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ence held with the chiefs of the Senecas living on the Ohio, the Dela-
wares and Shawanese, October 17, 1764; present, "Col. Henry Bouquet,
Commanding His Majesty's forces in the Southern District, etc." Alex-
ander McKee is set down as assistant agent for Indian affairs, and
doubtless at all of Bouquet's conferences at that time, though not always
recorded as present. He is recorded as present at Dunmore's council
with the Delawares and Mingoes in the fall of 1774, and still "Deputy
Agent, etc." Washington dined with Alexander McKee on his journey
down the Ohio to the Kanawha region, as he records in his Journal,
October 20, 1770; however, he spells the name "Magee." McKee,
Croghan and Lieutenant Hamilton of the garrison at Fort Pitt, had
set out from Pittsburgh with Washington's party, and continued with
them to Logstown. Alexander McKee was during the Revolution a
British agent among the Shawanese on the Miami river. More concern-
ing him will be noted in the chapter detailing events at Pittsburgh during
the Revolution.

James McKee died in 1836 at his home in McKees Rocks, leaving
two sons, Thomas and Alexander McKee. He also left three grand-
daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Sarah, wife of David McGunnegle.
The descendants of these and those of Thomas McKee's daughters were
the owners by right of inheritance of most of the original grant to
Captain Alexander McKee in 1764. On this land today there stands
the large borough of McKees Rocks, with its adjoining great manu-
facturing plants, and the shops, yards and tracks of the Pittsburgh &
Lake railroad. Within the borough are the historic Rocks, now mostly
quarried away, and on them was the celebrated Indian mound which
was owned jointly by the McGunnegle heirs and Mrs. Nettie McKee
Graham, nee Nettie Adelia McKee, daughter of Thomas McKee.*^

There are other historic names in this locality, for it is a historic
locality, as will be acknowledged as the story of Pittsburgh and its environs
unfolds in its length and breadth. Chartiers is the name given to the
large creek that empties into the Ohio just above the famous Rocks, at
the head of Brunot's Island, the Rocks almost opposite the foot of the
island.

The history of the Chartiers, father and son, must be given a page



lOSec Will Book, Vol. 4, p. I37, Office of the Regbtcr of Wills, Allegheny county,
Pa., and 77 Penna. Reports, p. 80.



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WILDERNESS TRAIL AND WILDERNESS TRADERS 171

in the story of the traders. Chartiers is one of the best commemorated
names in the Pittsburgh region, coming down from the earliest whites
trading in the region. Though distinctively a pioneer name, it is not
worthily bestowed and brings up no pleasant memories. Peter Chartier's
name is found more frequently in our history. He was a halfbreed, a
rogue and bandit. If he had any redeeming traits, they have not been
revealed in any of the old documents in which his history has been frag-
mentarily preserved. Dwellers in the Chartiers Valley have no reason
to be proud of the individual who left his name to the historic stream
therein, and its beautiful region. Peter was the son of Martin Chartier,
who became a renegade from civilization. There was a bad mixture
in Peter's blood — ^vagabond French and savage Shawanese. When this
nation moved up from the South, one of their bands came to Pequea
creek in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Pequea was the name of a
Shawanese tribe, or clan, and the name was given this place from their
having lived there ; also found as "Piqua" in Ohio.

The French pronunciation of the name Chartiers is "Cart-e-a," the
final "a" long^ as in fate. Among the early settlers the creek was called
"Shertee's creek." Even Washington, who owned land on a tributary
of this stream, in Washington county, Pennsylvania, refers to it as
"Shurtee's creek.''^^ In the grant of land along it made in 1764 to
Alexander McKee, a Pennsylvania trader, by Colonel Henry Bouquet,
commander at Fort Pitt, the stream is called "Shertee's creek." The final
"r" was not sounded for many years after. Then people began pro-
nouncing the name as the English spelling indicates, regardless of its
French form and undoubted French origin. The name was doubtless
"Chartier's," and gradually the apostrophe dropped out, leaving the
form as we now have it. This is the commonly accepted version. On
the contrary, after the analogy of Thiers and like names, the name may
have been Chartiers. There has been a marked tendency among modem
geographers to omit possessive signs in proper names. McKees
Rocks, the large manufacturing town at the mouth of Chartiers creek,
built on the original grant to Alexander McKee, is now always found
printed without the possessive sign.

