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Celoron de Bienville

French explorer; born about 1715. The treaty of peace at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 did not touch the subject of boundaries between the French and English colonies in America. The Ohio Company was formed partly for the purpose of planting English settlements in the disputed territory. The French determined to counteract the movement by pre-occupation; and in 1749 the governor of Canada, the Marquis de la Galissoniere, sent Celeron with subordinate officers, cadets, twenty soldiers, 180 Canadians, thirty Iroquois, and twenty-five Abenakes, with instructions to go down the Ohio River and take formal possession of the surrounding country in the name of the King of France. Contrecoeur, afterwards in command at Fort Duquesne, and Coulon de Villiers accompanied him as chief lieutenants. Celoron was provided with a number of leaden tablets, properly inscribed, to bury at [74] different places as a record of pre-occupation by the French. The expedition left Lachine on June 15, ascended the St. Lawrence, crossed Lake Ontario, arrived at Niagara July 6, coasted some distance along the southern shores of Lake Erie, and then made an overland journey to the head-waters of the Alleghany River. Following that stream to its junction with the Monongahela, they went down the Ohio to the mouth of the Great Miami, below Cincinnati, proclaiming French sovereignty, and burying six leaden tablets at as many different places. From the mouth of the Miami they made an overland journey to Lake Erie, and reached Fort Niagara Oct. 19, 1749. The place and date of Celoron's death are uncertain.

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