mention of his name inside Fort Pitt Museum, there is no signage or interpretation for Croghan in Pittsburgh, .  This year a PHMC marker was proposed for Point State Park and the location ruled out, first by PHMC for the state marker and more recently by the Parks Department for Monessen's granite alternative.  This will be the first Croghan historical marker in the region. 
 
3.  Although an English major and writer, grammar is of secondary importance to me, at best.  Problems with clarity, the facts, or my interpretation will be taken extremely seriously, but so far the criticisms about my historical work have lacked specifics. I would be grateful for any grammatical errors in the text you can point out and where you tripped over my usage.  There is only one other active Croghan scholar, history professor William Campbell, who e-mailed the following to me on July 30 when a Point Park site was under consideration:
 
"I have looked quickly at the below text, and think it could use some factual/grammatical revision.  The latter might be something is delaying the process.  I would be happy to send you an edited version for review, but will need a couple of weeks to get to this.  In the meantime, it might help your cause to contact the said individuals below that are considering placing this marker, and mention that you have contacted me and that I have agreed to help revise and edited the marker.  Just a thought."
 
The edited version has yet to appear, although I have been keeping Campbell up to date with developments for the marker, most recently the image to be etched on it.  Any improvements he, you, or anyone can suggest will be gratefully received.
 
 
4.  Last I heard, the blue and yellow state markers  at Point Park were going to be moved to the parking lot across from the Post Gazette Building.  Although I think that is atrocious, I would agree that their ornate and superfluous aesthetic is awful and their ability to convey history too limited.  The rationale for a one meter granite square is its intrinsic beauty, dignity, modesty, unobtrusiveness, and ability to convey a a great deal of written and pictorial information.  Pittsburgh's early history can only be understood through Croghan's story; he was that central to regional events for thirty years.  Telling his regional story in 250 words necessitated brevity, allusion, and strict adherence to what happened.  Whatever it may be called, Greater Monessen Historical Society is placing a long overdue historical marker for Croghan with subtle memorial and monument aspects, subordinate to establishing his role in the flow of events.  While some settings within the city have closer associations with Croghan, Schenley Park is second only to Point Park in offering a somewhat natural setting that suggests Croghan's time and place to the people most likely interested in the period and appreciative of the information. 
 
    Your suggestions for finding better ways to tell Croghan's story hit sore spots and I apologize for venting frustration.  Instead of earning income and accolades for the years of study it took to understand and write regional histories, I'm paying yearly for website ohiocountry.us to make them available and more annual fees for search engines like google and yahoo.  There is a page for critical comments on ohiocountry.us where I am also copying the responses to Greater Monessen Historical Society's request for a site to place the Croghan marker.  The story of getting Croghan's story before the public
more than 200 years after his death has its own historical significance.
 
    Concerns and considerations you e-mailed and spoke about are understandable, as is your position and responsibilities.  You are not a historian and must rely on those who are.  My credentials, PhD coursework in Literature at Pitt, an MA in Literature and BS in Education/English from California U. of PA are somewhat oblique but not unusual for a historian, particularly when non-fiction and biography are prime interests.  Greater Monessen Historical Society's executive board fully supports my historical work and is comprised largely of professional people, a doctor, a retired teacher and administrator, and two working school librarians, one at the university level.  Professor Campbell says he has read my histories on ohiocountry.us and found errors, but so far has forwarded only one minor qualification regarding the Croghan journal I published, which I credited him for in making the revision.  Many of our e-mail exchanges are found on the ohiocountry.us Critical Comments page.
    
   One of your other concerns is skeletons in Croghan's closet.  Campbell has done research all over the country looking for them and hasn't found anything significant, whereas my discovery that Croghan sabotaged the Pennsylvania fort at the forks of the Ohio in 1751 and also betrayed the Ohio Indians by bringing Virginians into their country so that his 1749 deeds would be valid led to sixty years of tragedy in Ohio Country.  He probably thought he would remain in control of events and for the next twenty-some years did everything he could to maintain the peace, but that does not alter the bloody events he set in motion.  His character and opinions about it are secondary, however, to his role in history.  The facts are not in dispute; a little over a century of Croghan scholarship beginning with Darlington has culminated in my work and the breakthrough was not new information.  The problem has been psychological, blindness caused by a tradition of Croghan as scoundrel when it is the emperor who has no clothes, to mix metaphors.  Washington is the scoundrel when it comes to Western Pennsylvania and Croghan on the whole heroic, a reversal that is greeted with denial and willful ignorance by most professional historians.  A sense of humor is helpful regarding Croghan's story, for its continued suppression is nothing short of ridiculous.
 
    The two most problematic issues that you have raised, skeletons in the closet and confirmation by historians, are not easily resolved and the connection and appropriateness of a Croghan marker in Schenley park is less than for Point Park, where it was denied because of the potential for too many signs in the park.  The Harrisburg official who made the decision prefaced it with a hypocritical recognition of Croghan's importance to our region's history.  It is a ready-made excuse for you if you are inclined to see the Croghan marker as opening the floodgates to Schenley Park looking like a cemetery.  There is no one of comparable importance to Croghan in Pittsburgh history, including Mellon, Carnegie, Frick and Westinghouse; no one who has been so unjustly treated and ignored, and no one whose fascinating story is more relevant to the present and future of Pittsburgh.  Today's climate change and mass extinctions endanger that future, for they define the end of ages, the Permian, the Cretaceous, and now ours, and as with Croghan's story, the truth is an inconvenient but necessary connection to reality.  The Croghan marker is important in helping to establish the right side of history and optimism that people can learn its lessons.
 
    It was nice of your to spend so much time talking and e-mailing me about the project, certainly above and beyond the call of professional duty.  In a time when many professionals and workers in government are antagonistic to public service, it is heartening to find people who care.  It was not true what I said on the phone, that I expected Pittsburgh officials to reject the Croghan marker.  I had enough experience to know that the historians at Heinz History Center and the state would be opposed to it, but thought that city officials would be inclined to recognize an important early Pittsburgher even if the national narrative paints Croghan as a scoundrel, unworthy of historical consideration.  Heinz History Center finally mentioning him in their interpretation inside Fort Pitt Museum is progress, perhaps a result of my badgering them, yet clearly insufficient.  So is the marker for that matter, but it is a good second step and I will be installing it soon, with the approval of you and your colleagues in Pittsburgh where it belongs.  I'm sure your decision on the marker will be principled, whichever way it goes. 
 
Best wishes,
Jim 
 

From: Dr. Rob Ruck
To: Jim Greenwood
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010, 8:32 PM



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net>
To: ruck439019@aol.com
Sent: Fri, Aug 27, 2010 2:39 pm
Subject: George Croghan historical marker

Jim,

I'm not that strong on this period of history and would need to spend
hours verifying what's written, hours that I don't have right now with
the semester all but underway.  I did not see anything in it that I
thought was incorrect but did have a few questions about language.

--I'm not sure what you mean by "engrossed Fort Detroit trade."
--The following sentence is also confusing me: "Celeron's 1749
expedition reached Logstown a few days after Croghan's 200,000 acre
purchase, void if in Pennsylvania."
--I also think that somebody wrote a book recently about this period
and will ask Ted Muller for his name.

Good luck with this; Croghan is indeed a lost figure,
Rob


From: Jim Greenwood
To: Dr. Rob Ruck
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010, 10:31 AM

Dear Dr. Ruck,

  Thank you for your interest, response, time and especially specific
problems with the text.    One of the dictionary definitions for engross is
to acquire the whole of (a commodity) in order to control the market;
monopolize.  Fort Detroit at that time was a French trade center suffering
from the British blockade during King George's War, its much longer supply
route than from Philadelphia or Baltimore, and corrupt Canadian officials.
Other Pennsylvania traders benefited, particularly the Lowry brothers,  so
it is a slight exaggeration that I will qualify with "nearly."

    Celeron's expedition claiming the upper Ohio for France, drive out the
the Pennsylvania traders, and overawe the Native Americans was primarily
aimed at Croghan, as his purchase a few days before Fort Detroit's longtime
commander's large force of soldiers and Abenaki warriors arrived at Logstown
suggests.  About a year later Croghan realized that if his deeds fell into
Pennsylvania, they would be disallowed.  Thus he began to aid Virginia,
indispensably in my view, bringing George Washington onto the world stage,
who as Croghan's rival for influence on the frontier for over twenty years
was behind Virginia's president judge and Committee of Safety chairman in
Pittsburgh being declared a traitor in 1777 and not being permitted to
return when he cleared himself in 1778.   I will work on the sentence about
Celeron and have already revised some of the text to make it smoother.  I
deeply appreciate your taking time to point out problems.    Historic
accuracy cannot be sacrificed to the need to abstract a long, complex,
misunderstood or ignored story for a marker, nor can clarity.  Thank you,
thank you, thank you.

Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood


From: Colin G. Calloway
To: Jim Greenwood
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010
Subject: George Croghan historical marker

Dear Jim:

Thank you for your message. I'm away from the office right now and cannot open 
the image on my home computer but I can give you a much better lead. William Campbell 
at UC Chico is writing a book on Croghan and has a much more detailed knowledge 
than I.

Here is his e-mail. wjcampbell@csuchico.edu

Best wishes,

Colin


From: Noam Chomsky
To: Jim Greenwood
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010, 11:06 PM

Please do keep me updated, if it's not too much trouble.  And hope that one of these days I'll be able to follow it up.

Noam Chomsky
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky )
To: Noam Chomsky
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: George Croghan's story
NC,
 
  Pennsylvania declined placing an historical marker with the following tentative text in Pittsburgh's Point State Park:
 
                                                                George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)

 

                                                                [etching of his 1749 purchase and map of region]

 

 

       An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, during King George's War Croghan engrossed Fort Detroit trade, fomented an Indian rebellion, and joined William Johnson on the Onondaga Council.  He organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations, appointing Croghan colonial agent.  Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown a few days after Croghan's 200,000 acre purchase, void if in Pennsylvania.  Late in 1750 Croghan guided Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist and arranged its Logstown treaty in 1752 after sabotaging Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio.

    Ohio Company's fort was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.  A captain in charge of Indians under Col. Washington and Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but as William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 he hurried from negotiating the Easton Treaties to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes column for its fall.  He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion.  Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter, except the Shawnees during Dunmore's War.

    Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety of Chairman, and the person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was declared a traitor in 1777 by General Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial, dashing any hope for the fourteenth colony of Vandalia, with Pittsburgh as capitol and Croghan its Indian agent and largest land owner.

 

Have asked the city of Pittsburgh to place the marker in its Schenley Park.  Will keep you updated on the story of Croghan's story.  Historians find its truth inconvenient, similarly to how the Permian, the Cretaceous, and our age is ending with climate change and mass extinctions.  Because Croghan was suppressed and his story continues to be suppressed, it will be some time before it is not relevant.  Change is essential and Croghan's story is a rock that will help break the momentum of the status quo.  He was on the right side of history, as you are, and a touchstone for rectifying what's wrong with the country.  If you have a little time please read the blurbs of my printed histories on ohiocountry.us and there is a revealing chronological scholarly summary I provided Pennsylvania in applying for a state marker on the Home page.  His is an amazing story, but I know you have too many pressing demands and a worldwide interest in current events to go into its details.  It's a tough time for us here in Western Pennsylvania with the Texas gas well drillers of Marcellus shale teaming with King Coal to make us the nation's dirty energy capitol.  An intense, expensive PR campaign is in progress.  Help!

 

Jim 

On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 5:09 PM, Marcus Rediker <marcusrediker@yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear Jim Greenwood,

Thanks for writing.  I am afraid I cannot offer much help here on historical accuracy, but I am cc-ing a couple of people who might: Drs. Van Beck Hall and Peter Gilmore.

Good luck and best wishes,
Marcus Rediker

From: Alan Gutchess  To: Jim Greenwood  Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010, 5:29 PM


Mr. Greenwood, I am sorry, but we are in the middle of a large number of our own projects and no one here on staff, including myself, currently has time to vet your text, so I am afraid my answer is "no".   Sincerely, Alan   Alan Gutchess Director Fort Pitt Museum Point State Park, 101 Commonwealth Place Pittsburgh PA  15222 412-281-9285 www.heinzhistorycenter.org


From: Molnar, Katherine Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 9:27 AM To: Jim Greenwood ; Brown, Morton Subject: RE: George Croghan historical marker
Dear Jim,
I am glad you are making contacts with all of the relevant organizations and city departments to start the process of reviewing the installation of this commemorative marker.  Please know that letters of support may be sufficient from involved non-profits, but from the City, "approvals" come in the form of public hearings and the issuance of permits.  Morton and I will sit down and try to outline all of the steps you will need to take to go through this process, including review by the Historic Review Commission and the Art Commission, and likely permits from public works and/or zoning, and a letter of support from the owner (the City).
    In terms of the text, I think it is interesting and shows Croghan to be an accomplished historical figure.  However, in my opinion, the text is lacking in interpretation, the "who-cares?" factor.  The text is three paragraphs of Croghan's chronological accomplishments, but does nothing to illustrate why those actions were important.  What impact did Croghan have on Pittsburgh? How would today's world be different had Croghan not been born? How is this text significant and meaningful to the individual reader?  A reader should be able to walk away from the marker and remember portions of the text that "speak" to that person directly.  I do not believe your text accomplishes this -- it is something to consider.   Morton and I will try to get back to you in the next few days about the proper process for this review.  I am going to be out of the office quite a bit this week, though, so please be patient.   Thanks again for keeping me updated,   Katie      
Katherine Molnar
Historic Preservation Planner
City of Pittsburgh
Department of City Planning
200 Ross St, 3rd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Ph: 412.255.2243
Fx: 412.255.2561
katherine.molnar@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

From: Jim Greenwood   To: Katherine Molnar  Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010, 10:00 PM

Dear Katie,
       Thank you for the response, but I have to disagree that the text does nothing to illustrate why Croghan's actions were important.  You say that you find the text interesting and that it shows Croghan is an accomplished historical figure.  The Pennsylvania official who declined Monessen's offer to put the marker in Point Park, whose history begins with Croghan's 1749 deed, prefaced his concern for the potential of too many signs in the park with a recognition of Croghan's importance to the region.  There is a disconnect in both instances that is disconcerting, but typical of the rampant intellectual dishonesty in our society.  It is not a conscious lack of integrity, rather psychological denial that expresses itself in cynical non sequiturs.
    Croghan's regional importance in King George's War, the French and Indian War, and the Revolution are as obvious in the text as the fact that Croghan's story links events that are of international significance as well as fundamental to the national narrative that begins with 21 year old George Washington's entrance on the world stage.  While the information about Croghan is essentially unknown, nearly everyone knows Washington's actions in Western Pennsylvania and can see that Croghan's are more important without me beating them over the head with it.
       The image of Croghan's 1749 purchase of 200,000 acres except for two square miles at the Point and the fact that if the land fell into Pennsylvania it would be disallowed obviously motivated his support of Virginia's Ohio Company: no other interpretation accords with the facts.  The problem is that the current interpretation with Washington at the center of these events does not accord with Croghan's story, but my saying so in interpreting it will not end the confusion people feel.  In fact, just the opposite.  As you are doing, they will simply discount my interpretation, whereas if I stick to the facts and arrange them as I have done so that people are forced to face their reality, they will not be able to discount them by blaming my interpretation.  If you are honest with yourself, that is what is behind your need for more interpretation from me.  It is aimed at reducing and discounting the facts of Croghan's life and a denial of the subliminal interpretation that makes up their current organization.   Best wishes, Jim  

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: George Croghan historical marker
Dear Mr. Greenwood, 
It is terrific that you are so deeply engaged in the history of western Pennsylvania in the colonial period.  Your work on and in support of George Croghan stands as an example of why we need always to reexamine the past and its interpretations.  That said, I'm afraid that I'm not going to be much help to you here, for as you noted, it is the beginning of the semester and I'm swamped.  Also, I do not claim expertise on George Croghan and thus cannot corroborate everything you present.  Other than that, I can suggest that you edit and shorten the text for the proposed marker so that a casual passer-by would only have to pause briefly to read it, and thus make it more likely that people would do so.  

