Copyright
American Historical Society George Thornton Fleming.

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

. (page 74 of 81)
Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 74 of 81)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


king



Digitized by



Google



515 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

The officer in command at Fort Barrancas, Pensacola, could find no
records and no marks of any kind. There can be no doubt that Bou-
quet's grave and monument in Pensacola were destroyed by the Spanish
under Galvez, when they captured the town in 1781.

It will not be denied that Bouquet's name is a household word in
Pittsburgh, the city he helped to found, and which he preserved by his
valor and military skill. In our little relic of British sovereignty here.
Bouquet's Block House, built by him in 1764 within the walls of Fort
Pitt, we behold the only monument of that sovereignty, and also of the
gallant Swiss officer whose memory it perpetuates. That we have oppor-
tunity to behold is due to the persistent and successful efforts of Mrs.
Edith Darlington Ammon, daughter of Mary Carson Darlington, who
died in 1920, and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the Ameri-
can Revolution. These patriotic women secured from Mrs. Schenley,
who owned the Block House, a deed of it, and then under Mrs. Ammon's
direction and efforts an act of Assembly was passed forbidding the opera-
tion of the law of eminent domain against historical landmarks in Penn-
sylvania. Ecuyer has no commemoration here; nor has Haldiman.

Thanks are indeed due to the Daughters of the American Revolution
for preserving Bouquet's blockhouse, the oldest work of man in or about
Pittsburgh, and the last remaining vestige of British dominion in West-
en^ Pennsylvania.

In 1917 the teachers of Westmoreland county at their county insti-
tute, inaugurated a movement among their pupils with the intention of
placing a marker on the field of Bushy Run to be paid from the volun-
tary contributions of the children. A large sum was collected, but noth-
ing was done. Later the Historical Commission took up the matter and
voted to place a monument there to be paid for by the State of Pennsyl-
vania, but at this writing (September, 1921) the project is still in abey-
ance.




Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google






Digitized by



Google



CHAPTER XXV.
Fort Pitt, 1764-1774.

invents during this period have been well epitomized by Craig, in his
"History of Pittsburgh*' (Chapter V). Two raust receive mention here at
the very beginning of this chapter. In the summer of 1764 Colonel Bou-
quet erected the little block house, in history known as Bouquet's Re-
doubt, which Craig, writing in 1851, said was still standing between
Penn street and Duquesne way. Originally it stood within the outer
walls of Fort Pitt, with the inscription on a stone tablet in the wall, with
the words: "Coll. Bouquet A. D. 1764." Craig observes that "There is
one fact in relation to General Bouquet which would seem to connect
his memory more closely with the history of our city than that of either
Forbes or Stanwix. Fort Pitt has entirely disappeared ; scarcely a vestige
even of the wall of its ramparts is now visible ; but a redoubt built by
General (then Colonel) Bouquet, with the inscription on a stone tablet,
is an existing monument of his presence and command here."^ The
redoubt originally faced a short alley called Brewery Alley, vacated in
1903 with the other streets and alleys in the triangle between Penn ave-
nue and Duquesne way as far as Third street; formerly Marbury. The
preservation of the redoubt has been told of in the chapter preceding.
The vacation of this historic section of Pittsburgh for railroad yards and
the immense storage buildings now on the ground was in accordance
with an agreement made by the city with the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company, whereby the latter in compensation removed their tracks on
Liberty street, which had been laid down the middle of that great
thoroughfare when the railroad entered the city in 1854, and which had
grown to be an intolerable nuisance and a great menace with the long
freight trains that were slowly backed down to the Duquesne freight
station at the foot of Liberty street. An additional grant was made to
the railroad corporation of the right of way along Duquesne way upon
which the elevated tracks were erected that now line that historic thor-
oughfare along the Allegheny river from Eleventh street to Barbeau,
formerly Marbury and later, from 1868-1910, Third street. The raising
of the streets and the railroad yards above the flood level in this section
has left the little redoubt on its original site, many feet below the level
of the tracks above it and several feet below the grade of Penn avenue,
so that the historic pile is in a hole, so to speak.

The widening of Ferry street and Second avenue during the summer
of 1921 broke the lines of the first survey of Pittsburgh made in 1764.
The entrance of the Wabash & Pittsburgh Terminal railroad in 1902
caused the demolition of all the houses on the west side of Ferry street,
including many that had escaped the great fire of April 10, 1845, among

i"History of Pittsburgh:" Edition 1917, p. 79- "Olden Time;" Vol. I, p. joa
"Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt;" Daughters of the American Revolution, Pittsburgh
Chapter.



