Copyright
American Historical Society George Thornton Fleming.

History of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 online

. (page 66 of 81)
Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 66 of 81)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


rising ground on every side, and some, at less than the distance of a mile. The fortifi-
cation b regular, constructed to the rules of art, and about three srears ago put into
good repair by Gen. Irwin, who commanded at this post It has the advantage of an
excellent magazine built of stone, but the time is come and it is hoped will not again
return, when the use of this garrison is at an end^T

Although Brackenbridge's estimate of the cost of Fort Pitt has been
controverted, it has never been refuted, for no reliable evidence has been
produced to refute it. Per contra, we have Arthur Lee's estimate, which in
comparison is ridiculous : Lee says : "Fort Pitt is regularly built, cost
the Crown £600, and is commanded by cannon from the opposite bank
of the Monongahela and from a hill above the town called Grant's Hill
from the catastrophe that befel General Grant at that place."'® Either
Lee left out a cipher, or Brackenbridge added one ; so most writers of his-
tory are inclined to compromise on £6,000 as the cost of famous Fort
Pitt. Brackenridge's reference to "Gen. Irwin" is to be taken to mean
Gen. William Irvine; Lee's to General Grant was correct at the time
Lee wrote. On Grant's Hill, in 1758, Grant's rank was major. Lee could
have said that the fort was commanded also by a hill on the north 'side
of the Allegheny as close to the fort as Grant's Hill — Seminary Hill, first
called The Hogback, and since 1870, Monument Hill. Fort Pitt, how-
ever, was never subjected to artillery fire. Such fire from the many
heights would have quickly reduced it to a heap of ruins. It was a
defence against enemies who would come against it by water and with-
out heavy artillery, or with slight ordnapce, if any. A batteau would con-
vey nothing heavier than a four-pound gun. A return of the artillery at



8e"History of Pittsburgh;" Craig (Edition 1917), PP. 187-188.
8T«<History of Pittsburgh;" Craig (Edition 1917)* PP- 181-182. ''Annals of the
West;" J. R. Albach, pp. 423-424. "History of Allegheny Cxjunty;" Warner & Co., p.
498. "History of Pittsburgh;" S. H. Killikelly, p. 94. "History Western Pennsyl-
vania," etc.; App., p. 310. After his removal to C^lisle, Brackenridge's contributions
to the first issues of the Pittsburgh (^azette^' were published in book form, under the
title ''Gazette Publications"— now very rare. The full title to these articles as it
appeared in the first number of the Gazette is: "Observations on the Country at the
Head of the Ohio River, with Digressions on Various Subjects, July 29di, 1786."

^^''Joumal of Arthur Lee;" Dec. 17, 1784. Reproduced in the "Olden Time;"
VoL n, p. 334, €i siq.



Digitized by



Google



FORT PITT, 1758-1763 463

Fort Pitt, April 4, 1759, shows that there were mounted "2 royal hoitsers
[howitzers], 6 cohoms, ^nd a proportion of shott and grape shott and
shells." This report was signed "Hugh Mercer, Col. of ye Pa. Rt."89

The fort was designed for a garrison of one thousand men, and could
mount eighteen pieces of artillery. That it did protect many hundreds
will be apparent in the account of the siege by Guyasutha in 1763.

Day, in his history of Allegheny county, in his "Collections," has
inserted several pages of Craig's writings, introducing them with the
paragraph : "The following extracts are taken from three numbers pub-
lished by Neville B. Craig in the 'Pittsburgh Gazette' for 1841." In
describing the first fort here. Day quotes : "The first Fort Pitt, a slight
work, composed of pickets, with a shallow and narrow ditch, was hastily
thrown up for the reception of 220 men. That work was intended for a
temporary purpose, and in the summer of 1759 Gen. Stanwix arrived and
commenced the erection of Fort Pitt. The draught of that work was
made by R. Rutzer, who probably superintended the work as engineer."