Martin Chartier established himself at Pequea, where he married a
Shawanese squaw. He built a storehouse there and carried on trade
between the white settlers and the Shawanese. He learned the Shaw-
anese and Delaware tongues, in addition to two with which he already
knew and was of some service to the Pennsylvania authorities as an
interpreter in the frequent councils held at Pequea and Conestoga.
His fidelity to the English cause was doubted during Queen Anne's War,
and, having been summoned before the Pennsylvania Council in Phila-
delphia, he pledged himself to the English sovereign and engaged to



""Journal" of 1770; October 21st.



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172 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

act as a spy among the several savage tribes on the Susquehanna. He
moved from Pequea creek to the eastern bank of the river, a short
distance above the mouth of Conestoga creek, where he built another
trading post, and made a farm clearing. In 171 7 he secured a provincial
warrant for his farm of three hundred acres. The warrant was written
in the name of Peter Chartier, the only son of Martin and the Shawanese
woman. The father agreed to pay for the farm, but it is doubtful if he
completed the contract, as he died in April, 1718.

Peter, or Pierre Chartier was more an Indian than a Frenchman, and
more savage than civilized. He was born among the Shawanese and
raised among them, married a squaw of the tribe, and lived on the
Susquehanna until that tribe, dissatisfied with the gradually increasing
number of white settlers in the vicinity of Pequea creek, moved west-
ward, when he sold his farm and followed the savages. For a time he
lived on Yellow Breeches creek in the Cumberland Valley, and later
on the Conecocheague creek, a tributary of the Potomac and a noted
stream in Pennsylvania history. He still held, or pretended to hold
allegiance to the English authorities, and in 1730 obtained a license from
the Lancaster County Court to trade with the Indians. At the same term
of this court similar licenses were granted to John Harris, father of the
founder of Harrisburg, and to John Wilkins, grandfather of Judge Wil-
liam Wilkins, of Pittsburgh, a famous man in his day, locally and
nationally. Chartier obtained a strong influence among the Shawanese,
and over a part of the Pequea clan he appeared to have had more
control than its chiefs. The Shawanese were a restless, passionate and
warlike people, as their story in Chapter VI attests.

These Indians distrusted the white settlers near their villages and
hunting grounds, and, as squatters began to build cabins in the Cum-
berland Valley the Shawanese moved to the upper waters of the Juniata,
thence over the mountains to the Conemaugh, and following that stream
came to the Kiskiminetas and the Allegheny. Peter Chartier and his
band of Pequeas came after the main body, and building their bark
huts on the right bank of the Allegheny at the mouth of Bull creek,
established a town there known in colonial border history as ''Char-
tier's Old Town." This was on part of the site of Tarentum, Allegheny
county. A small stream on the opposite side was called Chartiers run.
For many years there was a station on the Allegheny Valley railroad
at this point, called Chartiers. For several years, in his capacity as a
trader, Peter Chartier journeyed from the Allegheny to Philadelphia,
and continued to command the confidence of the provincial authorities
of Pennsylvania. While he was located at Bull creek the French agents
came among the Indians on the Allegheny, endeavoring to attach them
permanently to the French cause. To counteract these influences the
Pennsylvania authorities sought to persuade the Delawares and Shaw-



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WILDERNESS TRAIL AND WILDERNESS TRADERS 173

anese to return to the Susquehanna region. A direct appeal was made
to Chartier to assist in this effort, but he did nothing, and in this fact
lay strong presumption that he was in sympathy with the French and
desired an alliance of the Indians and the French. This was natural
enough, but he most hypocritically endeavored all the while to make the
English believe he was on their side. He was not only a French spy
but covertly working in their interest.^^

In 1732 Governor Gordon, of Pennsylvania, sent Edmund Cartledge,
a Quaker and a trader of some influence, on a mission to the Allegheny
Indians to persuade them to return to Central Pennsylvania, within the
range of English control — ^mostly Quaker control. Cartledge went to
Kittanning and held conferences with the Delawares and Shawanese
there, and on his return reported that Chartier had been of great service
to him, and that he considered Chartier to be well inclined to the
Pennsylvania interests. Neither of the tribes returned eastward, nor
did they intend to. Chartier was only deceiving Cartledge. Chartier
was a French spy and wanted to remain one. French agents were circu-
lating freely among the Indians in the Allegheny region. There was
an annual visit of officials direct from Montreal, and these were warmly
welcomed by the Shawanese. In the fall, when these officials returned,
they would take some Shawanese chiefs with them, who were treated
with great consideration by the wily French Canadian officers. Chartier
is presumed to have made visits to Montreal on such occasions, and, if
so, was a grateful recipient of the gifts and flatteries from his father's
countrymen. It is not positively known that he did, however. The
Pennsylvania authorities naturally depended on the Iroquois to combat
these growing French intrigues. The Iroquois were asked to compel
the Delawares and Shawanese to return to the Susquehanna. The
Iroquois attempted to execute this request. An Iroquois embassy came
to the Allegheny, but they were treated with contempt. One of them
was murdered. Chartier arose to the occasion and attempted to arouse
the Shawanese nation to make open war against the Iroquois. The
murderers of the Iroquois chief fled down the Ohio, but Chartier was
checked by the intervention of the New York and Pennsylvania author-
ities. Chartier's conduct, probably in order to appease him, was con-
doned by the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, for in 1744 his trader's
license was renewed.

