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´╗┐Title: Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt - Early Names of Pittsburgh Streets
Author: Daughters of the American revolution. Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh chapter
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: BLOCK HOUSE OF FORT PITT. BUILT 1764.]












_This little sketch of Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt is compiled from
extracts taken mainly from Parkman's Histories; The Olden Time, by
Neville B. Craig; Fort Pitt, by Mrs. Wm. Darlington; Pioneer History, by
S. P. Hildreth, etc._

  _September, 1898._


      =1753=--The French begin to build a chain of forts to enforce
     their boundaries.

      =December 11, 1753.=--Washington visits Fort Le Boeuf.

      =January, 1754.=--Washington lands on Wainwright's Island in the
     Allegheny river.--Recommends that a Fort be built at the "Forks of
     the Ohio."

      =February 17, 1754.=--A fort begun at the "Forks of the Ohio" by
     Capt. William Trent.

      =April 16, 1754.=--Ensign Ward, with thirty-three men, surprised
     here by the French, and surrenders.

      =June, 1754.=--Fort Duquesne completed.

      =May 28, 1754.=--Washington attacks Coulon de Jumonville at Great

      =July 9, 1755.=--Braddock's defeat.

      =April, 1758.=--Brig. Gen. John Forbes takes command.

      =August, 1758.=--Fort Bedford built.

      =October, 1758.=--Fort Ligonier built.

      =November 24, 1758.=--Fort Duquesne destroyed by the retreating

      =November 25, 1758.=--Gen. Forbes takes possession.

      =August, 1759.=--Fort Pitt begun by Gen. John Stanwix.

      =May, 1763.=--Conspiracy of Pontiac.

      =July, 1763.=--Fort Pitt besieged by Indians.

      =1764.=--Col. Henry Bouquet builds the Redoubt.

      =October 10, 1772.=--Fort Pitt abandoned by the British.

      =January, 1774.=--Dr. James Connelly occupies Fort Pitt with
     Virginia militia, and changes name to Fort Dunmore.

      =July, 1776.=--Indian conference at Fort Pitt.--Pontiac and

      =June 1, 1777.=--Brig. Gen. Hand takes command of the fort.

      =1778.=--Gen. McIntosh succeeds Hand.

      =November, 1781.=--Gen. William Irvine takes command.

      =May 19, 1791.=--Maj. Isaac Craig reports Fort Pitt in a ruinous
     condition.--Builds Fort Lafayette.

      =September 4, 1805.=--The historic site purchased by Gen. James

      =April 1, 1894.=--Mrs. Mary E. Schenley, granddaughter of Gen.
     James O'Hara, presents Col. Bouquet's Redoubt to the Daughters of
     the American Revolution of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.



Conflicting Claims of France and England in North America.

On maps of British America in the earlier part of the eighteenth
century, one sees the eastern coast, from Maine to Georgia, gashed with
ten or twelve colored patches, very different in size and shape, and
defined more or less distinctly by dividing lines, which in some cases
are prolonged westward until they reach the Mississippi, or even across
it and stretch indefinitely towards the Pacific.

These patches are the British Provinces, and the western prolongation of
their boundary represents their several claims to vast interior tracts
founded on ancient grants, but not made good by occupation or vindicated
by an exertion of power * * *

Each Province remained in jealous isolation, busied with its own work,
growing in strength, in the capacity of self-rule, in the spirit of
independence, and stubbornly resisting all exercise of authority from
without. If the English-speaking population flowed westward, it was in
obedience to natural laws, for the King did not aid the movement, and
the royal Governor had no authority to do so. The power of the colonies
was that of a rising flood, slowly invading and conquering by the
unconscious force of its own growing volume, unless means be found to
hold it back by dams and embankments within appointed limits.

In the French colonies it was different. Here the representatives of
the crown were men bred in the atmosphere of broad ambition and
masterful, far-reaching enterprise. They studied the strong and weak
points of their rivals, and with a cautious forecast and a daring energy
set themselves to the task of defeating them. If the English colonies
were comparatively strong in numbers these numbers could not be brought
into action, while if French forces were small they were vigorously
commanded and always ready at a word. It was union confronting division,
energy confronting apathy, and military centralization opposed to
industrial democracy, and for a time the advantage was all on one side.
Yet in view of what France had achieved, of the patient gallantry of her
explorers, the zeal of her missionaries, the adventurous hardihood of
her bush-rangers, revealing to mankind the existence of this wilderness
world, while her rivals plodded at their workshops, their farms, their
fisheries; in view of all this, her pretensions were moderate and
reasonable compared to those of England.

Forks of the Ohio.--Washington's First Visit.

The Treaty of Utrecht had decided that the Iroquois or Five Nations were
British subjects; therefore it was insisted that all countries conquered
by them belonged to the British crown. The range of the Iroquois war
parties was prodigious, and the English laid claim to every mountain,
forest and prairie where an Iroquois had taken a scalp. This would give
them not only all between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi, but all
between Ottawa and Huron, leaving nothing to France but the part now
occupied by the Province of Quebec.

The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and that of Aix la Chapelle in 1748, were
supposed to settle the disputed boundaries of the French and English
possessions in America; France, however, repented of her enforced
concessions, and claimed the whole American continent as hers, except a
narrow strip of sea-coast. To establish this boundary, it was resolved
to build a line of forts from Canada to the Mississippi, following the
Ohio, for they perceived that the "Forks of the Ohio," so strangely
neglected by the English, formed together with Niagara the key of the
great West.

This chain of forts began at Niagara; then another was built of squared
logs at Presque Isle (now Erie), and a third called Fort Le Boeuf, on
what is now called French Creek. Here the work stopped for a time, and
Lagardeur de St. Pierre went into winter quarters with a small garrison
at Fort Le Boeuf.

On the 11th of December, 1753, Major George Washington, with Christopher
Gist as guide, Abraham Van Braam as interpreter, and several
woodsmen,[A] presented himself as a bearer of a letter from Governor
Dinwiddie of Virginia to the commander of Fort Le Boeuf. He was kindly
received. In fact, no form of courtesy was omitted during the three days
occupied by St. Pierre in framing his reply to Governor Dinwiddie's
letter. This letter expressed astonishment that his (St. Pierre's)
troops should build forts upon lands so notoriously known to be the
property of Great Britain, and demanded their immediate and peaceable
departure. In his answer, St. Pierre said he acted in accordance with
the commands of his general, that he would forward Governor Dinwiddie's
letter to the Marquis Duquesne and await his orders.

It was on his return journey that Washington twice escaped death. First
from the gun of a French Indian; then in attempting to cross the
Allegheny, which was filled with ice, on a raft that he and his
companions had hastily constructed with the help of one hatchet between
them. He was thrown into the river and narrowly escaped drowning; but
Gist succeeded in dragging him out of the water, and the party landed on
Wainwright's Island, about opposite the foot of Thirty-third Street. On
making his report Washington recommended that a fort be built at the
"Forks of the Ohio."

Men and money were necessary to make good Governor Dinwiddie's demand
that the French evacuate the territory they had appropriated; these he
found it difficult to get. He dispatched letters, orders, couriers from
New Jersey to South Carolina, asking aid. Massachusetts and New York
were urged to make a feint against Canada, but as the land belonged
either to Pennsylvania or Virginia, the other colonies did not care to
vote money to defend them.

In Pennsylvania the placid obstinacy of the Quakers was matched by the
stolid obstinacy of the German farmers; notwithstanding, Pennsylvania
voted sixty thousand pounds, and raised twelve hundred men at eighteen
pence per day. All Dinwiddie could muster elsewhere was the promise of
three or four hundred men from North Carolina, two companies from New
York and one from South Carolina, with what recruits he could gather in
Virginia. In accordance with Washington's recommendation, Capt. William
Trent, once an Indian trader of the better class, now a commissioned
officer, had been sent with a company of backwoodsmen to build a fort at
the Forks of the Ohio, and it was hoped he would fortify himself
sufficiently to hold the position. Trent began the fort, but left it
with forty men under Ensign Ward and went back to join Washington. The
recruits gathered in Virginia were to be commanded by Joshua Fry, with
Washington as second in command.

Fort Duquesne.--Washington at Fort Necessity.

