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Ange Duquesne de Menneville, Marquis Duquesne (c.1700-1778) was the governor-general of New France from 1752 to 1755. Believing that French interests in the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley were threatened by British colonial advances in the Ohio Valley, he built a string of forts between Lake Erie and the Ohio Valley. The last of these, Fort Duquesne, was built at the Forks of the Ohio River, the site of present-day Pittsburgh.

Duquesne's aggressive response to British expansion triggered an equally aggressive response from Britain. London ordered Virginia's colonial governor, Robert Dinwiddie, to remove the French from the Ohio Valley. Dinwiddie assigned this task to twenty-one year old George Washington.

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