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beyond them, wrapped in the silent splendor of unbroken forests, which, in extent, beauty, and magnificence, far exceeded the territories which had previously been subdued by our ancestors, at so great an expenditure of life and wealth. They were perhaps not even aware that the French were even then building forts and villages, planting the grape, and playing the violin, upon the borders of the Mississippi. Still less could they foresee the changes which a century would produce; that great states would grow up beyond these mountains, upon which with so much triumph they drank his majesty's health — that stages and pleasure-carriages would be rapidly whirled over these Alpine precipices —and that fashionable parties would resort in crowds to watering places in the romantic valleys of the Alleghany chain.
In 1739, at the commencement of the war between Great Britain and Spain, Spotswood, who was no longer governor, was placed at the head of the colonial troops of Virginia, and assured that his favorite project of occupying the regions watered by the Ohio, should be carried into immediate operation. Some preparations were made, and the spirit of adventure was again awakened in Virginia, but the. death of Spotswood caused the enterprise to be abandoned.
The situation of Pittsburgh, at the head of the Ohio, and at the confluence of the Monongahela and Alleghany rivers, was probably first noticed for its military, rather than its commercial advantages. When the French determined to establish a chain of posts from Canada to Louisiana, one of the
most important was Fort Du Quesne, situated at this point. It did not escape the military eye of Washington, when he visited this country several years before the revolution, on a mission from the government of Virginia; and, in his despatches, he spoke of its importance with a prophetic spirit. During the struggle, which is commonly called 6 Braddock's war," in 1755, Fort Du Quesne changed masters, and the English abandoning the original work, which was probably a mere stockade, built a more regular fortification on a site immediately adjoining, which they named Fort Pitt. This post, erected on a low point of land, and commanded by hills on every side, would appear to a soldier of the present day to have been untenable, and consequently useless; nor can the reasons of its original establishment, and subsequent importance, be ascertained, without recurring to the history of those times. As a place of deposit for military stores it possessed singular advantages, in the facilities which it afforded for their transportation, as there is no other spot from which they could have been distributed with equal celerity, or over so large an extent of country. Nor was its situation with regard to defence, so desperate as we might at first imagine. It is to be recollected, that in those days there was little or no artillery west of the mountains; and that it was considered as almost impossible to pass the Alleghany ridge with a carriage of any description. There was little reason to apprehend that any ordnance would be brought to assail the ramparts of that insulated fortress, which seemed destined to assert the sway
Britain over a boundless wilderness. But, notwithstanding this imaginary security, the works, of which there are extensive ruins still visible, seem to have been built after the usual fashion of that period, and to have had the strength, as well as the form, of a regular fortification. A bomb-proof magazine was extant, a few years ago, in good preservation. This fort is said to have been built by Lord Stanwin, and to have cost the British government sixty thousand pounds sterling. As it would seem, by placing it at this exposed spot, that an attack by artillery was not apprehended; and as, if such an attack had been made, resistance would have been in vain, it is difficult to conceive what could have been the motives of the builders in giving it such strength and regularity. We must either suppose that their military habits prevailed over the better dictates of prudence, or that they intended to impress their Indian neighbors with an exalted opinion of their security and power. It is said, that shortly after the English took possession, the Indian traders built a row of fine brick houses, on the margin of the Alleghany, but that their foundations were sapped by the encroachments of the river; no vestige of them remains. About the year 1760, a small town was built near Fort Pitt, which contained nearly two hundred souls; but on the breakiņg out of the Indian war, in 1763, the inhabitants retired into the fort, and their dwellings were suffered to fall into decay. The British officers had some fine gardens here, called the
King's,” and “ Artillery gardens,” and large orchards of choice fruit; the old inhabitants of the
present town recollect them; but there are now no remains cf these early attempts at luxury and comfort.
After Fort Pitt came into the possession of the Americans, it was occupied but for a short time, when the garrison was removed to a spot about a mile further up, on the Alleghany river, where a picket-work and block-houses were erected, and called Fort Fayette. This post was occupied by the United States' troops until the erection, within a few years past, of the arsenal, two miles further up.
Pittsburgh was first laid out in the year 1765; it was afterwards laid out, surveyed, and completed on its present plan, in 1784, by Colonel George Woods, by order of Tench Francis, Esq. attorney for John Penn, and John Penn, junior. The increase of the town was not rapid until the year 1793, in consequence of the inroads of the savage tribes, which impeded the growth of the neighboring settlements. The western insurrection, more generally known as the “ Whisky War," once more made this the scene of commotion, and is said to have given Pittsburgh a new and reviving impulse, by throwing a considerable sum of money into circulation. Since that time it has increased rapidly, and a few years ago was erected into a city.
In 1765, John Carver explored the western country, confining himself chiefly to the regions in the vicinity of the northern lakes. He was a native of Connecticut, and a captain in the British army. After having spent two years and a half in dangerous and painful wanderings, and traveled seven thousand miles, he went to England with his family, in 1769, indulging the expectation of being rewarded for his labors. But the difficulties then existing between Great Britain and her colonies, induced the former to suppress every thing that tended to give information of the power, wealth, and future prospects of this country; and Captain Carver obtained merely a reimbursement of the sums he had actually expended on his travels, on condition of delivering up the original journals to the Board of Trade. He took care, however, to keep a copy, which he published several years afterwards.
Lord Dunmore marched an army to the Ohio, near the mouth of the Kanawha, in 1774, and fought a bloody engagement with an Indian army, composed of the Shawanoe, Delaware, Mingo, and other tribes. This campaign is more usually known as 6 Lewis's Expedition,” from a Virginia gentleman of that name, who was the active and conspicuous leader, although Dunmore was the nominal commander. The Indian force assembled here, was not less than a thousand warriors, a body more numerous than they have usually been able to collect at any one point against the whites. It was after this battle, that Logan, a chief of the Delawares, sent to Lord Dunmore the speech which has rendered his name so celebrated, and which is considered as one of the finest displays of eloquence upon record. Mr. Jefferson, who preserved this beautiful effusion of native feeling in his Notes on Virginia, has been accused of palming upon the world a production of his own, by those who had no other ground for the suspicion, than the force and feeling of the composition itself, and who forgot