Current beliefs about the route George Washington and Christopher Gist took in 1753 from Fort Machault at Venango—where they delivered an ultimatum to a French garrison to evacuate British territory—to Fort Le Boeuf are erroneous. They are based on second-hand testimony, whereas Washington's own map traces the most direct and plausible route based on the ease of using existing Indian trails and paths already established by the French military. A careful examination of the area, as outlined in this article, shows it to be the only sensible way he would have traversed this difficult terrain.

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