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F   -   Fort Gaddis to Fry

 

 

Fort Gaddis. Built by Thomas Gaddis as protection against the Indians about 1764.

Fort Gaddis. US 119 two miles south of Uniontown in Fayette County. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker photo and enlarged fort.

"Built on the Catawba Trail as a refuge from the Indians, by Thomas Gaddis about 1764. Gaddis was later a colonel in the Pennsylvania Continental Line during the Revolution."

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

The "fort" is near the marker but is not in restored condition.

 

(Fort) Garard’s Fort. Revolutionary War refuge believed to have been constructed in 1777. The first settler in the Muddy Creek area was Jacob van Meter in 1769. John Garard claimed the land where the fort was built.

Garard's Fort. Greene county. Exit 7 on I-79 turn east on PA 2011 which forks—enter PA 2019, on the right. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo

 

"Garard's Fort. Site of frontier refuge in Revolutionary War; station in 1777 of small detachment of Virginia militia. Near here, on Sunday, May 12, 1782, Indians killed the wife and three children of Rev. John Corbly, a Baptist minister.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission..........1958."

The local Baptist Church cemetery has a stone inscribed:

"Beneath the Indian tommy hawk, Me and my babe we fell, Was hurried suddenly away, With Jesus for to dwell."

(See Rev. John Corbly and Massacre.)

 

Fort Granville.  On the west bank of the Juniata River near present-day Lewistown, Mifflin County (at that time it was Cumberland County at a place called "old town") and named after John Carteret, Earl of Granville. The fort was built in the winter of 1755-56 under the supervision of George Croghan and was square with blockhouses at each corner. The sides were maybe 100 feet (fifty paces). The French and Indians challenged the fort on July 22, 1756 and when Captain Ward refused their surrender demands, the French and Indians split-up and plundered the farms of a Baskin and then Hugh Carroll—making them prisoners. On July 30, 1756 Captain Ward went with a majority of his men to help protect harvesters in Shearman's Valley. Observing his departure, the French and Indians took advantage of the depleted defense and overran the fort—burning it to the ground. About one-hundred Indians and French comprised the attacking force. They were led by Louis Coulon de Villiers (brother of Joseph Coulon de Villiers, Sieur de Jumonville, who had been killed by Washington and others near the Great Meadows) and Captain Jacobs (Tewea) the Delaware war chief led the attack. The commandant had been Captain Edward Ward, but Lieutenant Edward Armstrong was placed in charge during the Captain’s absence. Lt. Armstrong was Lt. Colonel John Armstrong’s brother, and the Lieutenant was killed during the defense of the fort. When the fort fell, a man named Turner accepted the surrender demand offering passage for the survivors. After the capitulation, the twenty-two soldiers, three women and seven children were loaded-up and taken to Kittanning. Turner was scalped alive and burned at the stake at Kittanning. The fall of Fort Granville confirmed the vulnerability of the string of forts on the western frontier of PA and led to the expedition to Captain Jacob's base in Kittanning.

(See John Armstrong and Kittanning.)

 

Fort Hand. Named for Major General Edward Hand and was built between 1777 and 1779. It was used until 1791 as a refuge against Indian attack. The fort was near the home of John McKibben. McKibben's home was a considerable log house that had been used by the neighborhood as a refuge against Indian raids. The ditch remnants indicate a palisaded property of one acre of enclosed land. Located in Westmoreland County near Apollo and three miles south of the Kiskiminetas River.

Fort Hand. 285 Pine Run Church Road, (Kunkle Park), off PA 66 south of Apollo. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged stone and enlarged plaque.

"Fort Hand. 1777-1779. Only fort erected in Westmoreland County by Continental Congress. Blockhouse surrounded by stockade with wall guns. Named for Gen. Edward Hand. Placed by Fort Hand Chapter D.A.R. 1934."

On April 26, 1779, Fort Hand was attacked by some 100 Indians against an independent company of some 17 men commanded by Captain Samuel Moorhead. The fight ended around noon of the following day when the Indians apparently decided the fort was not worth the effort. One of the three men in the fort wounded in the battle, later died. The women in the fort were in direct support of the fight by becoming ammo carriers and seeing to the nourishment of the militia. The Indians torched a few buildings and went to enclosures and killed all the cows and sheep (this was standard Indian practice—when making a raid, kill all the animals). While the fight was going on at Fort Hand, other Indians attacked Fort Ligonier where they were also unsuccessful.

 

Fort Hanna's Town. Hanna's Town was the first county seat of Westmoreland County. At the time of Dunmore's War in 1774, Arthur St. Clair directed that a fort be built at Hanna's Town in preparation for possible Indian attacks. The fort took on added significance during the Revolutionary War after the abandonment of the fort at Kittanning. Fort Hanna's Town has the distinction of being one of the last of the frontier forts to fall under attack by the British and Indian forces. On July 13, 1782, the area was attacked with most of the houses burned. The reader might be reminded that British General Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown in October, 1781 and that the destruction of Hanna's Town was nine months later—some consider this action to have been an act of senseless violence. Although the fort was left intact, the surrounding town was nearly completely destroyed—and was never rebuilt.

Fort Hanna's Town. US 119 three miles northeast of Greensburg to junction of PA 1032 (Forbes Trail Road) and PA 1055. The PA roadside marker is at the junction of US 119 and PA 1032. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged plaque and enlarged site photo.

In 1969, the Westmoreland County Historical Society led an investigation of the site and found the exact footprint of the old fort—which has been reconstructed along with several of the town buildings.

(See Hanna's Town.)

 

Fort William Henry. (1755-1757). Named for William (Cumberland) and Henry (Glouster). An earthen structure for 500 troops laid-out and built by Captain William Eyre under the instructions of Sir William Johnson. Located at the southern point of Lake George (NY) some fourteen miles from Fort Henry. . The fort represents the northern entrance to the Hudson Valley. Four bastions with dry moats on two sides, two-story barracks, 30-foot thick walls—a considerable fortification.

Approximately 6,000 French troops together with 2,000 Indians attacked the fort in the summer of 1757 and defeated the British/Americans. The French were led by Montcalm who brought 17 cannons, two howitzers, and two mortars with him. The August 9, 1757 surrender and evacuation of British and American forces became known as the “Massacre at Fort Henry.” The “Canadian Indians” treated the surrender as an opportunity to collect scalps and whatever loot they could grab. Montcalm was livid. Among items taken from the hospital were blankets from the smallpox ward—which ended up back in Indian villages in the area of the upper Great Lakes. To add to their trophy of scalps, some Indians dug up corpses at the smallpox graveyard. Evacuating troops were ambushed with “hundreds” being killed, wounded, or captured and taken by the Indians for entertainment and possible future bartering.

The British defeat at Fort William Henry was described by some as the “Braddock Defeat of the North.” Although the battle and its aftermath were truly bloody, the “memory” of the battle might easily surpass the actual scale of the “massacre.” The number of deaths on the British side appears to be between 75 and 200. Not small numbers, but—not of epic proportions. One source states that 75 bodies were found on the field where the massacre was to have taken place. Miles Whitworth, the English regimental surgeon wrote that he had seventeen wounded men to be handled by the French as part of the surrender agreement, but that a French guard and several Canadian officers stood by as Indians entered the ward and killed all the patients and scalped them—“none , either officer or soldier, protected the said wounded men.” The remainder of the column, some six or seven hundred were taken as prisoners. Of those, Montcalm was successful in “buying”  four hundred of them back from the Indians. What happened to the missing two or three hundred can only be speculated—they were killed, they were adopted, or they escaped.

The professional French soldiers—Montcalm and Bougainville, said that the massacre was started by Abenakis, who interestingly enough, had been converted to Christianity by Jesuit missionaries.

The physical scale of the battle at Fort William Henry was considerable but over-shadowed by its psychological and political impact. Up to that point, the French  were militarily the winning side, and the battle at Fort William Henry was another triumph. The Marquis de Montcalm was vocal and adamant in his rejection of  the actions of his Indian allies—and their Canadian militia accomplices. Montcalm had agreed to a surrender agreement signed by English Lieutenant Colonel George Monro which guaranteed the English escorted passage from the fort and normal “honors of war.” The agreement had been ignored and violated in gross fashion. To a professional French officer, a gentleman, this action was totally unacceptable. The rift between Montcalm and Governor Vaudreuil was now beyond repair. Vaudreuil knew that without the Indians there was no chance against a foe who had them out-numbered ten or fifteen to one. Many historians point to this event as being the beginning of the end for La Nouvelle France. The argument posited is that the general population must support any war effort (even the famous German military guru von Clausewitz wrote as one of his “musts” for the successful waging of war—the backing of the general population.). The “Massacre at Fort William Henry” became the “Remember the Alamo,” “Remember the Maine,” or “Remember Pearl Harbor” of its day. Within three days of the battle, 5,000 men were drafted into the CT militia. The tipping of the scale in manpower came back to haunt the French. By 1759, the English-American colonies had some 50,000 men under arms—this was more than half the total population of French-Canada. (See Population-New France.)

Readers acquainted with the James Fenimore Cooper novels centering on the 18th century will remember Fort William Henry as being at the center of the plot with Magua, the evil Huron, doing battle with Hawkeye and Uncas (The Last of the Mohicans).

(See Montcalm and Monro.)

 

Fort Henry. Wheeling, WV. Active during Dunmore’s War in 1774. Some early accounts refer to the fort as “Fincastle.” The name was changed in honor of Patrick Henry—governor of VA.

Fort Henry was attacked in September 1777, by some 400 Indians who were beaten-back by a smaller force inside led by Colonel David Sheperd. This is the same Sheperd who assisted Colonel Brodhead in the 1781 "Coshocton Campaign."

Fort Henry. Main Street between 10th and 11th in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Fort Henry. Attacked, 1777, by Wyandot, Mingo, and Shawnee Indians who were repulsed by garrison under David Shepard after white scouting parties had lost heavily. Maj. Samuel McCullogh made famous ride over cliff during attack.

"Last battle of the American Revolution fought here, Sept 11-13, 1782. Ebenezer and Silas Zane led forces which defeated British and Indians under British officers, carrying a British flag. Scene of Betty Zane's heroic act."

Note: "Betty Zane's herioc act" refers to an episode during the siege by British soldiers of Fort Henry in 1782. The Americans in the fort were running out of gunpowder and the only available supply would be at the Zane's house. Betty Zane volunteered to go get as much as she could carry. Her dash through "no-man's land" startled the fighters on both sides. Once inside the house, she grabbed a table cloth and filled it with gunpowder. She made the dash back to the fort toting a heavy bag, and—we believe only a single shot having penetrated her clothing.

(See Connolly, Crawford, Andrew Lewis, and Chief John Logan.)(VS)

 

Fort Hill. The concept of a fort to be built on the Ohio River in the area of present-day McKees Rocks where Chartiers Creek enters the Ohio. Indians had used this site for perhaps 3,000 years. George Mercer surveyed the land for the Ohio Company in 1753 who was interested in building more than one fort on the Ohio. After the fall of Fort Duquesne, Hugh Mercer and Harry Gordon both agreed that the Fort Hill location would be preferable over the confluence site, but General Stanwix’s decision was that the confluence site chosen by higher authorities would take priority. An argument for the confluence site was that during flood-season, goods arriving from the east could be moved overland right to the gates, where a fort on the west side of the Monongahela, or Allegheny, would be isolated until the river level receded.(VS)

 

Fort Hill. Footprint of an Indian village located two miles north of Ursina on PA 281 in Somerset County.

Fort Hill. Marker is two miles north of Ursina on PA 281 (four miles north of Confluence). Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler Enlarged photo.

"Archaeological study of the flat-top hill across the valley revealed two palisaded Indian villages with extensive house and burial remains, all dating from the Discovery Period.

"The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission..."

The community of Fort Hill is a couple miles east of the marker on Fort Hill Road. The village area resembles a flat-topped mound. Its appearance is that of the prehistoric Woodland period.

 

Fort Horn. A stockaded log house used as refuge against British or Indian attack in 1777-78. On the south bank of the west branch of the Susquehanna River some four miles east of Lock Haven.

 

Fort Hunter. Also "Hunter's Mills." A blockhouse surrounded by a stockade. Built in 1755-56.  It was both a supply depot as well as a staging area during the 1756-63 war. Located at Hunter’s Mill (Front Street north of the Rockville Bridge—Dauphin County) on the east side of the Susquehanna River at the mouth of Fishing Creek. Edward Shippen on April 19, 1756 described it as "five or six hundred feet from Hunter's house." The Rev. John Elder (Colonel) assumed responsibility for the place and assigned a normal force of two sergeants and 34 privates. Fort Hunter provided protection for the people at Paxton. Colonel James Burd visited the fort in February 1758 and reported two captains (Patterson and Davis) and eighty men.