Digitized by



Google



520 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

them two built of brick taken from the revetments of Fort Pitt. Stand-
ing solitary, quaint and curious, Bouquet's little redoubt is the sole re-
minder of that fort and the Colonial town of Pittsburgh that arose again
when Bouquet relieved the beleagured fort in 1763, and this was the
town as the Rev. Charles Beatty saw it in 1766; Washington in 1770;
and Arthur Lee in 1784, when he recorded in his journal that "Pittsburgh
is inhabited almost entirely by Scots and Irish, who live in paltry log-
houses and arc as dirty as in the North of Ireland, or even Scotland.'**

It is of this reborn Colonial hamlet and the events that took place
between 1764 and 1774 that this chapter pertains. The plan of Colonel
John Campbell in accordance with his surveys comes next in importance
in the events of the memorable year 1764. This plan laid out the town
between what was subsequently that part of Pittsburgh between Second
avenue and Water street and between Ferry and Market streets, the plot
bisected by Chancery lane. Craig says : "We have never been able to
learn what authority Campbell had to act in this case. But when the
Penns afterwards authorized the laying out of the town of Pittsburgh in
1784, their agent recognized Campbell's act, at least so far as not to
change his plan of lots. We know not precisely at what time of the year
Colonel Bouquet's redoubt was built, nor when Campbell's lots were laid
out, but certainly the last step in perfecting this place as a military post
and the first step in building up a town here were taken in the same
year."

As Craig states, there are no records of the exact dates, but one may
rightly presume that the block house was erected in good weather and
that it was before Bouquet left for the Muskingum, which we know was
October 3, 1764; it is as strong a presumption that Campbell sur-
veyed under favorable weather conditions. Campbell's plan is well
known to title searchers and is referred to as the "Old Military Plan" in
the deeds of all lots within its area. In laying out his plan, Campbell
builded better than he knew. Campbell figures largely in the history of
Pittsburgh. Some reference to him will be found in the account of Brad-
dock's defeat (Chapter XVI) as the bearer of a dispatch to the provincial
authorities of Pennsylvania on July 23d, fourteen days after the battle.*
Croghan, in his will, refers to him as "my friend, (formerly my clerk)
John Campbell of Pittsburgh."

Campbell was not only an Indian trader, but a landowner at Fort
Pitt He was allied with Croghan, Crawford and other ardent supporters
of John Connolly, Lord Dunmore's lieutenant and the head of the Vir-
ginia party in opposition to St. Clair, Devereux Smith, iEneas Mackay
and the Pennsylvania adherents in the contention of Virginia jurisdiction
over Western Pennsylvania. Campbell proved a patriot and was a colo-
nel in the Virginia service. He is described as an "Irish gentleman of
fine personal appearance, a large man of strong mind and rough man-
ners." He was for a long while a prisoner at Fort Chambly, at the outlet



a"Joumal of Arthur Lee," Dec. 17, 1784; quoted by Craig, "History of PitUburgh;**
^tion I9i7f p. 173. "Olden Time;'' Vol. II, p. 339.
•"Colonial Records;" Vol. VI, p. 481.



Digitized by



Google J



r
o

CD 09
S .

o
ST- ^

2.1



?^




Bq^t



FERRY STREET



3

Ci









OH^XMCrErF^Tir LAl^EtJ







































P.NEV


ILtE



ID






L



I

5

D



/AARKET



STREET



1 I !



Digitized by



Google



Digitized by



Google



FORT PITT, 1764-1774 521

of Lake Champlain, during the Revolution. The town he laid out after
his removal to Kentucky he called Campbelltown, which was subse-
quently changed to Shippingsport, which name became obsolete when
absorbed by the city of Louisville. Campbell became prominent in Ken-
tucky affairs. He was a member of the first constitutional convention of
the State, and was a member and president of the State senate. He was
never married and died in 1799, leaving numerous collateral heirs. His
name has been preserved in Campbell county, Kentucky, the principal
town Newport, opposite Cincinnati.^ In 1767-1768 Campbell was in the
employ of the extensive trading firm, Baynton, Wharton & Morgan, of
Philadelphia, as evidenced in a letter written them by Campbell dated
Fort Pitt, December 31, 1767, the original on four pages of foolscap now
in the possession of Mr. Gilbert A. Hays, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
Campbell's name is in the census of April 4, 1761, as a house owner in
Pittsburgh.

