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

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and destructors of our poor people.

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. We bear all this hardship with alacrity by the considera-
tion of the immense advantage of this important acquisition.

The glory of our success must after God be allowed to our General, who from the
beginning took those wise measures which deprived the French of their chief strength,
and by the treaty of Easton kept such a number of Indians idle during the whole cam-
paign, and produced a peace with those inveterate enemies* more necessary and bene-
ficial to the safety and welfere of the Provinces than the driving the French from the
Ohio. His Prudence in all his measures, in the numberless difficulties he had to sur-
mount deserves the highest praises. I lK>pe that glorious advantage will be improved
and this conquest properly supported by speedy and vigorous measures of the Prov-
inces concerned. I wish sincerely that for their interest and happiness they may agree
on that point, but I will not speak politics to a young lady.

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I hope to have soon the pleasure to see you, and give you a more particular account
of what may deserve your curiosity: chiefly about the beauty of this situation, which
appears beyond my description.

Farewell, my deary Nancy. My compliments to the family, and believe me most

Your most devoted h'ble. scr't, H. Bouquet.

The second reads :

Bedford, Sept 17, I759-

Our post has been so irregular that I received only a few days ago, your kind favor
of the 24th August. I was in no hurry answering it, supposing that at thb time you
are at the Capes. I shall say nothing of the occasion of that journey. I know how
sensible a sorrow your parting with so dear a sister must have been to you. Poor
Dolly I she is gone — My most sincere wishes for her safety and happiness will con-
stantly attend her. You made me very easy in obtaining the positive assurance that she
should come back, for I confess that any separation in your family would be a flaw in
my happiness.

You give a description of your retreat that awakes the strong inclination that I
had for a country life. But few people are so well qualified as my dear Nancy to enjoy
all the sweets of it; an easy and cheerful mind, open to the agreeable impressions of
natural beauties, a lively and pliable imagination, which you can manage at pleasure, and
a heart full of the most tender affection for your friends. No wonder that with so
many amiable qualifications you can make a Paradise of a Solitude.

How different is my situation, continually among a crowd, but without a friend. I
can say that I also live in a solitude, and of the worst kind. You are very right to hate
the war — ^it is an odious thing, tho' if considered in a proper light we could discover
many advantages arising from that very calamity. Is it not a fact that a long and inter-
rupted peace corrupts the manners and breeds all sorts of vices? Like a stagnated air
we require then the agitation of winds, and even storms to prevent a general infec-
tion, and to destroy a multitude of insects equally troublesome and dangerous to society.
The necessity of action gives a new spring to our souls, real merits and virtues are no
longer trampled upon by the arrogant pride of wealth and place. The prejudices in
favour of Birth, Fortune, Rank, vanish. We cease to value people who have nothing
more considerable than such frivolous and exterious advantages, we discover their
emptiness and esteem them in proportion.

I would go further if I were not afraid to shock the tenderness of your concern
for mankind in general. You would perhaps judge it cruel and inhuman to reckcm
among the advantages to be derived from war, the destruction of beings who, by their
vices or circumstances, would be a nuisance to society. I suppose it was upon that
principle that the most shocking sense of barbarity, including the scalping of your
inhabitants, were not much lamented by some of your people who are charged to have
said, that it was no great matter if a parcel of such wretches were swept away. It is
true enough that numbers of the inhabitants of the frontiers are a worthless breed, and
that the public did not suffer a great loss in getting rid of that vermin, which in time
would have perverted the few good ones among them. To judge by what remains they
were no better than the savages, and their children brought up in the Woods like
Brutes, without any notion of Religk>n, Government, Justice, or Honesty would not
have improved the Breed.

Forgive this nonsense occasioned by your pity for the poor inhabitants of Quebec.
I would reconcile you a little to my profession which has really no more qruelty in it
than what we see daily without concern in the World— Lawsuits, Quarrds, Contentions,
etc, what are they but wars between individuals? It is true they don't kill one another
for fear of being hanged, but they go as far as they can safely venture in hurting their
enemies, to the utmost of their power in their Fortune and reputation.

