Fort Pitt

Variant name of place

Fort Duquesne

Geographic position

40.4411° N, 80.0090° W


Stotz, Charles Morse. Outposts Of The War For Empire: The French And English In Western Pennsylvania: Their Armies, Their Forts, Their People 1749-1764. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. Print.’s-war.

General note

Fort Pitt is located where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio River in modern-day Pittsburgh. The fort was built from 1759 to 1762 near what was previously Fort Duquesne. The French established Fort Duquesne in 1754 and named it after the Governor-General of New France from 1752 to 1755, Ange de Menneville, marquis de Duquesne. During the French and Indian War, 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 began building their own fort in 1759 to defend their newly claimed land and named it Fort Pitt in honor of Prime Minister William Pitt. The fort was completed in 1762. In 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, held council with nearby chiefs, attempting to convince them to attack every British fort in the western territories. The Indians attacked frontier forts and villages, and Fort Pitt (only one of three surviving forts in the Northwest territories) was under siege for three months until troops led by British Colonel Henry Bouquet arrived to break the siege. Colonel Bouquet was successful, ending the conflict known as Pontiac’s War. Colonel Bouquet took command of the fort and ordered its expansion. After a series of boundary and ownership disputes 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 October 1768, Jacob Johnson explains that he is trying to convince the Indians not to sell their land to potential buyers, who hope to purchase land from Fort Stanwix down to Fort Pitt. This is likely a reference to ongoing talks between the British and the Six Nations, Shawnees, Delawares, Mingos and other tribes that led to the signing of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix on November 5, 1768.