On the 17th of April, 1754, Ward was surprised by the appearance of a
swarm of canoes and bateaux descending the Allegheny, carrying,
according to Ward, about one thousand Frenchmen, who landed, planted
their cannon and summoned the Ensign to surrender. He promptly complied
and was allowed to depart with all his men. The French soon demolished
the unfinished fort and built in its place a much larger and better one,
calling it Fort Duquesne, in honor of the Marquis Duquesne, then
Governor of Canada.

Washington, with his detachment of ragged recruits, without tents and
scarcely armed, was at Will's Creek, about one hundred and forty miles
from the "Forks of the Ohio," and he was deeply chagrined when Ward
joined him and reported the loss of the fort. Dinwiddie then ordered
Washington to advance. In order to do so, a road must be cut for wagons
and cannon, through a dense forest; two mountain ranges must be crossed,
and innumerable hills and streams. Towards the end of May he reached
Great Meadows with one hundred and fifty men. While encamped here,
Washington learned that a detachment of French had marched from the fort
in order to attack him. They met in a rocky hollow and a short fight
ensued. Coulon de Jumonville, the commander, was killed; all the French
were taken prisoners or killed except one Canadian. This skirmish was
the beginning of the war. Washington then advanced as far as Christopher
Gist's settlement, twelve or fourteen miles on the other side of the
Laurel Ridge. He soon heard that strong reinforcements had been sent to
Fort Duquesne, and that another detachment was even then on the march
under Coulon de Villiers, so on June 28th he began to retreat. Not
having enough horses, the men had to carry the baggage on their backs,
and drag nine swivels over miserable roads. Two days brought them to
Great Meadows, and they had but one full day to strengthen the slight
fortification they had made there, and which Washington named Fort

The fighting began at about 11, and lasted for nine hours; the English,
notwithstanding their half starved condition, and their want of
ammunition, keeping their ground against double their number. When
darkness came a parley was sounded, to which Washington at first paid no
attention, but when the French repeated the proposal, and requested that
an officer might be sent, he could refuse no longer. There were but two
in Washington's command who could understand French, and one of them was
wounded. Capt. Van Braam, a Dutchman, acted as interpreter. The articles
were signed about midnight. The English troops were to march out with
drums beating, carrying with them all their property. The prisoners
taken in the Jumonville affair were to be released, Capt. Van Braam and
Major Stobo to be detained as hostages for their safe return to Fort

This defeat was disastrous to the English. There was now not an English
flag waving west of the Alleghanies. Villiers went back exultant to Fort
Duquesne, and Washington began his wretched march to Will's Creek. No
horses, no cattle, most of the baggage must be left behind, while the
sick and wounded must be carried over the Alleghanies on the backs of
their weary, half starved comrades. And this was the Fourth of July,

The conditions of the surrender were never carried out. The prisoners
taken in the skirmish with Jumonville were not returned. Van Braam and
Stobo were detained for some time at Fort Duquesne, then sent to Quebec,
where they were kept prisoners for several years. While a prisoner on
parole Major Stobo made good use of his opportunities by acquainting
himself with the neighborhood; afterwards he was kept in close
confinement and endured great hardships; but in the spring of 1759 he
succeeded in making his escape in the most miraculous manner. While
Wolfe was besieging Quebec he returned from Halifax, and, it is said, it
was he who guided the troops up the narrow wooded path to the Heights of
Abraham. Strange, that one taken prisoner in a far distant province, in
a skirmish which began the war, should guide the gallant Wolfe to the
victory at Quebec, which virtually closed the war in America.


Nothing of importance was done in Virginia and Pennsylvania until the
arrival of Braddock in February, 1755, bringing with him two regiments.
Governor Dinwiddie hailed his arrival with joy, hoping that his troubles
would now come to an end. Of Braddock, Governor Dinwiddie's Secretary,
Shirley wrote to Governor Morris: "We have a general most judiciously
chosen for being disqualified for the service he is in, in almost every
respect." Braddock issued a call to the provincial governors to meet him
in council, which was answered by Dinwiddie of Virginia, Dobbs of North
Carolina, Sharpe of Maryland, Morris of Pennsylvania, Delancy of New
York, and Shirley of Massachusetts. The result was a plan to attack the
French at four points at once. Braddock was to advance on Fort Duquesne,
Fort Niagara was to be reduced, Crown Point seized, and a body of men
from New England to capture Beausejour and Arcadia.

We will follow Braddock. In his case prompt action was of the utmost
importance, but this was impossible, as the people refused to furnish
the necessary supplies. Franklin, who was Postmaster General in
Pennsylvania, was visiting Braddock's camp with his son when the report
of the agents sent to collect wagons was brought in. The number was so
wholly inadequate that Braddock stormed, saying the expedition was at an
end. Franklin said it was a pity he had not landed in Pennsylvania,
where he might have found horses and wagons more plentiful. Braddock
begged him to use his influence to obtain the necessary supply, and
Franklin on his return to Pennsylvania issued an address to the farmers.
In about two weeks a sufficient number was furnished, and at last the
march began. He reached Will's Creek on May 10, 1755, where
fortifications had been erected by the colonial troops, and called Fort
Cumberland. Here Braddock assembled a force numbering about twenty-two
hundred. Although Braddock despised the provincial troops and the
Indians, he honored Col. George Washington, who commanded the troops
from Virginia, by placing him on his staff.

A month elapsed before this army was ready to leave Fort Cumberland.
Three hundred axemen led the way, the long, long, train of pack-horses,
wagons, and cannon following, as best they could, along the narrow
track, over stumps and rocks and roots. The road cut was but twelve feet
wide, so that the line of march was sometimes four miles long, and the
difficulties in the way were so great that it was impossible to move
more than three miles a day.

On the 18th of June they reached Little Meadows, not thirty miles from
Fort Cumberland, where a report reached them that five hundred regulars
were on their way to reinforce Fort Duquesne. Washington advised
Braddock to leave the heavy baggage and press forward, and following
this advice, the next day, June 19th, the advance corps of about twelve
hundred soldiers with what artillery was thought indispensable, thirty
wagons, and a number of pack-horses, began its march; but the delays
were such that it did not reach the mouth of Turtle Creek until July
7th. The distance to Fort Duquesne by a direct route was about eight
miles, but the way was difficult and perilous, so Braddock crossed the
Monongahela and re-crossed farther down, at one o'clock.

Washington describes the scene at the ford with admiration. The music,
the banners, the mounted officers, the troops of light cavalry, the
naval detachment, the red-coated regulars, the blue-coated Virginians,
the wagons and tumbrils, the cannon, howitzers and coehorns, the train
of pack-horses and the droves of cattle passed in long procession
through the rippling shallows and slowly entered the forest.

Fort Duquesne was a strong little fort, compactly built of logs, close
to point of where the waters of the Allegheny and Monongahela unite. Two
sides were protected by these waters, and the other two by ravelins, a
ditch and glacis and a covered way, enclosed by a massive stockade. The
garrison consisted of a few companies of regulars and Canadians and
eight hundred Indian warriors, under the command of Contrecoeur. The
captains under him were Beaujeu, Dumas, and Ligneris.

When the scouts brought the intelligence that the English were within
six leagues of the fort, the French, in great excitement and alarm,
decided to march at once and ambuscade them at the ford. The Indians at
first refused to move, but Beaujeu, dressed as one of them, finally
persuaded them to march, and they filed off along the forest trail that
led to the ford of the Monongahela--six hundred Indians and about three
hundred regulars and Canadians. They did not reach the ford in time to
make the attack there.

Braddock's Defeat.

Braddock advanced carefully through the dense and silent forest, when
suddenly this silence was broken by the war-whoop of the savages, of
whom not one was visible. Gage's column wheeled deliberately into line
and fired; and at first the English seemed to carry everything before
them, for the Canadians were seized by a panic and fled; but the scarlet
coats of the English furnished good targets for their invisible enemies.
The Indians, yelling their war-cries, swarmed in the forest, but were so
completely hidden in gullies and ravines, behind trees and bushes and
fallen trunks, that only the trees were struck by the volley after
volley fired by the English, who at last broke ranks and huddled
together in a bewildered mass. Both men and officers were ignorant of
this mode of warfare. The Virginians alone were equal to the emergency
and might have held the enemy in check, but when Braddock found them
hiding behind trees and bushes, as the Indians, he became so furious at
this seeming want of courage and discipline, that he ordered them with
oaths, to join the line, even beating them with his sword, they replying
to his threats and commands that they would fight if they could see any
one to fight with. The ground was strewn with the dead and dying,
maddened horses were plunging about, the roar of musketry and cannon,
and above all the yells that came from the throats of six hundred
invisible savages, formed a chaos of anguish and terror indescribable.