Another love affair is lightly touched upon :

The adventure of poor Jack F. will hinder a war of that kind. I have heard some-
thing of it« and was glad to know some more particulars from you. Not that I have

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any concern for cither of the i>arties, I was only pleased to notice on that occasion
your generous sentiments of humanity. I have felt too much the power of Love to be
insensible to the Pains of a disappointed swain. I pity him, though I cannot help being
surprised that having a whole year free and undisturbed access to the young thief, he
could not make an agreeable impression upon her novice heart Both sexes have an
equal tendency to Love, and opportunity fixes that natural disposition to one object A
sincere passion supported by some little arts will always succeed when your pride is not
in the way, and since he has miscarried with most of those advantages, it must cer-
tainly be his fault What must he do now? Sure no girl will listen to him, and he
must either shift his stage or hang himself, for there is no living in my opinion without
Love and Love without return is all the miseries of life the most intolerable. Let him
go then over the seas, I have done with him.

I am obliged by your offer of tea, etc., I shall make free to apply to you when I
want anything. Our affairs here are at last in a tolerable way, and I expect to go to
Pittsburgh at the end of this month. I recommend my little hut to your protection. It
will be infinitely more agreeable to me if I know that you have been in it. There is no
appearance that I shall enjoy the pleasure of your neighborhood this year.

Farewell, my dear Nancy. My respect to Mama and the family. We have no news,
and shall have none on this side. Therefore, if you favor me so much as- to continue
this correspondence, it will be pure generosity without the least grain of curiosity.

The letters are infrequent, for the next is dated five months later :

Lancaster, 28th Feb., 1760.

Your extremely kind favor without date came last night to my hands, I should say
to my heart, for I assure you it gave me the greatest pleasure.

I had imagined that you had either forgotten me or that I had disobliged you,
though 1 could not guess how that could be either in deeds or thoughts. That fancy inade
me uneasy until I was so agreeably deceived by your letter I have sincerely felt with
you that natural' joy of a well-meaning heart in the prosperity of our cause. But as
to any private news of consequence to me only I had no reason to be pleased. It is now
probable I shall quit the service as soon as I can decently. I will not trouble you with
my reasons for it, tho' if you have any curiosity to know them you will be satisfied
when we meet, as I have no secrets from you. But no more of this.

You have written to me with more openness than usual, and I thank you for that

You found at last a certain way of pleasing me-— in speaking of yourself, a subject
of all the most interesting to me — but you wrong me in supposing that I only pay you
a compliment when I say I do prefer your conversation to any other pleasure. That is
literally true, and I beg you will for once believe me, and if that persuasion can make
you scribble, pray do scribble away, sure to oblige me infinitely. It is very true that I
told you that the letters you used to write to me were stiff and precise; it was so
indeed. Now you have mended your style, and I indeed acknowledge it with gratitude.
Should I grant indeed that you had no design in it, I must take it to be so still, which
I am unwilling to allow, choosing rather to be agreeably deceived than to suppose that
you do not intend to oblige me.

Poor Dolly. How kind it was to think of me in the hurry of her first letter. I can
hardly believe it, and I must read again that paragraph to be persuaded. I hope she
will find London as disagreeable as I do, for the same reason — ^parting us from our
best friends— the news of her safe arrival was not the least agreeable this packet

Why did you go to the Assembly? upon such a brilliant night? I am afraid yon
were not well, tell me I am mistaken. To see two such brides at once in Philadeli^ia,
is a novelty worth looking for, and you say you did not envy them. Pray, is it their
new state in general, or any particular circumstance yon do not like? For my part I
cannot help wishing to be as happy as people are generally in that station when matrir
mony, as in the present case is the effect of your choice, and attended with the Public^s

Pitts— 33

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Can you not imagine there is a real happiness, in being united for life, to the per-
son we esteem and love best, and as a true, honest girl, answer fairly the other ques-
tion? Don't you know any such thing in the world as the man who could make you
think so? But this is diving too deeply into the recesses of your heart. Therefore I
stop and beg you will only believe that nobdy deserves more your confidence by his
sentiments, than your most devoted and faithful friend. H. B.

