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‘White Thunder’
Young Washington in Pennsylvania by Donald H. Kent


1997 Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 6 pages

Graced with two paintings or our Founding Father, two period maps, one by his hand, and the cover page from a pamphlet, commissioned by Robert Dinwiddle and printed by William Hunter in 1754, being the writings and illustrations of young Washington himself, this 8.5 by 11 inch pamphlet does what such a document should do, comfort the woman, the elderly, the idiot and the patriot, indoctrinate the child and paint numerous questions in the mind of the truth seeker and fact finder.

Artisan documents of this period rarely contained lies, only biased interpretations of presented facts and are easily mined for their incongruent subtext. I am sure my angelic editor ill provide me with a copy of The JOURNAL of Major George Washington, sent by the, Hon. Robert Dinwiddle, Esq; His Majesty’s Lieutenant-Governor, and Commander in Chief of Virginia, to the COMMANDANT of the FRENCH FORCES on OHIO. To WHICH are added the GOVERNOR’s LETTER, and a TRANSLATION of the French OFFICER’s ANSWER.

The pamphlet focuses on Washington’s hazardous journey among Indians and French, suggesting that Washington’s own account may give a true picture of trans-Appalachian life among the Indians. I am particularly interested in background on Half King [a murderous Indian who later abets a war crime by Washington in his next expedition], Jeskakake [obviously a genetic Indian] and White Thunder, who, if he is not a genetic Indian or even a half breed, has got the coolest white Indian name in history.

Washington conducted operation in the French and Indian War, which he started with the capture and murder of French Ensign Joseph de Villiers de Jumonville on Laurel Hill, on the following dates:

-Spring, 1754, a reconnaissance in fraud and the capture and murder of Jumonville, which ignited the war,

-Summer, 1755, served as a volunteer staff officer to General Edward Braddock,

-Autumn, 1758, served as colonel and commander in chief of Virginia militia under General John Forbes in the taking of Fort Duquesne at the present day location of Three Rivers Stadium, home field of the Pittsburg Steelers.

I will also seek Washington’s journal and related documents on the 1754 expedition to determine the social status of his soldiers and their antagonists for the final volume in the series. Militia of this period consisted of slaves, freedmen [former slaves], freemen and aristocrats such as Washington. On the other hand, professional troops such as the French and British fielded were often enslaved criminals. For the current project I am probing the identity of the Indians involved, for nothing occurred, militarily speaking, on the frontier, without the Indians.

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