Best wishes,

Holly Mayer
Department of History
Duquesne University

From: Jim Greenwood
To: Holly Mayer
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2010, 4:29 PM

Dear Dr. Mayer,
 
    Thank you for your response and suggestion.  The less is more school of history seems to be characteristic of our era, which by the way is ending as they all have with climate change and mass extinctions, the Permian's at 95 percent, the Cretaceous, and now ours.  As an English teacher, the too much reading excuse doesn't fly with me.  The casual passerby and anyone else can quit reading anytime they wish, but not only is the chore of reading the 300 words grueling, it also requires interpretation and analysis, which a city official in the Historical Preservation department wants me to add.  If you get time, check the Critical Comments page of ohiocountry.us, where I'm copying the responses of historians and interested notables, so far Noam Chomsky.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
 
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 1:52 PM
Subject: Re: George Croghan historical marker
Dear Jim Greenwood,

I'm responding to the email of Marcus Rediker of Aug. 27. You have an impressive command of the life and times of the storied George Croghan and I do not, rendering difficult any meaningful critique or fact-checking.  That said, I do have a couple of comments.

Quite rightly the marker makes reference to the fascinating Vandalia episode. Unfortunately, though, the paragraph with references to Vandalia and the treason charge seems somewhat convoluted with the possible loss of some clarity. (I can imagine a reader wondering if it were Croghan himself who occupied each of the listed official posts.)  Might it not be possible to explain (albeit in highly condensed fashion!) why Croghan had been charged with treason?  Would I be correct in thinking that the treason charge was not unrelated to the war-time threat of a Vandalia secession to the British side, and the competing claims of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Vandalia to the same territory?  (My editorial advice would be to sacrifice the Hand reference for sake of a few extra words on the treason charge.)

It is interesting to note, although I suspect well outside the parameters of an historical marker, that in his latter days Croghan competed with that more famous land speculator, George Washington, a former employer, even going so far as to lay claim to western Pennsylvanian land which Washington insisted that he owned.

In that connection, I recall that Washington recorded having attended a dinner at Croghan Hall in October 1770, which of course is consistent (and helps explain) your reference to the destruction of the first Croghan Hall.  Would there be any value, do you think, in stating explicitly that the residence was rebuilt following Pontiac's War, and perhaps identifying its location? 

I am confused by the relationship between William Croghan (paternal grandfather of Mary Croghan Schenley) and George Croghan, and I have a good hunch that you've handled the matter perhaps as well as can be done, in brevity.  My understanding is that there was no relation between the two male Croghans, that William settled in Virginia and later in Kentucky, where he was associated with George Rogers Clark.  Was this the case?  For my own information, what did it mean for William to come under the care of George? Might it be advisable to state frankly that they weren't related? (This is a question only, and not a suggestion.)

with best wishes,

Peter Gilmore


On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 3:43 PM, Jim Greenwood <green605@comcast.net> wrote:
Dear Peter,
 
   Thank you for your interest and help.   Rob Ruck needed clarification about early sentences.  It is quite a challenge to tell even some of the major things Croghan did in a few paragraphs.  Croghan was charged with treason because he was a rival of George Washington's for influence on the frontier since the Fort Necessity campaign, but proof is circumstantial and therefore I had to stick to Washington's subordinate being responsible for the injustice.  Subsequent attacks on the frontier by the British and their Indian allies, see the map of Ohio County on ohiocountry,us and my histories, were the price paid for not allowing Croghan to return to Pittsburgh when he cleared himself at trial.
 
    Washington not only had dinner at Croghan Hall in 1770, but like everyone planning a trip down the Ohio came to Croghan for guides and safe passage.  Washington's deed to his Chartier's Creek holdings was bogus, as Margaret Bothwell discovered, nevertheless he tried to get the fifteen or so families who purchased their land from Croghan evicted in 1784.
 
    Kentucky Croghan scholars say William was a nephew, based on letters Croghan wrote to William's father Nicholas in Dublin that include family information and strong sentiments of love.  I am convinced, but am already on the hook for being the first to assert a number of new things about Croghan.  Naturally letters between William and Croghan are warm, given George's paternal role.  His daughter Susannah married a British officer who was assigned to Charleston after William was captured there and they hosted and aided William in ways that strongly suggest a family connection.  Believe me, I've been trying to track down the relationships.
 
    The website has a Critical Comments page with e-mails concerning Croghan's story and the story of Croghan's story.  You are one of the few people willing to discuss it and I appreciate your comments more than I can say.  Please make more, if you have time.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: George Croghan historical marker
Jim,

This is great stuff.

I'm especially interested in the validity of Washington's claims to the Millers Run tract. I must confess I am unaware of the Margaret Bothwell reference; could you please give me a citation or otherwise direct me to her discoveries?

My doctoral dissertation (completed in April of last year, although I'm not young) deals with Irish Presbyterian settlement in western Pennsylvania 1780-1830.  I didn't treat the episode of Washington in his squatters in the dissertation, but I will as I revise it for publication.  (Although generally described as "Scots" the Seceders whom Washington ejected seem to have been largely of more recent Irish origin. As you will readily recognize, that's the kind of argument it takes a book to develop!)

I wish you well in your efforts to secure a marker, and hope we can stay in touch.

best,

Peter

 From Jim Greenwood
To: Peter
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010, 5:41 PM 

Peter,
 
     Thanks for your message and interest.  This is from my works cited list for "George Croghan: A Reappraisal" and found on ohiocountry.us.: Bothwell, Margaret Pearson.  "The Astonishing Croghans."  Western Pennsylvania History Magazine.  48(2) April, 1965: 119-144.   She's one of the few fairly modern Croghan scholars you can trust.  The current crop is clueless and most of the ones from her time are worse than worthless.
 
Jim


From: Jim Greenwood  To: Katherine Molnar, cc Morton Brown  Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2:12 PM

Dear Katie and Morton,
 
    Everyone is busy, but I have gotten some specifics from Ph.D. Pittsburgh historians concerning text and interpretation and added a "nearly" to qualify an overstatement as a result.  See the Critical Comments page on website ohiocountry.us for relevant e-mails, the most recent endorsing the Croghan marker by Dr. Richard Aquila, Penn State history professor.  Noam Chomsky continues to request updates on the story of Croghan's story, which would not be happening if he doubted its veracity.  Pitt's Dr. Rob Ruck responded at length (see "nearly" above) , as did Dr. Peter Gilmore who is writing a book about the period.  He was thoroughly misinformed about Croghan and in response to my information said, "This is great stuff."   Neither Dr. Alan Gutchess at Fort Pitt Museum nor anyone else has time to do a fact check on the text or the expertise to critique the interpretation, although the ones who responded at length gave it a shot.  No significant actual fault with the the text has been found so far and there is proof that at least some of the historians read it.
 
    Greater Monessen Historical Society and I as a Croghan scholar have received a great deal of respect as well as unanimous support for the marker so far.  Whose approval with the city do you need?  It's a modest project requiring a square meter of Schenley Park for Pittsburgh's Founding Father and I am adding that interpretation on the marker above Croghan's name to partly meet the deficiency Katie sees.  It is a big improvement and any others that can be found will be appreciated.  Your work on the project reflects your dedication.  Thank you for your time and support in moving it forward as expeditiously as possible.  As I told Morton, this will be the twelfth historical marker I've installed since 2004 with the help of people like you.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
 
From: Jim Greenwood  To: Katherine Molmar cc Morton Brown  Sent: Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 9:36 AM
 
    Additional interpretation and clarification have increased the text to 325 words.  If they will not fit on the marker, the 45 words of the final paragraph will be cut.
    
   
 
Pittsburgh's Founding Father, George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)
     An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, Croghan nearly engrossed Fort Detroit trade, fomented an Indian rebellion, and joined William Johnson on the Onondaga Council during King George's War.  He organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations, appointing Croghan colonial agent.  Days before Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown, Croghan purchased 200,000 acres from the Iroquois, later learning that his deeds would be void if in Pennsylvania.
     Late in 1750 Croghan guided Virginia's Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist and arranged its Logstown treaty in 1752 after sabotaging Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio. Virginia's fort was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.  As a captain in charge of Indians under Col. Washington, then Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but as William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 he hurried from negotiating the Easton Treaties to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes column for its fall.  He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion.  Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and except for the Shawnees during Dunmore's War kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter.
     Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety of Chairman, and the person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was declared a traitor in 1777 by General Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial.  The frontier lost its shield and Vandalia, the fourteenth colony with Pittsburgh as capital and Croghan its largest land owner and Indian agent.
     Schenley Park is part of his 1749 Indian purchase.  The park, Carnegie Mellon campus, and the Point's Blockhouse became the property of James O'Hara and later donations by granddaughter Mary Croghan Schenley, whose paternal grandfather William Croghan emigrated from Ireland at sixteen into George Croghan's care.
 
 
Best wishes,
Jim 
 
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 3:10 PM
Subject: Re: Crohan's 1749 purchase
Jim,
I don't suppose you have a rough idea of Croghan's personal finances up until 1763?  

WC

From: Jim Greenwood  To: William Campbell  Sent: Thursday, September 2, 2010, 4:27 PM

WC,
 
    Quite good.  There was his L200 pound yearly salary, which did not cover his expenses, and as you know he could not profit from his position through business dealings, in which as in all the previous reverses his investments in trade were wiped out by Pontiac's Rebellion.  Obviously from his warnings, he anticipated it, remembered the earlier disasters on the frontier and provided for his trip to London and on his return bought and luxuriously appointed Monkton Hall.
  Still making corrections to the marker text.  If you look at Critical Comments on ohiocoutry you will see the responses of Calloway, Richard Aquila, and Pittsburgh Ph.D.s who replied at some length to the previous version of the text:
 
 
Pittsburgh's Founding Father
George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)
     An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, Croghan nearly engrossed Fort Detroit trade, fomented an Indian rebellion, and joined William Johnson on the Onondaga Council during King George's War.  He organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations, appointing Croghan colonial agent.  A few days before Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown, Croghan purchased 200,000 acres from the Iroquois, later learning that his deeds would be void if in Pennsylvania.
     Late in 1750 Croghan guided Virginia's Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist and arranged its Logstown treaty in 1752 after sabotaging Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio. Virginia's fort was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.  As a captain in charge of Indians under Col. Washington. then under Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but as William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 he hurried from negotiating the Easton Treaties to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes' column for its fall.  He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion.  Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and except for the Shawnees during Dunmore's War kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter.
     Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety of Chairman, and the person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was declared a traitor in 1777 by General Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial.  The frontier lost its shield and Vandalia, the fourteenth colony with Pittsburgh as its capital and Croghan its largest land owner and Indian agent.
     Schenley Park is part of his 1749 Indian purchase.  The park, Carnegie Mellon campus, and the Point's Blockhouse became the property of James O'Hara and later donations by granddaughter Mary Croghan Schenley, whose paternal grandfather William Croghan emigrated from Ireland at sixteen into George Croghan's care.
 
 
 
Katie Molnar of the Historic Preservations felt there was no interpretation in the previous version, so I added Pittsburgh's Founding Father, which I know you disagree with.   As Patrick Moynahan is credited with saying, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.  I also say that there were two results of Croghan not being allowed to return to his home, business, and frontier influence, the region lost its shield and Vandalia, but the biggest loss was a truthful Western Pennsylvania history.
    Calloway deferred to you, as the Croghan expert.  Is the text factual and the interpretation backed by evidence?  The Critical Comments page of ohiocountry.us will record your answer.
 
Best wishes,
Jim

Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 5:54 PM
Subject: Lawrenceville Historical Society
Dear Mr. Greenwood:

I happened to come across a flyer which advertised the regional Colonial History Symposium which took place on June 20, 2010.  I'm sorry I missed it. I am on the Board of the Lawrenceville Historical Society and was particulalry interested in your effort to raise money for a George Croghan historical marker. Where is this marker going to be located, near the old Croghan homestead in Lawrenceville?

I currently am scheduling speakers for our upcoming Lawrenceville Historical Society meetings. Would you, or someone else from your organization be willing to lecture on the life and times of George Croghan? Our meetings are always held on the third Thursday of the month in Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Oct, and Nov. Currently I am trying to schedule a speaker for our meeting on January 20, 2011 at 7:00pm. If that date is not convenient, the rest of  2011 is available. Our lectures usually run about an hour, and we compensate speakers $50. I think a lecture on Croghan would be a good way to generate more interest about the man, and help raise funds for the historical marker.


Sincerely,


Daren Stanchak

Monday, September 13, 2010, 12:08 PM

Dear Mr. Stanchak,
 
    Thank you for the nice invitation to give a talk on Croghan.  January 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM is convenient for me, barring a blizzard.  I live in Washington, PA.  Right now my power point presentation is structured on the proposed text for a state marker, but Pennsylvania did not have its half of the money this year, ruled out Point Park as a location, and thought the 70 word marker text and 3/4 page narrative supplied confusing; they suggested Central Pennsylvania as the location for the marker.
 
    Greater Monessen Historical Society is the marker sponsor and the Executive Board backed the idea of a granite slab on a stone base with an image of Croghan's 1749 purchase and 300 word text to be placed in Point state park, but Pennsylvania declined the offer.  Currently Pittsburgh is deciding if it wants it and I logged on the computer this morning to further the process, having refined the marker's location from Schenley Park to Schenley Plaza in the grass across from Hillman Library.   Lawrenceville or what was once Croghanville in the Strip District are good alternatives, but the need to educate history professors and students about Croghan's role in Ohio Country history determined the Oakland site.  My historical work and the story of Croghan's story may be found on ohiocountry.us where the continuing story of Croghan's story is documented on the Critical Comments page, including the most recent version of the the marker text and image.
 
    The support of Lawrenceville Historical Society for the Croghan marker would carry a great deal of weight with city officials, if you would be kind enough to bring the request before your Board.  If Pittsburgh declines the offer of the marker and your group can find a suitable place for it in Lawrenceville, GMHS would be pleased to place it there.  There are eleven similar markers placed since 2004 in Rostraver Township, three along the Yough River Trail and three in Cedar Creek park.  I have asked the Yough River Trail people for an alternative site across from Gratztown and Sewickley Creek, but would prefer to place it in Pittsburgh if possible as the current text is headed Pittsburgh's Founding Father.  I will be forwarding your request and this response to the Pittsburgh officials deciding the matter and putting it on the Critical Comments page of ohiocountry.us as part of the story of Croghan's story.  Please call if you wish to discuss the project or lecture.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
605 Allison Avenue
Washington, PA  15301
724-206-0744


January 27, 2011

     Critical Comments of the Jan. 20 Lawrenceville Historical Society lecture, George Croghan's Story, corrected the erroneous statement that the Shannopin Town historic marker was at the 31st Street bridge.  It is misplaced at the 40th Street bridge.  Lawrenceville was Croghansville until 1819 and is the site of Croghan Hall at the foot of McCandless Avenue (53rd Street).  Today's Butler Street once forded the Allegheny River there, with Croghan Hall to the right.  Lawrenceville is the birthplace on December 5, 1752 of George Plummer, first English child born west of the Alleghenies and where Croghan wanted to spend the last five years of his life, at Croghan Hall.


