"Exuberant, bumptious, the young republic annexed Texas, picked a quarrel with Mexico, and then sent thousands across the plains and mountains to the newly discovered gold fields."
"By 1850, California had entered the Union, and the United States had preempted the whole vast territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Lake of the Woods to the Rio Grande." "And in the federal census of that year, it counted 23,191,876 inhabitants."
"My story will be confined to the sixteen miles which separate Fort Stephenson at the Lower Falls of the Sandusky river, (now Fremont), from the banks of Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Portage river, (Port Clinton), the point visited by all Indians and French in coming from or going to Detroit and the northwest; and later the point from which General Harrison's army left American soil to pursue the British in Canada in his successful campaign terminating at the Battle of the Thames, October 5, 1813."
...with a small escort of frontiersmen and friendly Indians, he (George Washington) was to strike north-west from the border mountains for Lake Erie. He carried a formal letter from Dinwiddie to be delivered to the first French officer of authority he found....Washington's starting point was at Wills Creek [north of Fort Cumberland], a tributary of the upper Potomac on the Virginia side of the mountains. ...joined by Christopher Gist, the Ohio Company factor, who had blazed the Nemacolin trail for eighty miles to the Great Crossing of the Youghiogheny. Thence they would have to rely on Indian guides as far as Lake Erie. The season was far advanced for such a journey.