In July, 1760, Bouquet was in Pittsburgh, for on the 21st he ordered
the first census of the town taken. He wrote Anne on the 4th as follows :

Pittsburgh, 4 July, 176a
My Dsar^st Nancy :

I acknowledge with the greatest pleasure and truth that you are in every respect
the honour of your sex, and tho' you tax me with having a cold heart, I can assure you
it is full of gratitude and love for you. I deserve reproaches less gentler than yours, but
hope you will forgive me, when I tell you reasons for not writing to you. I was vexed
at several things that made me very cross and peevish that I found myself completely
unqualified to address you in any shape. I have not the useful art to dissemble; I
must appear what in reality I am, and in that disposition of mind I was certain my let*
ters would only be disagreeable, or at best insipid to you. This is true, and I think you
ought rather to thank me than to blame me. But if I did not write I am conscious not
to have spent one day without thinking of you, and to those thoughts I owe the only
happy moments I have enjoyed. If the tide of my affection is near spent, it must be
the tide of my inconstancy, for I am entirely devoted to you.

As to the new farm, I think I owe the possession of it to the obligmg care of your
brother. I was fond of that acquaintance as long as I considered it in point of interest
But in reflecting that every day I might spend there would keep me absent from you,
I felt my fancy much cooled

It is mere wildness, capable indeed of improvement, and if a distance of 140 miles
from Philadelphia were inconvenience to be removed I would be entirely satisfied with
the place.

I am anxious to hear of Mrs. Sterling and beg to be remembered to her every time
you write.

I was told that she was to come back with her husband. I wish it may be so, she
will certainly be happier at home than in England.

Tho' I may receive news from Philadelphia, you know very well that from you
they would be more interesting — ^but, provided you tell me what passes in your heart I
acquit you of all the rest. In four days I am to march to Presqu'isle with some troops.
You may safely write to me. Your letters shall be carefully forwarded; if I could not
so regularly write to you, I hope you will not judge of my affection for you by the
number of my letters, nor defer writing until you can do it in answer. I request this
favor most ei^mestly.

Farewell, my dearest, I love you most sincerely. The same sentiments from you
would secure my happiness. H. B.

By the orders of General Monckton, Bouquet marched from Fort Pitt,
July 7th, with four companies of the Royal Americans and a Virginia

Six months elapse before Bouquet writes again. Meanwhile he had
heard from her. This letter reads :

Fort Pitt, IS Jan'y, 1761.
Dearest Nancy :

The judicious reflections contained on your letter of the 14th Dec'r. do an equal
honor to your understanding and the goodness of your heart You are of the opinion
that (the first place excepted) there is nothing in our profession worth the thoughts of
a man of sense. You may supi)ose that being so nearly concerned in that subject, I
must often have weighed every argument Pro and Con. But yet I cannot determine
which way the scale may turn at last Bom and educated in Europe, where I was used

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to a variety of agreeable and improving conversations I must confess that I don't find
it easy to satisfy my taste in that way. In this country, the Gentlemen are so much
taken up with the narrow sphere of their Px^iticks, or their private affairs, that a
Loiterer has no chance with them« The ladies who are settled in the world are com*
monly involved and buried in the details of their families, and when they have given
you die anecdotes of their day's work, and the pretty sayings of their children, with a
dish of tea, you may go about your business, unless you choose to have the tale over
again. The young ones having little or nothing in their heads, have only their pretty
faces to shew, and leave you to wish for the more agreeable endowments of a well-
bred woman, who can charm your mind as well as your eyes, and soften by the irre^
pressible endiantment of her conversation the Toils and Anxieties attending our Sta-
tions in Life. This being the case in general (no matter whether real or imaginary) I
say that if I should get rid of the continual occupation of military life, I should of
course fed a weariness of which I see nothing that would relieve me. We must have
some object in view— what could be mine? I have no turn or capacity for Agriculture,
or any Idnd of business. How could I spend my time in a manner satisfactory to myself -
or useful to others? From being something I should fall to. nothing, and become a
sort of incumbrance in the Society.

