The French built Fort Duquesne here to serve as a military stronghold and as a base for developing trade and strengthening military alliances with the Aboriginal peoples of the area. In 1755, British General Edward Braddock led a large army to capture the fort, but they were ambushed by a small French and Aboriginal force before reaching the fort. Braddock was killed and his army retreated, leaving many dead on the field of battle.
Three years later, another large force under General John Forbes was sent to attack the fort. The outnumbered French, with few Aboriginal warriors at the site, retreated towards Lake Erie, destroying Fort Duquesne on their departure. The British rebuilt on the site, dubbing the new post Fort Pitt. The new site was besieged for several weeks during PONTIAC's War against the British in 1763 but was able to hold out during that conflict.
Fort Pitt Museum in Point State Park, Pittsburgh, commemorates the site of the forts.
Author RONALD J. DALE
Links to Other Sites
The Canadian Register of Historic Places
Canada is home to a vast array of fascinating historical sites. Many of them are illustrated and described in this searchable online database of Canadian historic places that are of local, provincial, territorial, and national significance.
Fort Pitt Museum
See a timeline of major conflicts involving British, French, American, and Native American forces on the site of the former Fort Duquesne (in western Pennsylvania). From the website for the Senator John Heinz History Center in the US.
A CBC feature about Ottawa native leader Chief Pontiac and his struggle against British colonization of aboriginal lands.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...