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up the falls without unloading.?

It is to be noted that Sargent and many old writers use the form
"Du Quesne" in preference to the modern Duquesne with which Pitts-
burgh people are so familiar. So, too, Lafayette rather than the correct
French, La Fayette. The form "le Quesne" has been found also. Bolles
has it M. de Duquesne de Menneville. ("History of Pennsylvania," Vol.
I, p. 294).

Albert considered what Parkman knew of the fort important, for he
continues (pp. 70-71 ) :

The description of Fort Duquesne by Parkman, contrasting the period of the
French occupancy with our own time, may be reproduced:

"Fort Duquesne stood on the point of land where the Allegheny and the Monoo-



T"Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania;" Vol. II, pp. 69-7a "Penna. Archives;" First
Series, Vol. Ill, p. 13, and Ibuf,, XII, p. 357.



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372 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

gahela join to form the Ohio, and where now stands Pittsburgh, with its swarming
population, its restless industries, the clang of its forges, and its chimneys vomiting
foul smoke into the face of heaven. At that early day a white flag fluttering over a
cluster of palisades and embankments betokened the first intrusion of civilized man
upon a scene which a few months before breathed the repose of a virgin wilderness,
voiceless but for the lapping of waves upon the pebbles, or the note of some lonely
bird. But now the sleep of ages was broken, the bugle and drum told the astonished
forest that its doom was pronounced and its days numbered. The fort was a com-
pact little work, solidly built and strong, compared with others on the continent It was
a square of four bastions, with the water on two sides and the other two protected by
ravelins, and covered way. The ramparts on these sides were of squared logs, filled in
with earth, and ten feet or more thick. The two water sides were enclosed by a massive
stockade, of upright logs, twelve feet high, mortised together and loop-holed. The
armament consisted of a number of small cannon mounted on the bastions. A gate
and drawbridge on the east side gave access to the area within, which was surrounded
by barracks for the soldiers, ofiioers' quarters, the lodgings of the commandant, a
guard-house, and a store-house, all built partly of logs and partly of boards. There
were no casements, and the place was commanded by a high woody hill beyond the
Monongahela. The forest had been cleared away to the distance of more than a
musket shot from the ramparts, and the stumps were hacked level with the ground.
Here, just outside the ditdi, bark cabins had been built for such of the troops and
Canadians as could not find room within; and the rest of the open space was covered
with Indian com and other crops."^

There are "Papers Relating to the French Occupancy^' which have
found place in the Pennsylvania Archives (Second Series, Vol. VI).
Albert has made several pages of extracts from them in the "Frontier
Forts," selecting those bearing on Fort Duquesne and the frontiers
during that period. It is a most disheartening record. Albert states that
his selections are from the Abstract of Dispatches received from Canada,
officially from Vaudreuil, governor-general of that colony. They set
forth the methods of the French during the winter and early spring of
I7S6.*

The first extract reads :

The Governor remained at Montreal in order to be in a more convenient position to
harass the English during the winter and to make preparations for the next campaign.
With this double object he directed his efforts principally to gaining the Indians and
flatters himself that he has generally succeeded.

All the Nations of the Beautiful River have taken up the hatchet against the Eng-
lish. The first party that was formed in that quarter since the last report Vaudreuil
had sent in (in October, 1755), was composed of 250 Indians, to whom the com-
mandant at Fort Duquesne had joined some Frenchmen at the request of those Indians.

This party divided itself into small squads at the height of land and fell on the set-
tlements beyond Fort Cumberland ; defeated a detachment of twenty regulars under the
command of two officers. After these different squads had destroyed or carried off
several families, pillaged and burned several houses, they came again together with the
design of surprising Fort Cumberland, and accordingly lay in ambush some time, but
the commander of the fort, who no doubt was on his guard, dared not show himself.
This party returned to Fort Duquesne with sixty prisoners and a great number of
scalps.

The second detachment consisted of a military cadet, a Canadian and some Shaw-
anese— number not stated. This detachment took two prisoners under the guns of Fort



8"Montcalm and Wolfe;" Chapter VII, Champlain Edition, Vol. I, pp. 315-216.
•"Frontier Forts of Pennsylvama;" Vol. II, pp. 72-73.



