The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Formed in 1748, the Ohio Company originally requested a land grant of 500,000 acres, but received a grant for only 200,000 acres, mostly located in the Northern Pan-Handle of West Virginia. Obtaining the 200,000 had required the personal efforts of Gov. Gooch on the behalf of the company's request.
Christopher Gist, an eminent surveyor of North Carolina was employed to make exploration of this region. After Gist made his report, a petition was sent to the English king requesting a grant tor the lands just explored, asking permission to form a separate government in the region between the Allegheny mountains and the Ohio river. This proposed province was to have been called Vandalia; with Samuel Wharton, Governor, the capital to be established at the mouth of the Great Kanawha—now Point Pleasant in Mason county.
In 1750, Gist explored Ohio River lands, and on other journeys, in 1751 and 1752, explored area south of the Ohio from the Monongahela River to the Great Kanawha River. Gist was surprised to find the Native American tribes of the area quite friendly. In 1752, Christopher Gist negotiated the Treaty of Logstown, with the Delaware and Shawnee tribes, which helped establish British claims to some areas west of the Allegheny Mountains to the Ohio River.
During the years of waiting and negotiation, while waiting for its request to form the new province to be granted, the Ohio Company merged with Walpole Companies, forming the Grand Ohio Company. The new company continued an effort to establish new government on the Ohio, until they were terminated by the Revolution.
Original stockholders in the company were John Hanbury, Thomas Lee, then Governor of Virginia, Arthur Dodds, Samuel Smith, James Wardrop, Capel Hanbury, Robert Dinwiddie, John Taylor, Presley Thornton, Augustus Washington, Richard Lee, Nathaniel Chapman, Jacob Giles, Thomas Cresap, John. Mercer, James Scott, Robert Carter, George Mason, and the executors of the estate of Lawrence Washington. All were residents of Virginia and Maryland except the Hanburys, who were merchants of London.