Day inserted the well-known and oft-published plan of the second
work, with references, and proceeded to say : "The preceding plan is a
reduced copy of the draught made by Engineer Rutzer in 1761 and after-
wards given to George III., and by George IV. presented to the British
Museum. From the original a copy was made for the Hon. Richard
Biddle, of Pittsburgh, during his visit to London in 1830. In the south-
east bastion Mr. Rutzer places two magazines marked *dd' on his plan.
Within a few years past a single stone magazine stood in that place,
erected it is said, by Maj. Isaac Craig, in I78i."*<> In a copy of Da/s
book (p. 78) once owned by Judge James Veech, now in the Carnegie
Library, Pittsburgh, Veech has a pencil annotation : "It was Harry Gor-
don, Engineer, and not Rutzer." Gordon will be remembered as one of
Braddock's engineers, and wounded in Braddock's battle. Gordon was
in Pittsburgh as late as September, 1765, having been sent there by Gage
to accompany Croghan to the West, proceeding down the Ohio to Fort
Chartres. Gordon kept a journal of this trip.**

There is no doubt that Gordon designed and superintended the erec-
tion of the second Fort Pitt. The "Colonial Records of Pennsylvania"
attest his arrival, as Mercer reported. Rutzer must have made the plan
in London, and nearly two years after the completion of the fort. Craig
has nothing of Rutzer in his "History," or the "Olden Time." Day
may be wrong in the date of Craig's history in the "Pittsburgh Gazette."
That it was 1841 cannot be verified for there is no complete file of
the "Gazette" for that year, and none for 1842. "This draft gives us
reliable data of the fort", but not the only data, for there are Craig's
recollections of it in his "History". Rutzer could not have been one of
Gordon's detail on the work, for his name as an officer is not on the army
registers. Gordon is down in the army records of officers serving in

••"Pennsylvania Archives;" First Scries, p. 581.

40<<Historical Collections of Pennsylvania," Sherman Day, 1843, pp. 76, 78; Craig's
"Pittsburgh," Edn. 1917, p. 270; "American Pioccer," VoL i, p. 2yj.
*i"Thc Wilderness Trail;" Hanna, VoL II, pp. 40-SS.



Digitized by



Google



464 HISTORY OF PITTSBVRGH

America as engineer in ordinary and captain from January 4, 1758. He
was a lieutenant-colonel of the line in 1777. This is Sargent's footnote in
his "History of Braddock's Expedition" (page 364). It was the custom
in the British army to confer rank in the army as well as in the regiment.
Gordon was a lieutenant in the 62d Regiment of Foot from February 12,
1756, and captain in the 60th from April 16, 1759, according to Ford's
records.*^ The 62d Regiment was commanded by John, the Earl of
Loudon, to 1756, January ist, when Stanwix succeeded him>* The 60th
Regiment served in America from 1758-1763 under Abercrombie first,
and from 1759 under Amherst. It was previously numbered the 62d.
Amherst succeeded Abercrombie when the latter was promoted to lieu-
tenant-general.** There is always a distinction to be noted between
officers of the regular establishment or those commissioned by the King,
and those of the provincial militia or levies. Mercer and Burd were
colonial officers in the Pennsylvania service, although Mercer was a
Virginian. There were colonials in the regular service, notably Horatio
Gates, and Thomas Hutchins as noted ante. Gates, however, was a
native of England, and though with Braddock as colonial, served in the
British army before coming to America.

Stanwix left Pittsburgh March 21, 1760. On the 17th he wrote Gov-
ernor Hamilton from "Fort Pitt, Pittsburgh," in which letter he said:

As soon as the waters are down we propose to leave this post for Philadelphia
which I can do now with great satisfaction having finished the works all around in a
very defenceable manner, leave the garrison in good health, in excellent barracks and
seven months' good provisions from the first of April next ; the rest of the works may
now be finished under cover and be only obliged to work in proper weather which has
been very far from our case this hard winter and dirty spring, so far as it has advanced,
but have carried the works as far into execution as I could possibly propose to myself
in the time and don't doubt but it will be finished as soon as such work can be done, so
as to give strong security to all the Southern Provinces, and answer every end pro-
posed for his Majesty's service.

