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Brief Biographical / Historical Sketch

History

William M. Darlington (1815-1889), a Pittsburgh lawyer and avid collector of western Pennsylvanian history, took special interest in the Ohio Company. The Ohio Company was responsible for the exploration and settlement of the Ohio Territory, as well as parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 1876, Darlington purchased material relating to the Ohio Company, which included a manuscript copy of the journal created by Christopher Gist, the surveyor hired by the Ohio Company to explore the Ohio Territory and negotiate treaties with the Indians in the early 1750s. Darlington also obtained (or commissioned) a bound copy to be made of the journal. (Both journal copies can be found in the Ohio Company Papers (dar192502)). Gist recorded his daily activities and interactions with American Indian tribes and provided the British Crown with the first detailed description of the Ohio Territory. Gist also represented the Ohio Company at the Conference at Loggstown in 1752, which allowed for colonial settlement southeast of the Ohio River. Darlington compiled and edited Gist's journals as Christopher Gist's Journals, published posthumously in 1893 by J.R. Weldin & Co. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is believed that Darlington's widow, Mary Carson O'Hara Darlington, completed the manuscript after her husband's death in 1889.