HAD an observer been able to station himself with a spyglass on the hill now known as Mount Washington on a bleak day in late November, 1753, he would have been rewarded by a panoramic view of the region about the Forks of the Ohio that was soon to engross the attention of the world. The glory of autumn has passed and the leaves hang lifelessly upon the branches or carpet the ground beneath. Save for the very shores of the rivers and for the little fields of the Indians and traders, trees are everywhere, spreading over the plains and the hilltops and clinging to the sides of the steepest hills.
At the bottom of a sheer drop of three hundred feet, and so close underneath that one could throw a stone into its depths, rushes the yellow Monongahela in flood. Flowing in from the northeast to meet it comes the Allegheny, ordinarily clear and pure, but now scarcely to be distinguished in color from its sister stream. The waters, united into the Ohio, flow northwest between two lines of forest-clad hills--the hills on the southwest side rising abruptly from the river, those on the other sloping more gradually away from the edge of the water. In the distance a low island cleaves the current and just beyond a bold rock, around which rises the smoke from the cabins of