Braddock saw that all was lost and ordered a retreat, but had scarcely
done so when a bullet pierced his lungs. It is alleged that the shot
was fired by one of his own men, but this statement is without proof.
The retreat soon turned into a rout, and all who remained dashed
pell-mell through the river to the opposite shore, abandoning the
wounded, the cannon, and all the baggage and papers to the mercy of the
Indians. Beaujeu had fallen early in the conflict. Dumas and Ligneris
did not pursue the flying enemy, but retired to the Fort, abandoning the
field to the savages, which soon became a pandemonium of pillage and
murder. Of the eighty-six English officers all but twenty-three were
killed or disabled, and but a remnant of the soldiers escaped.

When the Indians returned to the Fort, they brought with them twelve or
fourteen prisoners, their bodies blackened and their hands tied behind
their backs. These were all burned to death on the bank of the
Allegheny, opposite the Fort. The loss of the French was slight; of the
regulars there were but four killed or wounded, and all the Canadians
returned to the Fort unhurt except five.

The miserable remnant of Braddock's army continued their wild flight all
that night and all the next day, when before nightfall those who had not
fainted by the way reached Christopher Gist's farm, but six miles from
Dunbar's camp. The wounded general had shown an incredible amount of
courage and endurance. After trying in vain to stop the flight, he was
lifted on a horse, when, fainting from the effects of his mortal wound,
some of the men were induced by large bribes to carry him in a litter.
Braddock ordered a detachment from the camp to go to the relief of the
stragglers, but as the fugitives kept coming in with their tales of
horror, the panic seized the camp, and soldiers and teamsters fled.

The next day, whether from orders given by Braddock or Dunbar is not
known, more than one hundred wagons were burned, cannon, coehorns, and
shells were destroyed, barrels of gunpowder were saved and the contents
thrown into a brook, and provisions scattered about through the woods
and swamps, while the enemy, with no thought of pursuit, had returned to
Fort Duquesne. Braddock died on the 13th of July, 1755, and was buried
on the road; men, horses and wagons passing over the grave of their dead
commander as they retreated to Fort Cumberland, thus effacing every
trace of it, lest it should be discovered by the Indians and the body
mutilated. Thus ended the attempt to capture Fort Duquesne, and for
about three years, while the storm of blood and havoc raged elsewhere,
that point was undisturbed.

[Illustration: HENRY BOUQUET.]

Brigadier General Forbes.

In the meantime Dinwiddie had gone, a new governor was in his place,
while in the plans of Pitt the capture of Fort Duquesne held an
important place. Brigadier General John Forbes was charged with it. He
was Scotch by birth, a well bred man of the world, and unlike Braddock,
by his conduct toward the provincial troops, commanded both the respect
and affection of the colonists. He only resembled Braddock in his
determined resolution, but he did not hesitate to embrace modes of
warfare that Braddock would have scorned. He wrote to Bouquet: "I have
been long of your opinion of equipping numbers of our men like the
savages, and I fancy Col. Burd of Virginia has most of his men equipped
in that manner. In this country we must learn our art of war from the
Indians, or any one else who has carried it on here." He arrived in
Philadelphia in April 1758, but it was the end of June before his troops
were ready to march. His force consisted of Montgomery's Highlanders,
twelve hundred strong; Provincials from Pennsylvania, Virginia,
Maryland, North Carolina, and a detachment of Royal Americans:
amounting to about six or seven thousand men. The Royal Americans were
Germans from Pennsylvania, the Colonel-in-Chief being Lord Amhurst,
Colonel Commandant Frederick Haldimand, and conspicuous among them was
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Bouquet, a brave and accomplished Swiss, who
commanded one of the four battalions of which the regiment was composed.

General Forbes was detained in Philadelphia by a painful and dangerous
malady. Bouquet advanced and encamped at Raystown, now Bedford. Then
arose the question of opening a new road through Pennsylvania to Fort
Duquesne, or following the old road made by Braddock. Washington, who
commanded the Virginians, foretold the ruin of the expedition unless
Braddock's road was chosen, but Forbes and Bouquet were firm and it was
decided to adopt the new route through Pennsylvania. Forbes was able to
reach Carlisle early in July, but his disorder was so increased by the
journey that he was not able to leave that place until the 11th of
August, and then in a kind of litter swung between two horses. In this
way he reached Shippensburg, where he lay helpless until far in
September. His plan was to advance slowly, establishing fortified
magazines as he went, and at last when within easy distance of the Fort,
to advance upon it with all force, as little impeded as possible with
wagons and pack-horses. Having secured his magazines at Raystown, and
built a fort which he called Fort Bedford in honor of his friend and
patron, the Duke of Bedford,[B] Bouquet was sent with his command to
forward the heavy work of road making over the main range of the
Alleghanies and the Laurel Hills; "hewing, digging, blasting, laying
facines and gabions, to support the track along the sides of the steep
declivities, or worming their way like moles through the jungle of swamp
and forest." As far as the eye or mind could reach a prodigious forest
vegetation spread its impervious canopy over hill, valley and plain. His
next post was on the Loyalhanna Creek, scarcely fifty miles distant from
Fort Duquesne, and here he built a fortification, naming it Fort
Ligonier, in honor of Lord Ligonier, commander-in-chief of His Majesty's
armies. Forbes had served under Ligonier, and his influence, together
with that of the Duke of Bedford, secured to Forbes his appointment.

Now came the difficult and important task of securing Indian allies. Sir
William Johnston for the English, and Joncaire for the French, were
trying in every way to frighten or cajole them into choosing sides; but
that which neither of them could accomplish was done by a devoted
Moravian missionary, Christian Frederick Post. Post spoke the Delaware
language, had married a converted squaw, and by his simplicity,
directness and perfect honesty, had gained their full confidence. He was
a plain German, upheld by a sense of duty and single-hearted trust in
God. The Moravians were apostles of peace, and they succeeded in a
surprising way in weaning their converts from their ferocious instincts
and savage practices, while the mission Indians of Canada retained all
their native ferocity, and their wigwams were strung with scalps, male
and female, adult and infant. These so-called missions were but nests of
baptized savages, who wore the crucifix instead of the medicine-bag.

Post accepted the dangerous mission as envoy to the camp of the hostile
Indians, and making his way to a Delaware town on Beaver Creek, he was
kindly received by the three kings; but when they conducted him to
another town he was surrounded by a crowd of warriors, who threatened to
kill him. He managed to pacify them, but they insisted that he should go
with them to Fort Duquesne. In his Journal he gives thrilling accounts
of his escape from dangers threatened by both French and Indians. But he
at last succeeded in securing a promise from both Delaware and Shawnees,
and other hostile tribes, to meet with the Five Nations, the Governor of
Pennsylvania and commissioners from other provinces, in the town of
Easton, before the middle of September. The result of this council was
that the Indians accepted the White wampum belt of peace, and agreed on
a joint message of peace to the tribes of Ohio.

A few weeks before this Col. Bouquet, from his post at Fort Ligonier,
forgot his usual prudence, and at his urgent request, allowed Major
Grant, commander of the Highlanders, to advance. On the 14th of
September, at about 2 A. M., he reached an eminence about half a mile
from the Fort. He divided his forces, placing detachments in different
positions, being convinced that the enemy was too weak to attack him.
Infatuated with this idea, when the fog had cleared away, he ordered the
reveille to be sounded. It was as if he put his foot into a hornet's
nest. The roll of drums was answered by a burst of war-whoops, while the
French came swarming out, many of them in their night shirts, just as
they had jumped from their beds. There was a hot fight for about
three-quarters of an hour, when the Highlanders broke away in a wild
flight. Captain Bullit and his Virginians tried to cover the retreat,
and fought until two-thirds of them were killed and Grant taken
prisoner. The name of "Grant's Hill" still clings to the much-ambushed
"hump" where the Court House now stands.