 

Fort Lafayette. Also Fort Fayette. Built in 1792 to offer protection against Indian attack. General Anthony Wayne relied on the fort as a supply depot and staging area in 1792-94. Located off the Allegheny River in the area of Penn Avenue and 9th Street in present day Pittsburgh.  It existed until 1813. Meriwether Lewis was assigned here during the 1790s and served under Captain William Clark.

Fort Lafayette. 9th Street just north of Penn Avenue. Pittsburgh in Allegheny County. Photo by compiler. Enlarged photo.

"Fort Lafayette. Stood on this site. It was completed in 1792. Built to protect Pittsburgh against Indian attacks and to serve as a chief supply base for Gen. Wayne's army, 1792-94. Reactivated during the War of 1812. Site sold in 1813.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

(See Fort Fayette and Meriwether Lewis.)

 

Fort Laurens. Erected the winter of 1778 on the west bank of the Tuscarawas River a half mile south of the present site of Bolivar, OH (near I-77). The fort was named for Henry Laurens of South Carolina—president of the Continental Congress. Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh built the fort and went back to Fort Pitt with approximately 1000 troops. Colonel John Gibson remained at Fort Laurens in command with some 150 men. The purpose for building the fort had been threefold: one, to be used as a staging area for an attack on the British at Detroit, second—its presence might discourage pro-British Indians from attacking settlers in the Ohio Country friendly to the Revolution, and thirdly—as protection for the Christian Delawares who were neutral in the "fight between the White brothers." Morale in the fort was low and men going to the outside to hunt were subject to continual Indian attack—with encouragement from the British. A small British force, under command of Captain Henry Bird, together with some 180 Mingo, Wyandot, and Munsee Delaware lay seige to the fort from February 22 to March 20, 1779. McIntosh, at Fort Pitt, sent 120 militiamen over to Ohio to help Gibson, but by the time they arrived, British control of the area discouraged them. They turned around and headed back to Fort Pitt. McIntosh then sent a larger force of 700, who arrived about the same time as the British, who were also suffering from lack of supplies, abandoned their seige. This time, Major Frederick Vernon stayed behind at Fort Laurens with 106 men while the others returned to Fort Pitt. Colonel Daniel Brodhead replaced McIntosh at Fort Pitt and after discussing the shortcomings of Fort Laurens with George Washington, the fort was abandoned (August 2, 1779).

Fort Laurens. County Road 102 one-half mile south of Bolivar in Tuscawaras County, OH. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged plaque and enlarged site photo.

"Fort Laurens. The first and only fort of the Revolutionary War, established within the limits of what is now Ohio, was built here in December 1778 by General Lachlan McIntosh, as a defense against the British and Indians, and held until early in August 1779 when it was relieved and abandoned.

"The small garrison, commanded successively by Colonel John Gibson, Major Frederick Ward Vernon, and Lieutenant Colonel Richard Campbell suffered much from hunger and attacks by the Indian allies of Great Britain.

"A number of American soldiers were killed here, and buried near the fort.

"Erected September 21, 1928 by the Ohio Daughters of the American Revolution."

By the time supplies and reinforcements arrived in the late spring of 1779, the troops inside had turned to boiling and eating their own leather shoes.

Note: The Ohio Historical Society maintains a memorial and a museum at the site. The footprint of the fort is built into the landscape giving the viewer a good idea of the fort's size. A large park with picnic facilities, shelters, and parking is available.

 

Fort Le Boeuf. French fort built by Captain François le Mercier in July, 1753. About 18 miles south of present-day Erie, PA on a branch of Le Boeuf Creek (French Creek). The sides were formed by four houses and 16-foot wooden piles driven 2-4 feet into the ground. It could sleep maybe 150 enlisted men and a cadre of officers. The road to Fort Le Boeuf came from Fort Presqu'isle and was a difficult, swampy portage. This is the fort where young George Washington met Jacque Legardeur de St. Pierre in December 1753. The fort deteriorated over the next few years and was later rebuilt by Henry Bouquet in 1760—destroyed during Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763 and rebuilt by Captain Ebenezer Denny in 1794, and then for a last time by General Anthony Wayne in 1796.

The fort was sited at the present-day location of Waterford, PA

 

Fort Lévis. A fort on the St. Lawrence River occupying nearly an entire island. Named after Montcalm’s second in command, François-Gaston, duc de Lévis. The fort was lost to General Amherst in August 1760. After rebuilding the damaged fort, the British renamed it William Augustus in honor of the Duke of Cumberland (King George II’s second son).

(See Lévis.)

 

Fort Ligonier. Formerly referred to as Loyalhanna. Lord John Ligonier was a British Field Marshall. Built in 1758 and served as a staging area for General Forbes. (lig-oh-NIHR). The site was selected by Colonel James Burd (apparently one of the few things done by Burd that Bouquet agreed with. Bouquet was not enamored with the provincials). The fort withstood a French and Indian attack in 1758 before Forbes’ advance on Fort Duquesne. The fort was commanded by Burd. On July 9, 1759 the French again staged an unsuccessful attack on the fort—shortly before Sir William Johnson’s taking of Fort Niagara. The fort was placed under siege in 1763 during Pontiac’s Rebellion—and held.

Compiler's note: a reenactment of these battles takes place each year at Fort Ligonier.

The fort comprises an inner fort of around 200 feet on each of the four sides with projecting bastions on each corner, plus outer entrenchments. The same Captain Harry Gordon, who built Fort Pitt, was responsible for Fort Ligonier. The nearby Loyalhanna River was used to power a sawmill for planking-out large quantities of lumber for the construction (much as Sawmill Run across the river from Forts Duquesne and Pitt). General Forbes accused Gordon of spending too much time and effort on the fort—"I was told this day to my great surprize that Capt Gordon was building at Loyalhanna fitt to stand a siege, you know we want nothing but a strong post So for Gods sake think of both time money and Labour and put a Stop to all superfluitys." This may be the reason for some inconsistencies in the design, but Gordon's work did result in making one of only three forts in the west to survive Pontiac's Rebellion (along with Forts Detroit and Pitt).

Fort Ligonier. Junction of US 30 and PA 711 (South Market Street) at Ligonier, Westmoreland County. The museum and grounds present paintings, artifacts, reconstructed fort and building, and many period exhibits. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

The current Fort Ligonier and its several buildings are outstanding examples of reconstruction and serve as the prime representation of French and Indian War forts in western PA.

Compiler's note: The Fort Ligonier restoration is the most complete collection of buildings, artifacts, paintings, and exhibits in western PA focusing on the pre-1800 period. As the old Michilin Guide would inform the tourist in Europe, this site is "worth a detour." No person living in western PA should be denied the privilege of visiting this beautiful and educational facility.

(See Ligonier and Reenactments.)

 

(Fort) Lindley Fort. The "Fort" was a reinforced blockhouse built by Demas Lindley in 1774-75. This is the Lindley that donated land for the Upper Ten Mile Church. A house was built at the site by Isaac Connett c1840. A memorial stone was added in 1928 by ancestors of Demas Lindley.

Lindley Fort stone. PA 18 just south of Prosperity in Washington County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged stone. "Site of Old Lindley Fort and Stockade Built in 1770."

Memo: the date the fort was built is disputed. The compiler believes the 1774 is probably accurate in that it would agree with the timing of Dunmore's War.

(See Upper Ten Mile Presbyterian Church.

 

Fort Littleton. Built in 1755-56 in defense against the French and the Indians by Governor Robert Hunter Morris. Also called Fort Lyttelton and named for Sir George Lyttelton, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Built by Indian trader George Croghan. Criticized by many as being poorly constructed. Rather than a fort it might better be described as a stockade about 100 feet square with two or three houses built on the inside. Fulton County—near Burnt Cabins off the PA Turnpike (Exit 180).

Fort Lyttelton/Fort Littleton. US 522 .5 miles east of Littleton, Fulton County on north side of road. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo - Fort Lyttelton and Enlarged photo - Fort Littleton.

"Fort Lyttelton. Begun in 1755 by George Croghan, named by Governor Morris after Sir George Lyttelton, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Garrisoned variously by Provincial and regular troop, as well as local volunteers in 1763. By 1764 it was reported in ruins.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

"Fort Littleton. One of Pennsylvania's defenses against the French and Indians stood on this knoll, built 1756 by Governor Robert Hunter Morris. Marked by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and the Fulton County Historical Society, 1924."

 

Fort Loudon. Erected by the provincial government of PA in 1756 under the guidance of Colonel John Armstrong. Built for protection against Indian attack; it replaced an installation previously at McDowell’s Mill in Bridgeport. The fort was used as a staging area for both General Forbes in 1758 and later by Colonel Henry Bouquet in 1763-64 during Pontiac’s Rebellion. A garrison of British troops remained at Fort Loudon until 1765. Its size and configuration resemble Fort Littleton. Named for General Lord John Campbell, earl of Loudon. On Conococheague Creek in Franklin County.

Fort Loudon. US 30 east of the town of Fort Loudon (road is marked leading south off US 30), Franklin County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged stone and enlarged site.

The Fort Loudon Plaque reads. "Erected by Col. John Armstrong in the winter of 1756 by the order of the Province of Pennsylvania, was situated a mile south-east of this spot. The fort was built for the protection of the frontiers against the Indians and took the place of the fort at McDowell's Mill, which was situated at Bridgeport. Fort Loudon was the scene of many thrilling events during the Indian raids into this region. During the expedition of Gen. John Forbes, in 1758, and that of Col. Henry Bouquet, in 1763-4, this fort was used as a rendezvous for troops and as a base of supplies. It was the scene of the exploits of Capt. James Smith and his 'Black Boys' in 1765. Before the building of the State Road to Pittsburgh, it was the point of departure of great trains of pack-horses, laden with goods for the west and south. Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, the Enoch Brown Association and the citizens of this place, 1915."

(See Loudon and James Smith.)

 

Fort Machault. (mah-SHOW). The structure was built by the French (Captain Phillippe Thomas de Joncaire) in 1753-56 (burned and abandoned in 1759 after the fall of Fort Niagara). The fort was located near the confluence of the Allegheny River with French Creek (Sixth and Elk streets in Franklin). When the French arrived in 1753, they confiscated the cabin built  by gunsmith/blacksmith John Frazer and used it until a proper fort could be built. It was at this cabin that George Washington first met French/Canadian officer—La Force. This is the same La Force who Washington took prisoner at Jumonville Glen in May 1754.

The fort was a rectangle 75 x 105 feet with bastions at each corner and sited on the west bank of the Allegheny River about 200 yards from the water (some say 60 yards, but it would depend on the time of year). The front gate faced the Allegheny River. The bastions were logs eight inches thick and thirteen feet long—set in perpendicular to the ground (stockade style). The heavy armament was its six swivel-guns.

The name "Machault" derived from the French minister of finance—keeper of the seals. It was from this fort that Captain Contrecoeur led 500 men down the Allegheny to extricate Ensign Edward Ward from the forks of the Ohio on April 17, 1754 (some maintain Contrecoeur had upwards of 500-1000 men). When Captain François-Marie le Marchand de Ligneris abandoned Fort Duquesne to General John Forbes in November 1758, he moved up the Allegheny River to Fort Machault with 192 men. At that point, Fort Machault became the forward outpost against British intervention into the Ohio Country.

By the middle of 1759, Ligneris had assembled some 1000 troops together with a similar number of Indians to retake the forks of the Ohio. Boats were built on French Creek and men had arrived from Illinois, Detroit, Niagara, as well as warriors from as far away as the upper Great Lakes (Ojibway and Fox). As they were in final stages of attack preparation in late July, a message arrived informing them that the British were attacking Fort Niagara and to vacate the Ohio Country immediately in order to protect the Great Lakes area. Being in mid-summer with the rivers low, they had to abandon their heavy equipment, or give it to the Indians, and head north to the Great Lakes region and Fort Niagara. They buried their heavy guns and burned all else of value. When the British arrived a few months later, they found nothing but charred ruins. The British were then to build Fort Venango about 100 yards upstream (8th and Elk Street).

(See Joncaire, and La Force.)

 

Fort Manada. A log house fort occupied from January 1756 to May 1757. Normal complement of around 21 officers and men. Fort description refers to owner James Brown. A few miles southwest of Fort Indiantown Gap near Manada Gap. Part of the frontier line of forts against Indian attack during the French & Indian War.