How could I brook the supercilious look and the surly pride of the humble Quaker?
or the insuhing rudeness of an Assembly-man, who, picked up from the Dunghill, thinks
himself raised to a Being of a Superior nature? How submit to the insolent Rusticity
of the free Pennsylvania Boor, who knows no distinctions among mankind, and from a
vile slavery in his native country takes his newly acquired Liberty for a right to run
into all the Excesses of Licentiousness and Arrogance?

In civilized countries reciprocal regards are paid by one individual to another,
which are the chief ingredients of happiness. They arise generally from Power, Rich-
nesses, or personal Merit. Here the two first are only known and respected; the third
despised as a thing of no use. Making the applicatbn to myself, who am far from
beuig rich, if I resign the power I possess by virtue of my rank in the Army I must be
alert to get out of anybody's way for fear of being trampled upon and crushed as a
crawling insect Now what do you think preferable, to be under the command of one or
two gentlemen, or exposed to be insulted with impunity by the majority of a People of
such a strange mixture?

I know tills is exaggerated, and that plausible answers can be given to each Argu-
ment It is the very thing I want I would choose to be convinced that a fttU liberty
with some inconveniences is preferable to an honored slavery attended with real

Now, my dear Nancy, try your persuasive eloquence. If I am to be persuaded it
must be by you for whom I have that powerful prepossession which enforces the weight
of reason, solves difficulties, and finds a ready access to the heart

This is too long a dissertation, which must tire you, but am half joking, half in
earnest, and I really do not know what will be the best for me to do, to quit the service
or continue in it.

I expect in a few days some of the Royal Welsh, and hope when it is all set to
rights— that I shall have a chance to go down.

Farewell, my dearest,

I am sincerdy yours, H. B.

"The Royal Welsh" was a regiment of volunteers^ numbered the
Ninety-fourth in the line. It was recruited in 1762, served in the cam-
paign of 1763, and was disbanded in 1764.

Tench Francis, husband of Anne Willing^ was a distinguished lawyer
of Philadelphia and attorney for the heirs of William Penn. Francis, as
their agent and attorney, ordered the laying out of the town of Pitts-
burgh in the summer of 1784, the surveys made by Woods and Vickroy,
the sale of lots banning with Francis' approval September 30^ 1784.

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Bouquet had asked to be relieved, but was refused. Whether his love
affair had anything to do with the request cannot be told.^^ Captain
Ecuyer and Colonel Frederick Haldiman appear to have joined the
British army at the same time. Ecuyer was commissioned a lieutenant in
the 62d Regiment, January 25, 1756; promoted captain-lieutenant, Feb-
ruary 14, 1760, and captain, April 2:j, 1762. Haldiman was first lieu-
tenant-colonel in the 62d Regiment, January 4, 1756, promoted colonel,
February 19, 1762. A countryman of Bouquet and Ecuyer, he too, had
a conspicuous career in the British army and had been the brother
officer of Bouquet in Holland, Sardinia and Italy. Haldiman served as
governor of Canada from 1778 to 1784. He was knighted by George the
Third, but returned to Switzerland, where he died in 1791. No further
records of Ecuyer are at hand.

Of those who in military service or as voyagers came to the region
about Pittsburgh, Captain Thomas Hutchins was one who attained more
than ordinary distinction. Hutchins was a British officer, a captain in
the 60th Regiment of Foot, or the 60th Royal American Regiment; later
be became a paymaster. He was with Bouquet and Forbes in 1758 and
was one of Colonel Mercer's little garrison in the first Fort Pitt. Hutch-
ins was a native of New Jersey, but at the commencement of the Revo-
lution was residing in London. His zeal for the cause of the colonies
induced him to refuse some excellent offers made him in England. He
was suspected of holding a correspondence with Benjamin Franklin, then
in France, and thrown into a dungeon, where, after a confinement of six
weeks, he was examined and then set free. However, he lost in a single
day 12,000 pounds sterling as the result of this affair. Upon his release
he went to France and thence sailed to America, landing at Charleston,
South Carolina, in 1779. He joined the American army under General
Nathanael Greene and at the close of the Revolution became geographer-
general of the United States. He died in Pittsburgh in 1789, aged fifty-
nine, and was interred in Trinity Churchyard.