A letter from Stanwix to Secretary Richard Peters, of Pennsylvania,
is of record, endorsed "Rec'd Mar. 28, 1760," but no date to letter in
which Stanwix says : "I propose setting out as soon as the present wet
weather is over and have the pleasure soon to kiss your Honour's hand
at Philadelphia," etc.*«^

There can be no doubt that life at Fort Pitt, especially during the
first winter, was a dreary round of duty, with no pleasure and much pri-
vation. We are not surprised when we find in a letter from Mercer to
Secretary Peters, dated March i, 1759, a concluding paragraph as fol-
lows : "As my knowledge of Publick Affairs scarcely extends without the
limits of Pittsburgh, whatever you are pleased to favour me with will
be highly agreeable."*®

43"Briti8h Officers Serving in America, i7S4'i774f Worthington C. Ford, 1894,
P- 45-

^^Ibid., pp. 63, 95.

^^Ibid, pp. 7, 8, 9.

**"Peiinsylvaiiia Archives;" First Series, VoL III, pp. 711, 713.

^•"Coloiiial Records;" VoL VIII, p. 305.



Digitized by



Google



FORT PITT, 1758-1763 465

Some news items were brought in by Mercer's Indian spies during the
summer of 1759. Thus, early in August, among these was the intelli-
gence that "De Linner3r" had been shot through the thigh at Niagara and
taken prisoner in the battle there in July. This was Ligneris, the last
commandant at Fort Duquesne, referred to by Craig generally as "Lig-
nery" and pronounced as Mercer has it — "Linnery.*' Ligneris was one
of the three French captains at Braddock's battle, the others, Beaujeu
and Dumas/ both superior to him.

Another bit of intelligence was that an old, one-eyed captain had been
killed in battle. This was the veteran and courtly Jacques Legardeur de
St. Pierre, with whom Washington dealt at Le Boeuf in 1753, who
met his fate in Dieskau's battle on Lake George, September 8, 1755,
where St. Pierre commanded the Indian allies. News traveled slowly in
those years, especially in the wilderness.

Craig notes in his magazine that "Sparks in his 'Life and Writings of
Washington' has the following remark about the gentleman who built
Fort Pitt : 'General Stanwix was a military man, and a gentleman of an
elevated and liberal spirit. His letters bear a high testimony to his good
sense, as well as to the delicacy of his feeling, the amenity of his good
temper and the generosity of his character.' "*''

Little history of events at Fort Pitt after Stanwix left is available.
Craig has gathered all there is. He says: "We have been enabled to
gather a few more scraps in relation to transactions here in 1759 and
1760, and insert them as we find them :"*8

Fort at Pittsburgh, March 21st, 1760.

This day Major General Stanwix set out for Philadelphia, escorted by thirty-five
chiefs of the Ohio Indians and fifty of the Royal Americans. The presence of the
General has been of the utmost consequence at this post during the winter, as well as
for cultivating the friendship and alliance of the Indians ; as for continuing the forti-
fications and supplying the troops here and on the communications. The works are
now quite perfected, according to the plan, from the Ohio to the Monongahela, and
eighteen pieces of artillery mounted on the bastions that cover the isthmus; and case-
mates, barracks and storehouses are also completed for a garrison of 1000 men and
officers, so that it may now be asserted with very great truth, that the British dominion
is established on the Ohio. The Indians are carrying on a vast trade with the mer-
chants of Pittsburgh and instead of desolating the frontiers of these colonies, are
entirely employed in increasing the trade and wealth thereof. The happy effects of our
military operations are also felt by about four thousand of our poor inhabitants, who
are now in quiet possession of the lands they were driven from on the frontiers of
Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

On Saturday last his Excellency General Stanwix arrived in town, (Philadelphia)
accompanied by a number of gentlemen of the army. — Pennsylvania Gazette, April
17, 1760.

When General Stanwix left Fort Pitt there were present as a garrison, 150 Vir-
ginians, 150 Pennsylvanians and 400 of the ist battalion of Royal Americans, all com-
manded by Major Tulikens. We know but little more about this general, who seems to
have been highly esteemed and respected.