 

Fort Mason. Built by John Mason in 1774-78 as protection against Indian attack. Fayette County. Present area of Masontown. Structure is more properly referred to as a blockhouse.

Fort Mason. PA 166 (South Main Street) Masontown, Fayette County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Fort Mason. Built as a blockhouse in 1774-78 by John Mason. It was a settler's refuge in Revolutionary days. The site of the fort was nearby. Later rebuilt on Main Street as a dwelling.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

Fort McCord. Conococheague in Franklin County. April 1, 1756 encounter with Indians where 27 settler men, women, and children were killed or taken into captivity. Seven miles west of Chambersburg near Edenville. Names of those killed include several members of the McCord family plus familiar names, such as; Blair, Denny, and Chambers. When Hance Hamilton sent out a plea for help he sent an "express" to Fort Shirley for "Dr. Mercer." Presumably, this is the "Dr." Hugh Mercer who was earlier at the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755, with General Forbes in 1758, and then with George Washington crossing the Delaware in December, 1776. (See Hugh Mercer.)

Fort McCord. 2.5 miles northeast of Edenville on state road 4008 at Rumier Road, Franklin County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Fort McCord. Built by the settlers; named for John McCord. Burnt April 1, 1756, by Indians, who killed or carried into captivity 27 persons. The site is marked, about 500 ft. away.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

Fort McCord Monument and Plaque. (Location-same as above). Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged monument and Enlarged plaque.

"The site of Fort McCord where twenty-seven pioneer settlers, men, women and children were massacred by Indian savages or carried into captivity, April 1st, 1756 was a few rods south east of this spot.

"In the list of victims were Mary McCord, Mrs. John Thorn and babe, Mrs. Anne McCord wife of John McCord and two daughters, Martha Thorn, a young mother with unborn babe, and a young girl.

"Names of provincial soldiers killed in pursuit of the Indians at Sideling Hill. Captain Alexander Culbertson, John Reynolds-Ensign, William Kerr, James Blair, John Layson, William Denny, Francis Scott, William Boyd, Jacob Paynter, Jacob Jones, Robert Kerr, William Chambers, Daniel McCoy, James Robertson-tailor, James Robertson-weaver, James Peace, John Blair, Henry Jones, John McCarty, John Kelly, James Lowder.

"Wounded. Lieutenant Jamieson, Abraham Jones, Francis Campbell, William Reynolds, John Barnet, Benjamin Blyth, John McDonald, Isaac Miller, William Hunter, Matthias Ganshorn, William Swailes.

"Erected by joint action of Enoch Brown Association and Penna. Historical Commission, 1914."

 

Fort McDowell. The mill belonging to John McDowell was stockaded in 1755 and used as a storage depot and as protection against Indian attack. It was situated on the connecting road west to Braddock’s Road at the turkeyfoot. The construction was supervised by Colonel James Burd.  It was abandoned with the building of Fort Loudon in 1756, Franklin County.

Fort McDowell. PA 416 at Markes, Franklin County. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker and enlarged plaque.

"Fort McDowell. John McDowell's mill, stockaded in 1755 by local settlers. Used by Provincial authorities until building of Fort Loudon, 1756. Starting point of Col. Burd's road to the West, 1755.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

"Fort McDowell. This stone marks the site of the fort at McDowell's Mill, erected by John McDowell before 1754. It was used as a base of supplies and as a magazine until the erection of Fort Loudon in 1756. The military road from Pennsylvania, connecting with the Braddock Road at Turkey Foot, was built from this point in 1755 under the supervision of Col. James Burd. During the period of Indian hostility the fort at McDowell's Mill was the scene of many thrilling events.

"Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, the Enoch Brown Association, the descendents of John McDowell and the citizens of the region, 1916."

 

Fort McIntosh. Now Beaver, PA. On Ohio River. A large stockaded post built in 1777-1778 by a unit of the Virginia Militia. Named for its builder Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh (1725-1806). Designed by Le Chevalier de Cambray in a trapezoidal shape with bastions at each corner. It became of more historical note when in 1785 it was the meeting place between the United States and the western Indians preceding the formation of the American Northwest Territory.

Fort McIntosh. Original site. Park area between River Road and Water Street in Beaver, Beaver County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged stone marker and enlarged plaque.

"1778   1916. This marks the site of Fort McIntosh. First United States military post on the north side of the Ohio River.

"Erected by the Fort McIntosh Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution of Beaver County, Pennsylvania."

A "Treaty of Fort McIntosh" drew the boundary-line between the United States and the Delaware and Wyandot Indian Nations. The line should "begin at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river and run thence up said river to the portage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of Muskingum, thence down said branch to the forks (Bolivar), thence westerly to the portage of the Big Miami, thence along said portage to the great Miami of the lakes (Maumee River), and down said river to its mouth; thence along the southern shore of Lake Erie to the mouth of the Cuyahoga, the place of beginning." The Shawnee who had lived in scattered villages across Ohio were given the area between the Big Miami River and the Wabash in 1786 according to the Treaty of Fort Finney. Although these treaties were made, many of the Shawnee and Delaware remained in the large territory they had ceded to the United States. This didn't cause an immediate problem as few settlers were ready to take on this new land. Once they did, another serious conflict erupted between the United States and the Indians in the Northwest Territory. These were the fights involving Harmar, St. Clair, Crawford, and finally Wayne—culminating in the Battle of the Fallen Timbers.

 

(Fort)  Mercer’s Fort. Fort (blockhouse) built on the Monongahela River prior to the construction of Fort Pitt. Hugh Mercer was the first commanding officer assigned to the former Fort Duquesne (ruins) 1758-59. It was constructed as a temporary military storage area while the permanent fort was being built. The fort was square with corner bastions—one wall provided access to the Monongahela River. The exterior walls largely served as outer walls for the interior buildings. Mercer built the fort in about three months with 250 men using a sketch by Harry Gordon and some help from Lieutenant Thomas Hutchins. Mercer figured the fort could hold around 350 men. The fort was in use for a year and one-half. Constant rumors spread that the French were loading-up boats at Fort Machault (Franklin) and were preparing to attack the forks. Whether the little fort could have held against a French attack became moot—it never happened.

Mercer continued the French habit of crossing the Monongahela River to the mountain facing the forks and extracting coal for fuel and limestone for crushing and melting for use as plaster. James Kenny, a Quaker, kept a useful journal of life at Fort Mercer.

(See James Kenny.) 

 

Fort Michilimackinac. (See Michilimackinac.)

 

(Fort) Miller’s Blockhouse. A blockhouse built by Jacob Miller in 1780. West of Claysville (near the WVA state line). In March 31, 1782, it was attacked by Indians. The heroine of the battle was Ann Hupp who led the defense.

 

(Fort) Moorhead’s Fort. Erected by Fergus Moorhead around 1781 for his family and neighbors as protection against Indian attack. The PA Historical and Museum Commission placed its marker on PA 4032 (old US 422) approximately .6 miles west of Indiana, PA.

Moorhead's Fort. PA 4032, old US 422 (Philadelphia Street) 0.6 miles west of Indiana, Indiana County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Moorhead's Fort. About 1781, Fergus Moorhead, pioneer settler, built a fort near the buildings about 200 yards south, to protect his family and neighbors from hostile Indians. It was the first permanent settlement in this vicinity.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

Fort Necessity. Located at the Great Meadows in Fayette County, PA. Off US 40—11 miles east of Uniontown, PA. Although referred to as a “fort,” the structure should more aptly be called a “stockade”  or “fortified storehouse.” It was constructed of approximately 75 split logs of white oak—10 feet long and 9-10 inches in diameter with the flat-side facing out. The stockade was round and approximately 53 feet in diameter. The stockade was built in five days by Washington with maybe 160 men. Colonel Washington told Lt. Governor Dinwiddie that the fort could withstand the attack of 500 men; Tanagharison disagreed, he called it "that little thing upon the meadow."

Fort Necessity. Photos by compiler with daughter Betsy Cuthbertson and grandson Paul. Enlarged exterior photo and enlarged interior photo.

In order to enlist troops for this expedition to the Ohio, Virginia issued a proclamation on February 4, 1754 declaring that the troops participating in the expedition would share in 200,000 acres of land on the east side of the Ohio River. The land would be tax-free for 15 years. They were paid 8 pence per day. Thirteen men under Washington’s command were reported killed upon the return to Wills Creek and another fifty-four wounded and nineteen missing. These casualty figures were later increased to 30+ killed and 70+ wounded. One of those killed was a Black slave from Mt. Vernon (no name given). When Washington surrendered the structure on July 4, 1754, the French commanding officer (Coulon de Villiers) burned it to the ground. The French force included Indians from the Lenni Lenape, Shawnee, Ojibway, Wyandot, Ottawa, Mingo, and probably other tribes (some say Mississauga, Potawatomie, Abenaki, Nipissing, and Algonquin.). The presence of so many tribes was not lost on Washington and his staff. They realized the depth of alliances within the Indian nations the French had cultivated. The encounter was to have included forces from several English colonies. The only colony (other than Virginia) supplying men was South Carolina (Captain Mackay). New York, Maryland and North Carolina forces didn’t arrive in Winchester until after the battle was lost and the troops were returning home.

News of the loss at Fort Necessity arrived in Philadelphia immediately prior to Benjamin Franklin leaving for Albany for the colonial conference. Franklin reminded his readers that the loss to the French was a result of a lack of organized response to outside opponents. To emphasize his point he designed perhaps the most famous cartoon in American history: a snake cut into pieces, labeled with the names of the colonies, and captioned: "Join, or Die."

Up until the 20th century, people assumed the fort was square. It wasn’t until careful excavating uncovered the tell-tale soil darkened by oak ashes. A small 14’ x 14’ storehouse sits in the middle of the circle. When Villiers ordered the “fort” to be burned, he did historians a favor. Had the oak decayed naturally no carbon trace would have remained. (VS)

Fort Necessity Interpretation Center. Photo by compiler. Enlarged photo.

"Here July 3rd 1754 Lieutenant Colonel George Washington fought his first battle which marked the beginning of the French and Indian War in America and started the Seven Years War in Europe. 'A cannon shot fired in the woods of America,' said Voltaire, 'was the signal that set all Europe in a blaze.' This war affected not only England and France, but Russia, Prussia, Austria, Sweden and other continental powers. It gave Lord Clive the opportunity of winning India from the French, made Canada a British possession, wrested this western territory from the French and the burden of taxes imposed on the colonies to pay for this war had an important part in bringing on the American War for Independence.

"This tablet dedicated July 3rd 1932. The bicentennial year of the birth of George Washington by the National Society Sons of the American Revolution."

The reconstructed fort  (Fort Necessity National Battlefield) is maintained by the National Park Service and is convenient for visiting  (Fort Necessity/National Road Interpretive & Education Center). Tourists often combine Fort Necessity with Braddock’s Grave, Jumonville Glen, Dunbar’s Camp, and perhaps a 10-mile side trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

(See George Washington’s second trip to western PA, Coulon, Great Meadows, Jumonville, Mackay, Peyroney, Muse, Stobo, van Braam, and others.)

 

Fort Niagara. Built on the Niagara River by the French in 1678. The fort controlled the connection between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The fort was shaped as a triangle with one side facing Lake Ontario, a second facing the Niagara River, and the third facing inland. The eight-mile portage at Niagara was a frequent subject of complaint. The Seneca considered the portage as "their" business. In 1755, William Johnson and others urged the British to take Fort Niagara from the French rather than taking Fort Duquesne in Ohio country. Their logic was that if you take Niagara, French forts at Detroit, Michilimackinac, and at the conflunce would fall due to a lack of supplies. In 1759, General Jeffery Amherst ordered Brigadier Prideaux with 5,000 troops to take the fort. Prideaux led his force up through Fort Oswego and onto boats, then to the ground near Fort Niagara where he was killed when a ball from a coehorn mortar fractured as it left the mouth of the weapon. Prideaux was hit in the head and died instantly—a friendly-fire accident. Sir William Johnson—the Indian representative, took his place. They met a force of 1,300 French rangers and Indians and defeated them on July 24, 1759. The French commander, Capitaine Pierre Pouchot, had sent most of his men to the Allegheny River at Fort Machault (Franklin, PA) for fighting in the Ohio Valley. The French commander at Fort Machault, Capitaine François-Marie le Marchand de Ligneris, led perhaps 1,200 of his men plus maybe 400 Indians nearly to the gates of Fort Niagara at La Belle Famille when he was caught in a cross-fire by William Johnson's troops and Indians. The French lost 334 killed. 150 scalps were taken plus nearly a hundred prisoners. Johnson perhaps minimized the death-count by offering his Iroquois allies to essentially sack the fort and all its storehouses. The Iroquois kept their prisoners and all the booty from the fort. Ligneris, along with Capitaine Joseph Marin de la Malgue, Daniel-Marie Chabert de Joncaire, and other French commanders, were captured and later deported to France. The Niagara action cut off Forts Detroit, Presqu'isle, and Michilimackinac from the center of New France—as Johnson had predicted in 1755.