The French pushed their advantages with spirit, and there were many
skirmishes in the forest between Fort Ligonier and Fort Duquesne, but
their case was desperate. Their Indian allies had deserted them, and
their supplies had been cut off; so Ligneris, who succeeded
Contrecoeur, was forced to dismiss the greater part of his force. The
English, too, were enduring great hardships. Rain had continued almost
without cessation all through September; the newly made road was liquid
mud, into which the wagons sunk up to the hubs. In October the rain
changed to snow, while all this time Forbes was chained to a sick-bed at
Raystown, now Fort Bedford. In the beginning of November he was carried
from Fort Bedford to Fort Ligonier in a litter, and a council of
officers, then held, decided to attempt nothing more that season, but a
few days later a report of the condition of the French was brought in,
which led Forbes to give orders for an immediate advance. On November
18, 1758, two thousand five hundred picked men, without tents or
baggage, without wagons or artillery except a few light pieces, began
their march.



[A] The names of these woodsmen were Barnaby Currin and James MacGuire,
Indian Traders; Henry Stewart and William Jenkins; Half King,
Monokatoocha, Jeskakake, White Thunder and the Hunter.

[B] In recognition of this honor, the Duke of Bedford presented to the
fort a large flag of crimson brocade silk. In 1895 this flag was in the
possession of Mrs. Moore, of Bedford, who kindly lent it to the
Pittsburgh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, for exhibition
at a reception given by them at Mrs. Park Painter's residence, February
15th, 1895.


French Abandon Fort Duquesne.--Fort Pitt is Built.

On the evening of the 24th they encamped on the hills around Turtle
Creek, and at midnight the sentinels heard a heavy boom as if a magazine
had exploded. In the morning the march was resumed. After the advance
guard came Forbes, carried in a litter, the troops following in three
columns, the Highlanders in the center headed by Montgomery, the Royal
Americans and Provincials on the right and left under Bouquet and
Washington. Slowly they made their way beneath an endless entanglement
of bare branches. The Highlanders were goaded to madness by seeing as
they approached the Fort the heads of their countrymen, who had fallen
when Grant made his rash attack, stuck on poles, around which their
plaids had been wrapped in imitation of petticoats. Foaming with rage
they rushed forward, abandoning their muskets and drawing their
broadswords; but their fury was in vain, for when they reached a point
where the Fort should have been in sight, there was nothing between them
and the hills on the opposite banks of the Monongahela and Allegheny but
a mass of blackened and smouldering ruins. The enemy, after burning the
barracks and storehouses, had blown up the fortifications and retreated,
some down the Ohio, others overland to Presque Isle, and others up the
Allegheny to Venango.

There were two forts, and some idea may be formed of their size, with
barracks and storehouses, from the fact that John Haslet writes to the
Rev. Dr. Allison, two days after the English took possession, that
there were thirty chimney stacks standing.

The troops had no shelter until the first fort was built. Col. Bouquet
wrote to Miss Ann Willing from Fort Duquesne, November 25th, 1758, "they
have burned and destroyed to the ground their fortifications, houses and
magazines, and left us no other cover than the heavens--a very cold one
for an army without tents or equipages."

Col. Bouquet in a letter written to Chief Justice Allen of Pennsylvania
on November 26th, enumerated the needs of the garrison, which he hopes
the Provinces of Pennsylvania and Virginia will immediately supply. He
adds: "After God, the success of this expedition is entirely due to the
general. He has shown the greatest prudence, firmness and ability. No
one is better informed than I am, who had an opportunity to see every
step that has been taken from the beginning and every obstacle that was
thrown in his way." Forbes' first care was to provide defense and
shelter for his troops, and a strong stockade was built around the
traders' cabins and soldiers' huts, which he named Pittsburgh, in honor
of England's great Minister, William Pitt. Two hundred Virginians under
Col. Mercer were left to defend the new fortification, a force wholly
inadequate to hold the place if the French chose to return and attempt
to take it again. Those who remained must for a time depend largely on
stream and forest to supply their needs, while the army, which was to
return began their homeward march early in December, with starvation
staring them in the face.

No sooner was this work done than Forbes utterly succumbed. He left with
the soldiers, and was carried all the way to Philadelphia in a litter,
arriving there January 18, 1759. He lingered through the winter, died in
March, and was buried in Christ Church, March 14, 1759. Parkman says:
"If his achievement was not brilliant, its solid value was above price;
it opened the Great West to English enterprise, took from France half
her savage allies, and relieved the western borders from the scourge of
Indian war. From Southern New York to North Carolina the frontier
population had cause to bless the memory of this steadfast and
all-enduring soldier."

Just sixty days after the taking of Fort Duquesne, William Pitt wrote a
letter, dated Whitehall, January 23, 1759, of which the following
extract will show how important this place was considered in Great

     "Sir:--I am now to acquaint you that the King has been pleased
     immediately upon receiving the news of the success of his
     armies on the river Ohio, to direct the commander-in-chief of
     His Majesty's forces in North America, and General Forbes, to
     lose no time in concerting the properest and speediest means
     for completely restoring, if possible, the ruined Fort Duquesne
     to a defensible and respectable state, or for erecting another
     in the room of it of sufficient strength, and every way
     adequate to the great importance of the several objects of
     maintaining His Majesty's subject in the undisputed possession
     of the Ohio," etc., etc.

In a letter dated Pittsburgh, August 1759, Col. Mercer writes to Gov.
Denny: "Capt. Gordon, chief engineer, has arrived with most of the
artificers, but does not fix the spot for constructing the Fort till the
general comes up. We are preparing the materials for building with what
expedition so few men are capable of."

There was no attempt made to restore the old fortifications, but about a
year afterwards work was begun on a new fort. Gen. John Stanwix, who
succeeded Gen. Forbes, is said to have been a man of high military
standing, with a liberal and generous spirit. In 1760, he appeared on
the Ohio at the head of an army, and with full power to build a large
fort where Fort Duquesne had stood. The exact date of his arrival and
the day when work was commenced is not known, but the work must have
been begun the last of August or the first of September, 1759. A letter
dated September 24, 1759, gives the following account: "It is now near a
month since the army has been employed in erecting a most formidable
fortification, such a one as will to latest posterity secure the British
Empire on the Ohio. There is no need to enumerate the abilities of the
chief engineer nor the spirit shown by the troops in executing the
important task; the fort will soon be a lasting monument of both."

The fort was built near the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela
unite their waters, but a little farther inland than the site of Fort
Duquesne. It stood on the present site of the Duquesne Freight Station,
while all the ground from the Point to Third Street and from Liberty
Street to the Allegheny River was enclosed in a stockade and surrounded
by a moat. It was a solid and substantial building, constructed at an
enormous expense to the English Government.[C] It was five-sided, two
sides facing the land of brick, the others stockade. The earth around
was thrown up so all was enclosed by a rampart of earth, supported on
the land side by a perpendicular wall of brick; on the other sides a
line of pickets was fixed on the outside of the slope, and a moat
encompassed the entire work. Casemates, barracks and store houses were
completed for a garrison of one thousand men and officers, and eighteen
pieces of artillery mounted on the bastions. This strong fortification
was thought to establish the British dominion of the Ohio. The exact
date of its completion is not known, but on March 21, 1760, Maj. Gen.
Stanwix, having finished his work, set out on his return journey to

Conspiracy of Pontiac and Col. Bouquet.

The effect of this stronghold was soon apparent in the return of about
four thousand settlers to their lands on the frontiers of Pennsylvania,
Virginia and Maryland, from which they had been driven by their savage
enemies, and the brisk trade which at once began to be carried on with
the now, to all appearance, friendly Indians. However, this security was
not of long duration. The definite treaty of peace between England,
Spain and France was signed February 10, 1763, but before that time,
Pontiac, the great chief of the Ottawas, was planning his great
conspiracy, which carried death and desolation throughout the frontier.

The French had always tried to ingratiate themselves with the Indians.
When their warriors came to French forts they were hospitably welcomed
and liberally supplied with guns, ammunition and clothing, until the
weapons and garments of their forefathers were forgotten. The English,
on the contrary, either gave reluctantly or did not give at all. Many of
the English traders were of the coarsest stamp, who vied with each other
in rapacity and violence. When an Indian warrior came to an English
fort, instead of the kindly welcome he had been accustomed to receive
from the French, he got nothing but oaths, and menaces, and blows,
sometimes being assisted to leave the premises by the butt of a
sentinel's musket. But above and beyond all, they watched with wrath
and fear the progress of the white man into their best hunting grounds,
for as the English colonist advanced their beloved forests disappeared
under the strokes of the axe. The French did all in their power to
augment this discontent.

