Rangers of the Ohio Company - rangersoftheohiocompany

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Timeline of the French & Indian War



William Trent, an agent for the Ohio Company, arrives at the mouth of Redstone Creek (Brownsville PA) with a small working force to construct a store house for the Ohio Company.  This is to serve as a base for the construction of a fort for the Ohio Company near or on the Forks of the Ohio River.

Fort Presque Isle (Erie, PA) is constructed by the French, who then build a road south to a new post at LeBoeuf.

Fort LeBoeuf is built by the French at present-day Waterford, PA.

The French seize John Fraser's cabin, a trader for the Ohio Company, at the confluence of French Creek and the Allegheny River (Franklin PA), and establish a presence there which will become Fort Machault.

George Washington, whose family had a financial interest in the Ohio Company, is commissioned by Lt. Gov. Dinwiddie. He leaves Williamsburg, carrying a letter from Gov. Dinwiddie to the French, ordering them to vacate the British territory.

November 14
Christopher Gist, an agent of the Ohio Company, joins George Washington at Wills Creek (Cumberland, MD).

November 22
George Washington, after standing at the point where the Ohio River begins, writes in his journal, "As I got down before the Canoe, I spent some Time in viewing the Rivers, & the Land in the Fork, which I think extreamly well situated for a Fort; as it has the absolute Command of both Rivers."

November 24
George Washington arrives at the Shawnee Indian town of Logstown (Ambridge PA) to obtain information about the location of French forts.

November 30
George Washington and Christopher Gist leave Logstown for Fort Venango (which replaced Fort Machault), accompanied by the Seneca leader Half-King (Tanacharison) and "two old men and one young warrior."

December 4
George Washington arrives in Fort Venango and attempts to deliver the letter to the French. They instruct him he needs to travel further north to Fort LeBoeuf.

December 6 or 7
George Washington leaves for Fort LeBoeuf.

December 11
George Washington arrives at Fort LeBoeuf.

December 16
Completing an unsuccessful diplomatic mission, George Washington leaves Fort LeBoeuf to begin his journey back to Williamsburg, however, while at Fort LeBoeuf he is able to gather important intelligence about the French forces.

December 27
George Washington is shot at, by an Indian that was traveling with him, near "Murthering Town", but escapes harm.

December 29
George Washington & Christopher Gist, in trying to cross the Allegheny River, near the Delaware Indian village of Shannopin's Town, fall off the raft and nearly drown. They spend the night on an island and finish crossing the river on the frozen ice the next day.




January 16
George Washington arrives in Williamsburg and delivers the French commandant's negative reply to Gov. Dinwiddie, thus setting the stage for the French and Indian War.


William Trent, is commissioned a Captain of the Virginia militia (and is an agent for the Ohio Company), and is ordered to raise 100 men and descend the Monongahela River and build a fort to be called Fort Prince George, on the triangle between the Monongalia and the Allegheny rivers.  George Washington, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Virginia militia, is instructed to raise another company and march to the support of Captain Trent.

April 18
British Fort Prince George, a trading fort for the Ohio Company, is surrendered to the French at the Point (Pittsburgh PA); The French now control the Forks of the Ohio and immediately begin the construction of Fort Duquesne.

May 28
George Washington led 40 men from an encampment near present-day Uniontown PA to an Indian camp where 10 or 11 warriors joined them. They set off to investigate reports of a French camp a few miles away. Not long after dawn, the two forces exchanged fire, leaving four Virginians and fourteen Frenchmen dead or wounded. The French commander, Ensign Joseph Coulon de Villiers, Sieur de Jumonville, was killed.

May 30

George Washington builds Fort Necessity near present day Farmington PA.

July 3

The French and the Indians attacked Washingtons troops who had built a "fort of necessity", killing or wounding one-third of Washington's men after a day of constant firing in heavy rain. Washington surrendered, and on July 4 was allowed to retreat back to Virginia with “the Honors of War”.




July 9
Following Washington’s surrender at Fort Necessity, the British government sent Major General Edward Braddock and a force of 1,300 British regular and colonial militia to seize Fort Duquesne. On July 9, 1755, after a double fording of the Monongahela River to the site of present-day Braddock, they encountered about 900 French and Indian troops. In the ensuing three-hour firefight, Braddock’s command is soundly defeated and suffers more than 1,000 casualties before the survivors flee.  Two waggoners, Daniel Boone and Daniel Morgan, escape the massacre.

