In 1749, the French in North America perceived a threat by British expansion west of the Allegheny Mountains to the Ohio River Valley and beyond. The French commander, Pierre Joseph Celeron, sieur de Blainville, with 250 men, left Montreal, New France, to establish French claims. They buried inscribed lead plates at the mouths of six important tributaries to the Ohio River. Three lead plates have been recovered, one was sent to England, and two are in American historical societies. The final plate was buried just west of here at the mouth of the Great Miami River, before the detachment turned north. However, after the British captured Montreal in 1760, French claims east of the Mississippi River were ceded to Britain by the 1763 Treaty of Paris. British Parliament annexed to Quebec (now Canada) and controlled all lands north of the Ohio River until 1776.
(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
A translation of French inscription on lead plates:
In 1749, in the reign of Louis XV, King of France, we, Celeron, Commander of the detachment sent by Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniere, Governor General of New France, to reestablish tranquility in some uncivilized districts, have buried this plate at the mouth of the Great Miami River, 31st of August, near the River Ohio, otherwise Beautiful River, as a monument to the renewal of possession we have taken of said River Ohio and lands on both sides of its tributaries to their sources, as enjoyed or ought to have been enjoyed by the preceding Kings of France, as they have there maintained themselves by arms, and especially by the treaties of Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix La Chapelle.