In 1754, as the French and Indian War was beginning, French forces built a wooden fort in what is now Pennsylvania, where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers joined to form the Ohio River. It was named Fort Duquesne. A year later, the English sent an expedition under General Braddock to capture the fort, but his army (which included a young British Army officer named George Washington) was defeated. After another expedition was defeated in 1758, the French burned Fort Duquesne and abandoned it. The British built a new stone and brick fort on the spot, naming it Fort Pitt. Its strategic location on the three rivers made it an important military outpost against both the French and the Iroquois Confederacy of Native Americans, who often raided the village. When the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, Fort Pitt became the western headquarters of the Colonial Continental Army. Most of the fighting here during the Revolution, rather than being between Americans and British, was between Americans and the Iroquois, who had allied with the British on the promise that they would receive clear ownership of their lands if the British won the war.
Over time, the fort and its surrounding village grew to become the city of Pittsburgh.
The Fort Pitt Museum is located on the spot where the Fort once stood. It contains artifacts tracing the history of Fort Pitt from its founding to the Revolutionary War.
Some photos from the Museum:
The Fort Pitt Museum
A model depicting the Fort as it was originally built
The Blockhouse outside is the only original portion of the fort that still exists
A model depicting the interior of the Blockhouse
Reconstruction of the wood-working shop inside the Fort
View of the river from the Fort
The native leader Tamaqua
The map of America at the time of the French and Indian War
The French and Indian War was just the North American theater of the global Seven Years War between France and England
An Iroquois war club
These metal pipe tomahawks were items of trade
A Native knife with steel blade and bone handle
British 3-pounder cannon
A powder horn, used to carry gunpowder for muskets
A replica of the colonial flag from the Revolutionary War that flew over the Fort