Fort Duquesne
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (June 2008) Fort Duquesne Pittsburgh = Fort Duquesne as it appeared in 1755 Type Fort Built 1754 In use 1774-1778 Controlled by New France; Great Britain Fort Duquesne (originally called Fort Du Quesne, and pronounced "du-kane") was a fort established by the French in 1754, at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in what is now downtown Pittsburgh in the state of Pennsylvania. It was destroyed and replaced by Fort Pitt in 1758; over two centuries later, the site formerly occupied by Fort Duquesne is now Point State Park. Contents
  • 1 Background
  • 2 Fort's construction and replacement
  • 3 Present-day site
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
[ edit] Background French forts, 1753 and 1754 19th century illustration of Boner, by Alfred Waud. v • d • e Seven Years' War in North America: The French and Indian War Jumonville Glen – Fort Necessity – Gulf of St. Lawrence – Fort Beauséjour – Monongahela – Petitcodiac – Lake George – Fort Bull – Sideling Hill – Great Cacapon – Lunenburg – Fort Oswego – Kittanning – 1st Snowshoes – Sabbath Day Point – Fort William Henry – Louisbourg (1757) – Bloody Creek – German Flatts – 2nd Snowshoes – Fort Carillon – Louisbourg (1758) – Fort Frontenac – Fort Duquesne – Fort Ligonier – St.John River – La Belle-Famille – Fort Niagara – Fort Ticonderoga – Beauport – Quebec – St. Francis – Sainte-Foy – Restigouche – Thousand Islands – Signal Hill Fort Duquesne, built at a point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers come together to form the Ohio River, was long seen as important for controlling the Ohio Country [1 ] , both for settlement and for trade. Englishman William Trent had established a highly successful trading post at the forks as early as the 1740s, to do business with a number of nearby American Indian villages. Both the French and the British were keen to gain advantage in the area. As the area was within the drainage basin of the Mississippi River, the French claimed it as theirs. Many of the charters of the British colonies on the east coast of North America granted land indefinitely to the west, setting the scene for conflict. In the early 1750s, the French commenced construction of a line of forts, starting with Fort Presque Isle on Lake Erie near present-day Erie, Pennsylvania, followed by Fort Le Boeuf, about 15 miles inland near present-day Waterford, and Fort Machault, on the Allegheny River in Venango County in present-day Franklin. Lieutenant Governor of the Virginia Colony, Robert Dinwiddie, saw this as threatening to the extensive claims to land in the area by Virginians (including himself). In late autumn 1753, Dinwiddie dispatched a young envoy named George Washington to the area to deliver a letter to the French commander, asking them to leave, and to assess French strength and intentions. Washington reached Fort Le Boeuf in December and was politely rebuffed by the French. [ edit] Fort's construction and replacement Following Washington's return to Virginia in January 1754, Dinwiddie sent Virginians to build Fort Prince George at the forks. Work began on the fort on February 17. By April 18, a much larger French force arrived at the forks, forcing the small British garrison there to surrender. The French knocked down the tiny British fort and built Fort Duquesne, named in honor of Marquis Duquesne, the governor-general of New France. The fort was built on the same model as Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario. Even though location at the Forks of the Ohio looked strong on paper, controlling the confluence of three rivers, reality was rather different. The site was low and swampy, and prone to flooding. In addition, the position was dominated by nearby highlands, which would allow an enemy to bombard the fort with ease. The French commander, Claude-Pierre Pécaudy de Contrecœur, was preparing to abandon the fort in the face of Braddock's advance in 1755, and was only saved when the advancing British force was annihilated (see below). When the Forbes expedition approached in 1758, the French were not as lucky. Washington, who had been promoted to Lt. Colonel of the newly created Virginia Regiment, left on April 2 as part of a small force with the dual purpose of constructing a road and defending the fort upon their arrival. Washington was at Wills Creek in south central Pennsylvania when he received news of the surrender of Fort Prince George. On May 25, Washington assumed command of the expedition upon the death of Colonel Joshua Fry. Two days later, Washington encountered a French scouting party near a place now known as Jumonville Glen (several miles east of present-day Uniontown). Washington attacked the French, some of whom escaped, and then ordered construction of Fort Necessity at a large clearing known as the Great Meadows. On July 3, the counterattacking French forced Washington to surrender Fort Necessity but allowed Washington and his men to return home without their armaments. The French held Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War, and it became one of the focal points for that war because of its strategic location. The French held the fort successfully early in the war, turning back the expedition led by General Edward Braddock. George Washington served as one of General Braddock's aides. A smaller attack by James Grant in September 1758 was repulsed with heavy losses. Two months later, on November 25, the Forbes Expedition under General John Forbes captured the site after the French destroyed Fort Duquesne the day before. The British built a much larger fort on the site, and named it Fort Pitt. [ edit] Present-day site At Point State Park, bricks mark the outline of the former site of Fort Duquesne. Fort Duquesne was located where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio. The location in downtown Pittsburgh is now known as Point State Park or "the Point." The park includes a brick outline of the fort's walls. In May 2007, Thomas Kutys, an archaeologist with A.D. Marble & Company, a Cultural Resource Management firm based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, rediscovered a stone and brick drain thought to have drained one of the fort's many buildings. Due to its depth in the ground, this drain may be all of the fort that has survived. The entire northern half of the site the fort is thought to have occupied was destroyed by the heavy industrial usage of the area in the 19th century. [1] [ edit]

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