In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed. [d] Dinwiddie also appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, and his party reached the Ohio River in November. They were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, and he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions, achieving a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and in London.