Photograph of a partial lead plate discovered at the mouth of the Muskingum Rivernear Marietta in Washington County, Ohio. The plates were buried by French explorer Joseph Pierre Celoron de Bienville and his scouting party in 1749. The plate's inscriptions is in French and claim King Louis the XV of France the ruler of the Ohio Valley region. This plate was part of a group of plates placed near strategic tributaries of the Ohio River by Celoron and his party. The expedition and the ceremonies conducted when the plates were buried was intended as a show of force and an attempt to reclaim land for France on which British settlers were encroaching.
During the French Era (c.1700-1763), the power of the Iroquois Indians declined and other tribes began to move into the Ohio Country. French traders began to build trading posts in the region and dominated the fur trade with the Native Americans. As a result of the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the Treaty of Paris (1763), England acquired all French possessions in North America including the Ohio Country.