July 13

General Braddock, mortally wounded, dies near the burned ruins of Fort Necessity, and his body is buried under the road so that it cannot be found. Braddock's defeat unleashes two years of attacks by the Indians, and effectively rolls the Pennsylvania frontier back to Carlisle, barely 100 miles from Philadelphia.




French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm arrives in Quebec. He does not like depending on American Indian allies and changes the way the French fight the war.

May 17
England formally declares war on France. Fighting spreads to the West Indies, India and Europe.

Fort Granville (Lewistown PA) is destroyed by the Delaware war chief Captain Jacobs.

July 23
British Lord Loudoun arrives in New York where he threatens the colonies and treats them badly. They do not like his behavior and resist helping him, hurting the war effort.

August 14
The French capture the British Fort Oswego (Oswego NY) and take control of Lake Ontario.

September 9
Pennsylvania Colonel John Armstrong embarks on a secret, retaliatory surprise attack against the Indians, attacking and destroying the village of Kittanning PA. An explosion kills Captain Jacobs and his family and liberates 11 prisoners.



March 10
A letter arrives from British Secretary of State William Pitt, changing the policies of Lord Loudoun. The colonies now become very supportive of the war.

August 9–10
The French capture Fort William Henry (Lake George NY). However, the French do not consult with their Indian allies about the surrender. The surrender agreement angers the Indians, since the British troops are allowed to leave the fort.  The next day the enraged Indians attack and capture or kill hundreds of British soldiers.



July 8
Despite having many more troops, the British did not take Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga NY).

June 8–July 26
The British capture the fortress at Louisbourg Nova Scotia. This opens the St. Lawrence River and the water route into Canada.

August 25–27
The British capture Fort Frontenac (Kingston, Ontario). This fort supplied all the French forts in the Ohio River Valley and further west.

September 3
Brigadier General John Forbes' men construct Fort Ligonier (Ligonier PA), the rallying point for the last stage of Forbes' march to take the French Fort Duquesne.

October 8–26
The Ohio River Valley Indians sign the Treaty of Easton, promising not to fight for the French. In return the British promise not to settle the lands west of the Allegheny Mountains after the war.

October 12
With supplies and native allies dwindling, Fort Duquesne commander Francois-Marie le Marchand, Sieur de Ligneris, launches a desperate raid to destroy Fort Ligonier. In the ensuing three-hour battle, Pennsylvania Colonel James Burd loses dozens of men but successfully defends the fort.

Encouraged by reports that the French garrison at Fort Duquesne is shrinking and that their allies, the Delaware Indians, are prepared to abandon the French and make peace, General Forbes decides to mount an early assault.

November 23
As the British forces march towards Fort Duquesne, the French set fire to the fort, blow up its walls, and retreat up the Allegheny River. The British seize control of the Forks .   The camp is referred to as Fort Argyle.

December 1
General Forbes formally names the camp Pittsburgh.




The British begin construction of Fort Pitt.

The Iroquois Indians decide to ally with the British and help them defeat the French at Fort Niagara NY.

July 10–25
The French surrender Fort Niagara to the British and their Indian allies after a long fight.

July 26
The French army retreats and the British capture Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point NY.

September 13
The French surrender the city of Quebec, Canada after the British defeat them in an early morning battle just outside the city.



September 8
The British capture Montreal Canada and the fighting ends between the French and the British in North America. The British and French still fight in other parts of the world.





British General Jeffery Amherst changes the trading practices with the Indians. The new rules cause the Indians to suffer great hardship and begin to turn against the British.



June 8–August 13
The British capture the Spanish city of Havana, Cuba and bring another European power  into the war.



February 10
The Spanish, French and British sign a peace treaty, the Treaty of Paris. Much of North America changes hands as the British gain most of the land north of Florida and east of the Mississippi & Missouri Rivers.

April 27
Ottawa Indian chief Pontiac holds a war council and plans to attack Fort Detroit (Detroit MI). He unites many of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes Region Indian nations in an effort to drive the British soldiers off their land.

May 9
Pontiac and his warriors attack Fort Detroit.

May 16–June 21
The Indians attack and burn eight British forts and settlements. Both Fort Pitt and Fort Detroit are surrounded , but are not taken.

August 5–6
Colonel Henry Bouquet attempts to relieve Fort Pitt. On August 5, near Bushy Run, an Indian war party attacks the column. The next day Bouquet tricks the Indians and drives them off, clearing the way to Fort Pitt.

