George Washington

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?} Reconstructed Colonel William Crawford's Cabin
The Connellsville Area Historical Society and the Fayette County Commissioners reconstructed the log home of Colonel William Crawford in 1976. The cabin is 14 X 16 feet and contains one room. Even though the cabin was small for a family of six, their hospitality was legendary. George Washington, Lord Dunmore (the governor of Virginia), and many other passing travelers found a hospitable welcome there. Over the years, William Crawford played an important role in the life of the area. During an Indian scare, he helped plan the defense of the area by having the settlers build several forts to protect themselves. He recruited and led a battalion of southwestern Pennsylvanians to fight in the Revolution and served as a Justice of the Peace for many years. While leading an expedition against the Delaware Indians in Ohio, he was captured and burned at the stake in 1782.

The reconstructed home of Colonel William Crawford sits on the west bank of the Youghiogheny River in Connellsville, PA.
?} Connellsville's First Settler
The first white man in what is now Connellsville, PA was Colonel William Crawford. He was a farmer/surveyor/soldier who was a friend of George Washington and had served with him in the Virginia Militia. In the fall of 1765, he came over the mountains on horseback with his half-brother Hugh Stephenson. When they saw the beautiful meadow lands in the bend of the Youghiogheny River, Crawford decided to build his home there. The two men surveyed a tract of little over 376 acres and put up a log cabin (Crawford's Cabin). The next year, he moved his family into the cabin after a very hazardous trip over the mountains. Hannah Crawford, his wife, and their four children, had to follow what was little better than a path that was exceedingly rough and dangerous in places. As they had just pack horses to carry their possessions, only the essentials could be brought along.
?} The oldest English settlement in Fayette County, PA of which we have an authentic record, was made in 1751 by Wendell Brown and his three sons, Maunnus, Thomas, and Adam. This was about two years before Christopher Gist effected his settlement at Mount Braddock, PA (North Union Township, PA). The Browns built their first cabin in Provance's Bottom along the Monongahela River, but for some reason the Indians did not want them there, and persuaded them to take up other land in Georges Township, PA. For several years these four men lived in these western wilds alone, with only the Redmen for their neighbors. Yet they were never molested. On one occasion, Thomas was caught spying upon the Indians, and had his teeth knocked out by a tomahawk for his insolence; but aside from this they received the most kind and generous treatment as neighbors and friends. The French occupation of Fort Duquense, in 1754, put an end to this strange experience. The Browns patriotically rallied to the help of Colonel George Washington, doing everything they could to furnish him with provisions for his little army. They were at Fort Necessity at the time of the surrender, July 4, 1754; and, their cabin having been destroyed by the French, returned with the defeated army to Virginia. In 1758, after the expulsion of the French by General John Forbes, they returned to Fayette County, PA, bringing with them their wives and children and establishing themselves permanently in their western homes.
?} The first known religious service to have been conducted in Fayette County, PA was by George Washington at Fort Necessity in 1754. He led his army of Virginia Militia in daily prayers in a Church of England ritual.
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Fort Necessity National Battlefield, site of the 1754 Fort Necessity battle at the start of the French and Indian War, is located near Farmington, PA in Wharton Township, PA.

British and colonial forces under the command of George Washington came under attack by a larger force of French and Indians.

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