Pittsburgh and Allegheny in the Centennial Year George H Thurston, A. A. Anderson & Son, Book and Job Printers, 99 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, 1876
On the 24th day of November, 1753, no human habitation occupied the point of land where Pittsburgh has since arisen. On either side a river, flowing from nearly opposite points of the compass, swept to their junction in a grander river; from whence, in after years, ships, built of trees then growing on the banks of those two streams, sailed without hindrance down over two thousand miles of forest bordered river, to cross the waters of the great southern Gulf, and brave the storms of the oceans beyond.
For the control of this point of land the elder Pitt, and Louis XIV, were already scheming. The Indian trapper, and adventurous scout, the Jesuit gliding along the great rivers in his bark canoe, or traveling, Indian led, over the forest trails, had all brought stories, and told tales, of the wonderful country through which numerous rivers gave facilities for travel and transportation. In these facilities for commerce and transportation the statesmen of France and England saw the substratum of a wonderful empire. Looking to the control of " La Belle Rivere" with its head waters but one hundred miles from the great lakes, and three hundred miles of the sea coast as the key to it all, they placed their finger on the map where join the Allegheny and Monongahela as the point of power.
At this point, on the 24th of November, 1753 probably its only human occupant, stood one who was to wrest from the grasp of European rule the country they coveted, and be the father of the great empire those Trans-Atlantic courts foresaw such wonderful navigation facilities must create, and increase.Here then stood Washington, the projector of Pittsburgh, in thought if not in actual plan, for he records in his journal at that dateó"I think it extremely well situated for a fort, as it has absolute command of both rivers."
It is probable, that standing in the bleak November day on this point of land, his mind rapidly overran the future, and saw from the fort he had already projected, "westward the star of empire takes its way." Before him rolled the waters of a great river, sweeping to the Mexican Gulf, and giving outlet and egress to the nations of the earth. Behind him was already pressing, despite the hardships of pioneer life, and the dangers of Indian warfare, the power of emigration. "Then here he stood among primeval trees, here where the rivers meet he chose the station. And with unerring eye prophetic sees this point must be the head of navigation."
On the 17th of February, 1754, less than three months after Washington " chose the station," the fort that he projected, the embryo of Pittsburgh that was to be, saw its birth in the stockade erected by Mr. Trent; and again in less than three mouths more, on April 24th, the unfinished stockade, commanded by Ensign Ward, with forty men, was surrendered to Captain Contrecceur, who at once proceeded to erect Fort Duquesne.
Not long did the flag of France blow out clear and white before the breezes from off the Allegheny. On November 24th, 1758, just five years after Washington had stood at the point and projected the fort, the French, alarmed by the approach of General Forbes, set fire to their magazine, burnt all their improvements, and evacuated the place in boats. On the 25th of November, 1758, the remains of Fort Pitt were taken possession of by General Forbes. The army was immediately set at work erecting a small military work on the east bank of the Monongahela, and this was the first Fort Pitt, capable of holding two hundred men, from whence arose the name of Pittsburgh, as the settlement was called from the 1st of January, 1759, in the newspapers and letters of the day.