October 7
In an effort to stop all the Indian fighting, King George III signs the Proclamation of 1763, which requires British colonists to live east of the Allegheny Mountains.   This Proclamation angers the settlers and British troops burn their cabins and run them off.

The British change their policy regarding trade with the Indians, which the Indians find agreeable. The Indians make peace with the British and end Pontiac’s War.


Welcome to the Rangers of the Ohio Company Website!

We are a group of French & Indian War reenactors that portray the men who were rangers for the Ohio Company of Virginia and the British Army during the years of the French & Indian War 1754-1763.


 In order to join our unit we ask that you attend one of our events.  We would like to see the extent of your interest such as: What is your persona? Do you have a time period accurate kit (i.e. your clothing & accoutrements)? What is the depth of your interest in the history of our unit?  The Rangers of the Ohio Company has a great reputation and many want to join but, we need to see that new members are in fact interested in investing their time and money to enjoy this wonderful hobby we consider a passion.


Please feel free to explore our website.  The Message Board provides a place for discussions and the Calendar a listing of F&I events.

A Word about the Rangers of the Ohio Company

The Rangers of the Ohio Company

As early as August 1753 William Fairfax suggested that William Trent be commissioned to raise “a body of Rangers” to give the British traders and the families some sense of security.  They were Rangers of the Ohio Company!  They wore no uniforms but dressed as the frontier demanded, very similar to the ways that the Natives dressed.  They fought, lived and died as men who were seeking a better life in an expanding world.


In 1754, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed an Act authorizing ₤10,000 for the defense of the frontier.  In addition to the rangers that Trent already had employed, he was commissioned a captain and ordered to raise a company of 100 men from Augusta County Virginia and from the exterior settlements of the Dominion.  Land was also offered which provided “that over and above their pay, 200,000 acres of His Majesty the King of Great Brittan’s Land on the east side of the Ohio River, …, shall be laid off and granted to such persons, who by their voluntary engagement and good behavior in said Service, shall deserve the same.”  These men were from all backgrounds and trades who volunteered for the promise of pay and land, but were driven by many reasons. 


The Rangers of the Ohio Company were rugged men who ranged away from the settlements and traveled into the wildness to establish and protect the fur trade routes of the Ohio Company.  Early pioneers gathered for the common defense of their communities and fought an irregular warfare with the Natives and French.  Rangers served as scouts, pathfinders, snipers, hunters, interpreters, Indian agents and intelligence gatherers for the Ohio Company and the established colonial government. They were among the first to open the frontier for British settlement and expanding Ohio Company trade in the vast regions and resources of the Ohio Country. 


These Rangers patrolled between fixed frontier fortifications conducting reconnaissance missions and providing early warning of enemy raids. In offensive operations, they were scouts and guides, locating villages and other targets for forces drawn from the colonial militia or other troops.  They responded when danger was present, fighting in the way of the woods, rather than lined up by battalions and firing as a mass at an unseen enemy.


The Rangers of the Ohio Company, which is now before you, is a living history presentation honoring these Rangers.  Please come and visit the camp and see, smell and hear about life as a Ranger in mid-eighteenth century America.

A Short History of the Ohio Company of Virginia

The Ohio Company of Virginia was formed in 1747-1748 under the leadership of Thomas Lee and promoted by the Lieutenant-governor of Virginia William Gooch, to engage in land speculation and to promote English settlement and trade with the Six Nations Indians in the Ohio Country. At its height the Company’s membership included such prominent figures as Thomas Cresap, William Thornton, John Carlyle, Richard Lee. Thomas Lee, George William Fairfax, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie, Robert Carter, George Mason and Lawrence & Augustine Washington.


In 1749 John Hanbury, a prominent London merchant and member of the Ohio Company, petitioned on the company’s behalf, to the British Privy Council for a grant of 200,000 acres in Ohio Country.  (The Privy Council was a body of advisors to the King, that is equal to the President’s Cabinet.) The grant contained the condition that the company would settle 100 families on the land and erect a fort.  On the company’s compliance with this condition, it was to receive an additional 300,000 acres.  The Ohio Company would provide support and protection to the families that settled the area.


The Company selected Wills Creek (present day Cumberland) on the Maryland side of the Potomac River as its frontier headquarters, moving from Thomas Cresap’s Old Town site.  The Ohio Company commissioned frontiersmen such as Christopher Gist, William Trent and Hugh Parker to make surveys, locate sites for settlements, and build roads for trade.  In addition to the Wills Creek site, a store house was established on Redstone Creek (present day Brownsville, PA).

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4/24/2014 1:27:24 AM