England and France were then at war ; King George's, or the Third
Intercolonial War, settled by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in October,
1748. The Pennsylvanians seemed to have been thoroughly hood-
winked by Chartier and wished to retain his influence. They were dis-
appointed, for as soon as Chartier knew of the war he openly espoused



i2"History Western Penna. and the West," pp. 33-34- Ibid., App. 12, 23. "Annals
of the West;" J. R. Albach, Pittsburgh, 1856, p. 98. "The Olden Time;" N. B. Craig,
Vol. I, p. 8. "Wilderness Trail," Vol. I, 311-312.



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174 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

the French cause. In the spring of 1745 he received from the Canadian
authorities a commission as captain in the French-Canadian army. He
raised a band of marauders which the French armed well, and began
his guerilla warfare. In April, 1745, he surprised two Pennsylvania
traders on the Allegheny — ^James Dinnen (Dunning) and Peter Tostee,
and robbed them of their horses and goods, valued at £1,600, and turned
the traders loose in the defenseless woody wilderness.*'

There are no records that Chartier did any other damage in 1745 in
the Allegheny Valley. Some of the Shawanese chiefs were unwilling
to follow him in a war on the Pennsylvania people. Therefore Chartier
persuaded a number of Shawanese to accompany him to Montreal, where
they might more easily be brought under French influences. Again
Chartier was foiled, for he succeeded in creating a schism among the
Shawanese which threatened dire results. The French advised Char-
tier to move farther west and to take his band where it would be alto-
gether within the sphere of French influence. This he did, and voyaged
via the Allegheny and Ohio, settling on the Vermillion river, an affluent
of the Wabash, where he was within the jurisdiction of the French
commander at Fort Vincennes. The date was either late in 1745 or
early in 1746, for there are no records of Chartier in Pennsylvania after
that time.

Celoron, in the journal of his voyage, mentions Chartier. This was
in the summer of 1749, under date August 6th, Celoron recorded:
"Soon after leaving Attique I passed the old village of the Shawanese
which had been abandoned since the departure of Chartier and his
band, who were removed from this place by the orders of the Marquis
of Beauharnais and conducted to the River V.ermillion, in the Wabash,

in 1745.""

The French, however, had a task put on them, for they soon found
Chartier and his Shawanese cutthroats as troublesome as had the
Pennsylvania authorities. The Vermillion settlement was not long
maintained. The French commander on the Illinois reported in 1747
that Chartier had made a raid into the Cherokee country and was living
on the Cherokee river, now the Tennessee river. There is no mention
of Chartier after this. He either died, or was slain soon after, for his
followers, without him, took refuge with other Shawanese at the mouth
of the Scioto river in Ohio. A report made by Vaudreuil in 1760 states
that "forty cabins" of what was known as Chartier's band were re-
moved by the French from the Scioto to a reservation near Fort Massac
on the Ohio, in Illinois. "They are more useful and less dangerous
there," Vaudreuil said in forceful truth.



"'^The Wilderness Trail;" Hanna, Vol. I. pp. 287, 3", ct al.

i^See also Bonnecamp's Journal in the "Tesuit Relations," VoL 69 (Thwaites' Bd).



pp. 170-171.



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WILDERNESS TRAIL AND WILDERNESS TRADERS 175

No records or documents inform us that Chartier ever lived on or
near the stream that bears his name, in the vicinity of Pittsburgh ; the
presumption is strong that he did, from the fact that his name is asso-
ciated with this creek from the earliest mention of it by the whites,
and the weight of this presumption must be accepted under the rules
of evidence. It is most probable that before he removed to the Vermil-
lion he lived on the south shore of the Ohio, opposite Brunot's Island,
or at or near the mouth of Chartiers creek, or possibly upon the island,
for when the whites came this island was called Chartier's Island. It
is undisputed that he lived on the Allegheny at the mouth of Bull
creek, for the name "Chartier's Old Town" and the locality have frequent
mention in Pennsylvania records. This town is marked "Village
Chouanon" on Bellin's map of Louisiana (1744). Conrad Weiser records
that it was sixty miles by water and but thirty-five or forty by land
from the town of Queen Aliquippa, on the Ohio, about opposite McKees
Rocks, but he was far off in his estimates. Bull creek is about twenty-
two miles from the Point in Pittsburgh. There was a good fording
at Chartier's Old Town. Weiser left the goods intended for the Indians
there in August, 1748, when on his mission to the Ohio.^**

