[NPS Arrowhead]
U.S. Dept. of Interior National Park Service Archeology Program Quick Menu Features * Sitemap * Home

Visit Archeology > Ohio > Timeline > Contested Land

Contested Land (450 - 200 Before the Present)

The Ohio Valley is rich in a variety of valuable resources. The soil is fertile, water resources are extensive, wild game is plentiful, timber is abundant, and animals important to the fur trade, such as beaver, once were in great supply. For these reasons, the land that is now Ohio was bitterly fought over by Indian groups and Europeans alike during the late 1600s and early 1700s.

In 1669 La Salle launched an expedition to explore the Ohio Valley, claiming the area for France. French fur traders and other people seeking resources and land began to pour into the fertile region. However, the British soon contested French rights to the valuable land, which escalated to the last of French and Indian Wars in 1754. The French were defeated and the British claimed control over the land. However, land rights to the Ohio Valley were again challenged by a group of Indian tribes including the powerful Iroquois Nation in a series of skirmishes from 1763 to 1766 called Pontiac's Rebellion.

Through the Quebec Act of 1774, the British placed the region spanning present-day Ohio within the Canadian border. The majority of colonists were angered by this act, which contributed to the growing resentment against British governance prior to the American Revolution. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the British ceded a large chunk of land that included present-day Ohio to the newly formed United States. The region was developed quickly through the Ohio Company, which organized the purchase and settlement of the Ohio River Valley. Soon after land companies encouraged settlers to move from the east to present-day Ohio and the region's population steadily increased. Native Americans, supported by the British, resisted American migration into the region and were initially successful at opposing settlement campaigns. However, in the battle of Fallen Timbers (1794), the Americans defeated the Indian and British opposition. Soon after, the British and the Americans signed Jay's Treaty, and British outposts were removed from the Northwest region. Ohio became a U.S. territory in 1799 and a state in 1803.