From: Brown, Morton Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 11:00 AM To: Jim Greenwood Subject: Croghan Marker
Dear Mr. Greenwood,
 
I am writing today in response to your queries regarding your potential proposal for an historic marker signifying George Croghan.
 
I have met with the Directors of Public Works, City Planning, and Parks and Recreation and we agree on the following:
 
We would prefer that you utilize the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marker program and once completed, propose a standard PHMC sign marker for an appropriate location—either on City property or private property—that connects to the content of the marker. In this way, the City would feel most comfortable as the Commonwealth, in its PHMC marker program, has a specific program in place to formally vet the historical significance and accuracy of the assertions made within the content of the marker. The City has no such formal program nor does it have a specific policy or process in which it can appropriately measure or vet these issues, therefore, it is preferred that you would utilize the PHMC program for this purpose.
 
I did present you with this option early on in our discussions and at the time, you stated that the PHMC marker program was defunct due to state budget cuts. I have spoken recently to our local PHMC contact and have confirmed that while it is true that the PHMC marker program does not offer partial funding for its signs, the marker program—the review and approval of content and the markers themselves—still exists and is functioning. The only caveat is that you would bear the full cost of the sign, which I understand is approximately $1,000.00 (or less). I would strongly assert that the stone marker that you were in favor of would cost very near or more than this amount, once designed, created and installed to a quality befitting Art Commission standards. If you choose to go this route, we would still need to vet the placement of the PHMC marker through Public Works Director, Art Commission, Parks Director, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy but at least in concept this option is strongly preferred by all that have been consulted on this issue thus far.
 
If you are dissatisfied with this option, and are determined to move forward with the stone marker, you may submit your proposal to the Art Commission for review. As required by the Art Commission application, you will need to secure letters of support/preliminary approval from the Directors of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. In this case, since I believe you wish to propose the piece for Schenley Plaza/Schenley Park area, you will also need a letter of support from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy as they are in partnership as park steward with the City of Pittsburgh for that location. As I stated early in our discussions, the largest hurdle you will have absent the PHMC process, is to provide clear evidence that the assertions made within the proposed content or text of the marker is fully vetted and validated by a recognized entity or entities. Since the City has no formal process to validate historical references such as this, the onus would be upon the applicant to provide validation from an external source such as the Heinz History Center, PHMC, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks, etc.
 
The Art Commission application and hearing schedule is located here: http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/cp/html/art_commission.html. Applications are due 2 weeks prior to each scheduled hearing. The application is self explanatory, but please note its requirements for both conceptual and final review. The requirement for final review consists of full construction drawings as well as clear indication of materials to be used, grading/footer plan if applicable, site plan, budget, maintenance plan, rationale as to the choice of location, etc.  If you chose to go through the Art Commission process, I would suggest that you submit for conceptual review first. In this way, you could present photos of the existing markers you have created in other areas, the content of the marker proposed, as well as a simple site plan, material selection, maintenance and so forth and gain feedback and/or initial approval or denial BEFORE you potentially expend monies on construction drawings. We have this process in place out of respect to the applicant, so that we can avoid a situation where one is forced to “go back to the drawing board” and pay a designer, architect, or engineer to remake plans.
 
Please let me know how you would like to proceed.
 
Thank you
 
Morton Brown
Public Art Manager
Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street, 4th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
 
office: 412.255.8996
cell: 412.901.1546
fax: 412.255.2838

From Jim Greenwood Sent 1/29/11 Saturday 3:14 To Morton Brown.

Dear Mr. Brown,

   Thank you for your reply.  Yes or no would have been preferred, but as things remain open, two pieces of granite for the historical marker have been ordered, the black granite will have an engraving of Croghan's 200,000 acre purchase in 1749 over a satellite image of our area.  Pittsburgh's Founding Father was interpretation asked for by the City historian at the time, but it will remain true forever, whereas the current version of our history featuring George Washington is wrong  It's a hard choice; on one side is tradition, inertia, and willful ignorance; on the other, honoring Pittsburgh's Founding Father with an historical marker.  Greater Monessen Historical Society is sponsoring the marker, I've asked for Lawrenceville Historical Society's support, and D.A.R. Regent Laura Smith found the Jan. 20 presentation informative.  You were right that Point Park is a more appropriate place for the marker.  The D.A.R. related Fort Pitt Society oversees the Block House and will be asked to permit the Croghan marker on the grounds.  PHMC found my text and narrative confusing, but could not be more specific.  A Pennsylvania official declined the offer for Point Park because of the potential for too many signs.  The City's historian vetted the marker's text, asked for and approved additional interpretation knowing all that.  If you would be kind enough to relay her assessment to Pittsburgh D.A.R., they well might provide the most appropriate site. 

Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood

 
From: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky <chomsky@mit.edu>) [mailto:green605@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:06 AM
To: Noam Chomsky
Subject: George Croghan story
 
Dear Dr. Chomsky,
 
    An Ohio Country mystery explained.  Why were Mason and Dixon prevented by Indians from completing their survey in 1767?  The historical marker says "Indian wars," but Croghan's deeds for 200,000 acres are at the bottom of it.  They were first officially recorded at the 1768 Fort Stanwix Treaty, one of three Iroquois demands, that Croghan's land purchases just before the Treaty be allowed, 2.5 million acres be allowed  Croghan's partner William Trent for trader losses, and Croghan's 1749 200,000 acre purchase be allowed elsewhere if falling into Pennsylvania.  The demands were disallowed and Sir William Johnson reprimanded, but the incident illustrates why Croghan-run treaties were always successful, he negotiated with himself.  After gaining independence for the Indian Department from the military, specifically Col. Bouquet in 1764, there were no Ohio Country Indian Wars except for Dunmore's on the Shawnees in 1774 well into the Revolution.  Pittsburgh's Chief Judge, Committee of Safety Chairman, and the frontier's shield was banished by General Hand in 1777 with tragic results repeated over and over again as the fruit of U.S. Indian policy.
 
    Did you know we are having a conversation?  That's how the Regent for the Pittsburgh Daughters of the American Revolution, Laura Smith, described your e-mails on ohiocountry.us.  She came to the Lawrenceville Historical Society lecture, George Croghan's Story, last Thursday as a blizzard raged.  Lawrenceville is  David McCullough's birthplace and George Plummer's on December 5, 1752.  Lawrenceville was Croghanville until 1819 when renamed for the War of 1812 naval hero and is the site of Croghan Hall where Croghan lived from 1770 until banished in 1777.  He wanted to return to live out his last five years in today's Lawrenceville, but injustice prevailed.  About a year ago I called Mrs. David McCullough and offered to sell her husband my booklets on Western Pennsylvania history.  A sweet lady, she didn't think her husband has time for Croghan's story.  I've sent a letter to Gorge Vidal through his publisher about Croghan and after seeing Christopher Hitchens being interviewed by Brian Lamb over the weekend, think he might find Croghan's story amusing, too.  If you agree and have his e-mail, please forward this message and invitation to at least read the blurbs for the histories on ohiocountry.us. or the Critical Comments page.
 
    Updating the project to place an historical marker as the second mention of Croghan in Pittsburgh since 1819, last spring Fort Pitt Museum began mentioning his name there, a location has yet to be secured.  Pittsburgh was supposed to have reached a decision last Thursday, but the meeting was cancelled because of the snow.  The site is Schenley Plaza, between the Pitt and Carnegie libraries.  Mary Schenley's father was a Croghan whose father William Sr. came from Ireland as a fifteen-year-old into George Croghan's care and she was a philanthropist.  Among her gifts was, in 1895, the Fort Pitt Block House, 1764, and grounds, to the Pittsburgh Daughters of the American Revolution.  The state of Pennsylvania declined the Croghan historical marker at Point Park because of the potential for too many signs.  Fort Pitt Museum under the management of Heinz History Center cannot provide a marker location or sell my histories.  All three signed onto a landscape architect's plan a few years ago, the historical interpretation part remains under construction, and much was made of irrelevant signage at the Point, including a very old. large plaque by the DAR for LaSalle.  The Pennsylvania markers for the forts at the Point, histories linked by Croghan's story, were thought by the architects to be objectionable in their present location and an out of the way parking lot was suggested.  The architects also filled in excavated sections of Fort Pitt's moat and ravelins.  This is symptomatic of Gore Vidal's diagnosis of national amnesia, mentioned in the Foreword to Croghan's 1763-64 Journal.  Page ii of the Foreword relates the films Allegheny Uprising  and Unconquered to Croghan and the two movies are the popular culture references on the DAR Block House website.  The curator, Kelly Linn, received copies of my Croghan works when they were published.  Soon it may be hard to claim that Croghan's story is being suppressed, as he himself was.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood

 From: Noam Chomsky Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 12:17 AM To: 'Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky )' Subject: RE: George Croghan story
Very interesting.  I wish I could engage in a real conversation, and learn more about these fascinating matters.  No hope at this time I’m afraid.  Utterly swamped by obligations.

Noam
  

From: Jim Greenwood: Sent Saturday, January 29, 2011 3:35 PM To: Noam Chomsky Subject: RE Georege Croghan Story

Noam,
   
    Thanks for your response. Foreign policy is your focus.  When Ms. Smith brought your name up, I guessed you were interested in Croghan's story because you deal in facts that people are conditioned to reject.  Croghan left a large paper trail that historian's made extensive use of while neglecting him in their interpretations.  If his story is true, the national narrative with Washington at the center of these events is false, the history of the period misunderstood and mistaught, and all the books about the beginning of the French and Indian War in need of fundamental revision.  It's too big and hard for people to swallow.  Mr. Morton Brown of Pittsburgh's Public Art Department after six months of negotiations reached a decision on a marker site with three other departments, go back to square one, begin again.  It all goes on ohiocountry.us Critical Comments page as a record of the story of Croghan's story.

Best wishes, Jim Greenwood


May 4, 2011

Dear Mr. Greenwood,

    I thank you for your enthusiastic interest in Allegheny Cemetery and I appreciate the throughness of your letters.  I regret to inform you that we are not able to oblige your request to place a permanent marker on our grounds at this time.

    We take our responsibility to care for the final resting place of those who have gone before us very seriously and tend to our grounds with every measure of due diligence.  Though we are a park and host many public community events, at heart we are a cemetery and we feel that monument should ony be erected for those individuals who are interred here.

    Please be assessed that our decision was given great consideration.  We wish you much success on your endeavor to find an appropriate place within the surrounding area to install a permanent marker in honor of George Croghan.


Sincerely,



David J. Michener
  President-C.E.O
Allegheny Cemetery
4734 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15201-2999
412/682-1624

 
May 10, 2011
Mr. Donald J. Michener,
President-CEO
Allegheny Cemetery
4734 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201-2999
Dear Mr. Michener,
Thank you for the nice letter refusing Greater Monessen Historical Society's request to place their George Croghan historical marker in Allegheny Cemetery for the benefit of its visitors, particularly during Lawrenceville Historical Society's Doo Dah Days. Begun as an application for a state marker a year and a half ago and evolved into the current history project, it has been my job to find an appropriate site in a public place.
Allegheny Cemetery is such a site, second in appropriateness only to the Point. The state has a 36 acre park there with no room for Croghan's story, citing the potential for too many signs. Pittsburgh's Morton Brown preferred not to reject the project outright. Recently Pittsburgh D.A.R.'s Fort Pitt Society declined space on their tiny Blockhouse grounds, and now you for Allegheny Cemetery, out of respect for the deceased buried there. It is a stretch, however, to view the marker as commemorative. Croghan's story is history and engraving it in granite does not reduce it to a memorial.
No memorial calls its subject a “saboteur,” as does the Croghan marker text and the point of making public his role in history is not to honor him, but to explain what happened and why. So far the distinction has escaped those asked to provide a public place for the marker and the responses have uniformly ignored the importance and relevance of the information the text provides, as if unread or immaterial.  
It was flattering for a sixty-nine year old to be called enthusiastic until I read on and found it was for Allegheny Cemetery, which I know little about other than during the Eighteenth Century and today through your letter. I have asked Fort Pitt Society and am asking you to reconsider your decision based on the marker's contribution to our region's early history. Its sponsorship by Greater Monessen Historical Society and the support by Lawrenceville Historical Society are obviously to promote history.
In addition, Dr. John Folmar, history professor emeritus of California University of Pittsburgh, has offered to sign a letter in support of the project and urging you to reconsider on historical grounds. Headed by “Allegheny Cemetery's Early History,” the marker could not be confused with a memorial and would achieve the historical goal of bringing Croghan's otherwise untold story to the public in a nearly ideal setting and place.
 
Sincerely,
James R. Greenwood

From: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky ) [mailto:green605@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 3:25 PM
To: Noam Chomsky
Subject: George Croghan story
 
Dear Dr. Chomsky,
 
    I used your name in a letter to Larry Flynt asking him to publish Croghan's story in Hustler.  It's on my website ohiocoutry.us on the comic relief page, for mature audiences only.  The Pittsburgh D.A.R.'s Fort Pitt Society has no room on its small grounds around the Blockhouse for a Croghan marker and Allegheny Cemetery thinks erecting a memorial to him would be disrespectful of the dead buried there and wishes me luck in honoring him in a appropriate site nearby.  I asked both to reconsider, but . . . .  History has never been a consideration in the repression of Croghan’s story, the submitted text apparently unread or immaterial and the excuses ranging from the state’s potential for too many signs, Pittsburgh’s preference not to reject the project outright, and Westmoreland County’s there are more appropriate sites for a Croghan marker, as if his role in Mon-Yough Valley history is not fundamental.  Is this not government censorship?  I’ve asked Monessen to put it in the city park if the above recent expected refusals ever materialized.  A probably too informative 2,000 word feature article was not responded to by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the editor had not sounded optimistic in an earlier phone call; nothing from a pitch to the Nation; perhaps Larry Flynt, or I would be thrilled to get Croghan’s story in The National Inquirer.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood

5/11/11 11:17 AM email
Hope you have some luck.  Sorry it’s such a hard slog.

NC
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 4:35 AM
Subject: Re: George Croghan
 
Dear Jim,
 
Thanks for responding. Cannot remember exactly what I wrote the first time, but it was just to say that I read with interest the various notes on George Croghan on your Ohio website. I visited Pittsburg in 2007 and found my family name better known there than her at home (in Cambridge, U.K.). I was given a copy of Margaret Bothwell's paper "the Astonishing Croghans" and was myself duly astonished! George C. just about founded the place and his great grand-daughter (or great-niece) Elizabeth Schenley C. - who moved here to England - endowed it generously.
On my return home, I studied the family further and put together a booklet on "The Pittsburg Croghans". I should be pleased to send you a copy if this would be of interest to you (and if you let me have your postal address).
Did you have success with you proposal for a memorial tablet in Point Park? It seemed a very worthwhile idea. George C. seems to have been almost overlooked. His story is too good to miss.
 
All regards,
David Croghan
 - Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:24 PM
Subject: Re: George Croghan
 
Dear David,
 
    In the throes of depression over the willful ignorance about Croghan in Pittsburgh; the City, state for Point Park, and the Pennsylvania county of Croghan’s Youghiogheny River purchase have refused sites for Greater Monessen Historical Society’s historical marker.  A memorial to honor Croghan, something they reserve for people buried there, in the opinion of Allegheny Cemetery, a few blocks from the Croghan Hall site.  Lawrenceville (until 1814 Croghanville) Historical Society’s supports the marker, but Croghan’s story was suppressed along with  the man and remains so, officially and by the media, although I am trying Larry Flynt and Hustler.    Lynn Renau and another writer near William Crawford’s Kentucky are deeply interested in George Croghan and say Mary Schenley’s grandfather was Croghan’s  nephew.  Your interest and generous offer of the booklet are welcome indeed,

Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
605 Allison Avenue
Washington, PA  15301
U.S.A.