Among the many hundreds traders licensed in Pennsylvania and
bartering among the Western Indians on the Allegheny and the tribu-
taries of the Ohio, may be mentioned Peter Allen on the Allegheny in
1732; Jacob Arentz, one of Washington's guides, in 1754; Henry Bailey,
one of the earliest in the region, 1727, or even earlier; Thomas Bumey,
a blacksmith, a noted pioneer and soldier serving in Captain Andrew
Lewis' company, at the battle at Great Meadows in July, 1754, and
known to and mentioned by Gist and Trent in their Journals. Burney
was killed at Braddock's defeat, July 9, I775.^'

Thomas Calhoun was a historic character and trader and one of
those who brought the news of Pontiac's outbreak to Fort Pitt about
June I, 1763, one of the few who escaped the ambush at the mouth of
the Big Beaver. Robert Callender, of Carlisle, a partner of Michael
Taafe on the Ohio, 1750-53, was likewise noted and a heavy loser in con-
fiscated goods in 1763. Joseph Campbell, an unlicensed trader and of
shady character, killed by an Indian in 1754, and mentioned by Wash-
ington in his Journal of 1753 (December 23rd); Edmund Cartledge, a
Quaker, at Allegheny, 1727-34, one of the most frequently mentioned
in Pennsylvania Archives as giving information to the provincial author-
ities regarding affairs among the Indians on the frontiers and the
Allegheny; James Chalmers, General Armstrong's guide to Kittanning
in 1756; Samuel Cozzens at Logstown in 1751; Jonas Davenport, a



i*Weiser's Journal, Aug. 27-29, 1748.

lODarlington's Edition, p. 125 and footnotes there. See also "Colonial Records;"
VoL V, pp. 034-635.



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176 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

Conestoga trader as early as 1718 and on the Allegheny 1727-34, per-
haps later, and with Cartledge in frequent communication with the
provincial authorities of Pennsylvania; John Davison, one of Wash-
ington's interpreters in 1753, and at Logstown in the same capacity in
1754, and one of those who furnished information to Lewis Evans for
his map of the Middle British Colonies in America in 1755 ; Joseph Dob-
son, another relied on by Evans and mentioned by him in his "Analysis"
of the Map ;*^ Arthur Dunlap, with Braddock, and furnishing that gen-
eral with information about supposed French sympathizers in 1755;
William Dunlap, an old trader in 1730, on the Allegheny in 1734; James
Dunning, the name found variously spelled, often "Denning," on the
Allegheny as early as 1734 and remaining in the region for twenty years
until the French ascendency in 1754. Dunning was robbed by Peter
Chartier and the Shawanese on the Allegheny in April, 1745. Dunning
was a guide for Forbes in 1758, and for Bouquet the same year. He
was one of the most noted of the traders on the Allegheny, but not one
of the best. John Finley, 1744-48, was another such trader among the
Shawanese and Miamis prior to 1753 and at Logstown the same year
after various vicissitudes. Finley was one of the most celebrated pio-
neers of the Great West, for he piloted Boone into Kentucky by way
of the Cumberland Gap in 1769.*®

Then there were various traders on the Allegheny who have but
slight mention in the Archives of Pennsylvania: John Fisher and
Timothy Fitzpatrick; John Hart, killed on the Allegheny in 1729; two
John Kellys, one from Donegal, and the other from Paxtang, both on
the river, 1732-1734; Ralph Kilgore, an employe of John Frazer, cap-
turned by the French in 1750; Alexander Lowry, on the river after 1744,
one of those furnishing information to Evans for his map; Lazarus
Lowry, father of Alexander, and three other sons, Daniel, James and
John, the latter killed by a Frenchman or Indian on the Allegheny in
1749. Lazarus was one of the earlier traders on the river, there in 1734.
Andrew McBryar was one of Lowry's traders taken by the French at
Gist's in 1754; James McLaughlin, captured at Venango by the French
in 1752, mentioned by Washington in his Journal of 1753; John Madden,
an Ohio trader in I750.*»

Thomas Mitchel and Thomas Mitchel, Jr., were on the river in 1753,
both subsequently killed by Indians in Ohio; John Owens, one of
Croghan's traders at Aughwick in 1754, and said to have been one of
Bouquet's guides in 1758; David Owens, son of John, also a guide for
Bouquet in 1758, and his interpreter in 1764. David Owens is alleged
to have killed his Indian wife and their children and carried their scalps



i7Gist's Journals; Darlington, p. 271.

i8"History of Kentucky;" Collins, Vol. II, p. 495. *'The Wilderness Trail ;•
Hanna, Vol. II, Oiap. VII.

i»"The Olden Time;" Craig, Vol. II, p. 184.



