George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 17 October 1770]

Wednesday 17. Doctr. Craik & myself with Captn. Crawford and others arrivd at Fort Pitt, distant from the Crossing 43½ Measurd Miles. In Riding this distance we pass over a great deal of exceeding fine Land (chiefly White Oak) especially from Sweigley Creek 1 to Turtle Creek 2 but the whole broken; resembling (as I think all the lands in this Country does) the Loudoun Land for Hills.

We lodgd in what is calld the Town—distant abt. 300 yards from the Fort at one Mr. Semples 3 who keeps a very good House of Publick Entertainment. These Houses which are built of Logs, & rangd into Streets are on the Monongahela, & I suppose may be abt. 20 in Number and inhabited by Indian Traders &ca.

The Fort is built in the point between the Rivers Alligany & Monongahela, but not so near the pitch of it as Fort Duquesne stood. It is 5 sided & regular, two of which (next the Land) are of Brick; the others Stockade. A Mote incompasses it. The Garrison consists of two Companies of Royal Irish Commanded by one Captn. Edmondson.4

1Big Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland County, Pa., flows into the Youghiogheny near present-day West Newton, Pa.

2Turtle Creek flows into the Monongahela about 12 miles above Pittsburgh.

3GW is referring to the tavern kept by Samuel Semple in Baynton, Wharton, & Morgan’s former storehouse. The tavern stood at what is now the corner of Water and Ferry streets in Pittsburgh. Apparently GW’s total expenditures for the party at Semple’s were £26 1s. 10d., which he paid 21 Nov. on his return to Fort Pitt from the Ohio (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 329).

4Capt. Charles Edmonstone of the 18th Regiment of Foot (Royal Irish). Edmonstone was still in command at Fort Pitt when British troops withdrew on General Thomas Gage’s orders, 20 Nov. 1772 (gage papers description begins Clarence Edwin Carter, comp. and ed. The Correspondence of General Thomas Gage with the Secretaries of State, 1763–1775. 2 vols. 1931–33. Reprint. Hamden, Conn., 1969. description ends , 2:638); he supervised the demolition of the fort and the sale of its materials to Pittsburgh civilians (frontier forts description begins Report of the Commission to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania. 2 vols. [Harrisburg], Pa., 1896. description ends , 2:123).

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