John Fraser

Deceased Person

1721 – 1773


Who was John Fraser?

John Fraser was a fur trader licensed by the Province of Pennsylvania for its western frontier, an interpreter with Native Americans, a gunsmith, a guide and lieutenant in the British army, and a land speculator. He served in several of England's expeditions against the French and their allies in the vicinity of Fort Duquesne and later Fort Pitt.

Born in the Scottish Highlands, Fraser, age 14, arrived in Pennsylvania and settled for a short time near the Susquehanna River in Dauphin County. He next moved west over the Allegheny Mountains to establish an English trading post at the Native American village of Venango, at the junction of French Creek and the Allegheny River. For some ten years there he bartered: his gunsmith services, English manufactured goods, and alcohol, in exchange for Indian pelts and furs. In 1749 French expeditionary activity led by Pierre Joseph CĂ©loron de Blainville forced Fraser to abandon Venango and move south to the Forks of the Ohio.

At the mouth of Turtle Creek he built a new cabin, from which to trade with the Indians once again. There he aided George Washington and his guide Christopher Gist during Washington's early diplomacy with the French.

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on July 23, 2013


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