(See François-Marie le Marchand le Ligneris, Pierre Paul Sieur de Marin, and Joseph Marin de la Malgue.)

 

Fort Ontario. Fort sited at mouth of Oswego River into Lake Ontario. (See Fort Oswego—below.)

 

Fort Oswego. Site where the Oswego River flows into Lake Ontario. The fort morphed from a 1727 trading post (modified blockhouse) into a poorly sited fort with hills to the east and west offering ideal cannon positions for a sieging force. Lieutenant Colonel James Mercer commanded the fort in August 1756 when French General Montcalm conducted his first military venture in North America. A secondary fort, Fort Ontario, was located on the opposite side of the river. Mercer was decapitated by a cannonball. Lieutenant Colonel John Littlehales assumed command only to offer to cease-fire and ask Montcalm for terms of surrender. Based on the obvious rout, Montcalm demanded total surrender of all materiel in the fort and the transport of the soldiers to Montreal as prisoners of war. The 250 Indians included in the 3,000 man French force found the rum supply and subsequently killed and scalped the wounded and hospitalized (varying accounts of up to 100). After looting the stocks of the fort they gathered prisoners from the soldiers and civilians at the fort and departed. The horror of war, North America style, was believed to have contributed heavily to Montcalm’s disdain of all inhabitants on this continent.

The fort fell into disrepair under the French and in 1758 the British moved in unopposed and reestablished the fort and its strategic location on Lake Ontario for the later advances on Quebec and Montreal.

Note: the word "oswego" is from the Iroquoian language having a meaning of "flowing out" or in the case of a river, the "outlet." This place definition is why one reads of a town, or place called "oswego" all the way down the east coast to South Carolina.

 

(Fort) Patterson’s Fort. Built by Captain James Patterson in 1755 against Indian attack. Commandant Patterson sited the stockaded fort on high ground overlooking the Juniata River near Mexico (Juniata County).

 

(Fort) Patton’s Fort. Constructed to serve against Indian raids 1756-63. Used by Paxton forces. Near the Susquehanna River north of Harrisburg.

 

Fort de la Presqu’isle. Also Fort Presque Isle. Built by the French May 3, 1753-August 4, 1753. The engineer in charge was François le Mercier. The fort was square with corner bastions. The walls were squared cedar logs with a cross-section up to 16-18 inches. Rather than being upright, the logs were laid on top of each other. The front wall faced Lake Erie while the rear wall led onto the road south in the direction of Fort Le Boeuf. The fort was not out on the peninsula. The interior of the walls were integrated into several buildings with planked roofs sloping to the inside. The fort was abandoned in 1759.

Fort Presque Isle. At 6th and Parade Street in Erie. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo

"Fort Presque Isle. Two forts stood four blocks north. French fort, built by Marin, 1753, abandoned, 1759. British fort, built by Col. Bouquet, 1760, and captured 1763 by Pontiac's Indians. The French Road to Fort Le Boeuf began there.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission........1946."

Colonel Bouquet built a second fort on the site in 1760 and it was taken by Indians during Pontiac's War in 1763. On the second day of the attack, fire-arrows caused little damage, but a lack of drinking water and favorable surrender terms led Commander John Christie to admit defeat. One occupant of the fort escaped south to Venango and then Fort Pitt. Some accounts state that most were taken prisoner and transferred to the Detroit area. Other historians believe the when Christie surrendered, he ran into the woods with two of his men, while the remainder were all killed—they did not make it to Detroit.

Dimensions of the original French fort are not certain, but one reference gives them as 120 feet on each of the four sides with an outer wall some fifteen feet high.

(See Presqu’isle.)

 

Fort Pitt. Fort built at the forks of the Ohio in 1759-61. The largest fort built by the British on the western frontier of America. It replaced the charred remains of the French Fort Duquesne and the small Fort Mercer that had been built along the Monongahela several hundred yards from the forks. Rather than the classical square fort with corner bastions, Fort Pitt was built in the shape of a pentagon. This shape was to take advantage of the triangular shape of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. Authorship of the design is a subject of considerable debate. Braddock is said to have had a plan in his papers prepared in 1754 in London—with the pentagon shape. The French were able to recover these papers after the Battle of the Monongahela. The on-site chief of construction, Captain Harry Gordon, is said to have had major input on the design, as is General Stanwix. That more than one person was involved in the design is possible—and likely. Certainly Bernard Ratzer and Elias Meyer were contributors.

The location of the fort at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers was contested by George Mercer, Hugh Mercer, Harry Gordon, Jeffery Amherst and others. Its exposure to flood was felt to be too great (as was proved several times during the following years). Pittsburgh's elevation is 745 feet. (See Fort Hill .)

The area inside the outer walls was approximately 2.1 acres, while the parade field was 1.3 acres. The area within the exterior ditches and surrounding earthen walls totaled 17.6 acres. The walls were a combination of earth, brick, masonry, and stone. The two sides facing the land side of the fort were fifteen-feet tall and eight-feet across at the base and four feet at the top  Examinations of the construction indicate 66,000 cubic yards of earth were removed for the project. Two interior wooden barracks approximately 20x170 feet plus a brick structure 20x190 feet could house between 700 and 1,000 men.

Fort Pitt dwarfed the size of Fort Duquesne. Fort Duquesne was “square” with about 150 feet from bastion tip to bastion tip. Fort Pitt was a nearly pentagonal shaped structure with a distance between bastion tips of 416-456 feet.

Indians observing the construction realized that the size was not that of a “trading post.” During the early months of 1761, Mingoes, Shawnees, and Delawares began stealing horses from the settlers and builders of the fort—forcing all the heavy work to be performed by brute-force. The stealing led to gunfire and pursuit in many cases. This tension continued up to and during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763. During the summer of 1763, local Indians in the Fort Pitt area tried to organize and implement a siege of the fort. Indians involved in the seige were mostly Lenape (Delaware), Shawnee, and Wyandot (Huron). A couple of soldiers were killed on May 29. Indians staged an “attack” in June that was not much more than a demonstration of their ability to surround the fort. It should be remembered that Indians were consistently adverse to attacking armed facilities where physical losses were almost certain to result. At that time, Captain Ecuyer could count 330 men, 104 women, and 106 children inside the fort—along with sixteen cannons. His losses for the summer amounted to 12 men dead, 13 wounded and a couple missing. Indian losses cannot be certain, but were certainly at least of equal number.

Indian demands during this period were never taken with any degree of seriousness by Captain Ecuyer (commandant). The Indians killed several sentries, shot fire arrows into the fort area, and killed and scalped individuals caught outside the immediate confines of the fort. Indian demands for surrender fell on deaf ears. Of nearly equal concern to Ecuyer was the outbreak of small pox within the fort.

Shingas, Tamaqua, Grey Eyes and other Delaware told Ecuyer that Fort Detroit had fallen and that he should surrender so he could be protected. Alexander McKee's Shawnee friends assured their friend that Detroit was under siege, but had not fallen.

Ironically, both the Indians and the white militia and settlers in the fort were all short of food. After the French & Indian War, the Indians efforts during the hostilities had limited their planting of corn. The price of trade goods had risen sharply. Neither side was in a strong position. When Colonel Bouquet arrived at the fort in August 1763, after the Battle at Bushy Run, he was nearly devoid of any provisions.

Fort Pitt Museum. Point State Park, Pittsburgh. Enlarged photo.

Fort Pitt survived as a frontier fortification until September 1772 when Captain Charles Edmondstone sold the contents of the fort for £50 to Alexander Ross, William Thompson, and the fort’s doctor—Edward Hand. The fort was gradually dismantled by the end of the Revolutionary War and in the 1790s was no more than a brick redoubt, a stone cellar, and a few mounds of dirt.

(See Edmonstone, Fort Duquesne, Simeon Ecuyer, Fort Pitt Blockhouse below, Harry Gordon, Guyasutha, Alexander McKee, Hugh Mercer, and Mercer’s Fort above.)

 

Fort Pitt Blockhouse. Bouquet’s Redoubt. A brick structure constructed in 1764 after Pontiac’s Rebellion by Colonel Henry Bouquet when the earthen form of the fort facing the river was seen to be vulnerable to flood and in need of more substantial protection. Isaac Craig, James O’Hara and his granddaughter Mary Croghan Schenley subsequently owned the blockhouse.(VS)

(See Blockhouse.)

 

Fort Pontchatrain. (See Fort Detroit.)

 

(Fort) Potter’s Fort. A stockaded fort built by General James Potter in 1777 as a refuge against Indian and/or British attack. It is located south of Bellefonte and east of State College in Centre County.

Potters Fort. PA 144 south of Centre Hall, Centre County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Potter's Fort. Built 1777 by Gen. James Potter. A stockaded fort refuge for the settlers of the valley region. The site is on the nearby rise.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

Fort Prince George. William Trent started building a fort in 1754 on instructions of the Ohio Company of Virginia at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers naming it Fort Prince George. After the surrender to the French on April 17, 1754, some say the partial construction was used by the French in their construction of Fort Duquesne—others disagree, and say Fort Prince George was completely torn down and only the building materials salvaged.

(See Contrecoeur.)

 

Fort Randolph. Point Pleasant. Point where the Kanawha River flows into the Ohio River. This was the focal area of Dunmore’s War in 1774.

Fort Randolph. Krodel Park in Point Pleasant, WV. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

The original fort was near the present-day Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, but has now been reconstructed in its entirety in the nearby spacious Krodel Park where reenactments and other events may be held. Various plaques at the fort contain information of the many historic events taking place at Point Pleasant.

(See Dunmore’s War.)

 

Fort Reed. A stockaded house built by William Reed located at the site of present-day Lock Haven in Clinton County. It was considered the last refuge on the western branch of the Susquehanna River during the Revolutionary War.

A second Fort Reed was the 60' x 140' stockaded fort built along the Forbes Road in Hanna's Town, Westmoreland County (destroyed by Seneca and British in 1782). Joseph Reed was president of the PA supreme council from 1778-1781.

 

(Fort) Rice’s Fort. A fortified blockhouse built by Abraham Rice for use during the Revolutionary War against Indian attack. Indians attacked it in September 1782. The Indians were repelled. The location was near the WVA state line in Washington County west of Claysville.

Rice's Fort. US 40 3.5 miles west of Claysville in Washington County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged Photo.

"Rice's Fort. The site of this fortified blockhouse, built during the Revolution by Abraham Rice, was about six miles north of Buffalo Creek. It was attacked by a force of Indians in September, 1782, but withstood the siege.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission...1973."

 

Fort Richelieu. (See Richelieu.)

 

Fort Roberdeau. A stockade type fort built for protection against Indian attack in 1778 by Brigadier General Daniel Roberdeau. The fort is in present day Blair County in Tyrone Township at the border with Huntingdon County.

Fort Roberdeau. Kettle Road (PA 1013) northeast of Altoona near Culp, Blair County. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged site photo and enlarged "shop" photo.

Rebuilt stockade-type fort. Brigadier General Daniel Roberdeau erected the original fort in 1778. The fort was sited by Roberdeau to protect the lead miners near Sinking Spring Valley from Indian attacks. These miners were critical to the revolution in that they supplied lead to the Continental Army. Although the fort itself was not attacked, settlers in the surrounding area, from time-to-time, were killed in Indian raids. The county militia began use of the fort in 1779 as its headquarters and as a place for storing ammunition and other articles essential to the revolution and the repelling of Indian attacks.

Fort Roberdeau cabins. Enlarged cabin photo. The viewer will notice that the logs making-up the "wall" of the fort are horizontal to the ground rather than vertical; the "horizontal" method is used when the subsurface is limestone and excavating is nearly impossible. The original fort was excavated in 1939 and the reconstruction completed in 1976. The site is surrounded by a park of forty acres including various paths and nature trails.

 

(Fort) Ryerson’s Blockhouse. Built by Captain James Paul’s company in 1792 during the last period of trouble in western PA of the settlers against the Indians. Located near Thomas Ryerson’s mill in Greene County. An Indian group attacked the settlers in the area.

Ryerson's Blockhouse. PA 21 in Wind Ridge, Greene County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker.