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FRENCH REGIME IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 373

Cumberland, whither the party had been sent by the commandant of Fort Duquesne
to find out what was going on there. The third detachment, made up of a Canadian
and several Chaouanons [Shawanese], destroyed eleven families, burned 16 houses and
kiUed a prodigious number of cattle. The Indians returned on horseback.

The fourth detachment was a large one — 112 Delawares or Loups. "They struck
out in separate divisions" and were equally successful. The larger party returned with
so many scalps and prisoners that these Indians sent some prisoners to all the nations
to replace their dead. Vaudreuil reported only what these four parties did. A number
of others had marched with equal success. Some had actually been on the warpath as
far even as Virginia.

The commandant of Fort Duquesne had informed Vaudreuil that the Delawares
settled beyond the mountains which separated them from the English, had, on his invi-
tation, just removed their villages so as to unite with their brethren, our allies, that the
old men, women and children had already gone with the baggage, and that the war-
riors were to form a rear guard and, on quitting, to attack the English.10

The following extracts taken from the same sources give the French
version of the affairs as they transpired on the frontiers, and about
Fort Duquesne while it continued in their occupancy :

The latest news from Fort Duquesne is the Qth ol May, 1756. No English move-
ment of any importance yet in that quarter. Our Indians together with some of our
detachments made many successful forays. Thirty scalps have been sent us and the
Commissions of three officers of the English regiments raised in the country who have
been killed. The upper country Indians carried off entire families which obliges the
English to construct several pretended forts, that is to say, to enclose a number of
dwellings with stockades. Our upper Indians appear well disposed towards us, not-
withstanding the presence and solicitations of the English. M. Dumas, an officer of
great distinction in the Colony commands at Fort Duquesne and on the River Ohio.
We have lost in one detachment Ensign Douville of the Colonial troops.^^

Fort Duquesne is not worth a straw. A freshet nearly carried it off a short time
ago.i2

Letters of March 23d assure us that the Indians have since Admiral Braddock's
defeat disposed of more than 700 people in the provinces of Pennsylvania, Virginia and
Carolina, including those killed and those taken prisoners.

The Delawares and Chouanons, Indian Nations of the Beautiful River, some of
whose chiefs have been put to a cruel death by the English to whom they had gone on
an embassy, are enraged to an extraordinary degree and would not make any prisoners
were it not for the continual recommendation of the Commandant to commit as few
murders as possible.

In April, there had been in those parts twenty detachments of Delawares and
Chouanons ; these were joined by more than sixty Indians of the Five Iroquois Nations
who have committed frightful ravages. The only resource remaining to the inhabi-
tants was to abandon their houses, and to remove to the sea coast Three forts have
been burnt, among the rest one containing a garrison of forty-seven men, which was
besieged by a party of forty Indians under the command of M. Douville, a Colonial
Cadet. The garrison was summoned to surrender, but having refused, the fort was set
on fire in the night; the garrison then attempted to escape and the Indians gave no



io"Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania;" Vol. II, p. 74, cited from "Pcnna. Archives/'
Second Series, Vol. VI, pp. 345, et seq., for the period under consideration in this chap-
ter. The entire Volume VI of this series of the "Archives" is made up of the "Papers
Pertaining to the French Occupation."

"See "Pcnna. Archives;" Second Series, Vol. VI. pp. 352, 354. Douville, accord-
ing to this account, was killed in an attack on a smau fort on &e north fork of the
Cacapehon, in Hampshire county, Va., where a scouting party, under one Paris, fell in
with a party of French raiders and in the action that ensued Douville was killed. (See
3rd paragraph this chapter, p. 367, and "Montcalm and Wolfe," Vol. II, pp. 15, no.

^2lbid., p. 353.



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374 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

quarter. M. Douville lost his life on that occasion. Detachments have been contimially

in the field.

« * « * «-* « * * * *

Quite an untoward revolution has been experienced in the direction of the Beauti-
ful River. The winter there is always very mild; this year it has been exceedingly
cold ; and as the Indians of that quarter are not is the habit of walking on snow shoes,
and still less of going to the enemy when the latter can track them in the snow, Captain
Dumas, Commander at Fort Duquesne, has not been able to have them out, as fre-
quently as he desired. Nevertheless, he has continually kept parties in the field, both in
Virginia and Pennsylvania, and has placed officers and cadets at the head of some of
them.