47"01den Time;" Vol. I, p. 195. "Writings of Washington;" Sparks, Vol. II, p.
243, footnote. See also Washington-Stanwix correspondence. Ibid., pp. 238, 241, 245,
263, et oL

*8"History of Pittsburgh;" (Edition I9i7)» p. 7Zf *' seq,

Pittfl.~^0



Digitized by



Google



466 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

A London paper of July 2gth, 1760, says : "Thursday last Major General Stanwix
arrived from America, waited on his Majesty, and was most graciously received" The
following article, which we find in the seventh volume of Hazard's Pennsylvania Regis-
ter, is the last notice of him which we have seen:

''Philadelphia, 2d January, 1767.— Shipwreck.— It is with much regret that we
announce the loss of the 'Eagle,' on board of which was General Stanwix, his lady and
only daughter, a relative and four servants, who all untimely perished."

Extract from a letter dated Pittsburgh, July 4th, 1760. — ^"General Monckton arrived
here the 29th ult and immediately gave orders for the march on a large detachment of
the army to Presqu'ile, [now Erie]. The troops are to march on Monday."

"Philadelphia, July 24th, 1760. — On the 7th instant, four companies of the Royal
Americans, under command of Col. Bouquet, marched from Pittsburgh toward
Presqu'ile, as did also Captain McNeil's company of the Virginia Regiment On the
Wednesday following, Col. Hugh Mercer, with three companies of the Pennsylvania
Regiment, under Captains Biddle, Clapham and Anderson; and two days after two
other companies of the same Regiment, under Captains Atlee and Miles, were to follow."

"Philadelphia, July 31st, 1760. — ^From Pittsburgh, we learn that Major Gladwin had
arrived at Presqu'ile with 400 men from the northward, and that our troops would
arrive at the same place 1^ the 15th of this month."

These movements were all made for the purpose of taking possession of Detroit
and Mackinaw, which had been surrendered along with Montreal on the 8th of Sep-
tember, 1759.

The completion of Fort Pitt, in the spring of 1760, preceded as it had been by the
surrender of Montreal, and with it the whole of Canada, held out a promise of perma-
nent peace in the interior of this country. The promise, however, proved delusive. The
preliminaries of the treaty of peace between France, Spain, and Great Britain were
signed and interchanged on the 3rd of November, 1762, and the definite treaty of the
loth of February, 1763, and it is highly probable that at that very time, Pontiac, the
great chief of the Ottawa Indians, was arranging the grand confederacy of Indian
tribes, which scattered death and desolation along the frontier from Niagara and Fort
Pitt to Mackinaw.

We have but a glimpse of Fort Pitt from the summer of 1760 until 1763. In
August 1760 Gen. Monckton held a treaty here with the Six Nations, and the Shawanese
and Delawares, at which he delivered to them a speech from Sir Jeffrey Amherst,
commander-in-chief of his majesty's forces in North America, in which it was stated
that the King did not intend to deprive them of any of their lands, except as necessity
obliged him to take posts and build forts in some parts of the country, to prevent the
enemy from taking possession of their lands. He also added that he would give them
some presents as a consideration for the lands where the forts and trading houses
should be built. He also said to them that if they lay off a space of land adjoining to
each fort, to raise com, they might fix the limits and should receive such consideration,
as should be agreed between them, to their satisfaction.

A Philadelphia paper of November 5th, 1760, says: "Last night the Honorable
General Monckton arrived here from Pittsburgh." In the same paper of December
nth, i860, it is stated: "On Monday last, the Honorable Sir John St Clair, Deputy
Q. M. General of his Majesty's forces arrived from Pittsburgh with several other
gentlemen. All well there."49

The records of the British army show that Stanwix was colonel of the
62d Regiment of Foot from January i, 1756, and major-general from
June 25, 1759.*^^ Major Gladwin, mentioned in the item of July 31st, was
engaged with his regiment in Braddock's battle, and in 1763 made him-
self famous defending Detroit against Pontiac and his hordes.