Craig inserts some items of the history of "Our State which though
not immediately connected with our subject are introduced as interesting
evidences of an improved state of public opinion and of increasing civili-
zation, and when regarded in connection with the abolition of slavery
here, are quite interesting/' The first of these is mention of an act by
the General Assembly in 1763 (he has it) granting lotteries to aid cer-
tain churches. A like act passed later to aid the pioneer Presbyterian
congregation in Pittsburgh. Another and very interesting item is the
proclamation in 1764 by Governor John Penn, in which was proposed the
following rewards for the scalps or capture of Indians : "For every male
above ten years, captured, $150, or for his scalp, being killed, $134. For
every female or male under ten years old, captured, $130, or for the scalp
of such female killed $50." The lotteries were authorized by February
IS» 1765 (vide Smith's "Laws"). John Penn has been justly censured
for the inhumanity alleged to be shown in this proposition. It was only
meetmg barbarity with barbarity. It has been remarked that in making
it he traveled a long way from the peace policy of Grandpa Penn. How-
ever, it is not to be doubted that the borderers approved of Penn's act
because they were unanimously for the extermination of the redskins,
who were plentiful enough about Fort Pitt A similar proclamation with
the same scale of prices had been promulgated in 1756, when William
Denny was lieutenant-governor.*

John Penn, the younger, was governor of Pennsylvania twice — ^lieu-
tenant-governor by title. He served from November, 1763 to May, 1771,
when he w6nt to England, returning in August, 1773. During his absence
his brother Richard acted in his place. John returned in 1773 and served
until 1776. When the Revolution came, the Penns were Loyalists, hence
John was deposed and the estates of the Penns confiscated by the prov-
mce of Pennsylvania. John, it will be noted, became governor just after
Pontiac's war, and succeeded James Hamilton. John was the last pro-



4"ColHns' History of Kentucky;" p. 229.

B'TennsylTania, Colonial and Federal;" Vol. I, p. 452. "Pennsylvania Archives ;**
Fourth Series, Vol. Ill, pp. 291-293. ''Colonial Records;" Vol. IX, pp. 191-192.



Digitized by



Google



522 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

prietary governor of Pennsylvania. Certain manors of the Penn family
had been exempted from confiscation, among these the manor of Pitts*
burgh, to which reference will shortly be had. John had many things to
trouble him during his long first term. Some matters antedate his
troubles in the Pittsburgh region and will be recorded first.

Craig begins the fifth chapter of his "History of Pittsburgh" with a
few paragraphs relating how the Rev. Beatty was kindly received by the
commandant of the fort and all the officers and then quotes from Beatty's
journal. Beatty had been here before with Forbes' army. We know
that the French evacuated and burned their fort on the arrival of Greneral
Forbes, November 25, 1758. John Hazlett, a soldier of Forbes' army, in
a letter dated November 26, 1758, stated that the Rev. Mr. Beatty was
appointed to preach a thanksgiving sermon for the remarkable superior-
ity of his majesty's arms. This was the Rev. Charles Beatty, who was a
chaplain to a division in Forbes' army. He was long a distinguished
clergyman of the Presbyterian church of Pennsylvania and was undoubt-
edly the pioneer Protestant preacher in the West He kept a journal of
his tour to the West, which was published in London in 1768. It is most
interesting and valuable for its historical matter. He was the father of
Lieutenant Erkuries Beatty, a distinguished soldier of the Revolution in
the Pennsylvania line, and the grandfather of the Rev. Dr. Charles C.
Beatty, of Steubenville, Ohio. Charles Beatty was commissioned by the
Synod of New York to visit the frontier settlements in order that a better
judgment might be formed of its religious necessities and what assistance
might be necessary to afford them in their low circumstances to promote
the gospel among them, and also to visit the Indians if it could be done
in safety. Beatty was accompanied by the Rev. Mr. George Duffield, of
the Synod of Philadelphia, who was sent out by that synod for the same
purposes. They arrived at Fort Pitt late in the evening of September 5,
1766. They waited on the commander of the fort. Captain William
Murray, who received them politely and introduced them to the Rev. Mr.
McLagan, the chaplain of the 42d Highlanders, then the garrison of the
fort

All the officers of the garrison were cordial in their reception. They
invited the visiting clergymen to their table, gave them a room in the
barracks, supplied them with bedding and made them comfortable. The
Rev. Mr. McLagan, of what denomination we are not informed, held
services regularly for the garrison. One, Matthew Clarkson, a merchant
of Philadelphia, was at Fort Pitt for some weeks before Mr. Beatty and
Mr. Duffield arrived. Clarkson was on his way to the Illinois country
to trade with the Indians. After the manner of the times, he kept a jour-
nal of his trip and recorded that "Sunday, August 24, went and heard
Mr. McQeggan preach to the soldiers in Erse — ^but little edified."

