Background about artifact: During the summer of 1749, on orders from the French governor-general of Canada, Captain Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville placed six inscribed lead plates at strategic points along the Ohio River. His plan was to claim the territory for King Louis XV, discourage English penetration into the area, and secure the alliance of the local Native American peoples. When this activity became known, English officials took action. Eventually, Virginia’s governor Robert Dinwiddie dispatched young George Washington to the region, an action that would ultimately lead to the French and Indian War. One of the plates, resting at the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, was discovered and brought to Richmond by a member of the general assembly exactly 100 years after Céloron de Blainville’s mission, and it has been a part of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) collections ever since. Only a fragment of one other of the plates is known to exist.
Why we are fundraising: The Céloron plate is one of the most important artifacts to survive from Virginia’s colonial period and one of the most treasured among the museum pieces held at the VHS. Over the years, corrosion has occurred on the piece, despite the care taken in its display. The plate is endangered by the fluctuating humidity levels found in our environment, as well as the lead’s reaction to other materials, such as Plexiglass. We need a specifically made case to safely display this endangered artifact, and we are currently raising $30,000 toward this effort.
Help us protect the endangered Céloron plate. Your tax-deductible gift not only will help keep this rare and important artifact safe, but it will also help keep it on public display for present and future generations.
You can make a one-time contribution to support this effort. Or, you may pledge a gift amount that is payable in installments over a twelve-month period.
If you choose the latter, your preauthorized gift is billed automatically to your credit or debit card when you set up the plan. Subsequent gifts will be billed monthly going forward. Annual tax receipts are issued at the beginning of the calendar year for the total donation amount received in the preceding year.