 
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: George Croghan
 
Dear Jim,
 
Thanks for your address. Will post off the booklet as soon as I can, but find that I first have to make a copy (as the spare that I thought I had turns out to be an outdated version).
It is strange indeed how and why George Croghan appears to have been eclipsed. Pittsburgh seem very happy to acknowledge Mary Elizabeth Schenley Croghan and her largesse. Though much of her wealth came from her O'Hara relations, her father William Croghan also was a substantial landowner in the city, and it is quite likely that the origin of his wealth stemmed from land holdings of his grandfather/great-uncle George Croghan that  (as a clever lawyer) he was able to secure. Much has been made of George Croghan's alleged adverse character traits, but was he really so bad? Unlike many others who doiminate US folklore, George never killed an Indian..... If it is the smell of business corruption that upsets, then he was no worse than others at his time. Official salaries were nominal and it was assumed that state employees would 'see themselves right'. Washington and the sainted Penns and Franklins did all they could at all times to feather their own nests. Washington even taking to himself land that had been designated for war veterans. More specifically these worthies did well from some of Croghan's iniatives. I feel that George Croghan's main fault is that he died just a few years too early! Incidentally I subscribe to the theory that he was born in 1710 rather than 1720 or thereabouts, so he was quite old as well as ill when his world began to fall apart.
 
Regards,
David

Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 5:18 PM
Subject: Re: George Croghan
 
Dear David,
 
   You are quite right about the issue of Croghan’s character, supposedly so bad that his role in history may be completely discounted.  Obviously irrational and deeply, deeply felt in America and I believe internationally by those exposed to American mythology regarding George Washington, Croghan’s story simply does not register with most people.  Its implications are so profound that few people can accept it or his reality as anything but a scoundrel, yet the record is clear and voluminous.  At the Lawrenceville talk on Croghan, at the conclusion of a Powerpoint presentation I said, if Croghan’s story is true (and I hope I have proven that here tonight, I said with my back to the small audience and I could feel a powerful wave of silent protest sweep over me), if it is true, the national narrative with Washington at the center of the region’s early history is false, every book ever written about the start of the French and Indian War in need of serious revision, and what is taught about those events at every level from elementary to graduate school wrong.
 
    The best evidence so far for Croghan’s age is found on page 21 of my Comments to his 1763-64 Journal in the Filius Gallicae letter whose author was trying to incriminate Croghan and gave his age as nearly 38 early in 1756.  That would make him born in the spring of 1718, but he well might have been older.  There are problems either way: his years in Dublin are a mystery that grows deeper the longer he was a resident there.  If born in 1710, he would have been entering middle age when emigrating in 1741 and less adaptable to frontier and Indian lifestyles.  His ambition and abilities would surely have left some record in Dublin  if he spent his twenties there.  I am anxious to see what you have written and hear more about your perspective.
 
    I have been reading the most recent Washington scholarship, Ron Chernow and Edward Lengel, to see what they say about Croghan, nothing, and just now turned on the computer to type up my notes on Joseph Ellis’ 2004 Washington biography, with again nothing in it concerning Croghan.  Ellis is a nice man and is the best of the bunch on Washington, but everyone is bending over backwards when it comes to Washington’s character.  This is the nub.  His longstanding  rivalry with Croghan, beginning in 1754 ends when he has Croghan accused of treason and exiled from the frontier in 1777.  The result was disastrous, as the history of Ohio Country indisputably shows.  Along with the recognized so-called aberrations concerning Washington’s integrity, his treatment of Croghan would tip the precarious balance that historians have maintained for two hundred years.  That is at the root of this blindness to what happened and shifting of blame onto the victim, George Croghan, whose bad character justifies it.
 
 
Best wishes,
Jim


From:
Christa Croghan
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 4:28 AM
Subject: Re: George Croghan
 
Dear Jim,
 
My printer behaved itself reasonably well, so I am able to post off a copy of my booklet today. Please let me know if it does not arrive withing three weeks or so. I find the loss rate in mailings these day quite high.
Character hardly explains the virtual deletion from history of George C.  Attila the Hun, Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein all had questionable ethics but nevertheless have enjoyed wide press coverage....... As you suggest, it's likely tied up with the George Washington story. Some extensive revisionism here seems overdue, but as an Englishman I have to be careful what I say about the US national hero!
 
Regards,
David


Dear David,
 
Your Notes on the Pittsburgh Croghans arrived yesterday morning and I gave it a quick read over brunch, finding the writing and presentation first-rate.  Jane’s and your research did well to well to rely on  Pittsburgh’s Margaret Bothwell and let me recommend another local source, Charles Hanna, whose 1911 Wilderness Trail is the starting point for Croghan biographers.  Frederic and Frederick’s Westsylvania Pioneers is an interesting regional perspective, but troubling because poorly documented.  The Works Cited for my Reappraisal has some other key contributors to Croghan scholarship or mythology, Fintan O’Toole’s White Savage, a William Johnson biography, among the latter and Richard Aquila’s Iroquois Restoration among the former.  Aquila’s published doctoral dissertation credits Scarouady with organizing the Ohio Confederation, something I challenge in attributing its creation and leadership to George Croghan.
 
It is something of a coincidence that your study and my Croghan’s Journal, April 1763 to September 1764 are dated December 2008.  One of my aims was to correct Wainwright’s errors, particularly his assumption that Croghan came from a peasant background and lacked social graces, which you repeat on page 11.  While likely in reduced circumstances when his father died apparently quite young, what little evidence so far available suggests George was at least middle-class and there is nothing to suggest a peasant background beyond Wainwright’s (I think) misleading imagination.  Wainwright sometimes supplies evidence that is at odds with his interpretations; for instance, Croghan’s poverty in old age despite “leaving an estate conservatively estimated at L140,000” (Wainwright, 306).  On page 10 you say he left fifty pounds.  Wainwright’s peasant lacking social graces is unlikely to have convinced the Lords on the Board of Trade to grant Croghan the increased power he began to wield on the frontier.  As a result, there were no significant Indian raids from 1764 until Dunmore’s War in 1774 and they did not resume until well into the Revolution as Croghan’s influence faded with his absence, although you say otherwise at the bottom of Page 1.  If you have the time and have not, please consider reading my Comments to the Journal with an eye out for errors.
 
Some of the more trivial questionable statements you make are: on page 1 in calling Pennsylvania a seaboard colony, saying on page 4 that Croghan supplied Braddock’s expedition,  crediting Fred Anderson’s mistaken  notion that Croghan pretended to represent Pennsylvania on page 5 (see the Tanacharison quote I recently put up on Wikipedia and I am thinking of editing the Croghan entry as well), that Fort Pitt was within his land claims on page 6 (see map on page 12 or copy of deed on Lawrenceville Historical Society website), page 7’s assertion that Croghan Hall was likely built later than it was or on Stanton Heights (see Neville Craig’s Olden Time for location.  During the Lawrenceville talk last January it occurred to me that Croghan Hall and the earlier Pine Creek plantation were at either end of a ford in the Allegheny River),and  page 10 Wainwright quote that Croghan’s grave site is lost (his tombstone is on the internet). 
 
I don’t know why I did not pay more attention to Ann Heron as a candidate for Croghan’s first wife or 1910 as the year of his birth.  For some reason I did not credit either of these alternatives, but I am convinced that William Croghan was not George Croghan’s son and that William’s father was Nicholas Croghan, who if not George’s brother was a close relative.  It seems probable that once Croghan’s role in history is better appreciated in Ireland and the UK, not to mention the US, researchers will uncover genealogical and historical information about his years and family in Dublin and Roscommon. 
My 2002 work on the Jumonville Glen incident nitpicks Fred Anderson’s Crucible of War, but without his giving credence for the first time to the French account of what happened, my contribution that Washington lied about how many English surrounded the French would have been a bridge too far.  While Croghan was not on the scene and probably would have prevented the mayhem had he been there, it is an open question.  He, Washington, and the Half King were francophobes, making the French alliance and Yorktown during the Revolution extremely ironic.  Unwilling to have France once  more as a northern neighbor, Washington declined the French invitation to invade Canada, which would surely have been successful.  This is probably the most interesting revelation for me in my recent studies.  I have been trying to finish a novel and had hoped to place the Croghan historical marker last year and leave history behind for fiction.  Certainly my grasp of the facts and details is receding, but hopefully the inevitable lapses will not be too damaging to the new claims I have made for Croghan, some of them found in your work.  You correctly say that Croghan was aware that he was helping the Ohio Company when he and Montour guided Christopher Gist through Ohio Country in 1750.  Wainwright never grasped that and no one seems to have noticed, but it is presumptuous to say so.  Nevertheless, unless positions and with them risks are taken, old mistakes will continue to be repeated and the correction of new errors delayed until someone shows enough courage to make them.  You have shown such courage and made few if any new misstatements.  Excellent work, David.  A valuable contribution to Croghan scholarship largely because of the perspective you bring to the table.  Thank you for sending me the booklet.  It was a pleasure to read and in rereading it I will find further proofs of its quality.
 
Best wishes.
Jim
 
8/22/11

Sent e-mail to Sen. Robert Casey requesting aid in placing Croghan marker in the William S. Moorehead Federal Building courtyard, 10000 Liberty Street, Pittsburgh.

8/23/11 e-mail

Dear Reresemtative Critz,
Greater Monessen Historical Society is sponsoring an historical marker for George Croghan and, with your help, would like to place it in the courtyard of Pittsburgh's William S. Moorehead Federal Building at 1000 Liberty Avenue.  Lawrenceville Historical Society supports the project, meaningful because Lawrenceville was the site of Croghan Hall and Croghanville.  As one of his biographers, I recently added a great deal of information to the George Croghan page on Wikipedia and would be pleased to provide you with specific details about the marker and Pittsburgh's neglected Founding Father.
Sincerely,
Jim Greenwood