"Ryerson's Blockhouse. Near here stood one of three blockhouses erected by Captain James Paul's company in 1792, during the State's last troubles with the Indians. On April 17, 1792, soldiers carrying supplies from the Thomas Ryerson mill clashed with an Indian war party attacking the white settlements.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

A former 36'x 34' two-story structure on PA 21 was believed to have been built in 1792 and to have served as the blockhouse. It had four fireplaces and a 41-foot chimney and puncheon floors. Some logs in the structure were 36 feet long and weighed upwards of 1,100 pounds. After years of use as an inn, the building was disassembled and moved to Peters Township around Venetia as a private residence (4,000 square feet). Some argue that the structure was not a blockhouse—no loops or slots in the walls for firing rifles at attackers. However, others reason that shutters on the windows could have provided the slots.

 

Fort St. Frédéric. French fort at Crown Point on Lake Champlain in NY. Built around 1737 and in use until 1759. Outer wall maybe 200 feet wall-to-wall with a four to five story tower in the center. Forty cannons. Destroyed by the retreating French and then rebuilt by the British as Fort Crown Point.

(See Fort Crown Point.)

 

Fort Saint Joseph. On the St. Joseph River in southwestern, Michigan (Niles). Traveling up the St. Joseph River from Lake Michigan leads to a portage to the Kankakee River which flows west into the Illinois and then Mississippi. Fort St. Joseph was a stop on the way from Fort Michilimackinac to Fort Chartres and New Orleans.

 

Fort Shippen. Site in Westmoreland County of a fort built in 1774. Named for the wealthy Shippen family of Philadelphia whose son-in-law James Burd was an important fort builder. Formerly was known as the Twelve-Mile Camp set up by George Washington in 1758 while clearing land for the Forbes Road. Westmoreland County on US 30 and junction with PA 981.

 

Fort Shirley. A stockade converted into a fort in 1755-56. Erected by Indian trader George Croghan. Colonel John Armstrong used it as a staging-area for his 1756 attack on Kittanning and Captain Jacobs (Delaware chief). Was a segment of the line of forts west of the Susquehanna River. Built on Aughwick Creek, a branch emptying into the Juniata below Huntingdon—near present day Shirleysburg which in 1753 was Aughwick Indian Town. The PA agent Conrad Weiser had a noted conference with the Iroquois Tanacharison (the Half King) and several Shawnee and Delaware chiefs on this site in September 1754. “Shirley” is Governor Shirley of Massachusetts—the leading British military authority in the colonies at that time.

Fort Shirley Marker and Plaque. US 522 Shirleysburg, Huntingdon County (west side of road near the north end of town). Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker and enlarged plaque.

 

"Fort Shirley. Built 1755-56 by George Croghan. First a stockade and then a major link in the frontier fort chain west of the Susquehanna. Base for the Armstrong expedition, 1756. Site on opposite knoll.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

"Fort Shirley (plaque). One of the chain of frontier defenses of the Province of Pennsylvania in the French and Indian Wars stood on this knoll, built 1756 by its commander, the noted Indian trader and agent George Croghan. Here in 1753 at the site of Aughwick Indian Town he had located his trading post and here, September 3-6, 1754, Conrad Weiser, the noted Indian interpreter and agent, had held a conference with the great Iroquoian half king Tanacharison and other chiefs of the Shawnee and Delaware Indians.

"Marked by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and the Society of Pennsylvania Women in New York, 1926."

 

Fort Standing Stone. Fort built at point where Stone Creek flows into the Juniata River near Huntingdon. In 1778, continental troops were stationed as protection against Indian attack.  Huntingdon County.

Fort Standing Stone. Penn Street and Front Street. Huntingdon in Huntingdon County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Fort Standing Stone. Built to protect the settlers against Indian raids. In July, 1778, Continental troops and Militia were ordered here as part of plan of defense against Indian attacks. Old Fort stood 200 yards south, at Stone Creek and the Juniata.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

Fort Stanwix. Fort on the Mohawk River (Rome, NY). Fort Stanwix gained reknown for a treaty made there in 1768. Iroquois ceded territory west of the mountains to the Allegheny River at Kittanning and land south of the Ohio River to the British. The Indians normally hunting in the Ohio Valley were Delaware, Mingoes, and Shawnee—not Iroquois. The Genesee Seneca argued on behalf of their neighbors in the region, but waged a losing argument in the councils at Onondaga. A second treaty between the Iroquois and PA was made in 1784 at Fort Stanwix ceding the land north and west of the 1768 boundary. In 1785 the new Fort Stanwix/Fort McIntosh treaty enlarged area ceded nearly the remainder of PA. By this time, PA had added Armstrong, Beaver, Bradford, Butler, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Tioga, Warren, and Venango Counties. (See Dunmore’s War.)

Fort Stanwix was built by General Stanwix in 1758 and was located on the upper Mohawk River at the portage area with Wood Creek. In 1776, General Schuyler rebuilt the fort and it was renamed Fort Schuyler (although most people continued to call it "Fort Stanwix").

 

Fort Stanwix Treaty. First treaty was October 24, 1768. Treaty was largely an agreement between Sir William Johnson and the Iroquois Confederation with some Delaware and Shawnee. 2,200-3,102 (disputed) Indians were at the conference. (Some sources have Chugnuts, Conoys, Minisinks, Nanticokes, and Tutelos as well.) William Franklin represented NJ. Richard Peters and James Tilghman came from PA. Others included George Croghan, Daniel Claus, and Guy Johnson. Land in the Susquehanna River Valley was sold. By this time Johnson had “bought” 700,000 acres from the Iroquois (mostly in NY).

Purchase marker. US 219 south of Cherry Tree in Indiana County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker and enlarged stone.

"Purchase of 1768. The northern corner of the Indian land purchase based on the Fort Stanwix Treaty was a huge cherry tree at Canoe Place, now Cherry Tree village. This point is now the junction of the Counties of Cambria, Clearfield, and Indiana.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

Monument stone. Cherry Tree Monument (location see Cherry Tree. Photo by compiler Enlarged stone.

"This monument erected to mark Canoe Place the corner of the Proprietaries purchase from the Indians by the Treaty at Fort Stanwix N.Y. November 5, 1768."

A later consideration was that the “frontier” with the Indians would meander down the Allegheny River and then follow the Ohio River down to the junction with the Tennessee River (nearly to the Mississippi and several hundred miles past the Kanawha—which had been thought of as “frontier”). This would include most of Kentucky (although the Iroquois were not considered the “owners” by the Shawnee, Mingo, Cherokee, and others living there). Johnson paid £10,000 to Indians (Iroquois)—who were to distribute it as they saw fit; therefore, almost none it ended up with those who lived in the area “sold.”

The “suffering Pennsylvania traders” and the old Ohio Company were combined by Samuel Wharton into the Walpole Company who began bargaining for 2.4 million acres on the south side of the Ohio River coinciding with the area sought by the Ohio Company at the time of the French and Indian War. The Walpole people thought of naming the territory “Pittsylvania,” but switched to “Vandalia” (in honor of George III’s wife Charlotte who was said to be a descendent of the Vandals). The project might have gone through, but the year was now 1774 and other matters were coming to the fore.

PA opened a land office on April 3, 1769 and within four months sold more than 1,000,000 acres of 300-acre plots at the rate of £5 per 100 acres (plus tax/quitrents).

The second Fort Stanwix Treaty in 1784 added most of northwest PA to the initial sale. Again, the Iroquois made the sale. This treaty, along with the purchase of the Erie Triangle, completed the northwest boundaries of PA. A small parcel was given to Cornplanter for a reservation up the Allegheny River from Warren.

 

(Fort) Statler's Fort. Statler is sometimes spelled "Stradler" and pronounced "Stateler." Stephen Statler was of German heritage and a militia veteran of 1758 action. Around c1770 he moved to the Dunkard Creek area (near present-day PA and WV state lines southwest of Mt. Morris in Greene County). A fort was built on his settlement-land and given the name Statler's Fort.

Statler's Fort. WV Highway 7 near Blacksville, Monongalia County, WV. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker.

"Statler's Fort. John Statler built a fort here in 1770. In its vicinity a number of settlers were Indian victims in 1777 and 18 white men lost their lives the next year. Later Statler himself and companions were massacred. The winter of 1777-78 was the period when George Washington and his troops were camped at Valley Forge. Although no men died at Valley Forge, the Indian attacks at Dunkard Creek registered perhaps 15 deaths during that same winter.

"West Virginia - Highway Markers"

The 200 acre farm was the birthplace of several Statler children—including sons John, Stephen, Michael, George, Catherine, Jacob, Joseph, and perhaps others (some sources indicate only Stephen was born at the fort). Several were killed in Indian raids. When the elder Statler died, five children were included in his will. The children lived in Fayette County, PA as well as Ohio and Virginia.

 

(Fort) Reverend Steel’s Fort. The Reverend was appointed a militia captain in 1755 and his church was stockaded to provide protection against Indian attack. He was a pastor at Upper West Cononocheague.

Rev. Steel's Fort. PA 16, 2.3 miles southeast of Mercersburg (junction with Findley Road). Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler.Enlarged photo.

"The Rev. John Steel, pastor of Upper West Conococheague, was made militia captain, and his church, stockaded in 1755, provided protection from hostile Indians. The site is at Church Hill.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

Rev. Steel's Fort and Plaque. At Church Hill on Church Hill Road at junction with Findley Road (east of Mercersburg in Franklin County). Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo of surrounding wall and enlarged photo of plaque.

Plaque. "Site of Fort John Steel. Built in August 1755 and named for Captain John Steel, pastor of the Presbyterian church erected here in 1738 and surrounded by this fort. The oldest fort in Franklin County and the only one built to protect worshipers from Indians.

"Erected by the Kittochtinny Historical Society."

 

Fort Sullivan. Fort built in the area between the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers near the NY State line. Built in August 1779.

(See Queen Esther’s Town and John Sullivan.)

 

Fort Ticonderoga. (TEYE-kon-dah-ROH-guh). (Fort Carillon) Fort on the Ticonderoga Peninsula at the head of Lake Champlain (southernmost extremity). The French fort is Carillon; the English fort is Ticonderoga. This location is the connecting location between Lake Champlain and Lake George. Although physically located on Lake Champlain, a reader might note an account referring to troops sailing down Lake George to attack Fort Carillon. It was a location cherished by and fought over by both sides. Ticonderoga has the meaning of “land between two lakes.” Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point are about sixteen miles apart on the west shore of Lake Champlain.

(See Lake George.)

 

(Fort) Vance’s Fort. Near Cross-Creek Church—6 miles northeast of Avella in Washington County. Church services were held in the fort in 1775. The actual church was built in 1779 by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.

The fort was located off of present-day Vance's Road in Cross Creek. The Cross Creek Church cemetery extends up Vance's Road for a half-mile and then all property is private residences.

Vance's Fort area panorama. Photo taken near Cross Creek, Washington County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo..

Although it is not possible for visitors to view the fort site, the reader may gain an understanding of the topography of the area by the adjacent photo taken roadside in the Cross Creek area.

 (See Cross Creek and Meadowcroft.)

 

Fort Venango. Built by the British in 1760. It was attacked and destroyed by Indians in May, 1763 (Pontiac’s Rebellion). The story is that Seneca Indians, under of pretext of trading, entered the fort and killed the small number of men stationed inside. There were no survivors. The fort commander was Lieutenant Francis Gordon—who was said to have been tortured for several days before being killed. This action was relayed from Bouquet to Amherst, who then issued his noted "genocide" order against"those inhuman villians."

In July 1760, Colonel Henry Bouquet led an expedition north from Fort Pitt and passed through the spot where the French Fort Machault had been burned to the ground the previous summer. The most they expected to salvage was one saw out of the debris. When Major Robert Stewart arrived the following month, they chose a site closer to the mouth of French Creek (8th and Elk Street) and called the structure Fort Venango. The new fort was larger than the old Fort Machault and sited a blockhouse in its center with a large cellar—magazine under the heavy soldier's quarters. Fort Venango served as the main supply depot between Fort Pitt and Presqu'isle. Unfortunately, they were commonly low on trade goods for the Indians and found relations to be strained—at the least. This relationship made Fort Venango ripe for takeover once Pontiac's insurrection began.

Present-day Franklin, PA is where French Creek flows into the Allegheny River in Venango County.

(See Fort Franklin, Fort Machault above, Frazer below, and Venango County.)

 

Fort Vincennes. French fort built in 1724 (or 1731) on the Wabash River. (See George Rogers Clark and Vincennes.)

 

Fort Waddell. Franklin County. Built in 1754-55 as protection against Indian attack—especially after the defeat of General Braddock. It was on land owned by Thomas Waddell and was on the path between Fort Davis and Shippensburg in what was then Cumberland County.

