William M. Darlington: Selections from a Collector's Life, Summer 2014 @ Pitt Special Collections: Christopher Gist
This library guide is an overview of the Special Collection's exhibit, "William M. Darlington: Selections from a Collector's Life," which features items that were a part of Mr. Darlington's early American history collection.
This collection primarily contains manuscript drafts of William Darlington's book, Christopher Gist's Journals, published posthumously in 1893 by J.R. Weldin & Co. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Included are many handwritten research notes, manuscript drafts, a partial galley proof, and several printing plates of the maps used in the publication. A digitized version of the published Christopher Gist's Journals can be found online at the Internet Archive website (http://www.archive.org/details/christophergists00gistuoft). Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically by following the respective "Digitized Folder Contents" links within the finding aid.
The Ohio Company, founded in 1747, represented the trading and land prospecting interests of a handful of Virginia planters. In 1748, company representative George Mercer secured a land grant from the British Crown for 200,000 acres in the Ohio territory, a colloquial term for what is now modern day West Virginia, much of Ohio, western Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland. The company employed frontiersman Christopher Gist to survey the area of the grant and negotiate a treaty with the Native Americans in the 1750s. Gist embarked on three separate journeys into the Ohio territory in 1750-51, 1751-52, and 1753-54. The Ohio Company’s efforts in the contested region were largely stymied by the outbreak of the French and Indian War, despite its continued existence until its formal dissolution in 1779. Members of the company included Virginians George Mason, brothers Lawrence, Augustine, and George Washington, Virginia colony Governor Robert Dinwiddie, and British merchant John Hanbury. This collection includes manuscript copies of the Case of the Ohio Company, a collection of materials compiled by George Mercer to demonstrate the progress made by the Ohio Company, and a number of debt notes related to the company’s trade in dry goods. The collection documents the involvement of John Mercer, James Mercer, George Mercer, George Mason, George Croghan, Thomas Cresap, Adam Stephen, and William Crawford in the company. Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically by following the respective "Digitized Folder Contents" links within the finding aid.