M. de Vaudreuil does not innumerate the scalps they have brought in, nor the pris-
oners they have taken, but it appears that the number of the one and the other has been
considerable; that they have destroyed whole families; that several villages on the
frontiers of the two colonies have been abandoned by their inhabitants, who have
removed into the towns; that a great many houses and a number of bams filled with
grain have been burnt in the country; that a considerable amount of cattle has been
killed; that some of the little forts whereof the English have formed, as it were, a
chain along the frontiers, have been attacked and burnt, and that a great many people
had perished in the flames, and that we have not, so to speak, experienced any losses in
all those forays. Ensign Douville is the only officer killed.

Vaudreuil, reporting to Machault on the 8th of August, 1756, what had occurred
at Fort Duquesne since his dispatch of the loth of June, says :

"A detachment under the command of Sieur de Celoron de Blaihville, fell in with
some of the early scouts at this side of Fort Cumberland. These two parties met unex-
pectedly and fired point blank; the enemy immediately fell back; we killed three of
them whose scalps have been carried off by the Indians, but we lost Sieur de Blainville,
one Huron, one Delaware and one Onondaga. Five Chaouanons had a similar adven-
ture a little nearer Fort Cumberland. They scalped three English. One of their men
was killed. A party from different tribes having divided, returned in squads with a
number of scalps.

"Sieur de Rockeblave with another Cadet, a Corporal, a militiaman, and twenty
Chaouanons, knocked at the gate of a small fort, three leagues from Fort Cumberland,
where there remained some families and thirty militia. He killed four Englishmen,
whom the Indians scalped, wounded three, who dragged themselves into the fort, and
took three prisoners.

'In Pennsylvania, Indian parties have destroyed a great many cattle and burnt
many settlements. A detachment under the command of M. de Celoron had a fight near
Cresap's Fort, in the rear of Cumberland; killed eight Englishmen whose scalps the
Indians were not able to secure, finding themselves in the dusk of the evening under
the musketry of the fort. We have had two Indians killed and one wounded.

"Finally M. Dumas writes that he has been occupied for more than eight days
nearly in receiving scalps; that there is not an English party but loses some men, and
that it was out of his power to render me an exact report of all the attacks our Indians
made."

***********

Our continual incursions have placed it out of the power of Virginia not only to
undertake anything without, but even to construct any fort to protect herself. On the
8th of June the grass was growing in the roads communicating with Cumberland
Expresses no longer came any farther than Winchester, on account of our Indians,
who are always in the field. Not a grain of Indian com has been planted between that
post and Kaneguiglk (Conocheague) twenty-five leagues distant from it toward the
sea. The entire frontier of the three Provinces is in the like condition. Although the
greatest portion of the Upper Nations have returned, M. Dumas' force consists, never-
theless, of eight hundred and ten men.i8

mm*********



i«"Penna. Archives;" Second Series, VoL VI, pp. a59-36a



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FRENCH REGIME IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 375

M. de la ChauYignerie has formed a party of twenty-nine Senecas, Cayugas and
Onondagas, among whom are some belonging to the Grand Village. He has sent them
to M. Dumas who will not fail to make them strike.^^

Particulars of the campaign of 1756 in New France, transmitted on
the 28th of August of the same year :

The news from Fort Duquesne and Beautiful River are very favorable. M. Dumas
has laid waste with his Indians a good part of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.
In vain did these Provinces which have no Indians to aid them, levy and pay a thou-
sand men, at the opening of this campaign, who dressed and painted themselves in the
Indian fashion; in vain did they send them to scour the woods; they have not been
the less constrained to abandon more than 60 leagues of country together with the
crops and cattle.io

mm*********

June 8, 1757, Lieutenant Baker, with five soldiers and fifteen Cherokee Indians
returned from an expedition to Fort Duquesne. They had fallen in with a party of
three French officers and seven men on the headwaters of Turtle Creek, about twenty
miles from that fort They killed five of the Frenchmen and took one officer prisoner.
This officer gave the information that Captain Lignery then commanded at the fort,
and that there were at that place six hundred troops and two hundred Indians.^^'