In this spirit of revenge and hatred a powerful confederacy was formed,
including all the western tribes, under the command of Pontiac, alike
renowned for his war like spirit, his wisdom and his bravery, and whose
name was a terror to the entire region of the lakes. The blow was to be
struck in the month of May, 1763. The tribes were to rise simultaneously
and attack the English garrisons. Thus a sudden attack was made on all
the western posts. Detroit was saved after a long and close siege. Forts
Pitt and Niagara narrowly escaped, while Le Boeuf, Venango, Presqu'
Isle, Miamis, St. Joseph, Quachtanon, Sandusky and Michillimackinac all
fell into the hands of the Indians. Their garrisons were either
butchered on the spot, or carried off to be tortured for the amusement
of their cruel captors.

The savages swept over the surrounding country, carrying death and
destruction wherever they went. Hundreds of traders were slaughtered
without mercy, while their wives and children, if not murdered, were
carried off captives. The property destroyed or stolen amounted, it is
said to five hundred thousand pounds. Attacks were made on Forts Bedford
and Ligonier, but without success. Fort Ligonier was under siege for two
months. The preservation of this post was of the utmost importance, and
Lieut. Blaine, by his courage and good conduct, managed to hold it until
August 2, 1763, when Col. Bouquet arrived with his little army.

In the meantime, every preparation was made at Fort Pitt for an attack.
The garrison at that post numbered three hundred and thirty, commanded
by Capt. Simeon Ecuyer, a brave Swiss. The fortifications having been
badly damaged by floods, were with great labor repaired. The barracks
were made shot-proof to protect the women and children, and as the
buildings inside were all of wood, a rude fire-engine was constructed to
extinguish any flames kindled by the fire-arrows of the Indians. All the
houses and cabins outside the walls were leveled to the ground. The fort
was so crowded by the families of the settlers who had taken refuge
there, that Ecuyer wrote to Col. Bouquet, "We are so crowded in the fort
that I fear disease, for in spite of every care I cannot keep the place
as clean as I should like. Besides, the smallpox is among us, and I have
therefore caused a hospital to be built under the drawbridge."

Several weeks, however, elapsed before there was any determined attack
from the enemy. On July 26th some chiefs asked for a parley with Capt.
Ecuyer, which was granted. They demanded that he and all in the fort
should leave immediately or it and they would all be destroyed. He
replied that they would not go, closing his speech with these words:
"Therefore, my brother, I will advise you to go home, * * * Moreover, I
tell you if any of you appear again about this fort, I will throw
bomb-shells which will burst and blow you to atoms, and fire cannon upon
you loaded with a whole bag full of bullets. Take care, therefore, for I
don't want to hurt you." On the night succeeding this parley the Indians
approached in great numbers, crawling under the banks of the two rivers
digging holes with their knives, in which they were completely sheltered
from the fire of the fort. On one side the entire bank was lined with
these burrows, from which they shot volleys or bullets, arrows and
fire-arrows into the fort. The yelling was terrific, and the women and
children in the crowded barracks clung to each other in abject terror.
This attack lasted five days. On August 1st the Indians heard the rumor
of Col. Bouquet's approach, which caused them to move on, and so the
tired garrison was relieved.

When the news of this Indian uprising reached Gen. Amhurst, he ordered
Col. Bouquet to march with a detachment of five hundred men to the
relief of the besieged forts. The force was composed of companies from
the Forty-second Highlanders and Seventy-seventh Regulars, to which were
added six companies of Rangers. Bouquet established his camp in Carlisle
at the end of June. Here he found every building, every house, every
barn, every hovel, crowded with refugees. He writes to Gen. Amherst on
July 13th, as follows: "The list of people known to be killed increases
every day. The desolation of so many families, reduced to the last
extreme of want and misery; the despair of those who have lost their
parents; relations and friends, with the cries of distracted women and
children who fill the streets, form a scene painful to humanity and
impossible to describe."


Strange as it may seem, the Province of Pennsylvania would do nothing to
aid the troops who gathered for its defense. The Quakers, who had a
majority in the Assembly, were non-combatants from principle and
practice; and the Swiss and German Mennonites, who were numerous in
Lancaster County, professed, like the Quakers, the principle of
non-resistance, and refused to bear arms. Wagons and horses had been
promised, but promises were broken. Bouquet writes again to Amherst: "I
hope we shall be able to save that infatuated people from destruction,
notwithstanding all their endeavors to defeat your vigorous measures."
While Bouquet harassed and exasperated, labored on at his difficult
task, the terror of the country people increased, until at last
finding that they could hope for but little aid from the Government,
they bestirred themselves with admirable spirit in their own defense.
They raised small bodies of riflemen, who scoured the woods in front of
the settlements, and succeeded in driving the enemy back. In some
instances these men dressed themselves as Indian warriors, painted their
faces red and black, and adopted the savage mode of warfare.

On the 3rd of July a courier from Fort Bedford rode into Carlisle, and
as he stopped to water his horse he was immediately surrounded by an
anxious crowd, to whom he told his tale of woe, adding, as he mounted
his horse to ride on to Bouquet's tent, "The Indians will soon be here."
Terror and excitement spread everywhere, messengers were dispatched in
every direction to give the alarm, and the reports, harrowing as they
had been, were fully confirmed by the fugitives who were met on every
road and by-path hurrying to Carlisle for refuge. A party armed
themselves and went out to warn the living and bury the dead. They found
death and desolation everywhere, and sickened with horror at seeing
groups of hogs tearing and devouring the bodies of the dead.

After a delay of eighteen days, having secured enough wagons, horses and
oxen, Bouquet began his perilous march, with a force much smaller than
Braddock's, to encounter a foe far more formidable. But Bouquet, the man
of iron will and iron hand, had served seven years in America, and
understood his work.

On July 25th he reached Fort Bedford, when he was fortunate in securing
thirty backwoodsmen to go with him. This little army toiled on through
the blazing heat of July over the Alleghanies, and reached Fort
Ligonier, August 2nd, the Indians, who had besieged the fort for two
months, disappearing at the approach of the troops. Here Bouquet left
his oxen and wagons and resumed his march on the 4th. On the 5th, about
noon, he encountered the enemy at Bushy Run. The battle raged for two
days, and ended in a total route of the savages. The loss of the British
was one hundred and fifteen and eight officers. The distance to Fort
Pitt was twenty-five miles, which place was reached on the 10th. The
enemy had abandoned the siege and marched to unite their forces with
those which attacked Col. Bouquet at Bushy Run. The savages continued
their hasty retreat, but Col. Bouquet's force was not sufficient to
enable him to pursue the enemy beyond the Ohio, and he was obliged to
content himself with supplying Fort Pitt and other forts with
provisions, ammunition and stores.

It was at this time that Col. Bouquet built the little Redoubt which is
now not only all that remains of Fort Pitt, but the only existing
monument of British occupancy in this region.

The Indians abandoned all their former settlements, and retreated to the
Muskingum; here they formed new settlements, and in the spring of 1764
again began to ravage the frontier. To put an end to these depredations,
Gen. Gage planned a campaign into this western wilderness from two
points--Gen. Bradstreet was to advance by way of the lakes, and Col.
Bouquet from Fort Pitt. After the usual delays and disappointments in
securing troops from Pennsylvania and Virginia to aid in this
expedition, the march from Carlisle was begun, and Col. Bouquet arrived
at Fort Pitt September 17th, and was detained there until October 3rd.
He followed the north bank of the Ohio until he reached the Beaver, when
he turned towards Central Ohio. Holding on his course, he refused to
listen to either threats or promises from the Indians, declining to
treat with them at all until they should deliver up the prisoners.
Although not a blow was struck, the Indians were vanquished. Bouquet
continued his march down the valley of the Muskingum until he reached a
spot where some broad meadows offered a suitable place for encampment.
Here he received a deputation of chiefs, listened to their offers of
peace, and demanded the delivery of the prisoners. Soon band after band
of captives arrived, until the number exceeded three hundred.

