Published on April 2, 2012 by Amy
In 1774, Lord Dunmore was the British governor of Virginia. After the Peace of Paris of 1763, the British had undisputed claim to the area west of the Appalachian Mountains. The people of Virginia did not like the British presence in their state. Also, the British did not want the Virginians to settle on any land west of the Appalachians, but the Virginians did not agree. Many white people were continuing to settle on lands west of the Appalachian Mountains and the Indians were harassing them.
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Lord Dunmore went to Pittsburgh in the spring of 1774 hoping to make peace with the Indians. Soon, it became clear that peace would not happen. He began recruiting men and soon had a force of about 1,000 soldiers. After a couple of weeks of drill, Dunmore led the troops to the mouth of the Little Kanawha River.
While camped at the Little Kanawha River, Dunmore was to meet with his officers who already had about 1,000 men camped about six miles away from Dunmore. The Battle of Point Pleasant prevented them from meeting.
The Shawnee leader, Cornstalk, had a loosely organized group of approximately 500 Indians waiting to attack Dunmore’s officers. In the early morning hours, the Indians crossed the Ohio River and attacked. The Battle of Point Pleasant lasted into the afternoon and was very intense. However, by the end of the day, the Indians were retreating to the north bank of the Ohio River in defeat.
After the Battle of Point Pleasant, Dunmore marched his men north to the Shawnee villages. At this point, he was able to negotiate for peace. As a result of Dunmore’s War, the Indians agreed to give up all of their white prisoners, restore all captured horses and other property, and not to hunt south of the Ohio River. Also, they were to allow boats on the Ohio River and not harass them. This opened up present day West Virginia and Kentucky for settlement.