Pickaway Plains

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The Pickaway Plains are located south of Circleville in central Ohio. They are a series of rolling hills that once were covered with prairie. Sand and rock deposits that were left behind as glaciers retreated created these hills.

During the 1600s and 1700s, the Pickaway Plains were home to the Shawnee natives as well as several other groups of Native Americans. The Shawnee lived in a number of villages on the Pickaway Plains because of the area’s fertile farmland and abundance of game. Since the mid 1700s, the Shawnee had faced increasing pressure to evacuate what is now eastern Ohio and Kentucky. Beginning in the early 1770s, British colonial governments in the East began to send military forces into the heart of the Ohio Country.

Following the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774, a British military force under Lord Dunmore moved across the Ohio River into the Ohio Country. Upon nearing the Shawnee villages on the Pickaway Plains, Dunmore stopped. From his encampment named Camp Charlotte, Dunmore requested that the Shawnees come to him and discuss a peace treaty. The Shawnees agreed, but while negotiations were under way, Colonel Andrew Lewis and a detachment of Virginia militia that Dunmore had left behind at Point Pleasant crossed the Ohio River and destroyed several Shawnee villages. Fearing that Dunmore intended to destroy them, the Shawnees agreed to terms before more blood was shed.

As a result of this meeting, the Shawnee natives agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768) and promised to give up some of their lands east and south of the Ohio River. This was the first time that some of the natives who actually lived in the Ohio Country agreed to relinquish some of their land. In addition, these Shawnees also promised to return their white captives and to no longer attack English colonists traveling down the Ohio River.

After the American Revolution, large numbers of people began to move to Ohio from the East and settle on the excellent farmland of the Pickaway Plains. To this day, the Pickaway Plains continues to be some of the most productive agricultural land in the United States.

See Also