1/2/2012 email

Dear Ms. Hays,
It was gratifying at the Rostraver Township Historical Society Christmas dinner to be part of the audience for your presentation, thank you very much, but particularly to hear you separate Croghan’s role in history from subjective opinions about his character earlier that evening. Ultimately the two concerns are inseparable, yet the tradition of him as a scoundrel is so powerful and long-standing that even educated critics discount his role in history and the handful of Croghan scholars who have researched the facts have difficulty interpreting them. The result is a generally accepted history of western Pennsylvania that Croghan’s story reveals to be superficial, disconnected, and intellectually dishonest. Professional historians are particularly sensitive about Croghan, including the only living one to specialize in him, William Campbell. I emailed him and other historians of the period for support in the effort to place an historical marker for Croghan in Pittsburgh and got into a pretty heated exchange with Mr. Campbell, found in the Critical Comments and finally Comic Relief pages of ohiocountry.us website. Mr Campbell wanted everything he emailed deleted as a professional courtesy, but fortunately I am not a professional historian and saw it as another attempt to keep Croghan’s story suppressed. If the article below meets with your approval, please pass it along to your publication’s editor. I would be grateful for any comments or improvements you might wish to make.
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
Ohio Country’s George Croghan
Early in 2012 the first historical marker commemorating the region’s Founding Father will be placed in Westmoreland County, specifically the Rostraver Township veterans’ memorial next to the municipal building. The project began in 2009 when Greater Monessen Historical Society’s applied to the Pennsylvania History and Museum Commission for a 2010 state marker at Pittsburgh’s Point with the following text:
George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)
Irish immigrant, King of the Traders, Onondaga Council sachem, Indian agent, Vandalia projector. Ohio Country's key figure from 1744's King George's War until accused of disloyalty in 1777, ordered to Philadelphia, and denied return to Croghan Hall when cleared. His 1749 Indian deeds purchased as Celeron approached Logstown and totaling 200,000 acres excluded two square miles for future Fort Pitt. Because Pennsylvania forbade large grants, Croghan gave indispensable aid to Virginia.
Approval was granted tentatively; the PHMC found the 73 word text confusing, where they could not say. They ruled out Point Park, even though Croghan’s story is essential to its history and is currently restricted to a conjectured likeness on a Fort Pitt Museum mural. Plus, Pennsylvania would not pay its half of the marker’s cost in 2010. The PHMC suggested re-applying for 2011, but Monessen’s historical society asked Pennsylvania’s Point Park officials for permission to place its own granite Croghan marker there, with his seminal 1749 land purchase superimposed over an etched satellite image of the region. Although Rostraver’s municipal complex was part of Croghan’s Indian grant, it is not the most appropriate location for his marker, but Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Parks declined a spot in 36 acre Point Park, Heinz History Center’s Fort Pitt Museum and the Blockhouse grounds overseen by the Daughters of the American Revolution declined a space, the city of Pittsburgh withheld a site in one of its parks, and Westmoreland County ruled out Cedar Creek Park and a Yough River Trail official its right of way. Previously the last two had permitted similar historical markers. Official resistance at the state, county, and city level to making Croghan’s story public is also found internally in scholarly self-censorship.
Albert Volwiler’s Croghan biography in 1926 and Nicholas Wainwright’s in 1959 provide ample evidence that fundamentally revises early American history, yet neither draws that conclusion. Their protests and overly constrained interpretations signal extreme external pressures, so much so that at critical junctures in Croghan’s life Wainwright obtusely contradicts his facts.
Among glaring mistakes and misinterpretations in Wainwright’s Wilderness Diplomat, one concerns Andrew Montour’s false testimony to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1752 that the Ohio Confederation did not want a British fort at the forks of the Ohio, a ploy of Croghan’s in his support of Virginia. Wainwright in relating the incident concludes that Croghan’s moment had passed (43), apparently clueless about his involvement and motivation: his 1749 Indian deeds would be void if in Pennsylvania. The oversight follows Wainwright’s suggestion that Croghan’s crucial aid to Christopher Gist and the Ohio Company in 1751 was naive (Greenwood, Reappraisal, 7). Previously undisclosed, Croghan’s early support of Virginia is the blackest mark against his character, a betrayal of both the Indians and his home state of Pennsylvania, yet largely mitigated by the lifelong responsibility he took for his actions, including the financial misdeeds that anchor the traditional negative view of him.
Wainwright’s unwarranted assumption of an impoverished background in Ireland for Croghan flies in the face of the evidence and seriously distorts his interpretation, which accepts the tradition of Croghan as scoundrel (Greenwood, Journal, 17). But perceptions can change. In extensively editing the Wikipedia page on Croghan recently, the only addition the page’s monitors removed was mention of his reputation as a scoundrel. The traditional view of Croghan’s bad character has a hidden counterpart, George Washington’s exaggerated integrity and glorified role in frontier history. They first met and clashed in 1754, Croghan a captain in charge of the Indians and Colonel Washington fresh from ambushing 33 French soldiers in Jumonville Glen. Fred Anderson’s 2000 Crucible of War is important primarily for its revision of the attack, but does not go far enough. The event was traumatic for Washington and he maintained the lies he told about it for the rest of his life, including the recently uncovered one that he commanded only forty men (Greenwood, Jumonville Glen, 1). Unwilling to take responsibility for his disastrous campaign, Washington blamed Croghan for involving “the country in great calamity” (Wainwright, 45).
Even Croghan scholars are stunned into silence by the implications of his life, particularly his suppression in 1777. Despite no correspondence surviving between the commander and chief and General Edward Hand in Pittsburgh about its chief judge, Committee of Safety chairman, and the person keeping the Ohio Indians neutral being a traitor, there can be little doubt that Washington was behind the military coup. It terminated their competition for influence on the frontier that began during the Fort Necessity campaign. Washington’s ruthlessness in dealing with Revolutionary War rivals like Croghan is seen in his aides shooting rival generals Thomas Conway and Charles Lee in duels. After 1777, for the remainder of the war and during his presidency, Washington’s influence on the frontier was paramount, with tragic results similar to the Fort Necessity and Braddock campaigns. But for more than thirty years before 1777, Croghan was central to Ohio Country history, a narrative that became suppressed along with the man, with his supposed bad character as justification.
The significant recorded history of Ohio Country (the upper Ohio River watershed roughly to its Falls, today’s Louisville, Kentucky, and the middle of Lake Erie) begins during King George’s War with Croghan’s activities at a Seneca village near the mouth of the Cayahoga River, today’s Cleveland, Ohio. An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, by 1746 he was an Iroquois sachem and “the King of the Traders,” as Charles Hanna headed his 86 page Croghan biography in 1911‘s Wilderness Trail. He organized an Indian revolt against the French and it was certainly he, not the Mingo chief Scarouady as Richard Aquila asserts in The Iroquois Restoration, who created and led the Ohio Confederation that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations in 1748 (Greenwood, Reappraisal, 3-4).
Pathetic as the poverty of Croghan’s final years appears to Wainwright, it was principally a cash flow problem that did not deprive him of his servants: “He still believed that his agents could settle his affairs and rescue him from his difficulties by clearing him of an estate conservatively estimated at Ł140,000” (306). Croghan’s agents were Barnard and Michael Gratz. Westmoreland County’s Gratztown was named for its new owners in 1781, having previously been Croghan’s property and the site of his Old Shawnee Town trading post, burnt during Pontiac’s Rebellion with his partner Colonel Clapham among those killed. The 250th anniversary in 2013 may or may not recognize Croghan’s crucial role in anticipating the uprising, lobbying the Board of Trade to make the Indian Department independent of the military, and with his expanded power bringing Pontiac to Detroit and keeping the peace thereafter, except for Dunmore’s War on the Shawnees in 1774.
The letters of the Gratz brothers were published in 1916 by William Vincent Byers in B. and M. Gratz; Merchants of Philadelphia, 1754-1798 followed by a chronological appendix “to show the connection of events, which are usually treated as disconnected accidents,” that they were the “results of plan,” and that subsequent “action of the Continental Congress on the West, 1776-1787, cannot be understood except through this history, as made between 1748 and 1776“ (354). Although Byers credits Benjamin Franklin with formulating the plan, his main focus is “Colonel George Croghan, who became the first active promoter and organizer of the western movement under the Franklin plan” (336). Margaret Bothwell’s discovery that Washington presented a false deed in evicting Washington country families in 1784 (139) aside, Byers is remarkable among Croghan scholars for revisionism, but not for his defense of Croghan’s integrity, for nearly all offer support, with one notable exception.
William Campbell in 2009’s “An Adverse Patron: Land, Trade, and George Croghan” is traditional regarding Croghan’s character, as he tries to answer his rhetorical question: Why would “. . . important people repeatedly entrust important missions to a known scoundrel?” (118) Perhaps unique among Croghan detractors, Campbell does not use rascality as an excuse to dismiss Croghan’s importance in frontier events. “By detailing the complicated web of self-interest, it is clear that Croghan defined the direction of significant colonial events during the two decades that preceded the American Revolution” (119), he writes. Campbell pursues the contradictory aims of establishing Croghan’s contribution to history and perpetuating the myths that Croghan’s enemies created to discredit him and consign him to obscurity.
Campbell’s conclusion quotes William Darlington’s assertion in 1893 that Croghan was the key frontier figure for “twenty five years preceding the Revolutionary War” (134), five years more than Campbell allows in his introduction, which would make 1755 the beginning of Croghan’s importance. In fact, Croghan’s preeminence on the frontier began ten years earlier. Campbell’s lack of clarity regarding the beginning of Croghan’s prominence stems from his traditional view of Croghan as a scoundrel.
Resistance to acknowledging Croghan’s role in history is fueled by tradition, nationalism, and inertia. Among the daunting consequences of Croghan’s story: it renders obsolete every French and Indian War book written so far except those of his biographers; exposes as seriously flawed and at best misleading the national narrative beginning in 1753 with Washington at the center of frontier events as he journeys to western Pennsylvania; and reveals the gross inadequacy of what is currently taught from kindergarten through graduate school about the period. As with the human destruction of the environment, Croghan’s story is extremely inconvenient, confirming a Native American insight about the European invaders, that they were missing something at the core of their being, a center that grounded them in reality. There were exceptions and Croghan was one of them, which is why he was nearly universally esteemed by Native Americans and those not blinded by hatred of Indians.
Ohio Country history has a Native American foundation that sooner or later, as with the Chinese, is absorbed by its invaders and settlers, often without their being aware of it. This is probably true of every region in the Americas, a notion that has teased social scientists since the nineteenth century and that Croghan recognized in the eighteenth. He is not only the critical link in the events of his time, still poorly understood, but also in the relationship of present Ohio Country residents to a more distant past. Croghan is a vital connection to their Native American heritage. It is a deep and ancient lineage, with a florescence during Hopewell times of the culture that continues at least subconsciously to exist today in its Ohio heartland, eastern Kentucky and Indiana, western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Like so many cultures around the world fragmented by arbitrary political boundaries, the people of Ohio Country have one of a kind characteristics that evolved over thousands of years and which George Croghan consciously and quickly adopted, becoming the region’s leader before and during its transition to national independence, in the process becoming Ohio Country’s Founding Father.
Works Cited:
Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Face of Empire in British America, 1754-1766. New York, NY: Knopf, 2000.
Aquila, Richard. The Iroquois Restoration. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska P., 1997.
Bothwell, Margaret Pearson. “The Astonishing Croghans.” Western Pennsylvania History Magazine 48(2) April, 1965: 119-144,
Byers, William Vincent. B. and M. Gratz, Merchants in Philadelphia, 1754-1798. Jefferson City, MO: The Hugh Stevens Publishing Co., 1916.
Campbell, William C. "An Adverse Patron: Land, Trade, and George Croghan." Pennsylvania History 76(2) 2009: 117-140.
Greenwood, Jim. Jumonville Glen, May 28, 1754; Day of Infamy. Belle Vernon, PA: Monongahela Press., 2002.
---, editor. George Croghan’s Journal, April 1763 to September 1764 and Comments. Washington, PA: Monongahela Press, 2008.
---. George Croghan, a Reappraisal. Washington, PA: Monongahela Press, 2009.
---. ohiocountry.us website with the above histories, critical comments, and related pages.
Hanna, Charles A. "George Croghan: The King of the Traders." The Wilderness Trail, Vol. Two, originally pub. 1911. Lewisburg, PA: Wennawoods, 1995.
Volwiler, Albert T. George Croghan and the Western Movement, 1741-1782, originally published in 1926 . Lewisburg, PA: Wennawoods, 2000.
Wainwright, Nicholas B. George Croghan: Wilderness Diplomat. Chapel Hill, NC: U of North Carolina P., 1959.
 
1/12/2012 email

Lisa,
Thank you for taking so much time to talk on the phone. A blank page to tell Croghan’s story is quite an offer. I’m sorry you found the 2,000 word submitted article unsuitable for your audience and did not like it yourself. You are not the first to reject my work. In fact, you would have been the first not to, had it met with your approval. Despite writing well and having a deep understanding of my subject, which, I think you appreciate, is evident in the the amount of information and its organization in the article, you find its tone and argument, that Croghan’s story is suppressed, unacceptable. What you ask for instead are my views and documentation. Having given my views and documentation in the submitted article, this strikes me as nonsense. Clearly you want something else and I will revise the article about the suppression of Croghan’s story to make it more acceptable.

Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood

 
-----Original Message-----
From: Lisa [mailto:lisa@starofthewest.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 3:49 PM
To: history@westmorelandhistory.org
Subject: FW: Croghan article
 
 
Lisa C. Hays
Executive Director
Westmoreland County Historical Society
THE STAR OF THE WEST
 
724-532-1935 X13
 
Can you copy and paste and reply to his email?
From: Lisa [mailto:lisa@starofthewest.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 3:08 PM
To: 'green605@comcast.net'
Subject: Croghan article
 
Jim,
Received your article. I certainly think George Croghan deserves an article in our journal Westmoreland History. However, your article needs some work to be appropriate for our publication. Keep in mind that we are trying to reach “the masses.” Our guidelines state “ accessible for a broad audience.” Your article seems aimed at scholars, and you assume knowledge by the readers that most don’t have (for example Croghan’s suppression in 1777; most of our readers wouldn’t know what you are referring to).
 
At times the article reads as one side to an argument, and although after talking to you, I understand your frustration, our readers won’t. What I would like to see is you stating your conclusions about Croghan and the evidence for those conclusions. We don’t want to be part of disparaging any reputable scholars (even if we might disagree with them).
 
I have attached my initial thoughts when reading your article. I tracked the changes. Please don’t be alarmed by the large amount of red! You have clearly done a lot of research. Just keep in mind the audience. Don’t write with an agenda to refute other’s work, but rather to explain your own research and conclusions.
 
Also, on a style note, we use endnotes. The insertion of references within the text is distracting for the “broad audience.”
 
If I haven’t discouraged you, please re-work the article with these thoughts in mind. I would be happy to consider a revised article. Shoot for 1,500-3,000 words.
 
Lisa C. Hays
Executive Director
Westmoreland County Historical Society
THE STAR OF THE WEST
 
724-532-1935 X13
From: Lisa [mailto:lisa@starofthewest.org]
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 12:18 PM
To: 'wchshistory'
Subject: RE: Croghan article
 
Jim,
 
When you say:
“and I will revise the article about the suppression of Croghan’s story to make it more acceptable.”
 
I’m still not sure you get what I’m saying.
 
I don’t want an article about the suppression of Croghan’s story.
 
I want a documented article about Croghan.
 
Tell Croghan’s story.
 
He is an unsung hero. Most people don’t know about him. Tell Croghan’s story.
 
Lisa C. Hays
Executive Director
Westmoreland County Historical Society

1/14/12 email 9:49 p.m.
Lisa,
 
So glad your message got through to me. When I e-mailed you yesterday I hadn't read it yet. Your attachment apparently is not attached and I would appreciate reading your comments, particularly where you found that I disparaged other scholars. There are at most a dozen who have written anything of significance about Croghan, with Wainwright's biography the most widely read, recent, and complete, therefore the standard work. Much as it may annoy some readers, documenting Wainwright's serious mistakes and misinterpretations of important moments in Croghan's life contradicted by the evidence is telling Croghan's story and as essential for the general reader as for the scholar. It is as unfair of you to call my criticisms of other versions of Croghan's story disparaging as it would be if I called your critique of my article disparaging. I am concerned about it being false, however.
 
 
You go from saying that my article seems aimed at scholars, which is not true, to flatly stating that I assume your readers have knowledge of Croghan's suppression in 1777, also not true. It is precisely peoples' ignorance of his being falsely accused of treason in 1777, increasingly willful at this point, that I am trying to inform with my article. As evidence, here is the introductory paragraph of the revised article, written yesterday before I read your email:
 
 
George Croghan was the key figure in Ohio Country events for more than thirty years from King George’s War (1744-1748) until accused of treason in 1777 and banished from the frontier by Pittsburgh’s General Edward Hand. No correspondence with his commander in chief survives, but the fate of George Washington’s rivals during the Revolution is seen in his aides shooting generals Thomas Conway and Charles Lee in duels. After 1777, for the remainder of the war and during his presidency, Washington largely determined Ohio Country events, with results similar to his Fort Necessity and Braddock campaigns. Before 1777, it was Croghan who for more than three decades was the determining factor in what happened.
 
 
I had written "falsely" accused and deleted it because I thought you might object, even though it is true and easily documented. Documentation is not the problem with Croghan, the basic facts were established over a hundred years ago by Charles Hanna and a generation earlier William Darlington had calculated Croghan's prominence on the frontier as the twenty-five years prior to the Revolution. It took 150 years for Croghan's story to begin to see the light of day and for you to say that I assume that today's general public knows about him is absurd. How could they when even the two professional historians specializing in Croghan, Wainwright and Campbell, misinterpret Croghan's story? In my opinion an analysis of why is necessary for the public to understand the facts of Croghan's life, but you may be right that people will be able to work it out themselves. 


 
On 8/30/2012 7:03 PM, Jim Greenwood wrote:
Dear Professor Barnes, Attached is the Croghan biography that at the end of May this year I promised to send. Unfortunately, I don’t have Word software and hope you can open it. I’ve spent the last three months reading historians recommended by the editor of Pennsylvania History, who said my work had been anticipated by them and contained nothing new. Needless to say none of them place Croghan at the center of Ohio Country events and I have yet to find any of my supporting new interpretive facts elsewhere. As they do not have Croghan as the pivotal figure in Ohio Country history, their interpretations are fundamentally flawed and my claim that all the French and History War books written so far are obsolete stands. Your priority for essays that engage in scholarly debate is encouraging, if sincere. So far I have experienced uniform intellectual dishonesty regarding my work, as the Critical Comments page on the website ohiocountry.us records. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that your response to this submission will not end up there. Best wishes, Jim Greenwood
L. Diane Barnes
Professor, History
Editor, Ohio History
Youngstown State University
Youngstown, OH 44555
(330) 941-1602
dbarnes@ysu.edu
ohiohistory@ysu.edu
http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com/journals/ohio-history/
 
Ohio Country’s George Croghan
 
Introduction
 
Recently, during an interview by a middle school history teacher studying Braddock's Campaign, purportedly for his quickly bored son's seventh-grade history project, I was asked if Braddock's disaster would have been averted if the General had deferred to George Croghan on Indian matters? It is tempting to speculate, and a generally accepted speculation is that Pontiac's Rebellion would have not have happened if General Amherst had followed Croghan's advice, but it is not history and at best of short-term value in clarifying what happened in the past.
 
A final question from the video-operating teacher was for an assessment of Croghan's legacy, the single most important thing about him. Croghan is proof that anyone can become an Indian. Neither historians nor his biographers have taken seriously Croghan's claim to be an Indian, yet it is fundamental to understanding his story and its implications. Colin Woodard's interesting American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, for instance, does not have Ohio Country as one of its eleven regional cultures or credit people for knowing who they are: “Greater Appalachia’s people have long had a poor awareness of their cultural origins. One scholar of the Scots-Irish has called them 'the people with no name.’ When U.S. census takers ask Appalachian people what their nationality or ethnicity is, they almost always answer 'American’ or even 'Native American'” (Woodard, 8).
 
George Croghan organized and led Ohio Country's Indians for thirty years as one of them, even as he exaggerated his Irishness in letters and presumably speech to other British officials. The freedom to be both Irish, Indian, and, when the opportunity arose, American had been hard won on both sides of the Atlantic, but the Native American component is basic and Ohio remains the heartland of justice and liberty for all. Croghan's appraisal of Indians for the Lords of Trade in 1764 was common knowledge in America: “We know them now to be a very jealous people, and to have the highest notions of Liberty of any people on Earth, and a people, who will never Consider Consequences when they think their Liberty likely to be invaded, tho’ it may End in their Ruin” (White, 269).
 
Richard White says, “In writing this history of the pays d’un haut, I am practicing the ‘new Indian history” (White, xi), and although he frequently quotes Croghan, does not recognize him as central to the story or as an Indian sachem, falling into the tradition of assigning Croghan's role in history to others, most frequently William Johnson, Northern Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Aside from boating on Lake Erie to an Indian conference in Detroit, Croghan's nominal boss never set foot in Ohio Country or disputed Croghan's turf, signified by its separate designation, the Western Division of Indian Affairs (Hanna, 22).
 