The scenes which followed the restoring of the prisoners to their
friends beggar all description; wives recovering their husbands, parents
seeking for children whom they could scarcely recognize, brothers and
sisters meeting after a long separation, and sometimes scarcely able to
speak the same language. The story is told of a woman whose daughter had
been carried off nine years before. The mother recognized her child, but
the girl, who had almost forgotten her mother tongue, showed no sign of
recognition. The mother complained to Col. Bouquet that the daughter she
had so often sung to sleep on her knee had forgotten her. "Sing the song
to her that you used to sing when she was a child," said Col. Bouquet.
She did so, and with a passionate flood of tears the long-lost daughter
flung herself into her mother's arms.

Everything being settled, the army broke camp November 18th, and arrived
at Fort Pitt on the 28th. Early in January Col. Bouquet returned to
Philadelphia, receiving wherever he went every possible mark of
gratitude and esteem from the people. The Assembly of Pennsylvania and
the House of Burgesses of Virginia each unanimously voted him addresses
of thanks, and on the arrival of the first account of this expedition
the King promoted him to the rank of Brigadier General to command the
Southern District of North America.

Conflict Between Pennsylvania and Virginia.

We have seen two of the most powerful nations of Europe contending for
the possession of the "Forks of the Ohio." We have seen the efforts of
the Indians to destroy the Fort and regain possession of their hunting

In October, 1770, Washington again visited the "Forks of the Ohio," this
time on a peaceful errand. He reached Fort Pitt October 17, 1770, and he
says in his Journal: "Lodged in what is called the town; distant about
three hundred yards from the fort, at one Semple's, who keeps a very
good house of entertainment." He describes both the town and the fort,
where the garrison at this time consisted of two companies of Royal
Irish, commanded by Capt. Edmonstone. In this journal we find the
following entry on October 18th: "Dined in the fort with Col. Croghan
and the officers of the garrison; supped there also, meeting with great
civility from the gentlemen, and engaged to dine with Col. Croghan next
day, at his seat about four miles up the Allegheny."

Washington and his party, numbering nine or ten persons, with three
Indians, continued their journey down the Ohio in a large canoe. On
November 2nd, we find that the party "encamped and went a-hunting,
killed five buffalos and wounded some others, three deer, etc. This
country abounds in Buffaloes and wild game of all kinds, as also in all
kinds of wild fowl, there being in the bottoms a great many small,
grassy ponds or lakes, which are full of swan, geese and ducks of
different kinds." The party returned to Pittsburgh November 21st, were
again hospitably entertained, and on the 23rd mounted their horses on
their return journey to Virginia. This was Washington's last visit to
Fort Pitt.

Now, after the season of rest and quiet, there comes another contest,
this time between the Provinces of Pennsylvania and Virginia. The
British Government, as the trouble with the colonies increased, deemed
it advisable to abandon Fort Pitt and withdraw the troops. Maj.
Edmonstone, then in command, sold the buildings and material October 10,
1772, to Alexander Ross and William Thompson, for fifty pounds New York
currency. The fort was evacuated by the British forces in October, 1772,
and in January, 1774, troops from Virginia sent by the Governor, Lord
Dunmore, under command of Dr. James Connelly, took possession and
changed the name to Fort Dunmore. Dr. Connelly was arrested by Arthur
St. Clair, then a magistrate of Westmoreland County, of which Allegheny
County was at that time a part, and put in jail, but was soon released
on bail. He went back to Virginia, but shortly returned with civil and
military authority to enforce the laws of Virginia. This contest
continued for several years, until a prominent citizen wrote to Governor
Penn: "The deplorable state of affairs in this part of your government
is truly distressing. We are robbed, insulted and dragooned by Connelly
and his militia in this place and its environs." Maryland, too, had
contended, sometimes with the shedding of blood, for the possession of
this important point. It was not until 1785 that commissioners were
appointed, the boundary of the western part of the State finally run,
and Pennsylvania established in the possession of her territory.

Revolutionary Period.

During the struggle for independence the settlements west of the
Alleghanies had little to fear from the invading armies of Great
Britain; but, influenced by the English, the Indians again began their

Fort Pitt at that time was under the command of Capt. John Neville, and
was the center of government authority. Just two days after the
Declaration of Independence, but long before the news of it could have
crossed the mountains, we read of a conference at Fort Pitt between Maj.
Trent, Maj. Ward, Capt. Neville and other officers of the garrison, with
the famous Pontiac, Guyasuta, Capt. Pipe and other representatives of
the Six Nations. Guyasuta was the chief speaker. He produced a belt of
wampum, which was to be sent from the Six Nations to other western
tribes, informing them that the Six Nations would take no part in the
war between England and America and asking them to do the same. In his
address Guyasuta said: "Brothers:--We will not suffer either the English
or the Americans to pass through our country. Should either attempt it,
we shall forewarn them three times, and should they persist they must
take the consequences. I am appointed by the Six Nations to take care of
this country; that is, of the Indians on the other side of the Ohio"
(which included the Allegheny) "and I desire you will not think of an
expedition against Detroit, for, I repeat, we will not suffer an army to
pass through our country." The Six Nations was the most powerful
confederacy of Indians in America, and whichever side secured their
allegiance might count on the other tribes following them.

[Illustration: MAJ. GEN. ARTHUR ST. CLAIR.]

Instigated by the agents of Great Britain, it was not long before a
deadly struggle began. Scalping parties of Indians ravaged the frontier,
sparing neither age nor sex, and burning and destroying all that came in
their path. Companies were formed to protect the settlements, whose
headquarters were at Fort Pitt, and expeditions were made into the
enemy's country, but with no very great success.

On June 1, 1777, Brig. Gen. Edward Hand took command of the post and
issued a call for two thousand men. He did not receive a very
satisfactory response to this call. After considerable delay, he made
several expeditions against the Indians, but was singularly unfortunate
in his attempts. These fruitless efforts only emboldened the savages to
continue their ravages.

In 1778, Gen. Hand, at his own request, was recalled, and Brig. Gen.
McIntosh succeeded him. Gen. McIntosh planned a formidable expedition
into the enemy's country. He marched to the mouth of the Beaver, where
he built a fort and called it Fort McIntosh; then he advanced
seventy-five miles farther, built another fort, and called it Fort
Laurens; but on hearing alarming reports of the Indians and for want of
supplies, he left Col. John Gibson with one hundred and fifty men there
and returned to Fort Pitt. The depredations of the Indians continued,
and Gen. McIntosh, utterly disheartened from the want of men and
supplies, asked to be relieved of his command. He was succeeded by Col.
Daniel Brodhead, who, like his predecessor, planned great things, but
never had the means of carrying out his plans.

By this time Fort Pitt was badly in need of repairs, and the garrison,
half-fed and badly equipped, was almost mutinous. In November, 1781,
Gen. William Irvine took command of the post. He describes the condition
of the fort and of the soldiers as deplorable. He writes: "The few
troops that are here are the most licentious men and worst behaved I
ever saw, owing, I presume, in a great measure to their not hitherto
being kept under any subordination or tolerable degree of discipline."
The firmness of the commander soon restored order, but not without the
free application of the lash and the execution of two soldiers.

The winter of 1782 and 1783 was comparatively quiet, and October 1st,
1783, Gen. Irvine took his final leave of the western department. The
State of Pennsylvania acknowledged her gratitude for this service by
donating him a valuable tract of land.

In 1790 there was another Indian outbreak. Maj. Isaac Craig was then
acting as Quartermaster in Pittsburgh. On May 19th, 1791, he wrote to
Gen. Knox, representing the terror occasioned by the near approach of
the Indians, and asking permission to erect another fortification, as
Fort Pitt was in a ruinous condition. This request was granted, and Maj.
Craig erected a fortification occupying the ground from Garrison Alley
to Hand (now Ninth) Street, and from Liberty to the Allegheny River.
This he named Fort Lafayette.

The expeditions of Gen. Harmar and of Gen. St. Clair against the Indians
had been ineffectual and disastrous. In 1794, Gen. Anthony Wayne was
more successful, and defeated and scattered the Indians so effectually
that they never again gave trouble in this region.


[C] There is a wide discrepancy in the authorities as to the cost of
Fort Pitt; some state the cost as six hundred pounds, others give it as
sixty thousand pounds.