Fort Waddell. US 30 (near junction with PA 416) 1 mile west of St. Thomas in Franklin County. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker and enlarged plaque.

"Fort Waddell. One of a line of forts built by settlers in this region for refuge from Indian atacks following Braddock's defeat in 1755. It stood just to the north.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

"Fort Waddell, 1754. One of the forts for the defense of the frontier of Cumberland County from Fort Davis to Shippensburg, stood near this marker on the plantation then owned by Thomas Waddell.

"Marked by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and the Franklin County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution."

 

(Fort) Wolff’s Fort. In 1780, Jacob Wolff (also Wolfe) to provide protection against Indian attack stockaded a house. It was located southwest of Washington, PA (near the site of Augusta Town).

Wollf's Fort. US 40 3.3 miles southwest of Washington, Washington County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged Photo.

 

"Wolff's Fort. A stockaded house built here about 1780 by Jacob Wolff afforded a refuge for the settlers of this region. It was one of the most important forts in the area.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission...1947."

 

Fowling gun. A smooth bore gun used for shooting birds. Similar to a small bore shotgun. If he could afford it, each settler would have a fowling gun for birds and a rifle for larger game. A young boy’s passage into manhood would often be accompanied by the presentation of his own rifle. During the French and Indian War as well as the Revolutionary War many observers assumed that all rural men would be experienced riflemen. This facility proved not to be the case as many small-town tradesmen were found to require considerable training before being exposed to actual combat. The opposite was true of a minority whose accuracy was extraordinary.

(See Pennsylvania rifle.)

 

Fox. An Algonquin language Indian tribe living in central and northern Wisconsin area when European settlers first arrived in North America. The French explorers LaSalle, Joliet, Hennepin, Marquette and others in the 1660s and 1670s found a route from the St. Lawrence River up the Ottawa River into Lake Huron across and into Lake Michigan down its western shore into Green Bay to the bottom and the Fox River which they could take and make the short portage into the Wisconsin River and then into the Mississippi. This route was stymied by the bad blood that grew between the French and the Fox Indians of the area. This animosity caused the French to search for southern routes to reach the Mississippi. The southern route explorations led them into the Allegheny River and western PA into the Ohio River. During Black Hawk's War (1832), the Sauk and the Fox merged. Black Hawk was a Sauk.

(See Sauk.)

 

Fox. Red and gray fox. When the settlers came to western PA, there was a decided lack of red foxes. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) came into western PA from other sections of North America—it is not a European import, as some believe. Gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) lived in the wooded land, but the red fox prefers an open field to find rabbits, field mice and woodchucks. Settlers cleared large areas of trees for use in raising crops. The open fields spelled the demise of the fishers and martens leaving an opening for the red fox.  The red fox is favored for viewing due to its extraordinary coloring.  The gray fox is known for its very un-canine ability to climb trees. During the summer, fox eat the abundant fruit and insects, while in winter their diet shifts to birds and rodents.

The Indians hunted foxes normally through use of traps. Trapping was reserved for men and boys.  Foxes were hunted in the same manner as raccoons.

 

Francis I. King of France 1515-1547. Born 1494: died 1547. In 1522 the French intercepted and took a galleon belonging to the Spanish conqueror of Mexico—Hernando Cortez . The ship was filled with gold, silver, and other valuables. When Francis was reminded that the Pope had declared that everything more then a hundred leagues west of the Azores Islands was the property of Spain, the French King is said to have declared, “We fail to find that clause in Adam’s will.” This comment and its Eurocentric chauvinism reflect the attitude held by the large body of Europeans arriving in North America. The discussions centered on whether the territory belonged to Spain or France or Holland or England or whatever European power was in the vicinity. The concept of native ownership was seldom expounded. Feelings in western PA were no different than the prevailing attitude. The question of ownership of the Ohio Valley was a question of whether its disposition should be determined in Quebec or Philadelphia or Williamsburg.

 

Franklin County. Designated a county by an act of the assembly on September 9, 1784. Franklin was the thirteenth county and was previously the southwestern corner of Cumberland County. Known as "The Conococheague settlement" from its principal river the Conococheague Creek. The entrance to Franklin from the east passed through Shippensburg, in Cumberland County, which was the second village of any size west of the Susquehanna River—established in 1730. Shortly later in 1734, Benjamin Chambers settled a village within Franklin County which grew to be the county seat.

Franklin County. Lincoln Way East on US 30 east of Main Street (US 11). Chambersburg. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

 

"Formed on September 9, 1784 from Cumberland County and named for Benjamin Franklin. Site of Falling Spring, noted limestone trout stream. Birthplace of James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States. Chambersburg, county seat, was laid out 1764.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

 

Compiler's note: The Chambersburg Heritage Center is located directly across the street in the old bank building. The center contains many excellent displays and exhibits centering on the agriculture, people, and political history of the region—many pre-1800. The old "bank vault" houses safe deposit boxes that come to life with audio messages from famous Franklin County persons, such as, James Buchanan, Nellie Fox (of the Chicago White Sox and Baseball Hall of Fame), and others. Docent-led tours are available. The docent will explain why the large statue of Benjamin Franklin revolves and that the statue of the Civil War soldier in Memorial Square faces south in order to warn the locals if the South decides to attack Chambersburg again.

 

Franklin, Fort and Town. The confluence of the Allegheny River and French Creek is a natural location for a village, a fort, and eventually a town.

Confluence of French Creek and Allegheny River at Franklin. French Creek from the left and Allegheny from top-center flowing to the right toward its meeting with the Monongahela. Photo by compiler. Enlarged Photo..

John Fraser built his cabin to serve the gunsmith needs of local Indians prior to 1749. When Céloron made his trip down the Allegheny in 1749, he noted Fraser's presence and had him removed. When George Washington made his trip to Fort Le Boeuf in 1753, Fraser was gone. The French were occupying his cabin prior to building a fort of their own (Fort Machault). At the end of the French and Indian War, the British took the area (1759) and replaced Machault with Fort Venango. Pontiac's War saw Venango burned and a replacement not built until Fort Franklin was put-up by PA in 1787. After the Revolutionary War, the land companies in northwest PA brought settlers into the surrounding fertile valleys (c1795) and Franklin became the Venango County seat.

(See Fort Franklin.)

 

Franklin. Benjamin Franklin.  Printer, scientist, inventor, writer, diplomat, raconteur, charmer, cajoler, etc. (1706-1790). Born in Boston and apprenticed at the age of twelve under his brother who was a printer/publisher. He moved to Philadelphia at age seventeen and found similar work (his brother was a harsh employer). In searching for equipment to start his own business he traveled to London where he apprenticed for an additional eighteen months. On his return to Philadelphia, he started his own shop and shortly thereafter married Deborah Read (also Reed).  In 1733 he started publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack, which continued for the next twenty-five years.

His list of accomplishments includes bifocals, the lightning rod, a philosophical society, an efficient stove, a public library, a fire fighting company, an insurance company, a diplomat, and assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence.

His world-wide acclaim came through his contributions to the understanding of electricity. Before Franklin the words condenser, battery, charge, positive and negative, conductor, armature, and other were not associated with electricity. When Franklin and his son William prompted a silk kite, with a sharp wire protruding from its top—and a key attached to the string's base, up into a cloud, they were able to draw sparks. Had the string been totally soaked, Franklin may have been killed—as was the Swedish scientist Richmann. The experiment was replicated in Europe and electricity and lightning stopped being a parlor trick and moved up the scale to being a scientific endeavor.

Note: Franklin, through Richard Saunders (Poor Richard's Almanack - 1753) explained to his readers how to make a lightning rod for their own use. Typically of Franklin, his creations were not patented, and others—including an adaption of his stove, were patented by others for profit.

In 1753 he was appointed Deputy Postmaster General of the British Colonies in America. He advocated a closer association of the colonies at the Albany Conference in 1754 which many feel he modeled after the Iroquois Confederation with each tribe maintaining local autonomy, but acting in concert when dealing with external forces. He went so far as to draw an inspirational flag with a snake severed in several pieces and the words “JOIN OR DIE.” The conference and his idea of cooperation among the colonies both died.

Franklin's comments at the Albany Conference have been quoted often: "...it would be a strange thing if Six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming such a union, and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies, to whom it is more necessary and must be more advantageous, and who cannot be supposed to want an equal understanding of their interest...."

In 1755, he represented PA with Braddock at Frederick, MD and provided valuable assistance in finding needed horses, wagons, grain and so forth. The story is that Franklin told PA farmers and others that they could rent to the British Army, or the army would take whatever they wanted. He was able to gather 259 horses and 150 wagons within two weeks. Franklin signed the papers with the farmers and when Braddock was defeated and the wagons and horses lost, he owned about £20,000 of IOUs. Fortunately, Governor/General Shirley absorbed this into his wartime budget and Franklin was off the hook.

In 1756 Franklin designed and supervised the construction of a small fort near Easton, PA. Franklin named the fort after Judge William Allen, whose son James is remembered as the surveyor of the town, which became Allentown. The fort was named Fort Allen.

Franklin was early in trying to join the colonies into a united force against French and Indian incursions. He was largely frustrated in these efforts. Although an advocate of colonial defense, Franklin gave voice to heavy criticism of the unruly land-grabbers found in Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny Mountains. He saw the colonies becoming a part of Britain with their own members of parliament. He was anti-German as to its language and culture. He had a great number of English and Scot friends and spent many years in London—where he was encouraged to stand for parliament. It was only after all efforts failed to forge an accommodation between London and the colonies that Franklin became a champion of the revolution.

His relationship with French royalty and political leaders was largely responsible for the crucial assistance of France in the American cause. He cajoled with a wide range of influential and literary Frenchmen including Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (yes, opera fans—the same Beaumarchais who wrote the play that became Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Rossini’s Barber of Seville.). Without Franklin and France, many feel the American Revolution would have failed.

Franklin is the most distinguished Pennsylvanian of all time. At the time of the Constitutional Convention the most important two men in the colonies were Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

Compiler's note: Franklin was old enough to be the father of Washington, Adams, Madison, Jefferson and most of the other founding fathers. Many historians mention his feud with John Adams: Franklin, speaking of Adams said, "I am persuaded, however, that he means well for his Country, is always an honest Man, often a Wise One, but sometimes and in some things, absolutely out of his senses." When Jefferson completed his draft of a Declaration of Independence he gave it to his fellow committee member, Franklin , who made only one substantive change. Franklin edited out "we hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable" and substituted "we hold these truths to be self-evident."

(See Albany Conference, Articles of Confederation, John Dickinson, Penn Proprietary, Treaty of Paris.)

 

Franks. David Franks. Early merchant in Fort Pitt in 1760s.

 

Frankstown. In 1731, James Le Tort and Jonah Davenport (Indian traders) reported a Delaware village of some twelve families living on a branch of the Juniata at Assunepachla. Frank Stevens established a fur trading post around 1734. Another version of the name source is that the trading post was name for Stephen Franks, who was a partner with Joseph Simon and (NFI) Gratz in the fur trading business. Delaware (Lenni Lenape) and Shawnee Indians both used the site. Although Indians moved in and out of this village, some sources have them in the vicinity up to the 1758 move of General Forbes to the confluence at Fort Duquesne.

On a current-day map Frankstown is located northeast of Hollidaysburg on US 22.

Frankstown. US 22 .6 miles east of Hollidaysburg on US 22, Blair County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Frankstown. The site, prior to 1748, of a Delaware-Shawnee village called Assunepachla. Here the trader, Frank Stevens, had a fur post as early as 1734. The Kittanning Path led through here.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission."

Ironmaster's House. US 22 east of Hollidaysburg at Frankstown, Blair County. Hillside at the junction with PA 1009. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

House on the hillside is variously known as "Ironmaster's House," "Hileman House," or "Carriage House - Bed and Breakfast." The house dates from 1795. The Frankstown Furnace was located on a run off the Juniata River in Frankstown. The house belonged to the "Ironmaster" and presents itself as a prominent structure.

 

Frankstown Path. On (near) a branch of the Juniata River in Blair County leading to a pass through the Tussey Mountains. Early settlers and traders used this path to get through the mountains.This is a continuation of the Indian path that led up Bald Eagle Creek to Milesburg and then further north up to Iroquois country. This same path is sometimes referred to as the "Kittanning Path." A variation of this path follows a route from present-day Harrisburg to Shannopin's Town (Pittsburgh) passing through Kittanning.