Ohio history begins in a predominantly Seneca village at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in today’s Cleveland with Croghan’s initiatives during King George’s War, 1744-1748 (Cave, 1). By coincidence, England’s declaration of war against France in March was Croghan’s first season as an independent, accredited, and licensed fur trader only three years after emigrating from Ireland to central Pennsylvania. Chances are he broke into the business on the southern shore of Lake Erie and was among the English traders Detroit wanted driven out in 1742, when the French opened trade with the recently settled Iroquois on what they called the White River (Wainwright, 6).
 
Consistent with Croghan’s lifelong francophobia, organizing genius, and later career is his leadership of a “militant little group, well-supplied with ammunition and ‘resolved to annihilate the French traders who were going to that quarter’” that was reported on the Cuyahoga River. This alarming news about the English traders reached Detroit in the early autumn of 1744. French discomfort spiked when the nearby Wyandots fell under Croghan’s influence that winter. Already a master of Iroquoian and Algonquian languages, further evidence of Croghan’s abilities and winters spent in the mixed Seneca village on the Cuyahoga, his friends were not about to surrender him when a Frenchman and “French” Indian arrived in April, 1745 to claim him as a prisoner and confiscate his property (Wainwright, 7).
 
This information is not considered important by most historians and is not news, Nicholas Wainwright published his Croghan biography in 1959. Wainwright concludes with Croghan fading away into the obscurity from which he came, a final obtuse misinterpretation, for Croghan always was and remains a reliable source of information about his time often quoted by contemporary authorities, given his due in the opinion of some, who reckon it by the number of Index citations. Considered at most a minor player by historians up until now, for the first time a biographer is hereby claiming that Croghan was the central figure on the frontier.
 
Significantly, Croghan is not found in recent biographies of George Washington, despite their intense rivalry for influence on the frontier. Discord between biography and history is especially relevant in Croghan's case. His story is fundamental to what happened in Ohio County from 1744 into the Revolution, yet even his other biographers do not draw this conclusion from the ample evidence they provide. Neither do contemporary histories of the period, thereby adding nothing new to Croghan scholarship. Since Wainwright, only Margaret Bothwell has anything significant to add. There are a number of important new interpretive facts to consider in the short biography that is the body of this article, but they are a little like the DNA confirmation of earlier proofs of evolution, interesting perhaps, but hardly necessary and equally irrelevant to the unreceptive.
 
Some fifteen years ago, at about age 55 and a writer of unpopular plays and poetry, I envisioned writing an historical novel about Braddock’s Campaign as the 250th anniversary approached. A seemingly minor discovery in doing the research was that George Washington’s Journal contained a discrepancy regarding the number of men he commanded during the Jumonville Glen engagement. Upon writing it up in 2002, the discrepancy turned out to be one of two untruths Washington maintained about the incident, but that discovery paled in comparison to the revelations found in Albert Vowiler’s George Croghan and the Westward Movement, 1741-1782.
 
Partly because I am a Western Pennsylvanian and so much of Croghan's story is local, it astounded me, and not simply because I had never heard of him. Croghan turned out to be not only the key figure in Braddock’s ill-fated expedition, but central to Ohio Country events during the previous ten years and for the next two decades as well. Reading Wainwright’s 1959 biography confirmed Croghan’s preeminence, providing incontrovertible evidence that he was the key figure on the frontier, yet neither Volwiler nor Wainwright say so. In fact, Wainwright in particular is blind to Croghan’s role in organizing the Ohio Confederation of Indians that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations, in promoting Virginia’s Ohio Country, and in sabotaging Pennsylvania’s effort to build a fort at the Forks of the Ohio, some of the new insights in my work.
 
Another discovery is that the dead hand of tradition is institutionalized and is suppressing the past, tradition that casts Croghan as an obscure scoundrel. Traditionally, Washington is the heroic focus of events in western Pennsylvania, which are supposed to begin in late 1753 with the twenty-one-year old’s mission to the French at Fort Le Boeuf. But Virginia's Ohio Company was only in Western Pennsylvania because Croghan's 1749 purchase of 200,000 acres from the Ohio Indians would be voided under Pennsylvania statutes. His was a betrayal of the Indians and his home state, Pennsylvania, as well as further evidence of extreme self-interest, yet he would spend the following three decades in dedicated public service with historic consequences.
 
Our national narrative has no place for Croghan, let alone at the center of Ohio Country events, and the result is a disconnected, confusing, illogical and false tale. Institutionalized tradition prefers this status quo. Thus, my histories have proven as unpopular as my plays and poetry, so in December, 2008 I self-published George Croghan’s Journal, April 1763 to September 1764 and Comments and George Croghan, A Reappraisal in May, 2009, later establishing the website ohiocountry.us to make them more available. There is also a Critical Comments page that records, among other responses to my work, the reasons government officials at every level gave for disallowing an historical marker about Croghan to be sited anywhere in Pittsburgh, including its Point, a state park whose prime directive is to preserve its history.
 
One of a handful of Croghan scholars living or dead, Alfred A. Cave's 2003 biography, “George Croghan and the Emergence of British Influence on the Ohio” found in Builders of Ohio makes two contributions to understanding Croghan's role in history: “The story of Anglo-American Ohio begins with George Croghan” (Cave, 1) and “Although he supported the patriot cause, Croghan’s enemies circulated unfounded rumors of his disloyalty. Arrested on a trumped-up charge of collusion with the British, he was forced to leave Croghan Hall, . .” (Cave, 12). Cave might have mentioned that that the 'trumped-up charge” originated with military “enemies,” was in fact a coup d'etat and could have had only one source, George Washington. Tradition prevented him from seeing the obvious or saying so if he did.
 
Cave closely followed Wainwright's biography, excerpting his research, insights, and, unfortunately, Wainwright's misinterpretations. It is traditional to view Croghan's origins as “lowly,” but what little evidence there is runs counter to him being “Born in poverty in Ireland” or that he “was driven from his native land by the potato famine of 1741” (Cave, 1), something of an anachronism as well as unlikely. Croghan's protestantism, education, Dublin background, lifestyle, and rapid rise in the fur trade all suggest considerable resources and at least a middle-class background. His generosity and aristocratic disdain for prudence in financial matters are characteristic of the minor nobility of his day, as is Croghan's assurance in dealing with commanding generals and the Lords of Trade.
 
Tradition distorts Wainwright's and Cave's view of their subject, a perspective shared by their fellow historians, preventing them from drawing the conclusions that their facts point to and obscuring Croghan's central role in Ohio Country history.
 
Part of the problem is the scope and scale of Croghan's activities. “In 1747, he instigated an Indian uprising against the French,” is typical of the condensation required to fit Croghan's story into a reasonable format. His appointment to the Onondaga Council in 1746 and establishment of Pickawillany in 1749 receive no elaboration in Cave, but clearly need some (Cave, 2). Pickawillany's destruction, for instance, is a momentous event in Ohio and French and Indian War history, yet limited space prevents dwelling on it and even the major new assertions in the following story can easily be overlooked or dismissed in the necessarily curtailed presentation of them.
 
 
Croghan Biography
 
 
Ohio Country's upper Ohio River and southern Lake Erie watersheds became significant in recorded history with Croghan’s activities during King George’s War, (1744-1748). Working from a Seneca village at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, today’s Cleveland, Ohio. Croghan’s success as a trader prompted the French at Fort Detroit in the fall of 1744 to send 35 Ottawas to plunder and kill the English on Lake Erie, but the “attack never materialized.” Heavy losses to Shawnee plunderers did occur in 1745, the year he and new partner William Trent bought Pennsborough properties near today’s Harrisburg as an eastern base and Pennsylvania had Croghan deliver a gift to the few Shawnees who remained loyal. Modest as this initial service as a go-between was, it grew exponentially along with his far-flung business and influence with the Indians, seen a year later with his appointment to the Six Nations’ Onondaga Council (Wainwright, 6-8).
 
Irish trader William Johnson, Warraghiyagey, “a man who undertakes great things" (Flexner, 40), preceded Croghan on the fifty member Iroquois governing body, which claimed the Ohio Valley by right of conquest during the seventeenth century Beaver Wars. Croghan follows Johnson in the dedication of 1775’s pre-Mormon History of the American Indians by James Adair, an Irish fur trader who had comparable influence among the Chickasaws, indicative of Irish cultural affinity with the natives and their desperation. Reliance on trade was absolute for native leaders and it was not unusual for immigrant Irishmen to enter the business, but the similar careers of Adair, Johnson, and Croghan exceeds the coincidental, particularly for Johnson and Croghan. During Croghan’s fifteen years as Johnson’s deputy Indian agent (1756-1771), his preeminence in Ohio Country only increased.
 
A generation of mainly Pennsylvania traders preceded Croghan to Ohio Country, at first supplying Delaware and Shawnee bands relocating around 1720 in river villages like Shawnee Town on the Youghiogheny, Kittanning and Shannopin’s Town on the Allegheny. The region attracted other tribes, the most numerous were Iroquois settlers known as Mingos, and in the 1740s the Onondaga Council sent viceroys to maintain control (Wainwright, 17).
 
Croghan was the primary organizer of the 1747 Indian revolt that threatened the French at Fort Detroit, sending Pennsylvania officials the news along with some wampum and a French scalp. The revolt failed and although the French and William Johnson put James Lowrey on an equal footing with Croghan in sparking it, the uprising and the important events that followed are linked by Croghan’s actions as beads are by thread (Wainwright, 15-36).
 
Concurrent with the French Indian conspiracy, a “council fire on the Ohio River, independent of the Iroquois confederacy,” was lit at Logstown, today’s Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and again it was Croghan reporting in June that “the Ohio Indians were operating independently of the Confederacy and were in desperate need of supplies” (Aquila, 194-201). His role in developing “Pennsylvania Indian policy was fundamental, and his responsibility for bringing the western Indians into the English interest was freely acknowledged in government circles” (Wainwright, 21). If he was shaping English policy, he was determining it for the Ohio Indians (Greenwood, Reappraisal, 3). The same organizational skill also made him the “King of the Traders” (Hanna, subtitle).
 
Conrad Weiser, Pennsylvania’s “interpreter and chief governmental adviser on Indian affairs,” approved Croghan’s suggestion that the western Indians be given a gift and, vouching for his integrity, recommended that Croghan deliver the Ł400 present. Before that could happen an Indian delegation from Logstown reached Lancaster and was told during a Philadelphia conference that Weiser would bring an even larger gift to them in the spring of 1748. Weiser objected to the break in Pennsylvania’s policy of treating with Indians solely through the Onondaga Council, but was overruled by that policy’s formulator, James Logan, “senior statesman and expert on Indian matters.” When other business delayed Weiser, Logan advised that Croghan be sent to Logstown with a letter of explanation and Ł300 gift (Wainwright, 16),
 
Croghan returned in June with a letter from the Ohio Indians announcing their imminent arrival in Lancaster with Twightwee (Miami) chiefs from the Wabash River who wanted to ally with the English (Wainwright, 20). The treaty was concluded in July with Croghan signing as a witness. Translating was Weiser and racially-mixed Andrew Montour, who soon became Croghan’s closest associate and nearly constant traveling companion until murdered in Pittsburgh in 1772 (Wainwright, 284). These three, William Trent, and Benjamin Franklin’s eighteen-year-old son William journeyed to Logstown for a conference at which Weiser notified the Indians that the war with France had ended (Wainwright, 21), canceling Pennsylvania’s plans to arm them. Britain’s new allies nearest the French were left vulnerable. Chief Nicholas burned his Sandusky village and led his Wyandots east to Kuskuskies on the the Mahoning River, while the Twightwee chief Croghan dubbed Old Briton (Anderson, 15) established Pickawillany on the Great Miami (Wainwright, 15), as French efforts to expel the English traders intensified.
 
Celeron’s 1749 expedition claiming the Ohio Valley for France reached Logstown early in August, but a more momentous event occurred there a few days earlier: Croghan’s purchase of three tracts of Iroquois land totaling 200,000 acres, exclusive of two square miles at the Forks of the Ohio for a British fort (Peyton, 25). August 2, 1749 begins the recorded history of Pittsburgh, its Point, its forts, and whether it would be part of Pennsylvania, Virginia, or the capital of a fourteenth colony, Vandalia (Volwiler, 273). Once the Revolution commenced, Pittsburgh seemed destined to be the capital of a fourteenth state with Croghan elected governor, a state largely realized in the creation of West Virginia during the Civil War and part of the ongoing dynamic unleashed by Croghan’s 1749 deeds.
 
Money for the purchase likely came from mortgages held by provincial secretary Richard Peters, who fell “under the spell of Trent and Croghan” at the 1748 Lancaster treaty, and although his patron Thomas Penn refused to lend money or approve a partnership, Peters advanced Croghan Ł1,000 against his Pennsborough tracts. Another sign of official favor was Croghan’s appointment as a justice of the peace in April, 1749. Trade languished, however, due to a locust plague and Trent’s summer-long bout of malaria, a recurring disease for Croghan as well. Still, “the future looked bright” despite mounting debts. Croghan spent the winter at Pickawillany where he oversaw the building of a stockade and wrote Peters that he would stop the local Indians from accepting an invitation to visit Ohio Company traders in Maryland, if Peters thought it “convenent,” evidence of Croghan’s power and loyalty to Pennsylvania, soon to shift to Virginia (Wainwright, 22-30).
 
On April 30, 1750 Croghan returned to Pennsborough with “the greatest quantity of skins ever heard of.” All the Pennsylvania traders had a phenomenal season traceable to Croghan’s diplomacy with western tribes who had formerly traded with the French. The result was an oversupply that collapsed the market when the skins reached London in 1751, but the consequences lay in an unanticipated future for Trent and Croghan, who entered “into a larger trade then ever.” A daughter, Susannah Croghan, was born in 1750 (Wainwright, 32-36).
 
Before learning that Virginia statutes permitted large land grants and Pennsylvania’s did not, Croghan aroused Pennsylvania proprietor Thomas Penn’s enthusiastic support for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio, then, late in 1750, he and Montour aided Christopher Gist’s scouting mission for Virginia’s Ohio Company. In the spring of 1751 they gained Ohio Indian approval for the Pennsylvania fort, but Montour denied it before Pennsylvania’s Assembly and “the colony defaulted its leadership in the West to Virginia’s Ohio Company.” Virginia received permission to build the fort at a June, 1752 conference, with Montour interpreting and Croghan on the Indian Council. At the same time French and Indians under Charles Langlade, who would lead the French Indians against Fort Necessity and Braddock, destroyed Pickawillany. Old Briton was cooked and eaten, leading Ohio Indians to question the meaning and value of English alliances (Wainwright, 37-50).
 
London’s fur and skin market did not recover in 1752. Among the traders who could not pay their creditors, Croghan and Trent faced debtor’s prison if they left Indian Country and Richard Peters foreclosed on the Pennsborough plantations, leaving them without an eastern terminus. To replace it Croghan bought 4,000 acres on Aughwick Creek 40 miles west of Carlisle from Mingo chiefs. One of them, Scarouady, made Croghan’s role as spokesman for the Ohio Confederation official at a conference in Carlisle in October, 1753. Afterward Croghan fell ill and nearly died (Wainwright, 46-56).
 
He recovered enough by Christmas to ride west on a mission for Pennsylvania’s Governor Hamilton (Wainwright, 58). During Croghan’s illness, Trent was ordered to build Ohio Company’s fort at the river’s Forks, a storehouse on the Monongahela, and a wagon road there from Will’s Creek, Maryland (Anderson, 58). Concurrently, George Washington was sent on his embassy to the French at Fort Le Boeuf. At John Frazer’s Turtle Creek trading post Croghan narrowly missed Gist and Washington returning from Fort Le Boeuf, detailing their mission and Ohio Indian despondency in his report to Governor Hamilton.
 
