Fort Duquesne

Variant name of place

Fort Pitt

Geographic position

40.4411° N, 80.0090° W


General note

Fort Duquesne is located where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio River in modern-day Pittsburgh. In 1754 the French established Fort Duquesne, which was previously a British trading post, and named it after the Governor General of New France from 1752 to 1755, Ange de Menneville, marquis de Duquesne. Fort Duquesne was strategically important for the French during the French and Indian War, both in controlling the Ohio territories and in serving as a base from which the French launched Indian attacks on the British. In 1758, the French commander of Fort Duquesne blew up the fort in anticipation of its capture by the advancing British. This deprived the British of the fort and its supplies, but the British gained the land. The British rebuilt their own fort and named it Fort Pitt. In the mid 1770s, the British renamed it Fort Dunmore, but the colonists quickly changed the name back to Fort Pitt after declaring their independence. In a letter to Wheelock in 1766, Whitaker indicates that others have suggested Fort Duquesne or Cohos as a potential new location for the Indian Charity School. Although the fort would have been called Fort Pitt at this time, Whitaker is using the fort’s previous name in his letter.