If you get your first SharePoint 2010 workflow project from someone else, chances are you don’t have a Workflow History list on your SharePoint machine. This will result in this error message when you try to deploy the workflow from within Visual Studio 2010.
Error occurred in deployment step ‘Activate Features’: Failed to create workflow association ‘WorkflowProject1 – Workflow1’. Cannot find SharePoint list with name “Workflow History” or GUID “4eac61bf-6b3b-4f7d-b73c-f073ccc4364d”.
The easiest way to resolve this error is to start a new instance of Visual Studio 2010. Create a new SharePoint 2010 Workflow project and step through the wizard. During the create project wizard it will create the Workflow History list and you can then deploy the project you got from someone else.