When half-brother Edward Ward surrendered the Ohio Company stockade to the French in April, Croghan was at Aughwick, but an urgent appeal for aid from Tanacharison, the Mingo chief the English called the Half King, hurried his return to Ohio Country (Hanna, 3-4). They met in the latter part of May, presumably at Half King’s camp on Chestnut Ridge, not far from the glen now called Jumonville for the wounded French ensign the Half King murdered there on the 28th. Instructed by Hamilton to buy flour for the Indians, Montour and Croghan were in Winchester, Virginia where Governor Dinwiddie engaged them to supply flour for Washington’s expedition and three days later, June 1, commissioned them captains to interpret and advise Washington on Indian matters. Edward Ward was to procure Washington’s flour, judged “a total failure” by some (Wainwright, 62-63).
 
Washington’s hungry soldier’s reached Christopher Gist’s plantation at the foot of Chestnut Ridge on June 18. A three day Indian conference alienated the region’s Shawnees and Delawares as well as the Half King and Indians in camp, who promptly left, followed by Croghan with orders “to bring them back.” He found them at Will’s Creek and convinced three warriors to return , but they were not present at the surrender of Fort Necessity early in July. Washington and Virginia’s authorities blamed Croghan for the “great calamity.” The charge was self-serving if true, Croghan had wrecked Thomas Penn’s plans to defend the frontier and made it possible for the Ohio Company to build its pitiful stockade. French control of Ohio Country ended British trade and influence there. Some 200 Indians at Wills Creek accompanied Croghan to Aughwick, where the Half King grew fatally sick and Queen Aliquippa died that winter (Wainwright, 64-78).
 
Braddock’s Campaign found Croghan in March, 1755 the leading commissioner blazing two new Pennsylvania roads ordered by the general, one down the Cumberland Valley to Wills Creek and one from Shippensburg to Ohio Country that would be finished three years later by General Forbes (Volwiler, 91-94). Braddock wanted Aughwick’s warriors and Croghan led forty with their families to Will’s Creek, where the general took him “and Montour into service” (Hanna, 6). Washington was Braddock’s aide-de-camp and the general repeated his mistake of alienating both the Ohio and Aughwick Indians, except for seven, after Scarouady’s son was killed by a British sentry, all Iroquois veterans of Jumonville Glen. Croghan, Montour, and the Indians were at the head of the column when it was attacked and escorted the wounded general off the field (Volwiler, 97-98).
 
Aughwick became a fortified town of displaced pro-British Indians promised sustenance by Pennsylvania and expecting it from Croghan, a generous man who was also a sachem. Supplies ran low and the Indians thought he was cheating them, distrust shared by the tightfisted Pennsylvania Assembly. Croghan had ridiculed the $1,000 French bounty for his scalp to impress Gist at Lower Shawnee Town in 1751, now he felt less secure, yet preferred his chances over debtor’s prison if he left Indian Country. Governor Hamilton received his “intelligance” of French plans, if less promptly than Croghan wished due to his reduced state. The “Six Nations had given the war hatchet” to the the Delawares and Shawnees, “and always accompanied them in their raiding parties against the English settlements” (Hanna, 7-9).
 
Hamilton’s successor, Governor Morris, found Croghan’s intelligence not “very material” in a June, 1756 letter to New York’s Governor Hardy, who “wanted a sample of Croghan’s handwriting,” as he was suspected of treason. Morris’ summary of Croghan’s career credits his influence with Indians to his speaking several of their languages “and being liberal, or rather, profuse,” in his gifts to them. Morris explained why the Assembly acted to free “him from arrest for ten years” and the captain’s commission he gave Croghan to defend “the Western Frontier, which he did in a very expeditious manner, but not so frugally as the Commissioners” wanted, disputes that led to Croghan's resignation after three months and removal to New York where “I hear he is now at Onondaga with Sir William Johnson” (Hanna, 10-11).
 
Pennsylvania’s Council “was not a little surprised at the appointment” of Johnson’s new deputy “to transact Indian Affairs for the Crown in that Province” when Croghan informed them on December 14, 1756, yet funded his frequent conferences (Hanna, 11). He spent the following winter and spring of 1758 at Fort Herkimer (Hanna, 18), New York’s Fort Shirley, as he had named Aughwick’s endangered stockade, and in July Captains Croghan and Montour led 100 Indians during General Abercromby’s bloody defeat at Fort Ticonderoga (Volwiler, 123). With fifteen Indian scouts, they were once more at the head of the column when Fort Duquesne was captured on November 25, 1758 (Wainwright, 151-152).
 
October’s Easton treaty and Croghan’s role in it, agreed Pennsylvania’s Assembly and Governor Denny, made possible General Forbes’ victory by depriving the French of their allies. Six Nations’ authority to make peace for the Delawares and Shawnees was reasserted by Nickus, a Mohawk chief, father-in-law of Croghan and grandfather of Catherine Croghan; Croghan gave “out that he himself was an Indian” (Hanna, 19).
 
Col. Henry Bouquet’s success in peacefully occupying French forts was due to Croghan’s diplomacy, as was Major Robert Rogers and his Rangers safely reaching Detroit. Between June, 1759 and October, 1761, when Thomas Hutchins became an assistant agent in Croghan's Western Division of Indian Affairs, the Indians brought 338 prisoners to Fort Pitt, but Gen. Jeffrey Amherst was appalled at the expense. Amherst’s frugal policies were inciting war, agents Hutchins and Alexander McKee reported from Indian Country in 1762, but Croghan’s warnings went unheeded and Pontiac’s Rebellion followed (Hanna, 21-25).
 
Croghan Hall in today’s Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh and Croghan’s old trading post on the Youghiogheny at the mouth of Sewickley Creek were burnt, with partner Col. William Clapham among those killed by the Indians early in 1763 . Bushy Run was the first battle on the frontier Croghan missed, for he had resigned and sailed to London, shipwrecking off the Normandy Coast. Recognition of his land claims and reparation for losses in the recent war was delayed by the Board of Trade, but the Lords tentatively approved moving the Proclamation Line of 1763 to the Ohio River and freeing the Indian Department of local military control, infuriating Bouquet (Wainwright, 198-210).
 
One of the most extraordinary occurrences in frontier history” further aggravated Bouquet. Crown goods that he had authorized Croghan to transport to Fort Pitt were found by outraged frontiersmen to contain trade items, “scalping knives,” in violation of a Pennsylvania edict and, disguising themselves as Indians, the Black Boys burnt supplies worth Ł3,000, closed Forbes Road, and vowed to kill Croghan, an insurrection that heralded the Revolution. Hollywood’s 1939 version of the incident, Allegheny Uprising, has a treacherous trader in league with an arrogant British officer as its villains. But trade goods were essential to the peace Croghan established in Ohio Country and with the Illinois tribes from the Wabash to Mississippi River, achievements over the next two years that, after being severely wounded and captured by Mascouten and Kickapoo warriors, included bringing Pontiac to Fort Detroit (Wainwright, 216-220).
 
Frequent heavy expenses and losses in the service of Britain, Ł1,500 in the 1765 Indian attack alone, were often not repaid and Croghan could not legally augment his Ł200 annual salary, fueling abuse by his critics and his regular threats to resign. Upon arriving in New York on January 10, 1767 aboard the Sally from New Orleans and still ill from malaria caught on the upper Mississippi, he did resign. Johnson “prevailed on him to withdraw his resignation” in April and Croghan began developing a 20,000 acre tract on New York's frontier as a more permanent home than Philadelphia’s elegant Monckton Hall where he had regained his health or Croghan Hall, impressively rebuilt (Wainwright, 231-242).
 
He was ordered to Fort Pitt in May to quiet Indian anger about white settlement and murders. Governor John Penn detained his return in Philadelphia with questions about the Indians to accompany the Mason-Dixon survey, who stopped it when Croghan’s 1749 deeds were threatened. June found him in New York petitioning Governor Moore to buy 40,000 acres from the Six Nations, traveling back and forth to Johnson Hall all summer, to Philadelphia in September, to Fort Pitt on October 16, on to Detroit quelling a major uprising there and holding conferences at every village on the way, then riding back to Monckton Hall to celebrate the new year, 1768 (Wainwright, 243-246).
 
Ten days later “Frederick Stump and his servant John Ironcutter” murdered three Indians, their wives, and three children on the Susquehanna, roiling Indian Country (Hanna, 58-59). Pennsylvania’s Assembly turned to Croghan in New York. Although “crippled with rheumatism, a chronic winter complaint from now on,” and despite learning in Chester that the Black Boys planned to waylay and kill him, Croghan pressed on to Fort Pitt alone in a snow storm to condole the Indians (Wainwright, 248-252).
 
Philadelphia merchant Samuel Wharton and Croghan campaigned to extend the Indian Boundary line, resulting in the Fort Stanwix Treaty of 1768. Prior to it Croghan bought huge tracts of Six Nations’ land for himself and others. Crown approval of these sales was the first of three conditions set by the Iroquois in signing the treaty, second was Crown recognition of a 2,500,000 acre grant to William Trent for the Indiana Company, and the third was 200,000 acres elsewhere if Croghan’s 1749 grant fell into Pennsylvania. “The Board of Trade censored Johnson for allowing such private matters to become part of a treaty with the king” (Wainwright, 253-257).
 
So pressing were his debts that “during the year 1770, Croghan sold approximately 152,000 acres of his 250,000 acres in New York,” vowing to keep his remaining “New York lands to the last” and sell his Pennsylvania lands and interests in the Indiana Company and the proposed new colony of Vandalia (Volwiler, 283). But he “was never again to see Croghan’s Forest” when he left for Fort Pitt in June, the ten day visit to forestall another Indian war lengthened to seven years (Wainwright, 272-273).
 
Croghan reduced the hostility between local Indians and Virginia settlers by controlling the rum that had replaced most British trade goods. Unrest caused by the Townshend Acts boycott led to a confederation of western and southern tribes that Croghan nullified in the spring of 1771, exposing the Seneca plot to attack the British. Peace was necessary “if Samuel Wharton was to succeed in London” in establishing “an inland colony. Pittsylvania, or Vandalia, as the colony was later called, included within its bounds both Croghan’s Indian grant and the Indiana grant and guaranteed their titles” (Wainwright, 273-274).
 
Hardly anything changed when Croghan resigned as Johnson’s Deputy on November 2, 1771 to “better serve Vandalia.” Alexander McKee replaced him temporarily and he remained “on call.” A partnership with cousin Thomas Smallman was formed and Croghan Hall, now a legal trading post, “continued to be an Indian haven.” His principal agents, Barnard and Michael Gratz, were unable to “liquidate his debts” in 1772 as he hoped and “severe attacks of gout” added to his failing health. Andrew Montour’s death in January, 1772 was followed by stunning good news, the Privy Council and King had approved Vandalia. Croghan was ordered to “notify the Indians," four hundred of whom attended the November, 1773 conference. It cost Croghan Ł1,365 and Vandalia was still not ratified. Convinced it never would be, Lord Dunmore, Virginia’s governor, visited Pittsburgh that summer and recognized Croghan’s Indian grant (Wainwright, 281-286).
 
Dunmore appointed Dr. John Connolly, Colonel Croghan’s nephew , as his western agent (Volwiler, 25). “With Croghan’s full support, Connolly claimed Pittsburgh for Virginia in January, 1774 and called up the militia. The first men . . . [came] from Croghan Hall.” People in Philadelphia “actually believed that Dunmore had seized Pittsburgh at Croghan’s suggestion,” and a Pittsburgher wrote, “Its thought here that 'tis all Colonel Croghan’s intrigues.” Pennsylvania had been administering the region for five years. “Arthur St. Clair, a former British officer, was chief official for the Penns west of the mountains” in dealing with “Mr. Croghan’s emissaries (and it is astonishing how many he has either duped or seduced to embrace his measures)” when Connolly, “flushed with self-importance,” and Dunmore began pursuing policies that “made war inevitable” (Wainwright, 287-289). Connolly penned an inflammatory open letter in April, 1774 and “on the 27th, [Michael] Cresap killed two Shawnee who were quietly assisting white traders and on the 30th occurred the foul murder of nine kinsmen of the famous Mingo chief, Logan.” Panic spread and “Croghan was called upon once more to take charge of Indian affairs” (Volwiler, 302-303).
 
He worked with St. Clair to protect the frontier, provoking a furious letter from Connolly calling his actions “unlawful, unwarrantable & affrontive.” Dunmore arrived in Pittsburgh in September, a month after Johnson’s death in New York, to war on the Shawnees and investigate Connolly’s charges that Croghan was inciting them “to attack Virginia” and was “siding with Pennsylvania.” Croghan cleared himself, remained presiding judge of Augusta County’s Pittsburgh court, and added Chairman of its Committee of Correspondence to his Virginia duties after the battles of Lexington and Concord in April, 1775, as did St. Clair for Pennsylvania. By summer Connolly was with Dunmore on a British man-of-war dreaming of returning to Pittsburgh at the head of an army (Wainwright, 289-295), until captured and imprisoned in Hagerstown, Maryland (Hanna, 79).
 
In 1775 Croghan made “another major effort to clear up his debts, which now totaled nearly Ł24,000.” On July 10, 1775 the Six Nations sold him six million acres between the Allegheny River and Beaver Creek on the same terms as a one and a half million acre purchase in 1773, much of it conveyed to his creditors. Two days later the Continental Congress appointed trader Richard Butler as the Pittsburgh agent in its new Indian department and when Butler retired in April, 1776, George Morgan, bitter disappointments for Croghan. His cooperation with them never flagged, even if “Morgan had absolutely no use for Croghan” and called on McKee when he wanted advice (Wainwright, 296-299).
 
Intelligence of British designs continued to be gathered and the Ohio tribes kept neutral by Croghan until 1777 when he was accused of treason and ordered to Philadelphia by Pittsburgh’s General Edward Hand. A few weeks after he reached Monckton Hall, the British captured Philadelphia and General “Howe promptly called Croghan to headquarters and berated him for serving as committeeman at Pittsburgh and for neutralizing the Lake Indians. The general ordered him to take lodgings in town, where he was billeted with two officers who kept him under close scrutiny.” The British evacuated in June, 1778 and the returning Pennsylvania government accused Croghan of aiding the enemy. He vindicated himself during a November trial and, barred from returning to Pittsburgh by General Hand, moved to Lancaster, where he resolved “to sell & pay ever farthing I owe in America as soon as possible” through his agents, the Gratz brothers (Wainwright, 300-304).
 
Croghan moved to Philadelphia, “first to Moyamensing Township, and finally to Passyunk,”
in May, 1780, the year his western lands became part of Pennsylvania. Two years later a committee of Congress determined “that the purchases of Colonel Croghan and the Indiana Company, were made bona fide,” but they remained unrecognized. Still, he had “an estate conservatively estimated at Ł140,000” when he died on August 31, 1782. “His gardener . . . brought the corpse to town and he was interred in St. Peter’s” Episcopal church (Wainwright, 305-310).
 
Conclusion:
 
For three decades George Croghan was the pivotal figure in Ohio Country events, yet except for his biographers, he is marginalized if found at all in history books. “Flaws in his nature” (Wainwright, 309), the central concern of the traditional view of him, are used to explain and justify his suppression and that of his story. Understandably, our national narrative focuses on George Washington, starting with his 1753 mission to the encroaching French in today’s Western Pennsylvania, where he clashed with Croghan a few weeks after surprising the French at Jumonville Glen.
 