Mrs. Mary E. Schenley's Gift to the Daughters of the American Revolution
of Allegheny County.

The close of the century found Port Pitt in ruins, and this spot over
which had waved the flags of three nations, and the banners of two
States, was left to the peaceable possession of the mechanic and
artisan, the trader and farmer. The little Redoubt built by Col. Bouquet
in 1764, and the names of the streets in Pittsburgh, are all that is
left as reminders of the struggle for the "Forks of the Ohio,"--the only
relics of the contest of the courtly Frenchman with the intrepid
British, of the daring of the indomitable colonist and the craft and
cruelty of the Indian. This Redoubt was not built by Gen. Stanwix when
the Fort was erected in 1759 and 60, but by Col. Bouquet in 1764. At the
time of Pontiac's War, when Col. Bouquet came to Pittsburgh, he found
that the moat which surrounded the fortifications were perfectly dry
when the river was low, so that the Indians could crawl up the ditch and
shoot any guard or soldier who might show his head above the parapet. To
prevent this, Col. Bouquet ordered the erection of the Redoubt, or Block
House, which completely commanded the moat on the Allegheny side of the
fort. The little building is of brick, five-sided, with two floors,
having a squared oak log with loop holes on each floor. There were two
underground passages, one connecting it with the Fort, and the other
leading to the Monongahela River.

The ground from Fort Pitt to the Allegheny River was sold in 1784 to
Isaac Craig and Stephen Bayard, and, after passing through various
hands, was purchased by Gen. James O'Hara, September 4, 1805. When Gen.
O'Hara died in 1819, the property passed to his daughter Mary, who in
1821 married William Croghan. Mrs. Croghan died in 1827, and her
daughter, Mary Elizabeth, an infant barely a year old, became her sole
heir. She married Capt. E. W. H. Schenley, of the English army, and to
Mrs. Mary E. Schenley, who might be called Pittsburgh's "Fairy
Godmother," the Daughters of the American Revolution of Allegheny County
are indebted for the gift of the old Block House and surrounding

While the property was in possession of Craig and Bayard, a large
dwelling house was built and connected with the Block House. This was
occupied one year by Mr. Turnbull, and for two years subsequently by
Maj. Craig. From that time, 1785, until it came into the possession of
the Daughters of the American Revolution, April 1, 1894, it continued to
be used as a dwelling house. Time and decay had done their work in one
hundred and thirty years, and the "Daughters" found the old Block House
fast crumbling away. If it had been left much longer without repairs it
would soon have been nothing but a heap of broken brick. Mrs. Schenley's
gift to the Daughters of the American Revolution was the Block House,
with a plot of ground measuring one hundred by ninety feet, and a
passageway leading to Penn Avenue of ninety feet by twenty.


As soon as the Daughters of the American Revolution received the deed
for the property, the work of clearing away the tumble-down tenements
which covered the ground was commenced. It was not without great
difficulty, and no little expense, that the occupants of these houses
were induced to give them up.

While the Block House was used as a dwelling the stone tablet placed
over the door with the inscription,


was removed and inserted in the wall of the staircase of the City Hall.
The Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Councils for
permission to restore it to its original position. The petition was
granted, and the tablet now fills the space which it occupied one
hundred and thirty-eight years ago.

        "I do love these ancient ruins.
    We never tread upon them but we set
    Our foot upon some rev'rend history."

  September 1898.



Their Historical Significance.

By Julia Morgan Harding. (From the Pittsburgh Bulletin, February 15,

We are told in his Autobiography that Benjamin Franklin "ever took
pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of his ancestors," and in
these days of reawakened interest in things of the past, many people may
be found who, like the great prototype of American character,
Pennsylvania's apostle of common sense, take pleasure in looking into
the old records of their family history. A still richer inheritance is
the story of the lives of the men who conquered the wilderness and
subdued the Indians, French and British; and this inheritance is held in
common by all good citizens of Pittsburgh, whether or not their
ancestors fought with Braddock or Bouquet, or marched with Forbes. In
the stir and bustle of the busy city, above the noise of the trolley and
the iron wagon, one faintly hears the names of streets whose unfamiliar
sound recalls to our minds these illustrious dead. With but little
effort the inward eye quickly sees an impenetrable forest clothing hills
and river banks--dark, mysterious, forbidding, crossed by occasional
narrow and obstructed paths; war parties of painted savages; a few
scattered settlers' and traders' cabins; here and there a canoe on the
swift and silent rivers; a silence too often broken by the war whoop of
the Indian and the scream of his tortured victim.

From the eastern slopes of the Endless Hills to the unknown and
unbounded "Indian Country" that lay beyond the Forks of the Ohio, such
was the region into which Washington, Braddock, Forbes and Bouquet led
their "forlorn hopes," In days when a less utilitarian spirit prevailed,
and association was still powerful, the City of Pittsburgh acknowledged
its debt of gratitude to the soldiers, statesmen and early settlers who
made its unexampled prosperity possible, by naming for them many of its
streets and suburbs. Its early history can be traced thereby, much as
the historian and archaeologist discovers the successive Roman, Saxon,
Danish and Norman occupations of London and other English towns.
Aliquippa, Mingo, Shannopin, Shinghiss, Guyasuta and Killbuck recall the
Indian tribes and chiefs who once possessed the country; Gist, Montour,
Girty, McKee, Chartiers, and Van Braam the guides and traders who first
penetrated the wilderness. Dinwiddie brings to mind the crusty but
far-seeing Scotch Governor of Virginia, who first comprehended the value
of the disputed land. Forbes, Bouquet, Ligonier, Halket, Grant, Stanwix,
Neville, Crawford, Hay, Marbury, Ormsby, Tannehill, O'Hara, Butler,
Wayne, Bayard, Stobo, Steuben, St. Clair, Craig, Smallman and Irwin
recall, or did recall, the soldiers and commandants who won the West.
Duquesne, St. Pierre, and Jumonville speak of the French governor of
Canada, the officer who received Washington at Fort Le Boeuf, and the
Captain who fell at Great Meadows. Smithfield owes its name to Devereaux
Smith, prominent in colonial and revolutionary days; and Wood Street was
called for George Woods, surveyor.

In Penn avenue, or street, as it used to be and still ought to be
called, the name of the founder of the Commonwealth, the Quaker feudal
proprietor, is preserved; and the great city itself, as well as two
shabby, sooty little streets, forever immortalizes William Pitt, the
friend of America, and makes him a splendid and enduring monument.

But let us dig into the lowest historical stratum, and discover the real
local relationships of names and places with the first occupants of the
land. Aliquippa tells of the great queen of the Delawares, who lived at
the mouth of the Youghiogheny, where McKeesport now is, and whom it must
be remembered Washington visited on his first memorable journey to the
Ohio. From what he relates to us she could not have been a very
temperate sovereign lady, but she was a celebrity and a power in her
day, with a prestige that long survived her; and when, in full savage
regalia, surrounded by her warriors, she granted an audience to the
young Virginian, she was doubtless most impressing and condescending.

Shinghiss, who bore a name that suggests a subject of Queen Wilhelmina
rather than a North American Indian was a mighty warrior in his day, and
a king of the Delawares. Some of the chroniclers give him a very bad
name and tell us that his exploits in war would "form an interesting
though shocking document"; others, among them Christian Post, give him a
much better character. Nevertheless, it is true that the colony of
Pennsylvania offered a thousand dollars for his scalp. Washington met
him on his first visit to Ohio, and speaks of him in his Journal. This
brave and much-feared chief was small in stature for an Indian and lived
near the Ohio on Chartiers Creek.


    SEPTEMBER 4th 1805.
    JUNE 10th 1892]

A chieftain as renowned as Shinghiss, and more frequently mentioned in
the histories of the olden time, was Guyasuta, or Kiashuta, a Seneca,
who first appears on the scene as one of the three Indians who
accompanied Washington to Fort Le Boeuf. He was a conspicuous figure in
all the Indian wars and treaties which followed that event, and was
present at the treaty Col. Bouquet held with the Shawnees, Delawares
and Senecas on the Muskingum. We hear of him again in Lord Dunmore's
war. He was frequently at or in the neighborhood of Fort Pitt, and had
unbounded influence with his people, an influence he generally exerted
for good and in the interest of the colonies, though finally won over to
the British during the Revolution. His speeches at the various councils
he attended were eloquent, and his language that of an autocrat who had
unquestioning confidence in the power of his people and in his own
might. He was deeply concerned in the conspiracy of Pontiac, and is
believed to have inspired the attack on Hannahstown. Guyasuta found his
last resting place near the banks of the Allegheny on Gen. O'Hara's
farm, which is still called by his name.

