In 1753 Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia, in response to instructions from England on French
incursion into the upper Ohio Valley, chose Major George Washington for a critical mission.
Washington's orders were clear, warn French troops against proceeding further with their
military occupation of this region. Washington, Christopher Gist, his guide, and five others set
out from Logstown (Ambridge, PA) for the French Fort LeBoeuf (located at present Waterford,
PA). The French commander's rebuff was quickly handed to Washington for delivery to
Upon Washington's return to the Forks of the Ohio (now Pittsburgh), their party was joined by an Indian-guide near "Murthering-Town" (Harmony environs), offering to show them a short-cut. After a few miles, the Indian suddenly turned and shot at Washington's party. Only poor aim prevented the course of history from being changed. In his journal, Washington referred to this area as "Murdering-Town". So it was known for half a century, until the Harmonists arrived and raised "Harmonie" from this wilderness.