Croghan is not mentioned in the national narrative, nor are the falsehoods Washington told about Jumonville Glen, that he was not given the French summons until on the march back to Fort Necessity and that he commanded only 40 men (Greenwood, Jumonville Glen, 11-22). Unlike historians, Washington felt guilty about the war crime. A coda to Washington’s dishonesty regarding Croghan and Western Pennsylvania, the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion aside, is the spurious deed Washington presented at court to evict Washington County, Pennsylvania families in 1784, settlers who had purchased their land from Croghan, who had bought it from the Iroquois in 1749. The dispute dated to 1772, yet Washington’s patent was issued July 5, 1775 (Bothwell, 139) by Lord Dunmore, then aboard a British man-of-war on the James River while Washington had just taken command of the Continental Army besieging Boston (Greenwood, Reappraisal, 44-45).
 
Their rivalry for influence on the frontier ended in 1777 and although no correspondence survives between the commander and chief and General Edward Hand in Pittsburgh about Croghan’s alleged treason, the missing letters implicate Washington in the military coup. Washington’s ruthlessness in dealing with Revolutionary War rivals like Croghan is seen in his aides shooting generals Thomas Conway and Charles Lee in duels. After 1777, for the remainder of the war and during his presidency, Washington’s influence on the Ohio frontier was paramount, with tragic results matching the Fort Necessity and Braddock campaigns.
 
Resistance to acknowledging Croghan’s role in history is a product of tradition, phony nationalism, and inertia. Among the daunting implications, his story renders obsolete every French and Indian War book ever written, exposes our national narrative as seriously flawed and at best misleading, and reveals the gross inadequacy of what is currently taught about the period from kindergarten through graduate school. Along with the human destruction of the environment, Croghan’s story is inconvenient, confirming a Native American insight about the European invaders, that they were missing something at the core of their being, a center that grounded them in reality. There were exceptions and Croghan was one of them, which is why he was nearly universally esteemed by Native Americans and those not blinded by hatred of Indians.
 
Ohio Country has a Native American heritage that sooner or later, as in China, is absorbed by its invaders and settlers, often without their being aware of it. This is likely true of every region in the Americas, a notion that has teased social scientists since the nineteenth century and that Croghan recognized in the eighteenth. He is not only the critical link in the events of his time, still poorly understood, but also in the relationship of present Ohio Country residents to their Native American predecessors.
 
Perhaps there will be another florescence, as during Hopewell times, of the culture that continues at least subconsciously in the Ohio heartland, eastern Kentucky and Indiana, and western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Like cultures around the world fragmented by arbitrary political boundaries, the residents of Ohio Country have one of a kind characteristics that evolved over thousands of years and which George Croghan consciously and quickly adopted, becoming the region’s leader before and during its transition to national independence, in the process becoming our region’s Founding Father.
 
Instead of Pittsburgh where it belongs, sometime in the fall of 2012 the first historical marker commemorating George Croghan is likely to be placed in Pennsylvania's Westmoreland County, specifically the Rostraver Township veterans’ memorial near the municipal building. Indicative of the resistance to making Croghan's story public, the marker was ordered at the beginning of October, 2011 and is still not ready at the end of August, 2012.
 
The 250th anniversary of Pontiac’s Rebellion in 2013 offers another opportunity to recognize Croghan’s pivotal role in anticipating the uprising, lobbying the Board of Trade to make the Indian Department independent of the military, and with his expanded power bringing Pontiac to Detroit. Thereafter, except for Dunmore’s War on the Shawnees, Croghan kept the peace on the frontier, a herculean task. His faithful, courageous, dedicated public service was of the same magnitude as his gargantuan private interests and so well aligned that even most of those who suffered financially honored Croghan for his extraordinary contributions to the general good of society, his country, and posterity.
 
Works Cited:
 
Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Face of Empire in British America, 1754-1766. New York, NY: Knopf, 2000.
Aquila, Richard. The Iroquois Restoration. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska P., 1997.
Bothwell, Margaret Pearson. “The Astonishing Croghans.” Western Pennsylvania History Magazine 48(2) April, 1965: 119-144,
Byers, William Vincent. B. and M. Gratz, Merchants in Philadelphia, 1754-1798. Jefferson City, MO: The Hugh Stevens Publishing Co., 1916.
Cave, Alfred A. “George Croghan and the Emergence of British Influence on the Ohio. Builders of Ohio. William Van Tine and Michael Pierce, eds. Columbus, OH: Ohio St. U. P., 2003.
Flexner, James Thomas. Mohawk Baron: A Biography of Sir William Johnson. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse U. P., 1979.
Greenwood, Jim. Jumonville Glen, May 28, 1754; Day of Infamy. Belle Vernon, PA: Monongahela Press., 2002.
---, editor. George Croghan’s Journal, April 1763 to September 1764 and Comments. Washington, PA: Monongahela Press, 2008.
---. George Croghan, A Reappraisal. Washington, PA: Monongahela Press, 2009.
---. ohiocountry.us website with the above histories, critical comments, and related pages.
Hanna, Charles A. "George Croghan: The King of the Traders." The Wilderness Trail, Vol. Two, originally pub. 1911. Lewisburg, PA: Wennawoods, 1995.
O'Toole, Fintan. White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America. New York, NY: Straus & Giroux, 2005.
Peyton, John Lewis. Peyton’s History of Augusta County, Virginia. Staunton, VA: Samuel M. Yost & Son, 1882.
Volwiler, Albert T. George Croghan and the Western Movement, 1741-1782, originally published in 1926. Lewisburg, PA: Wennawoods, 2000.
Wainwright, Nicholas B. George Croghan: Wilderness Diplomat. Chapel Hill, NC: U of North Carolina P., 1959.
White, Richard. The Middle Ground; Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge U. P., 1991.
Woodard, Colin. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. New York, NY: Viking Penguin, 2011.


George Croghan Historical Marker Dedication Nov. 17, 2012
 
This is the thirteenth RTHS historical marker. The twelfth is the Cedar Creek Grist Mill paid for by Patterson descendents, also being dedicated here today. Greater Monessen Historical Society is the primary sponsor of the Croghan marker. The project began three years ago as a proposed state marker to be placed in Pittsburgh’s Point Park, but that location and many another was denied. Thanks to Dr. Regis Serinko, the present site in Rostraver’s veterans’ memorial was offered. RTHS’S President Ray Popp, Treasurer Bill Maher, former township Commissioner Nick Lorenzo and township road workers helped place it Nov. 8, 2012. In the interim Mr. Maher’s wife Libby passed away and was buried earlier today in West Newton Cemetery, not far from the Youghigheny River she loved so much. She will be greatly missed by the members of our historical society and all who knew her.
 
A special thanks is due to those who contributed financially to the Croghan marker: Mike and Christy Brown, Martha Ressler, John Nass, Terri Blanchett and a colleague from the Heinz History Center, Rebecca Chesnut, John Folmar, Pat Laughlin, and Cheryl Greenwood, as well as Wayne and Dwayne of Monessen’s Bianchi Monuments.
Col. George Croghan (circa 1718-1782)
Veteran of King George’s, the French and Indian, and Revolutionary War, George Croghan’s 1749 grant includes most of Rostraver Township. Nearby Gratztown, named in 1780 for Croghan’s Jewish agents, was Croghan’s Sewickley Old Town trading post and anchored his local deed. Presumable purchasers were William Crawford for George Washington in today’s Perryopolis and modern Smithdale's 1758 pioneer, George Weddell. Once a Monongahela Indian village, Weddell’s terrace farm overlooked the former Shawnee town and Croghan’s trading post, burnt by Wolf and other Delawares during Pontiac's 1763 conspiracy, with partner Col. Clapham among the five killed.
An Irish immigrant and Pennsylvania fur trader in 1741, King George’s War found Croghan nearly engrossing Fort Detroit trade, fomenting an Indian revolt, and joining William Johnson on the Iroquois’ Onondaga Council. Croghan organized and led the Ohio Confederation at Logstown that Pennsylvania recognized as independent of the Six Nations and appointed Croghan its colonial agent. A few days before Celeron's 1749 expedition reached Logstown, Croghan purchased his 200,000 acres from the Iroquois, later learning that the deeds would be void if in Pennsylvania.


He and Andrew Montour guided Virginia's Ohio Company scout Christopher Gist in 1750 and arranged its 1752 Logstown treaty. Pennsylvania plans for a fort at the Forks of the Ohio had been abandoned in 1751 when Montour testified that the Indians did not want it. Virginia's 1754 stockade was commanded by Croghan's business partner William Trent and surrendered by half-brother Edward Ward.
A captain in charge of the Indians under Col. Washington, then under Gen. Braddock, Croghan could do little to capture Fort Duquesne, but William Johnson's Deputy Indian Agent in 1758 hurried from facilitating the Easton Treaty to his Indian scouts at the head of Gen. Forbes' column for its fall. He worked with Col. Bouquet and built the first Lawrenceville Croghan Hall, burnt during Pontiac's Rebellion. Croghan brought Pontiac to Detroit in 1765 and, except for the Shawnees during Dunmore's War, kept the Ohio tribes pacified thereafter.
Pittsburgh's president judge, Committee of Safety Chairman, and person keeping the Ohio tribes neutral was exiled for treason in 1777 by General Edward Hand, who prevented Croghan's return when cleared in a 1778 Philadelphia trial. The frontier lost its shield and the fourteenth state, with Pittsburgh its capital and Croghan the largest land owner, Indian agent, and likely governor.
Pennsylvania, Fort Pitt Museum, and the Daughters of the American Revolution declined Croghan’s historical marker for its most appropriate site, Point Park, and Pittsburgh's Morton Brown responded, “the City does not prefer to simply deny your request outright.” When Westmoreland County ruled out Cedar Creek Park, Croghan’s pivotal story found public expression for the first time here.
Placed November 2012 by Greater Monessen Historical Society
and Rostraver Township Historical Society
 
----Original Message-----
From: Jim Greenwood (by way of Noam Chomsky <chomsky@mit.edu>) [mailto:green605@comcast.net
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:32 PM
To: Noam Chomsky
Subject: George Croghan story

Dear Prof. Chomsky,

Last Saturday the first historical marker for George Croghan was dedicated in the veterans’ memorial next to Pennsylvania’s Rostraver Township municipal building, a year late and containing six errors. A 12” by 24” granite slab with the corrections was placed at ground level in front of the marker. Only five people attended the ceremony. Requests to the region’s newspapers to announce the event were ignored. The project began three years ago as a proposed state marker sponsored by the Greater Monessen Historical Society to be placed in Pittsburgh’s Point Park, but that site was ruled out and only tentative approval for the marker elsewhere was given by the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission. At that time, Pennsylvania markers for the forts at the Point were to be moved to the periphery for aesthetic reasons under a new architectural plan. I don’t think that happened, but Fort Pitt’s surviving section of moat and ravelin was buried. GMHS’S Board agreed to pursue placing the present marker in Point Park, as it could not be objected to on aesthetic grounds and is absolutely essential to understanding the history of the forts and Pittsburgh, the preservation of which begins the mission statement of the park. A Pennsylvania official declined the offer on the grounds that there was a potential for too many signs in the park. A Pittsburgh official permanently put off placing it in one of its parks, saying that the City preferred not to reject the offer outright. It took to two years to secure a site. Details and your emails over the years are found on the website ohiocountry.us. Thank you for your interest in Croghan’s story and its continued suppression.

Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood
 
That's a shame. Lots of work to do.

Noam Chomsky


From: "Ohio History"
To: green605@comcast.net, "Ohio History"
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:54:16 AM
Subject: Re: Croghan biography submission

 
Hi Jim,
As promised I have news on your submission of "Ohio Country's George Croghan." Unfortunately the readers both feel, and I agree, that it is not appropriate for Ohio History as it fails to engage current scholarship and lacks historiographic perspective on the topic. It also relies on a narrow body of primary sources, namely only a published version of Croghan's journal. According to these expert reviewers, there are in fact a number of recent (past decade or so) works that emphasize Croghan's contributions. Below I've pasted a digest of their comments and some recommended sources should you continue to work on the topic.

Again, thank you for your submission to the journal. I wish you the best in your future research.
all best,
Diane

Comments for Greenwood, "Ohio Country's George Croghan."

p1- "Croghan is proof that anyone can become an Indian." Coming across this statement in the opening paragraphs did not bode well for the remainder of the essay. To suggest such a thing is an insult to American Indians. However I did read further thinking that perhaps the statement would benefit from contextualizing or that it was meant to be provocative. Neither proved to be true.
 The author of this essay attempts to center Croghan as central figure in the acqusition, expansion and settlement of the Ohio Country. He believes that scholars have not treated Croghan fairly in historical accounts and proceeds to give Croghan the attention he deserves.
 There are many problems with the essay--but fundamentally the author's research is outdated and lacks merit. Croghan appears in many scholarly books and articles relative to the era and place. This author does not cite any primary sources with the exception of an edited version of George Croghan's Journal--an edition I'm not familiar with. The remainder of the material is secondary and most of those publications are relatively outdated. But most importantly the author does not cite recent scholarship (the last 10-20 years) in which Croghan's activities play a part. Croghan is a complicated character often included in the recent literature. Some of the most important examples below.
James H. Merrell. Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier
William J. Campbell. "An Adverse Patron: Land, Trade, and George Croghan," Pennsylvania History, 76(2), 2009: 117-140.  
Greg Dowd, Spirited Resistance: The American Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815, 1992. 

Re: Croghan biography submission
Sent By: green605@comcast.net; On: Nov. 11/27/12 6:545 PM
To: "Ohio History"

Hi Diane,
The rejection of my submission did not come as a surprise. Thank you for the comments. They will go on the ohiocountry.us website's Critical Comments page, which begins with an exchange with William Campbell, who was also offended by my claim that Croghan was an Indian. Your reviewer and Campbell are sympathetic spokespeople for Native America, anxious to protect Indians from insult, but William Johnson, Blue Jacket, Mary Jemison, and a host of people who started out as something else also became Indians, even if some professional historians are in denial about it.
Many contemporary scholars of Native America are writing "New Indian History": I have just begun Frederick E. Hoxie's This Indian Country, for instance. Unfortunately, while employing familiar Croghan quotations found in earlier histories, the New Indian Historians have little to no fresh interpretation of Croghan's role in history. An example cited by your reviewer, Campbell's 2009 "Adverse Patron" begins with the traditional assertion that Croghan was a scoundrel and goes nowhere from there. That is why your reviewer, Campbell, and Pennsylvania History's Bill Pencak find a paucity of more recent historians in my bibliography. They have added nothing to Croghan scholarship. Finding nothing new in my Croghan work, Campbell, the only professional historian specializing in Croghan, and Pencak provided me with reading lists where I was supposed to find my discoveries anticipated. Over the last summer I read the books and took notes. Needless to say I am extremely interested in what recent historians have to say concerning Croghan, but White, Merrell, and Dowd are unenligtening. I also read the most recent Washington biographies and in these found no reference to Croghan at all, despite the intensity of their rivalry in Ohio Country. The problem in Croghan scholarship is not with the primary sources of information, they are abundant and often quoted. The problem is inadequate and erroneous interpretation based on the denial of Croghan's pivotal role in Ohio Country from King George's War into the Revolution. He was suppressed and his story remains suppressed.
On a similar note, the Campbell exchange resulted in a Comic Relief page on ohiocountry.us when he first demanded and eventually begged me to delete six months of back and forth email correspondence about Croghan. Why, I asked, would an historian want to erase the record? When I first emailed you about the Croghan biography, I mentioned that I had encountered a great deal of intellectual dishonesty regarding my work. One of the benefits of knowing one rather limited subject, Croghan in this case, better than anyone else is the ability to measure, test, evaulate, and critique what other scholars know about it. That becomes a private pleasure when censorship keeps new facts and interpretations from the public eye. Thankfully in the 21st Century there is an internet where, if interested, diligent, and fortunate enough to stumble across it, people can access information that gatekeepers like yourself deny them.
 
Best wishes,
Jim Greenwood