The garrison during the winter of 1756 and iys? — ^rom the report of a Delaware
prisoner — was said to consist of two hundred, the greater part French. In the front
part of the fort, along the Monongahela, was a large mine of powder laid, as the last
resource of the garrison. Two sides of the Fort, the one in front and the other along
the Monongahela were built strong. It was well supplied from up and down the river;
they had a large stock of provisions, and had planted a large field of com. The arma-
ment was thirteen guns, heavy artillery and six swivels. Four sentries kept watch on
the bastions and two sentries planted a mile from the Fort

From the examination of Michel La Chauvignerie, Junior, made on the 20th of
October, 1757, it would seem that in the June preceding, there were about one thou-
sand five htmdred men there, of whom five hundred were regulars ; and the rest were
employed in carrying provisions and in going to and fro from one post to another,
which required great numbers; that there were about twenty cannon, some mortars,
four- bastions and a dry ditch; that there were then a great number of English pris-
oners at Fort Duquesne, although the prisoners were constantly being sent away to
Montreal ; that these prisoners were used as prisoners of war when they arrived there,
and were fed as the soldiers were; but that the Indians kept many of the prisoners
amongst them, chiefly young people whom they adopted and brought up in their own
way, and that those prisoners whom the Indians kept with them became so well satis-
fied and pleased with the way of living that they did not care to leave them, and were
often more brutish, boisterous in their behavior, and loose in their manners than the
Indians. It was thought they affected that kind of behavior through fear and to recom-
mend themselves to the Indians. The French who were mixed with the Indians
seemed also to behave in the like manner.! 7

M. Pouchot has handed down a vivid story of extravagance and
intrigue and the difficulties in supplying the commissariat of their
distant posts. He said :

From seven to eight hundred Canadians were equipped and provisioned, under the
orders of M. Marin. Several colonial officers were first stationed at the Niagara port-
age, and in the spring, provisions, munitions of war, implements and merchandise, were
sent in abundance. They took into that region goods of every kind, even to velvets.



i^'Tenna. Archives;" Second Series, Vol. VI, pp. 359, 360.

i5/W<f.,p.^8o.

i«"History Pittsburgh;" Craig (Edition 1917), P- S^. "Olden Time;" Vol. I, p. 97.

i7"Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania;" Vol. II, pp. 74-78.



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376 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

damask, shoes for women, silk hose, etc., and a plenty of Spanish wines. These goods
were offered by the parties of whom we have spoken, and brought on the King's
account. We presume there was no difficulty in agreeing to the price asked.

These goods were a long time in passing from the portage of Niagara, and from
Presque Isle to the Ohio, from want of horses and equipage, which caused the loss of
nearly four hundred men, from scurvy, or the fatigue of carrying the goods upon
their backs. During this interval, the officers drank Spanish wines, and each one sup-
plied himself as he pleased from the stores, of velvets, etc., which were not certainly
merchandise for the Indians. Thus the provisions that reached the post of Fort Duquesne
were in small quantities, and still more reduced by pilfering and exposure to damage on
the way. The officers and soldiers returning to Canada were therefore well equipped,
and a verbal report of things used, made everything right. Upon these expeditions,
the Chevalier Pean, whom the Intendant was quite willing to send away from his wife,
was charged with making a journey with four hundred militia to Detroit and neighbor-
ing regions, well supplied with all sorts of provisions and goods, for presents to the
Indians, under the pretext of attaching them to our cause.

Such a mission was needless, since this part had long been inhabited by the French,
who had formed intimate relations with the Indians of that country, and besides, there
were French officers at all the posts, to secure this object; — ^but it got rid of a husband,
and a nice lot of goods for the company. Pean returned in triumph to Canada after
this fine exploit.

It must not be supposed that the detachment ordered to Lake Erie and the new
forts by Duquesne consisted entirely of regular troops. There were, at that time,
probably not more than one thousand regular soldiers in all Canada. But an exceed-
ingly well-organized militia, and the hardy, active, semi-Indian dass, half -trappers, half
traders, who dwelt upon the outskirts of French civilization, furnished material for any
enterprise involving war or adventure. Woodsmen by education, full of courage and
vivacity by birth, they formed an admirable band for such ends as they were now
engaged in. To this day the coureurs des bois are of the primest favorites of the
Indians, with whom they intermarry and assimilate, and at whom they '*never laugh:"
they were, therefore, just the men required for a business that must depend ior suc-
cess mainly on the good-will of the savages. ^ 8

The Canadians referred to above and those mentioned as having
been present in action against Braddock were undoubtedly largely the
coureurs de bois or "bushlopers" whose numbers Charlevoix tells us
became so numerous that it depopulated the country of the best men.
However, the authorities seemed to have brought many under military
control as the years rolled on. (See "New France," Charlevoix; Vol.
Ill, p. 310).

