1770 Construction Tool Order for Fort Pitt


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This is an original  handwritten order for construction tools to be delivered at the British Fort, Fort Pitt, from a trading firm. They would have been used to maintain and construct fort defenses and structures.

This was just before George Washington’s visit, which he described….

In 1770, George Washington visited Pittsburgh on his way to inspect land holdings in Ohio. He arrived at Fort Pitt on October 17. He spent the afternoon inspecting the garrison, the fort and the outlying structures, then lodged in town at the home of a friend, Mr. Semple. Washington described the small town of Pittsburgh in his journal:

“The houses, which are built of logs, and ranged in streets, are on the Monongahela, and I suppose maybe about twenty in number, and inhabited by Indian traders. The fort is built on the point between the rivers Allegany and Monogahela, but not so near the pitch of it as Fort Duquesne stood. It is five-sided and regular, two of which near the land are of brick, the others stockade. A moat encompasses it. The garrison consists of two companies of Royal Irish, commanded by Captain Charles E. Edmondson.

Fort Pitt - 1762
Fort Pitt and the village of Pittsborough in 1762.

The following day Washington dined in the fort with Colonel Croghan and the officers of the garrison. “Supped there also, he wrote, “meeting with great civility, from the gentlemen.”

Washington spent the next day meeting with native leaders. The White Mingo and other chiefs of the Six Nations wanted reassurances of the British desire for peaceful cohabitation and trade relations.

To this Washington replied “that all the injuries and affronts, that had passed on either side, were now totally forgotten, and that I was sure nothing was more wished and desired by the people of Virginia, than to live in the strictest friendship with them; that the Virginians were a people not so much engaged in trade as the Pennsylvanians, which was the reason of their not being so frequently among them; but that it was possible they might for the time to come have stricter connexions with them, and that I would acquaint the government with their desires.”

Washington and his traveling companions left Pittsburgh the following day for the Ohio Country, returning to Fort Pitt on the afternoon of November 21. After another two-day stay, and “defraying the sundry expenses accruing at Pittsburg(h),” he left for his trip home to Virginia.