Ostenaco presentation proposal at Cacapon
A special program Ostenaco, portrayed by Doug Wood, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, August 16 at Cacapon State Park Nature Center.
The nation is currently commemorating the 250th anniversary of "The War That Made America — The French & Indian War." This period of the region's history was marked by military and diplomatic struggles among two European superpowers, two North American Indian superpowers and several other native nations to gain or maintain control over the Ohio River region.
The outcome of the war would ensure the future cultural dominance of English-speaking peoples over the entire North American continent. Although this period of history is scarcely known by Americans today, it was an important formative period for ideas of representative government that led to the American Revolution, and the formation of the United States of America.
Even among 18th century historians, certain aspects of the French & Indian War are poorly understood. One such apect is the involvement of southern American Indian nations in the war. From 1756 through 1758, the Cherokees dedicated themselves diplomatically and militarily to the war effort on behalf of their allies, the British. Hundreds of Cherokee warriors defended the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and carried out offensive campaigns deep into the heart of enemy territory.
Two hundred fifty years ago from this year, native warriors turned the tide of war against the French operating out of Fort Duquesne and other Ohio country forts. Successes in that year and in the spring and summer of 1758, led to the capitulation of Duquesne in November of 1758. The bulk of Cherokee forces operated out of Forts in the vicinity of present-day Cacapon State Park.
Ostenaco, a prominent Cherokee leader led warrior gangs out of Forts Loudoun, Winchester, Va., Perasall, Romney and Cumberland in 1757. Ostenaco (a.k.a. Doug Wood) tells the compelling story of his exploits on behalf of his British brothers and sisters.
His familiarity with the plants, animals, war paths, mountains, water courses and cultures of the region might be of interest to listeners. The Chataqua-style presentation provides opportunities for listeners to ask questions of both Ostenaco, the war captain and Doug Wood, the historical researcher. He is the environmental resources specialist with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Watershed Assessment Section.