Sargent comments at length on Pouchot's revelations, relating his
full story of French extravagance and graft, and in conclusion said :

In fact, it would seem that the colonial stewards of the king were not unfre-
quently, but too wont to look upon their office in no other light than as a source of revenue
to themselves; and when, like Uriah the Hittite, the lords and masters of these new
Bathshebas were sent down to the host, they doubtless felt no compunction in making
their absence as remunerative to themselves as possible. From Pouchot's position and
character, it is not unjust to admit the truth of the facts upon which he bases his con-
clusions; but ignorant as, from the very nature of his subordinate rank, he must have
been of the state arrangements and politic designs of the former governors and the
Court of Versailles, it is easy to perceive how erroneous were his inferences. It may
be true enough that the husband of each fair Evadne was named to a high command



i8"Braddock's Expedition;" Sargent, pp. 38-39. Sec also Pouchot, 'Xate War,"
etc., Hough Edition, i8(56, for Pouchors statement, ante, pp. 20-21.



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FRENCH REGIME IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 377

in the new expedition, but nothing can be more absurd than to imagine that to procure
their absence was the primary motive to its undertaking.^^

Some information concerning the governors of Canada who have
had large place in the struggle for the Upper Ohio region and Western
Pennsylvania has been furnished by Sargent.

Omitting mention of the governors of the "Old Regime in Canada/'
we should have here some history of the governors whose terms extended
from September, 1747, when the "debate" began for the vast trans-
Allegheny region and the Ohio Country to the end of the French
dominion in North America. These governors were: La Galissoniere,
Rolland Michel Barrin, Comte de— Sept. 19, 1747-Aug. 14, 1749. La
Jonquiere, Jacques Pierre de Taifnael, Marquis de — Aug. 17, 1749, to
March 17, 1752. Longueuil, Charles le Moyne (2nd) Baron de — March
— » 1752, to July — , 1752. Duquesne de Menneville, Marquis de — July,
1752, to June 24, 1755. Vaudreuil-Cavagnal ; Pierre de Rigaud, Marquis
de — June 25, 1755, to September 8, 1760. In this list the titular and his-
torical names are given first, followed by the family names.20

Jonquiere died in office, Sargent says, in May, 1752. Some writers
not knowing the exact time, put it simply, "early in 1752." The great
Galissoniere was a hunchback, as remarkable for his mentality as his
deformity. His fame has lived. In testimony of Galissoniere's worth
and ability Sargent quotes this paragraph:

Roland-Michel Barrin, Marquis de la Galissoniere, and a Lieutenant-General in the
French service, was one of the ablest of the men of his time. As a scholar, soldier, a
statesman, his merit was deservedly esteemed. Bom at Rochefort, Nov. 11, 1693, he
entered the navy in 1710, in which he served with distincticm until he was appointed to
Canada. In that colony, his conduct was eminently conducive to the best interests of
both the King and his people. The Swedish traveler. Dr. Kalm, bears abundant testi-
mony to his scientific acquirements; while even his meagre appearance and deformed
person added to his influence over the savages. "He must have a mighty soul," they
said, "since, with such a base body, our Great Father has sent him such a distance to
oommand us." De la Galissoniere did not remain in America long enough to carry out
the course he had begun: he returned to France in 1749, where he was placed at the
head of the department of nautical charts. He is best known in English history by his
affair with the unfortimate Byng, in 1756, which resulted in the judicial murder of that
excellent officer, m order thereby to screen the criminal derelictions of his superiors.
Galissoniere died at Nemours, October 6, 1756, full of glory and honour, and loudly
regretted by Louis XV., who was so sensible of his worth that he had reserved for him
the baton of a Marshal of France.21

From Sargent's work we obtain this brief note concerning Jonquiere,
which he also obtained from Gameau :



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 53 of 81)