The stray visitor who from time to time threads his devious way through
the alleys and courts which surround the Block House may find himself
perhaps in Fort Street, on historic ground once trodden by Washington,
Forbes, Bouquet and the Indian kings of whom we have just been speaking.
The echoes of the English drums, Scottish bagpipes and clash of arms
have long since died away from the scarred sides of Mt. Washington and
Duquesne Heights, and in their stead we hear the steam whistle and
hollow reverberations from neighboring boiler shops. Hibernians and
Italians inhabit the fields and the river banks where Killbuck, White
Eyes, Shinghiss and Cornstalk once lit their camp-fires and held
eloquent councils with Jumonville, De Ligneris and Bouquet. Squalid
tenements crowd the narrow promontory where Robert de la Salle stood at
the headwaters of the Ohio, in all probability the discoverer of the
three rivers. The fort that Pontiac besieged has disappeared. The
painted post to which the Indian tied his victim, the wigwam, the wampum
belts, have vanished; the tomahawk is buried forever, though the
readiness once observed among the residents of the "Point" to draw
knives on each other on occasions of superhilarity may be but the
survival of the good old customs which prevailed in that neighborhood
more than one hundred years ago.

Inspired by the suggestion of hereditary, the imaginative mind turns to
the past for other instances. On any pleasant Monday morning during the
spring or summer months the thrifty housekeepers in Fort Street or Point
Alley, and in the shadow of the Block House itself, may be seen doing
their week's washing in front of their houses. But little are they
thinking of those Monday mornings in the middle of the eighteenth
century when the women of the fort were escorted by bands of soldiers to
the banks of the Allegheny, where laundry work was carried on under
rather embarrassing circumstances. For Indians were dodging about behind
trees and bushes, and dancing in full view on the opposite shore, with
threatening cries, and only kept at a distance by the presence of a
guard. The custom seems still to prevail on this classic ground, but do
the conveniences of soap and hydrant water make up for the spice and
variety that characterized the lives of colonial laundresses?

Pittsburgh has always been preeminently a hospitable city, and it is
possible that in no other town of its size is there as much
entertaining. At weddings, too, the display of presents is an object of
surprise to the out-of-town guests, unused to such lavishness. Tracing
our Provincial characteristics back to their remote origins, we discover
that Pittsburgh at the end of the nineteenth century, in the grip of
hereditary, imitates the traders and early settlers in this region, who
were in the habit of entertaining whole tribes of Indians, and of making
them frequent gifts. Gay blankets, red paint, strings of wampum and
barrels of whiskey are not now exchanged at Christmas and on New Year's
Day, or shown at wedding feasts, as we have improved somewhat upon the
primitive customs of our forefathers, but the instinct is unchanged.

Noted for the beauty and brilliancy of our balls, and the excellence of
our dinners, it may be interesting to know something of our first
attempts in the art of social entertaining. In a letter from Capt.
Ecuyer, commandant at Fort Pitt, dated January 8th, 1763, written to
Col. Bouquet, he informs the latter that they have a ball every Saturday
evening, graced by the presence of the most beautiful ladies of the
garrison. No mention is made of any solid refreshment, but we are
informed that "the punch was abundant," and it is also intimated that if
the fair sex did not find it strong enough for their taste, they knew
where the whiskey was kept and how to remedy the fault. Gay indeed must
have been the dancing and the merriment inspired by the frontier punch
and the shrieks of the Indians outside the stockade, for at that very
time hostile savages surrounded and threatened the lonely fort. No
wonder the revellers needed strong drinks to keep up their spirits! It
is indeed very doubtful if the very strongest ever brewed would give
nerve enough to Pittsburgh belles of today to enable them to dance a
cotillon to the tune of Indian whoops and yells.

As to more intellectual pursuits, it would at first seem impossible to
discover what our frontier ancestors did in the way of reading. News
from the outside world was not to be depended upon, and books a rare
article, one would presume; but information often comes from unexpected
sources, and in an edition of Robertson's "Charles Fifth," "printed for
the subscribers in America in 1770," is "a list of subscribers whose
names posterity may respect, because of their seasonable encouragement
the American edition hath been accomplished at a price so moderate that
the man of the woods, as well as the man of the court, may solace
himself with sentimental delight." In this list we find the name of
"Ensign Francis Howard, of the Royal Irish at Fort Pitt," the only
subscriber west of the mountains.

We can imagine the young soldier, far from home and friends, reading of
those far-off times of war and peril, the winter wind howling up and
down the river and beating against the Block House, carrying with it the
echo, perhaps, of an Indian death halloo! Doubtless he wondered what the
stern Spanish campaigner would have done if brought to the western
wilderness to fight the red man, and, if he lived to return to his
English home with his scalp intact, it is more than probable that Ensign
Francis Howard's tales of America warfare and adventure were the delight
of many a hunting dinner or evening fireside.

Few indeed are the tangible relics of the most romantic period of our
local history. The writer owns a copy of the edition of "Charles Fifth,"
and in all probability it is the one that the English ensign read at
Fort Pitt. A few old letters, maps and account books, some cannon balls,
rusty swords and bayonets, the handsome carved stone sun dial which the
Chapter has placed for safe keeping in Carnegie Museum until its own
home is built, are about all we can show of the works and possessions of
the men who made our early history.

Here was the scene of a mighty struggle for empire, a struggle of which
the only vestiges left are the Block House and the names of our streets,
too many of which have been changed in recent years to suit the vulgar
needs of convenience and at the cost of our historical identity.


  [Illustration: PITTSBURGH IN 1795



Much water has run under the bridges of the Allegheny and the
Monongahela rivers, since the sketch, "The Names of Pittsburgh Streets"
was written, and changes as radical as those that took place between the
first years of the Nineteenth Century and the early days of the
twentieth, have revolutionized the historic "Point" in the last decade.

Just as the French and Indians stole down the river before the advance
of Gen. Forbes and his British and Colonial troops in 1758, so did the
denizens of the aforesaid "Point" melt away in every direction before
the steam shovels, creaking derricks and snorting engines of the
Pennsylvania Railroad in 1904-05.

With the consolidation of Pittsburgh and Allegheny into one city came
other changes. Some of the old streets whose names commemorated dead
patriots associated with Colonial and Revolutionary Pittsburgh, are
buried under embankments, concrete walls and brick warehouses. Other
names have been dropped and certain etymological curiosities have been
put in their places. Still others have been transferred to distant and
irrelevant localities, and an old resident, returning from the world of
shades would be sadly confused if looking for old landmarks, Fort Pitt
and all pertaining to it, excepting only the Block House, vanished long
ago. There is nothing left of the later age which saw "Rice's Castle" in
its glory. The new industrialism is steadily and rapidly blotting out
the picturesque and historic all around us. Let all good Pittsburghers
unite to preserve the little that is left, the Redoubt built by Col.
Bouquet in 1764.



    |             Transcriber's Note:                     |
    |                                                     |
    | Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the        |
    | original document have been preserved.              |
    |                                                     |
    | = sign denotes bold type                            |
    |                                                     |
    | Typographical errors corrected in the text:         |
    |                                                     |
    | Page  10  recommmendation changed to recommendation |
    | Page  11  beginnning changed to beginning           |
    | Page  15  howitzigers changed to howitzers          |
    | Page  15  contreoeur changed to contrecoeur         |
    | Page  23  reveilee changed to reveille              |
    | Page  24  succedeed changed to succeeded            |
    | Page  24  contreoeur changed to contrecoeur         |
    | Page  30  surrouoned changed to surrounded          |
    | Page  32  garisons changed to garrisons             |
    | Page  33  construted changed to constructed         |
    | Page  48  posession changed to possession           |
    | Page  48  hunded changed to hundred                 |
    | Page  53  Alliquippa changed to Aliquippa           |
    | Page  54  Alliquippa changed to Aliquippa           |
    | Page  55  conspicious changed to conspicuous        |
    | Page  58  in changed to an                          |
    | Page  61  she changed to he                         |

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