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WILDERNESS TRAIL AND WILDERNESS TRADERS 177

to the English for a reward. David has wide mention in our Western
history.2o

Anthony Sadowsky, a Shamokin trader in 1728, is recorded in the
Colonial Records of Pennsylvania as in Allegheny in 1729. His name
occurs in the Pennsylvania Archives curiously spelled — "Zadousky"
and "Sadowsk" are instances. Henry Smith, also from Shamokin, was
" on the river Allegheny 1729-1732," with more mention than Sadowsky,
and especially noted in "A letter from Ye Chieffs of Ye Delawares att
AUeegaeening on the main road" as "being there with rum where the
Indians gott Drunk etc," resulting in a murder.21 Francis Stevens was
at Allegheny in 1734; for him was named Frankstown, an Indian town
as early as 1734, the site on the Juniata in Huntingdon county, and hence
the Frankstown branch of the Juniata and the Frankstown road, the
name Frankstown enduring in Pittsburgh in that well known thorough-
fare in the East End, Frankstown avenue. Peter Tostee was one of
the traders robbed by Chartier and his Shawanese outlaws in 1745. An
account of this affair, which is alluded to frequently, will be found in the
Pennsylvania Colonial Records (Vol. IV; pp. 776-780) .^^ Morris Turner,
an employee of John Frazier, was one of those captured by the Indians
on the Miami in 1750; John Walker, who came to the Allegheny before
1753, was a guide for Bouquet in 1758 and has mention in the "Bouquet
Papers." Other traders with but slight mention in Pennsylvania Records
and Archives were: Thomas Ward at Logstown in 1751 : Edward War-
ren on the Allegheny in 1732, an employee of Petei Allen; William
West in 1732; Charles Williams, a companion of Thomas McKee in
1747-48; John Wray, the first settler at Raystown, later and yet Bedford,
and the name retained in the Raystown branch of the Juniata. Wray,
as attested, was one of attendants of the Potomac Shawanese who went
to Philadelphia from the Allegheny in 1732. (Col. Records, Vol. III).
John Young was an early Allegheny trader in 1734, and James Young
in 1750.

There are others than those above enumerated who are deserving
of extended mention, some names running with the history of the West,
especially in the region about the Forks of the Ohio for many years
and participants in the stirring events of the eighteenth century. George
Croghan was one, and in this work has been accorded a special chapter ;
Edward Ward, Croghan's half-brother, left by William Trent in charge
of the fort ordered by Washington to be built at the Forks in April, 1754,
and under construction when surprised by the large French force under



20"Conspiracy of Pontiac;" Parkman, p. 482. "Old Glade Road;" A. B. Hulbcrt,
p. 100. Also Rev. David Jones' "Journal," p. 18;. and Loudon's "Indian Wars." Both
such rare books that access will be impossible to them by most readers.

2i"Penna. Archives;" First Series, Vol. I, p. 254.

23See also History Washington County, Pa.;" Crumrine, p. 18, and "History West-
em Pennsylvania and the West;" Rupp, App., p. 23.



Pitts.— 12



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178 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

Contrecoeur, who immediately built a larger and more formidable work
and named Fort Duquesne. Ward was distinctly a Pittsburgh pioneer,
and much concerning him will appear in subsequent pages in this work.

William Trent, a partner of George Croghan, and a subordinate of
Washington, will obtain as frequent mention, for he, too, was one of
the most noted of the pioneers of the region, a participant in many of
the events that were international in scope. Trent served as captain in
the French War of 1745-47; was a trader on the Miami in 1752, and at
Logstown the next year. He figures largely in all the history of the
ensuing decade, kept journals of his journeys, and was one of the most
dependable and constant of those traders among the Indians who kept
the Pennsylvania authorities informed of the relations of the Western
tribes with the French and of the happenings of the Pennsylvania traders
in the Ohio region. This is readily attested by the mention of him in
the Colonial Records and the Pennsylvania Archives. Trent was a
defender of Pittsburgh, for he was one of the garrison of Fort Pitt during



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 23 of 81)