 

Fraser. John Fraser. Scotch gunsmith (some say German and spell his name “Frazer”). Close to the Indians. Trading post at mouth of Turtle Creek on the Monongahela River. Mentioned by George Washington in the journal of his 1753-54  trip. Céloron mentions Fraser as being on French Creek (Franklin) confluence with the Allegheny on his trip in 1749. Fraser lived at Venango from 1742 to 1753. The French took Fraser’s cabin (Venango) and it was where Washington and Gist spoke with Commissary La Force and other French prior to la Force accompanying them north to Fort Le Boeuf. Washington and Gist stayed with Fraser at his Turtle Creek cabin on the way up to Fort LeBoeuf and on the return trip in the winter of 1753-1754. Fraser was appointed to help Trent and Ward build a fort at the forks of the Ohio in 1754, but was said to have spent most of his time on his own affairs at his cabin. Died 1773.

(See Blacksmith and Fort Machault above.)

 

Fraser, John and Jean. A log tavern and trading post was built and run by John and Jean Fraser beginning in 1758 at Fort Bedford. The Fraser's son, William, was the first recorded white-child born in Bedford County in 1759. John Fraser died at age 85 and was buried on a farm some eight miles southwest of Bedford (Mann's Choice). The tavern property was absorbed into the lot that became the Greystone Hotel—which became the site of the first Bedford County court.

Fraser Tavern. NE corner of intersection of Pitt and Richard Streets in Bedford, Bedford County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

"Site of lots on which John Fraser and his wife established an inn and trading post in 1758. Fraser had been a guide and interpreter for Colonel Washington. The inn provided meals for army officers at Fort Raystown (Bedford).

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission..."

 

French and Indian War. In Europe—The Seven Years War. 1756-1763. Britain declared war on France May 1756. Terms were agreed to at the Treaty of Paris, February 10, 1763. The portion of this war fought in North America began in 1754 and was the final chapter in the 150-year struggle between France and England for possession of North America. England won; France lost.

The struggle in North America began over dominance of the Ohio River Valley. Both sides made trips into the area and established trading relations with local Indians. Both sides felt the geographical position of the area made their argument for ownership valid. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent young Major George Washington to the French commander at Fort LeBoeuf (near Erie, PA) to warn the French they were infringing on the territory of George II. The request was rebuffed and Dinwiddie sent a party to the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers to build a fort (present site of Pittsburgh). While the fort was being built, a substantial French force came down the Allegheny River and demanded the Virginians pick up their tools and leave. They did.

Dinwiddie then sent Washington with a couple hundred men to repel the French. Washington established a temporary fort (Fort Necessity) approximately 65 miles southeast of the new Fort Duquesne. A Seneca chief who had accompanied Washington to Fort LeBoeuf, Tanacharison, acting as a scout, reported a French detachment in the woods approaching their position. Washington and Tanagharison led a group out to meet the French. Being a night reconnaissance they had difficulty maintaining contact, but were able to locate the French in a depression in the woods. What happened next has been argued for centuries. The Virginians were armed and prepared for battle; the French were half-asleep with their arms nearby. Somebody fired.  Ensign Jumonville was killed along with nine other French. One Virginian was killed.  The French say Jumonville was on a mission to parlay with the Virginians. He was sent to talk not to fight. He had a paper with him to that effect. The Virginians say the paper was a ruse and that an armed party of thirty-three does not reflect peaceful intents.

The war that followed was a conflict between two European powers with much of it being fought thousands of miles across the Atlantic. The English had colonies with a population of more than 1,200,000; the French had approximately 70-80,000. They both had Indian allies. The English had come to North America to settle; the French had come to trade. The English had admitted all British subjects plus Dutch, French, Spanish, Germans, Swiss, Swedes, and others including Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and others. After 1685, Louis XIV restricted entry into New France to French Catholics and no others. The British Navy controlled the sea lanes and was able to deny France access to the St. Lawrence. The shorter growing season in Canada worked to the disadvantage of the French in feeding horses, livestock—as well as soldiers. The French Governor Vaudreuil and the military commander General Montcalm were barely on speaking terms.

William Pitt in London spent considerable political and monetary capital to insure victory in North America while the French seemed only moderately interested in territory outside the Caribbean. The British demonstrated their interest through sending 35,000 troops to North America during the period 1754-1763.

The French and Indian War made George Washington a name recognizable in the colonies as well as the capitals of Europe. The colonists who fought alongside English troops found that the English army was not invincible. They could be defeated by a determined foe. The colonists did not care for the whippings administered to unruly soldiers by the English, nor did they admire the level of profanity used or the lack of observing the Sabbath.

The scalping and killing of prisoners by the Indian allies of the French was accompanied by an equally brutal attitude of the American colonists against the Indians. When the Indians sided with the British during the American Revolution, this action reinforced the colonists’ hostility toward native Americans.

Winston Churchill once called the Seven Years War “the First World War” as it was fought on the European continent as well as in North America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and on the Asian subcontinent in India.

A detailed chronology of the war is beyond the scope of the Little List. A timeline of the events leading to the war and the period of the conflict is given below.

1747 Iroquois Confederation sends Tanagharison (the “Half-King”) to the Ohio Valley to supervise the Lenape in the area. Scarrooyady comes to supervise the Shawnee.

1748 Conrad Weiser visits Logstown (Baden, PA) the center of Indian activity and expresses interest on the part of PA.  He gains the confidence of Tanagharison and Scarrooyady.

1749 The French send Céloron de Blainville on a trip from Montreal to Lake Erie, down the Allegheny to the Ohio and west to the Miami River and up to around Detroit and then back to Montreal. Along his way, Céloron places lead plates at river confluences containing notification of French hegemony. On the trip, Céloron stops in Logstown where he receives a hostile reception.

1750 Christopher Gist visits Logstown as a representative of the Ohio Company of Virginia. Gist travels down the Ohio to near Louisville and reports of French activity to Governor Dinwiddie of VA.

1751 Dinwiddie sends Joshua Fry, James Patton, and Lunsford Lomax to Logstown to gain agreement of Tanagharison and Scarrooyady to the Lancaster Treaty giving the Ohio Company rights to the area west and south of the Ohio River.

1753  French, under Governor Duquesne, begin a fort building project at Presqu’isle—much to the anger of Tanagharison. George Washington with Gist, Tanagharison and others travel from Logstown up to Fort LeBoeuf with a message from Governor Dinwiddie demanding French leave “English” territory. French refuse.

1754  Dinwiddie directs William Trent to build a fort at the Allegheny/Monongahela River confluence. French commander Contrecoeur takes the facility under construction from Ensign Edward Ward (April) and builds Fort Duquesne. Washington returns to Great Meadows in April with two companies of VA militia and is warned by Gist and Tanagharison of advancing French group. The Jumonville Glen affair follows (May 28) and then arrival of 100 South Carolina troops under Captain Mackay. Construction of Fort Necessity and arrival in woods of French Captain de Villiers initiates a battle ending with the surrender of Washington (July 3). Terms of surrender mention “assassination” of Ensign Jumonville and bring repercussions in London and Paris. Many historians point to this event as being the beginning of the French and Indian War. The Albany Conference in June-July 1754 sets in motion a land dispute over the Wyoming Valley (northeast PA) between CT and PA. Also, land ceded by the Iroquois includes land cherished by the Lenape (Delaware) and Shawnee. This act sets the stage for prolonged settler/Indian conflicts.

1755  The British enjoy a victory over the French at Fort Beauséjour (Nova Scotia). General Edward Braddock arrives from London and leads a large force from Alexandria, VA to Wills Creek to Monongahela River near Fort Duquesne in July—and slaughter. British lose 456 killed and 421 wounded. French and Indian losses are maybe a couple dozen. Governor Shirley (MA) fails in his effort to take Niagara from the French. General Abercromby leads British forces against French/Indians at Fort Carillon/Ticonderoga and loses 200 killed and wounded. In September, Sir William Johnson defeats Dieskau at Lake George and then fails at Crown Point. Expulsion of French-speaking Acadians in Nova Scotia begins.

1756 Britain declares war against France in May. French General Montcalm arrives in Canada and takes Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario in August. Conflict with French/Indians on the western frontier consumes Washington and others.

1757  Montcalm leads French/Indian force in defeat of British/Americans at Fort William Henry (Lake George, NY) in August. Actions following the battle are described as a massacre.

1758  William Pitt is appointed British Secretary of State (includes foreign and military affairs) and makes drastic changes in military leadership installing Amherst, Wolfe, Forbes, and Viscount Howe (older brother of William). Abercromby fails to take Fort Carillon (Lake Champlain) in July.  Howe is killed. Amherst takes Louisbourg (July) with Wolfe leading the assault. Bradstreet sacks Fort Frontenac. Forbes takes Fort Duquesne (November) after the British make a promise to the Indians that they will retire east of the Alleghenies after the French are driven from the Ohio country.

1759  Sir William Johnson takes Fort Niagara in June. Jeffery Amherst wins at Ticonderoga and Crown Point in the Lake Champlain/Lake George area. The siege of Quebec ends in September with Wolfe killed in the field and Montcalm later from wounds received. Hailed as a significant British victory (after French supply ships fail to arrive).

1760  Montreal surrenders to Amherst in September. George II dies in October.

1761  George III is now King. William Pitt resigns.

1763  February 10 the Peace of Paris is implemented among Britain, France, and Spain. France surrenders all territories in North America east of the Mississippi River (excepting New Orleans) to Britain. Other aspects of the agreement grant Britain access to the Gulf of Mexico through New Orleans and territorial concerns in the Caribbean, Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia. On August 4-6 Colonel Bouquet and a force of 460 defeat a combined Indian group at Bushy Run. The “victory” cost Bouquet around fifty killed and another sixty wounded. The French and Indian War was over but now the frontier faced Pontiac’s Rebellion and another thirty years of settler/Indian conflict.

From a monetary point-of-view, the French & Indian War (The Seven-Years War), proved a costly venture for the British. Prior to the beginning of the War, she had a debt of £ 74,600,000; while at the end of the conflict her debt stood at £ 122,600,000. This debt, and the interest payable on it, was in no small measure a factor leading to our Revolutionary War.

French and Indian War. PA 879 0.8 miles south of I-80, east side of road, near Clearfield. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged marker.

"French and Indian War Expedition. In 1756 a British exploratory force led by Captain John Hambright ventured up the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to Chinkalamoose near this site. They were on a mission to search from French forces and their Indian allies who were raiding British settlements to the East. This British force found only the abandoned, burned village, whereupon they returned east to Fort Augusta.

"Erected by Historical Society of Clearfield County"

(See Sources and Readings.)

 

French Creek. French “Rivière aux Boeufs.” Also Buffalo River. Called “Venango” by the English (presumably from the Seneca “in-un-ga”). French Creek flows from Findley Lake in NY and ends where it enters the Allegheny at Franklin.

French Creek. South of Waterford a couple miles. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo

"French Creek. The Riviere aux Boeufs of the French, renamed by George Washington in 1753. It had an important part in the French and Indian War and the settlement of northwestern Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission......1946."

French Creek. Bicentennial Park in Meadville (French Street and Mead Avenue), Crawford County. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo.

French Creek about thirty miles above Franklin where it flows into the Allegheny River. This site is one that George Washington, Christopher Gist, and others would have passed on their way to Fort Le Boeuf in 1753 to deliver the message from Governor Dinwiddie of VA. This site is maybe fifty yards from the reconstructed log cabin built in 1788 by David Mead when he arrived at the vacated Cussewago Indian Village.

(See David Mead.)

 

French Huguenots. The Edict of Nantes (1598 by Henry IV) had given French Protestants considerable religious and civil rights in France. Louis XIV revoked the edict in 1685 and French Calvinists left the country with probably around 15,000 coming to the colonies.

Although not a great number, the Huguenots were a disproportionately industrious group.  Revolutionary names instantly recognizable to readers are Paul (‘T’was in the year seventy-five…”.) Revere and John Jay (first chief justice of the US Supreme Court) and later Delano, Devereux, Faneuil, DeLancey, Bowdoin, etc. George Washington’s adjutant at Fort Necessity was William Peyronie—a French Huguenot who was injured in that conflict and later killed at the Battle of the Monongahela. Alexander Hamilton’s mother was Rachel Fauchette—a French Huguenot.  Some Huguenots, Faneuils for example, returned to England when the Revolutionary War started—and never returned. They had been the richest family in Boston—Peter Faneuil donated a marketplace and meeting hall to Boston where James Otis, Sam Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren and others preached revolution. The Huguenots did not maintain a separate identity due to their affinity for intermarrying with other ethnic groups. It is written that approximately 80% of the group married outsiders—English, Scotch-Irish, Dutch, or whatever within the first or second generation.

(See Ferree.)

