Europeans Arrive

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In 1750 Ohio was relatively densely populated with Indians. There were approximately 15,000 Indians in Ohio at this time. Between 1750 and 1800 there was a struggle for white control of Ohio between the English and the French. Both sides attempted to use the native population to do their bidding.

The area from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to the Mouth of the Mississippi was referred to the French Crescent. The French explorer, LaSalle traveled down the Ohio River area searching for a Northwest Passage through the North American continent. In 1679 his ship, The Griffin, sank in the Huron River while he was searching for this North West Passage. In 1681-82 he led an expedition down the Ohio River, to the Mississippi and finally to the Gulf of Mexico. He became the first European to locate the Mississippi River.

Profitable fur trading with the Indians drew the French and the British to the Ohio area. A Frenchman named D'Ibersville built a fort near the present Ohio city of Coshocton in 1679. An Englishman, Johanas Rooseboom, lead an expedition from Albany, New York to the present location of Chicago. Lemothe Cadillac founded Detroit in 1701.

Between 1689 and 1815 the British and the French were involved in a series of wars, mostly with each other. This started with King William's War, and continued with the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and ended with the War of 1812. This period is sometimes referred to as the "Second Hundred Years War."

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