*»In addition to Craig's "History," etc, see his "Olden Time;" Vol I, pp. 19^200.
so"British Officers, etc;" Ford, p. 95, as to rank of Stanwix; p. 89, as to that of
Sir John St Clair, Baronet



Digitized by



Google



FORT PITT, 1758-1763 467

That a collection of log huts arose immediately around Fort Pitt, there
can be no doubt. The traders who came to the locality, the purveyors to
the army, and the camp followers, could not be provided for within the
limited quarters provided for the troops. Necessarily they were com-
pelled to furnish their own quarters. The name of the town was contem-
porary with the fort. The first authentic mention of the town as a place
of permanent habitation will be found in Colonel Burd's journal. Burd,
in command of his battalion, arrived in Pittsburgh on Sunday, July 6,
1760, and remained on duty here with his command until the following
November. His command is often referred to as the Augusta Regiment.
He recorded in his journal two weeks after his arrival :

2 1st, Monday. — To-day numbered the houses at Pittsburgh, and made a return of
the number of people — ^men, women and children — ^that do not belong to the army :

Number of houses, 146; number of unfinished houses, 19; number of hutts, 36;
total, 201.

Number of men, 88; number of women, 29; number of male children, 14; num-
ber of female children, 18; total, 149.^^

Under his tabtilation, Burd has this footnote: "N. B. — ^The above
houses exclusive of those in the Fort : in the Fort five long barricks and
a long casimitt" — ^by this last word he evidently meant a casement.

Colonel Bouquet came back to Pittsburgh as Burd records in his
journal : "Sunday, 6th July, 1760— This day arrived with the Pennsyl-
vania Regt. at Pittsburgh, Col. Bouquet, to march tomorrow to Pres-
queel, with a Detachmt. of 400 Royal Americans, 100 Virginians."***

On July 22, 1760, a census of the inhabitants of the village at Fort
Pitt, not belonging to the army, was taken by order of Colonel Bouquet ;
and a similar census was taken April 14, 1761. At that time, nearly all
the male inhabitants of Pittsburgh were Indian traders. Following is the
enumeration of 1760; those marked with a star were also there April 14,
1761:

Cornelius Atkinson, Mary Atkinson, Anthony Baker, John Barklit, Lewis Bernard,
Ephraim Blane,* Erasmus Bokias, Charles Boyle,'*' Philip Boyle,'*' James Braden,
Thomas Bretton, Andrew Biarly, Phebe Byarly,* Philip Byarty,* William Bryan,
James Cahoon (Calhoun), George Carr, John Coleman, Edward Cook, Hugh Craw-
ford,* Judah (Judith) Crawford, Windle (or Vendot) Creamer,* Kate Creamer, Con-
rad Crone, Margaret Oone, Patrick Cunningham, John Daily,* Sarah Daily, Matthias
Dobcrick, William Downy, John Duncastle,* John Everlow, Alexander Ewing, John
Finley,* William Fowler, Joseph (korge, Edward Graham,* John Graham, John Green-
field, Isaac Hall, France Ferinanders Hamider, James Harris, Charles Hays, Mary
Hays, William Heath,* Uriah Hill, Samuel Hayden, Robert Hook, Samuel Hyden,
William Jacobs, Elizabeth Jacobs, John Judy, Mary Judy, John Langdale,* John Lind-
say,* Abraham Lingenfilder, Lazarus Lowry, William McAllister,* Patrick McCarty,*
Lydia McCarty, John McClure, Neil McCollum,* Chris'm McCollum (a woman). John
McKee (Imperfect), Hugh McSwine,* Susannah McSwine, Chris. Millar,* Eleanor
Millar, James Milligan,* Peter Mumaw, Adam Overwinter, Robert Paris,* Nicholas
Phillips, John Pierce, Margaret Pomry, Henrietta Price, Elizabeth Randal, James Reed,
Martha Reed, Mary Reed, Mary Reed (2), Robert Reed,* John Robinson, Leonora

fti'Tennsylvania Archives;" Second Series, Vol VII, p. 422. "Frontier Forts of

Pennsylvania;" Vol II, p. 109. 'Tenn^ylvania Magazine of History;" Vol II, pp.
503- J05.

ss'Tennsylvania Archives;" Second Series, Vol VII, p. 421.