 

French Indians. Occasionally one runs across “French Indians” and its vague meaning. As an equally vague rule-of-thumb, one might interpret the phrase to denote those Indians siding with the French in the French and Indian War. Unfortunately some tribes split allegiances, such as the Iroquois and Wyandot. Sir William Johnson, the British Indian Commissioner, in 1761 convened a conference in Detroit of tribes normally allied against the British; the conference included—Delaware, Iroquois, Kickapoo, Miami, Mohican, Mingo, Ojibway, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Wyandot. At this conference, Johnson gave the Indians the impression that dealing with the British would be the same as with the French. However, this ”business as usual” attitude was not shared by General Jeffery Amherst who rejected the “gift” practice, raised prices, and limited gunpowder sales.

(See Caghnawaga.)

 

Frew, John. The historic stone and brick Frew House is at the border between Pittsburgh and Crafton on Sterrett Street with the original section dating to 1780. A spring can be found on the property. Not much is written about John Frew, but we know that "Frews" came to the colonies from Scotland and Northern Ireland. One source indicates Frew immigrated from Randallstown (County Antrim), Northern Ireland while other sources indicate a large Frew connection to Ayrshire, Scotland (the area directly across the narrow waters between Scotland and Ireland).

John Frew House. 105 Sterrett Street, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County. Photos by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged house and enlarged marker.

"Historic Landmark. John Frew House. Built c.1780; addition c.1840. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation."

"This property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior."

The house was previously known as the Rachel and Robert Sterrett House as well as the Frew-Goran-McFall House. The property is privately owned and is in excellent condition.

Compiler's note: The Frew ancestry duplicates that of many early settlers of western PA. The compiler's maternal ancestors arrived in the 1700s from Ayrshire, Scotland and County Tyrone, Ireland.

 

Friedensstadt. Moravian Indian village established in 1770 in what is now Moravia on the Beaver River in Lawrence County. Friedenstadt = City of Peace. Indian term is Languntoutenunk. Many of these largely Christian Delawares came from a mission in Wyalusing (Susquehanna River in Bradford County) then to Lawunakhannek on the Allegheny. In 1773 they moved to Gnadenhutten and Schoenbrunn on the Muskingum River in Ohio. On March 7, 1782 a group of PA militia entered their village and killed a number of them in an event perhaps deserving to be called a massacre. Moravian missionaries associated with this group start with Christian Frederick Post followed by David Zeisberger and Gottfried Senseman. The missionary with the Indian group going to Ohio was John Heckewelder.

(See Heckewelder.)

 

Friends. The Society of Friends. Also known as Quakers. Protestant sect organized in England around 1650 by George Fox who had among his disciples William Penn the younger. When Penn received the huge land grant from Charles II, he brought large numbers of Friends with him. They settled in the eastern portion of the state and not many traveled to western PA.

They refused to take oaths. They refused to bear arms. They refused to support the purchase of arms. They felt the Indians should be treated as brothers—and earned much support among some Indians who trusted them above all other settlers. They were renowned pacifists until the period in the late 1750s when the border wars and Indian massacres split-off some members. Up to that time, the Friends had been highly active in PA politics. In the 1750s when the French were laying claim to the area of the upper Ohio River Valley, the Quakers refused to spend on a fort or other settler protection. They did not consider this area to be their responsibility. When VA stepped up and sent troops and gained English support for securing the territory for the English colonies, the Friends began to take interest. Queen Alliquippa and other Iroquois wanted the English to control the territory—not the French. The English had higher quality trade goods, plus—the French were allied with the Iroquois’ blood enemy—the Hurons/Wyandots. The inaction of the English colonies in building forts and establishing themselves in the Ohio River Valley encouraged the French to move in, and when they did—many of the Indians moved into their camp economically and militarily.

In the spring of 1756 Governor Robert Morris of PA signed an act declaring hostilities between the colony and the Delaware Indians and their allies. Rather than participate in this action, the Friends (Quakers) withdrew from the assembly. Up until 1756 they had dominated that political body from the beginning of the colony.

During the Revolutionary War, several Quakers were prominent in the conflict; e.g., General Nathaniel Greene, Betsy Ross, John Dickinson (after some hesitation), and others such as the memorable Mrs. Murray who, upon the urging of General Rufus Putnam, offered Sir Henry Clinton and his staff tea at her Murrayhill estate in New York, allowing Putnam time to withdraw his troops to safety. Evidently, an offer of “tea” cannot be refused by a gentleman.

The power of the Quakers in PA politics diminished greatly after the Revolutionary War. Although seen as honest and well-meaning, their apparent intransigence was not adaptable to the dominant heterogeneous society. They continued their good works in advocacy for peace, building hospitals and schools, agitating against slavery, humane treatment of prisoners, etc.

Philadelphia remains the center for annual meetings and educational facilities of the Society of Friends.

 

Friendship Hill. In 1786, Albert Gallatin bought a 400-acre farm in Fayette County and named it Friendship Hill. In 1789, work began on the stone house and Gallatin married Sophia Allegre. They were married in May and Sophia died in October. Gallatin remarried, Hannah Nicholson in 1798, and to provide for their expanding family, they added a frame wing.

Friendship Hill - Original Stone House. From Point Marion in Fayette County take US 119 north across the Cheat River bridge and then left onto PA 166 for three miles to the entrance. Photo by compiler with Joyce Chandler. Enlarged photo

The house is a National Historic Site and is administered by the National Park Service. The entrance is well-marked and a tree-lined drive takes the visitor to the main parking lot. A walking trail is available as well as a picnic site, information center, and restrooms. The house sits on a bluff overlooking the Monongahela River.

Gallatin was born in 1761 in Geneva, Switzerland to a wealthy family and a few years after his 1783 arrival in the colonies he started buying land in western Virginia and the Ohio River valley. He fell in love with the area where George's Creek flows into the Monongahela. At that time, the area was called Wilson's Port, but—Gallatin later changed the name to "New Geneva" after his birthplace.

Friendship Hill. Enlarged house. Enlarged photo

By 1800, Gallatin and his associates had established a glassworks, a gristmill, sawmill, gun factory, and other commercial enterprises.

Friendship Hill was Gallatin's "home" while he was serving as a delegate to the PA constitutional convention in 1789-90, state assemblyman 1790-93, U.S. congressman, U.S. secretary of the treasury, U.S. minister to France and then Great Britain.

French General Lafayette visited the United States in 1823 and visited his namesake county in PA. While on his trip, Lafayette was a guest at Friendship Hill in the spring of 1825. Legend has it that the General attracted perhaps the largest crowd in the house's history.

(See Albert Gallatin.)

 

Froe. Also frow. A cleaving tool with a wedge-shaped metal head. The handle is shaped and attached like a hammer or hatchet. Basically used for splitting logs and making shingles.

Enlarged drawing.

The froe was what might be called a "rainy-day" tool. Its principal use was in making roof shingles. A settler might have several odd size blocks of logs left from a construction job. He would saw the blocks into given lengths (18-24 inches). Finding a nice stool to sit on he would then place a block on end in front of him and start slicing away with his froe and a froe-club. He would split one block after another into shingles. His froe-club would, over a period of time, be compressed around its middle from hitting the hard metal repeatedly. The normal rule in woodwork is to hit metal with metal and wood with wood, but in this case we have an exception. Some experienced woodworkers could start with long logs and split them into clapboards to use as siding.

(See Tools (Woodworking).)

 

Frontenac. Louis de Baude, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau. (FRAWN-te-nack) Born in France c1620 and arrived in Canada in September 1672. Governor of New France 1689-1698. When he became governor, he organized a force of around 210, including 96 Christian Iroquois (Caghnawaga), to travel up the Richelieu River, through Lake Champlain, and down to Albany. His object was to capture the upper Hudson River. Frontenac’s aggressiveness became legendary, but his failure to recognize that Caghnawaga Mohawk were not interested in fighting their brother Mohawks in NY contributed to the failure of his plan. Some old French-Canadian maps show Lake Ontario as Lac Frontenac. The fort built at the east end of Lake Ontario feeding into the St. Lawrence was named Fort Frontenac. The sacking of Fort Frontenac by John Bradstreet in August 1758 was a major factor in Fort Duquesne not being resupplied and contributing to its November abandonment to General Forbes.

Frontenac died in Quebec in November 1698.

(See Bradstreet and Caghnawaga.)

 

Frontier. The seventeenth-century colonies along the Atlantic seaboard in North America were in many respects the frontier of Europe. As the tidewater area became colonized, the frontier moved to the Appalachian Mountains. After the French and Indian War, and more so the American Revolution, the frontier moved to the Mississippi River. After the Mississippi, the next frontier line was the western borders of Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas—where those moving beyond were entering “Indian Territory.” After “Indian Territory” it was the Rocky Mountains and then the Pacific Ocean.

Each frontier was different, for example, the first fur trader was met by Indians with bows and arrows. By the time the farmer came, all the Indians were armed with rifles—and they had probably already been cheated by a white man. This relationship agrees with the concept that the French frontier was dominated by the trading post, while the English frontier was dominated by farmers.

Pittsburgh was at  the western edge of the tidewater frontier and then became the eastern terminus of the Mississippi River frontier. Some historians believe that each frontier acts as a glacial movement leaving a cultural moraine in its track. Pittsburgh is said to have a remnant of Eastern culture mixed with an introduction to Mid-West attitudes and customs.

Start Westward. Front Street park in Marietta, OH. Photos by compiler. Enlarged plaque and enlarged statue

Nearby stone."Memorial to the Start Westward. This group of Revolutionary and pioneer figures represents the start of American Government west of the thirteen original states. Mt.Rushmore's Gutzon Borglum sculptured, from native sandstone, the memorial which was dedicated at the Sesquicentennial by President Franklin D. Roosevelt commemorating the Bicentennial. The Marietta Kiwanis Club has added the flags of the six states formed from the Northwest Territory, our National Flag, and provided permanent illumination. July 15, 1988."

(See Backcountry.)

 

Frontier War. The large-scale wars in western PA and VA during the French and Indian War were fought with regular army personnel, militia, and Indians on one or on both sides—Fort Necessity, Battle of the Monongahela, and the lead-up to Forbes’ capture of Fort Duquesne. On the other side of the scale—the small fights were almost all Indian versus settler. Occasionally the Indians might have a French officer with them. The frontier wars were not a series of small encounters of a French military unit meeting a British unit and having it out. Unfortunately, on the frontier the war was pretty much “Indian vs. settler.” The frontier war in PA and VA resulted in around 2,000 deaths and left a lingering anti-government attitude on the part of the settler who witnessed a lack of interest and help from the colonial governments (especially PA). As farms and settlements were attacked with their horses, cattle, pigs, and other animals killed, many settlers moved back to eastern PA. The attacks moved east and crossed the Susquehanna River into Berks County. As settlers abandoned their farms, others moved west and claimed the land.

The French in conjunction with mostly Shawnee and Delaware carried on attacks against frontier farms following a designed pattern: identify isolated farms or settlements, wait for the harvest period when the men would be occupied with tools in the open fields, use the natural cover of the surrounding woodlands, kill the men and boys in the fields, attack and kill the animals, capture the women and small children in the cabins, set fire to everything that would burn, and depart before help could arrive. This procedure was carried out during the 1750s all the way to the 1770s.

The Indians were more often on the side of the French. Part of this was that the Indians believed the French would allow them to maintain their lifestyle and not invade their land and build fences. The British, on the other hand, thought the Indians too expensive to support as a friend, not a dependable ally in war, and capable of deplorable treatment of captives after the battle is won. The dilemma was that, as bad as the Indian was as a friend, he was worse as an enemy.

(See Burnt Cabins, Cheat, Fort Granville above, Great Cove Massacre, Captain Jacobs, Shingas, Squatters, and Sarah Utter.)

 

Fry. Colonel Joshua Fry. (1700-1754). Oxford educated engineer. Mapmaker. Mathematics professor at the College of William and Mary. Served as a burgess in Virginia. Charted the border between Virginia and North Carolina. He was a colonel in the VA militia and visited Logstown in 1752 with James Patton and Lunsford Lomax to meet with Chief Shannopin and others. Christopher Gist and George Croghan are reported to have attended the meeting. Fry was appointed by Governor Dinwiddie to lead the Virginia regiment in its expedition to the forks of the Ohio River in the spring of 1754. He died on May 30, 1754 en route (at Wills Creek) when he fell from his horse. This accident resulted in the “field” promotion of George Washington to full colonel; however, Dinwiddie designated Colonel James Innes of North Carolina to be commander of the expedition. The fact that Innes was not in the theater made Washington the de facto commander.

 

 

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