b'here, too, after hearing La Salles The British in description of the area.Ohio CountryThe French leaders decided to build The French moved into the Ohioforts to protect their claims. However, region from the north (Canada), but thenone of these forts were actually built in British came from the east where theythe Ohio region. They were mostly in had already established strong settle-Pennsylvania, Canada, Illinois, and Indiana. ments. One main difference between theThe French never had a strong place in French and British was that the Frenchthe Ohio Country, even though they had mainly wanted to use the land for whatclaimed all of Ohio for France. they could get out of itproducts forAlong the Ohio TrailHave you planted a lead plate lately? Lead is a metal that is softand easily carved. The French carved official declarations into platesmade of lead[see graphic (GG) page 22] . They used these 11-inch x 17-inchplates to declare that the French owned the land of Ohio Country. When the French found out that the British were trading withthe natives in this area, they warned the British to leave the Frenchterritory. Of course, the British kept on trading. They had workedout a good arrangement with the natives, and the tribes preferredBritish goods to the French goods.As the argument over the land and trading continued, aFrenchman named Celeron DeBienville was sent to the Ohio River areato try to get the natives to change their minds, and to bury the leadplates along the riverbanks. The French leaders felt that thesedeclarations of ownership would secure the French claims to theland. Near each buried plate, Celeron fastened a thin metal plate to atree. This small plate stated that a formal claim had been plantednearby.Altogether, six lead plates were buried. Two have been found.One was found near Marietta, Ohio, by two boys who were swimming.The story says that they melted part ofthe plate to make homemade bullets.For all his work, Celeron wascompletely unsuccessful. The nativesstill traded with the British and theFrench had almost nopresence in Ohio Country.page 23'