Small wonder, for Erse is the ancient Gaelic language of the Scottish
Highlands. We are to note the variation in the spelling of the chaplain's
name. Craig spells it McLagan. Phonetic spellings were the rule in
those days and we find well-known names spelled in several ways. Craig
records that the chaplain received the visiting clergymen with courtesy



Digitized by



Google



FORT PITT, 1764-1774 523

and invited Mr. Beatty to preach in the garrison, which he did on the
succeeding Sunday, September 7, while Mr. Duffield preached to the
people "who," as Beatty records, "live in some kind of a town without
the fort." Beatty preached to the people in the afternoon. Clarkson
observed in his journal that it was Chaplain McLagan's custom to preach
in English on alternate Sundays.®

September 8th, Beatty wrote in his journal :

In the afteraoon we crossed Moeconghehela river, accompanied by two gentlemen,
and went up the hill opposite the fort, by a very difficult ascent, in order to take a view
' of that part of it more particularly from which the garrison is supplied with coals,
which is not far from the top. A fire being made by the workmen not far from the
place where they dug the coal and left burning when they were away, by the small
dust communicated itself to the body of the coals and set it on fire and has now been
burning almost a twelve month entirely underground for the space of twenty yards or
more along the face of the hill, or rock, the way the view of coal extends. The smoke
ascending up through the clinks of the rocks. The earth in some places is so warm that
we could hardly bear to stand upon it At one place where the smoke came up we
opened a hole in the earth till it was so hot as to burn paper thrown into it ; the steam
that came out was so strong of sulphur we could scarce bear it. We fotmd pieces of
matter there, some of which appeared to be sulphur, others nitre, and some a mixture of
both. If these strata be large in this mountain it may become a volcano. The smoke
arising out of this mountain appears to be mudi greater in rainy weather than at other
times. The fire has already undermined some part of the mountain so that great frag-
ments of it and trees with tiieir roots are fallen down its face. On the top of the moun-
tain is a very rich soil covered with a fine verdure, and has a very easy slope on the
other side so that it may be easily cultivated.

"This is the first and only evidence," says Craig, "we have ever seen
confirmatory of a tradition that Coal Hill was once on fire. We presume,
however, that the combustion could never have extended very far."

Most likely this fire burned to the outcrop and died for want of fuel.
Coal Hill is a by-gone name that was in common use until about the end
of the Civil War period, when the village that had gradually grown up
on the hill was incorporated a borough under the name Mount Washing-
ton, when that name was applied to the whole hill from a line slightly
east of the Smithfield street bridge. Dwellers on the mount, which was
annexed to the city in 1874, will smile at the allusions to the hill as a
mountain and broaden the smile when the volcano theory is reached.
This account is historical however, for it is the first mention of coal min-
ing in Pittsburgh and reveals the fact that the coal was utilized early,
and as there were some most severe winters while Fort Pitt was garri-
soned, there can be no doubt that mining was one of the military duties
of the garrison. The coal in this hill was not exhausted until more than
a century later.

At the close of the French and Indian War there commenced a steady
encroachment on the lands west of the Allegheny mountains to which
the Indian title had not been extinguished. The settlements were mainly
upon the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers. The Indians naturally
complained. The British ministry and the provincial authorities of Penn-
sylvania labored to check these invasions of what was acknowledged



•''History of Pittsburgh;" Edition 1^17, p. 82.



Digitized by



Google



524 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

Indian territory. The history of these encroachments, says Craig, is
necessary, for the decade 1764-1774 presents but little of interest. The
whole history of the decade is that which relates the spirit of the encroach-
ment on the part of the whites, the complaints of the Indians and the
exertions of the authorities to prevent the encroachments and to allay
the complaints. Craig produces some extracts from George Croghan's
journal, dated Fort Pitt, May 22, 1766, to wit:

Major Murry mformed me that there were several chiefs of the Shawanese, Dela-
wares, Six Nations and Hurons from Sandusky with a considerable number of warriors
who had waited a long time to see me.

