The explorations of Virginia’s colonial hinterland to its convergence with the Ohio River valley, undertaken by a group of intrepid 17th-century Virginia pioneers, are among the least understood accomplishments of our history. Within these pages are printed the sources of information concerning the western explorations of these Virginians, and they leave no doubt about the events. The leaders of these expeditions included Abraham Wood in the 1650s, the German physician John Lederer in the late 1660s, Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam in 1671, and James Needham and Gabriel Arthur in 1673. Authors Alvord and Bidgood recount the stories of the various expeditions, demonstrating how the interplay of economic motive and love of adventure conspired to lay the groundwork for colonial Virginia’s claim on much of the Ohio territory.
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