Digitized by



Google



468 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

Rogers, Chris. Rorabunck, James St. Clair, James Sampson, Margaret Sampson, Paul

Sharp, Sinnott, Jacob Sinnott,* Susannah Sinnott, George Sly,* Margaret Sly,

Thomas Small,* Chris. Smith (a woman), Peter Smith, Tineas Smith, John Snider,
Joseph Spear, William Splane, Anna Thomas, George Tomb, Agnes Tomb, William
Trent,* Mary Wallon, Edward Ward, Thomas Welsh, Bridget Winsor, William Win-

sor, John Work,* William Work, Henry Wmnbock, alesby, —dor,

(imperfect). Male Children: — Robert Atkinson, Jacob Byarly, Godfrey Christian,
George Creamer, Patrick Feagan, Thomas McCollum, George McSwine, Henry Millar,
Chris. Phillips, George Reed, John Sinnott, Philip Sinnott, John Work. Female Chil-
dren: — Nancy Ba , Margaret Boyle, Rebecca Boyle, Margaret Coghran, Margaret

Cro— — , Susan Daily, Margaret Jacobs, Elizabeth Judy, Mary Judy, Mary McSwine,

Elizabeth Otter, Elizabeth Pomroy, Mary Sinn , Elizabeth Sly, Rachel Sly,

Susanna Sly, Nelly Thomas, Elizabeth Work. Total population, 149.

The census for April 14, 1761, gives the names of the house owners
only, with the number of men, women and children in each house. Their
names, exclusive of those who were there in 1760 (shown for both years
on the former list) and exclusive of some forty-three "out-lying soldiers,'*
with their families, were as follows :

William Armstrong, Thomas Box, Thomas Brighton, William Brown, Joseph Bud-
wick, Thomas Calhoun, Thomas Carney (artificer), John Campbell, John Carter, Wil-
liam Cassady, William Clapham, Ellena Clark, Isaax Conn, James Crampton, John
Craven, Eleanor Crawford, George Croghan, Arthur Curvent, Dennis Drogharty, John
Field, Henry Fregstaff, Matthew Fulneck, James Gilbey, William Guttery (Guthrie, or
Gauterais?), John Hadley (artificer), Dennis Hall, John Hart, John Hayton, Hug^
Henry, John Hillman, Conrad House, Humphrey Kies, Frederick Klingle. John Leach,
C^ris. Limes, Michael Longsold, John McCantash (Mcintosh), Dennis McGlaulin
(McLaughlin), Richard McManhan, Joseph McMurray, Michael McMurray, Patrick
McQuaid, Jdm Meatcalf, Thomas Mitchell, John Neal, CSiristopher Negty (Negley?),
Ambrose Newton, Jacob Nyers (Myers), John Ormsby, John Owen, Rowland Pem-
berton, Philip Phillips, Woodrow, Ramsay & Co., Hugh Read, Daniel Sailer, Thomas
Sheppard (artificer), Samuel Shunner, Frederick Sligh, Martin Smith, George Snigh,
John Sutton, Nancy Thomas, William Thompson, William Venible, William Vinson
(Winsor, or Winston?) Thomas Walker, John Welch, George White.58

Some names are evidently misprints from poor penmanship. "Camey"
was likely intended for Carney; "Byarty" for Byerly; "Sinn — ^," rest of
word illegible — faded out — whole name — Sinnot, etc.

James Kenny kept a store in Pittsburgh in 1761. He kept a diary;
the item below dated 8th mo. 20th. It reads :

I have been informed by a young man that was ordered by y« (Commanding Offi-
cer, O>llonel Bouquet (this summer) to number all y« dwelling houses without y«
fort, marking the numt>er on each door; that there was above one hundred houses,
but y« highest number I have seen, by better accounts, there is one hundred and fifty
houses to take notice of, I think was seventy-eight, these being y® inhabitants of Pitts-
burgh where two years age I have seen all y« houses that were without y« little fort,
they had then, thrown down, only one, which stands yet, also two that was within that
little fort is now standing, being y« hospital now, now all y« rest being built since,
which if y« place continue to increase near this manner, it must soon be very large,
which seems likely to mc. (Kenne/s "Journal," in "Pennsylvania Magazine of His-
tory;" Vol. Ill, p. 351).



^Pennsylvania Magazine of History;" Vol. II, p. 303; III, p. 351; VI, p. 498.
Hanna has listed these names in alphabetical order. See "Wilderness Trail;" Vol. II,



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 66 of 81)