Colonists from the East Coast moved in, but rather than finding an empty frontier, they encountered people of the Miami, Delaware, Wyandot, Shawnee, and Mingo nations, as well as European traders.The tribes resisted expansion by the fledgling United States, leading to years of bitter conflict.
In the 18th century European traders flocked to the area, attracted by the fur trade.
The area found itself frequently caught between warring factions, including American Indian and European interests.
In the 1740s, Pennsylvania traders overran the territory until the French forcibly evicted them.
In the early 1750s the Ohio Company sent George Washington to the Ohio Country to survey.
Fighting for control of the territory in the French and Indian War (1754-1763) became part of the international Seven Years' War (1756-1763).