Previous to leaving London Hutchins published his "Topographical
Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina."
The title page states that this book was printed for the author in Picca-
dilly. It contains a fine map of the rapids at the Falls of the Ohio.
Hutchins says in one place. "Beaver Creek has water sufficient for flat-
boats. At Kushkuskes (about sixteen miles up) are two branches of this
creek which spread opposite ways."

He refers to the Shenango and Mahoning rivers ; the site of Kush-
kuskes (variously spelled) was at the junction of these streams about
where Mahoningtown now stands. Hutchins' relation to the history of our
section begins with Bouquet's, under whom he served. The maps he
;nade of the Western country are most valuable. These are included in
the work known as '^A^n Account of Bouquet's Expedition Against the
Ohio Indians in 1764," often, but erroneously attributed to him. In this

isSee "Conspiracy of Pontsac;" Parkman, Vol III, p. 32, and other Bouquet nat-
ter in the Appendicet thereto. (Qumplain Edition).

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book are also two plates, or engravings, depicting the conference of the
Indians and the return of the captives. This work is wrongly ascribed
to Hutchins, although his maps and plans were used. The book origi-
nally was printed in Philadelphia in 1765 and reprinted in London in
1766. The author was the celebrated Dr. William Smith. Hutchins was
with Bouquet at Bushy Run in August, 1763, and the well known plan
of the battle there is his work. Dr. Smith received much information
from Bouquet himself and in a letter to Sir William Johnson so acknowl-

Hutchins knew more or less intimately all those of his time about
Fort Pitt, the men who figured largely in the great events in our region.
He knew Colonel George Croghan. Writing Johnson, Dr. Smith said :
"Mr. Croghan set out before I expected he would, else I proposed send-
ing you a copy of 'Bouquet's Expedition to Muskingum,' which I drew
up from some papers he favored me with and which is reprinted in Eng-
land and has had a very favorable reception."

Hutchins' maps and topographical studies were of great benefit to our
early American geographers. Morse especially acknowledging obliga-
tions to him. His maps to-day are invaluable. They have been used by
Parkman, Hanna and all writers of the history of our region.

John Scull, founder, editor and proprietor of "The Pittsburgh
Gazette," evidently knew Hutchins well, for he has left us conclusive
evidence of regard for him as well as an insight into the personality of
Hutchins and the respect that was accorded him in the little community
about Fort Pitt, known as Pittsburgh, not yet an organized borough.
The "Gazette" of May 2, 1789, contains this obituary of Hutchins:

Died on the aSth ult, Thomas Hutchins, Esquire, formerly a captain in the British
service, and late Geographer General to the United States. His illness had been of some
months' continuance. It was not such as to give him great pain, being a gradual failing
of the nerves, and an almost insensible waste of the constitution. He was in a country
where he had been early known, and to which he had always a particular attachment ;
in the house of his particular friend, John Ormsby, who had been with him since the
last British and French war in this quarter. He was daily visited during his indisposi-
tion by those of this place, many of whom had also known him early and by gentlemen
occasionally resident, or passing through from different parts of the continent Hit
funeral was attended by a ccmsiderable concourse of people, and the service read at his
obsequies by Mr. Heckewelder, a Moravian clergyman accidentally present and who
had long been acquainted with the deceased.

His merit is well known; a man greatly amiable; and integrity his predominant
quality. He gave a proof of this which few have it in their power to give, viz : relin-
quishing £ 12,000 for the sake of America, his native county, and lying some time in
irons before he was able to make his escape from his dungeon in England.

His map early laid the foundation of American geography, and his services since
his appointment under the United States have been universally acknowledged.

He has measured much earth but small space now contains him.

In 1883 Dr. Cort endeavortd to trace Bouquet's grave, but without
success. He wrote General W. S. Hancock, U. S. A., who referred the
matter to General Richard C. Drum, then quartermaster-general, U. S.
A., and a native of Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania.

i^Kushkuskes. Post in his Journals (see Chapter XXI) calls this town Kushkush-

Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 73 of 81)