24th of May — ^I had a meeting with the Six Nations, Delawares and Huron chiefs
when they made great complaints about several of their people being murdered on the
frontiers of the several provinces. Say they have lost five men on the frontiers of
Virginia; one near Bedford in Pennsylvania and one in the Jerseys. This conduct of
their Fathers they say does not look as if they were disposed to live in peace with their
children the Indians. Besides that, as soon as peace was made last year, contrary to our
engagements, a number of people came over the great mountain and settled at Redstone
Creek and on the Monongahela, before they had given the country to the King their
father.7

These settlements had been made as the Indians stated, and also at
Turkey-foot at the Forks of the Yough. Gist was the earliest settler on
the Yough, in 1752, but he had been driven out in 1754. Richard and
Thomas Gist were his neighbors, but they did not apply for their land
until 1769, when the lands were open for settlement There was a settler
at Redstone — subsequently Brownsville — William Jacobs by name, who
located there in 1761, but having been compelled to flee when Colonel
Burd evacuated Redstone fort. Jacob did not return until 1769. In
1760, by permission of Colonel Bouquet, a house had been erected at a
place described as "Somerset — five or six miles from Fort Pitt — the house
was included in James Burd's application in 1769" — rather a vague de-
scription. In 1762 William Shearer and Henry Shriack made improve-
ments by order of Bouquet, and the same year Carper Toup (likely a mis-
print for Casper Toup) improved land four miles from Fort Pitt. All
these locations are not definitely described. Alexander McKee received
his grant at the mouth of Chartiers creek the same year, and that is of
record and readily available. McKee also made some improvements
opposite Logstown. Judge Parke, in his story, "A Legend of the *Sher-
tee'," in a footnote speaking of improvements along Chartiers creek, says :
"There was very little improvement at this point until after the close of
the Indian war in 1764. The only authentic account we have of its settle-
ment is the grant to Alexander McKee.''

Parke inserts a copy of the grant which he took from the original
document which was, when Parke wrote, in 1886, in possession of Gen-
eral Joseph Browne, who owned and resided upon a portion of the origi-
nal McKee tract. McKee's grant in area was about 1400 acres.*

Croghan had a grant of about 1400 acres, for which he applied for a
location in 1769. Some families commenced improvements on this tract

T^lonial Records," Vol. IX, p. 322,

s^'Historical Gleanings and Recollections of Seventy Years;" John £. Paiice, p. 4a



Digitized by



Google



FORT PITT, 1764-1774 525

some years before, and he had erected his "Hutt," known at the fort as
"Croghan's Castle." This was burned by the Indians during the siege
of Fort Pitt, as was every house within miles of Pittsburgh. Croghan's
petition recites that he applied for a location ''on the Ohio river at the
mouth of Two Mile run, up the river to the narrows, including all his
improvements, and whereon six families are now living and have been
improving since the year 1760."

Some time prior to 1769, £neas Mackay, by permission of Lieutenant-
Colonel John Reed, made improvements at Dirty Camp, on Turtle creek,
on the road from Ligcmier to Fort Pitt. John Frazier, John Ormsby, Sr.,
and some of his kin, made improvements on Turtle creek before 1762 by
permission of the commanding officer at Fort Pitt, and William and
Robert Thompson at Braddock's field about the same time by Colonel
Bouquet's permission.*

In 1764 instructions were sent directly from the king of Great Britain
to Lieutenant-Governor John Penn, which, reciting that several persons
from Pennsylvania and the back parts of Virginia had migrated west of
the Allegheny mountains, and seated themselves on lands near the Ohio
in express disobedience of the proclamation of October 7, 1763, enjoined
upon Penn to use all means in his power to prevent such encroachments,
and to cause those to remove who had seated themselves on those lands.
This proclamation was evidently a royal one, for it is not to be found in
the "Pennsylvania Archives," or "Colonial Records.'*

Croghan wrote General Thomas Gage, who had succeeded Amherst
as commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, express-
ing himself strongly against the settlers. His letter is dated Fort Pitt,
26th May, 1766. He said that he and Major Murray, commander at Fort
Pitt, had appointed a time to meet all the Indian nations at Pittsburgh
and would then endeavor to remove their dissatisfaction on account of
the murders that had been committed by the whites and all other causes



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 74 of 81)