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Scenes from the French and Indian War

painted by Pittsburgh Artist Nat Youngblood

Please note that the colors reproduced on your computer screen may not match exactly those in the actual prints.  If you would like to take a closer look at them before purchasing, you may do so at World West Galleries, 56 North Main Street, Washington, PA.  If you have additional questions, please call the Trust at 412-741-2750.

Click on images for enlarged views.

Fort Pitt Museum Entrance Mural

Fort Pitt Museum Entrance Mural

Actual image size: 17" x 18"  -  $135


From their seats of power in Paris and London, two foreign nations contested the land beyond the mountains in the New World.  The native owner of the land, the Indian, was now an ally, now an enemy, but always the tragic figure in the unequal struggle.  All three were victors in their time, all losers in the end.


Arrival of the French

Arrival of the French

Actual image size: 19" x 26"  -  $185


The French occupied the forks of the Ohio from 1754 to 1758.  In April 1754 a flotilla of 60 bateaux and 300 canoes had just arrived from Canada by way of the Allegheny river.  The Force of 500 French and Indians landed without resistance, set up two of their 18 cannon, and demanded the surrender of the little British garrison of 41 workmen and soldiers.  After a brief parlay, the French graciously agreed to permit the men to leave with their tools and arms.  The little fort which consisted of nothing more than a log house to store traded Indian goods surrounded by a stockade bore the impressive name Fort Prince George.  It had been built on order of the Ohio company, a group of Virginia gentlemen and land speculators who had hoped to establish possession before the French arrived.  The French proceeded to build Fort Duquesne and maintain control of the Ohio valley until November 1758.


Troops Assembling at Fort Bedford

Troops Assembling at Fort Bedford

Actual image size: 15" x 20"  -  $165


Victory for the British came in 1758.  In November, General John Forbes seized Fort Duquesne and drove the French from the Ohio Valley forever.  To accomplish this task, the army had to make its own road through 100 miles of forests, swamps and mountains.  During the summer of 1758 Forbes assembled an army of 2000 British regulars at Fort Bedford.  There were also 4000 poorly trained and badly equipped provincial troops, (George Washington led the Virginia regiment).  The incomparable Colonel Henry Bouquet assumed immediate command under Forbes who was fatally ill and had to be carried by stretcher most of the way.


Army Train Ascending the Allegheny Front

Army Train Ascending the Allegheny Front

Actual image size: 15" x 20"  -  $165


The troops moved westward in late August.  The mountain grades were steep and rough and subject to landslides.  800 axemen at a time labored to build the road.  Men and horses weakened by overwork, exposure, poor food and infectious disease were reduced to exhaustion.  Few expeditions in frontier history required more sustained effort and physical hardship.  The road later became known as the Forbes road and eventually Route 30.


Construction of Fort Ligonier

Construction of Fort Ligonier

Actual image size: 15" x 20"  -  $165


Fortified forts were built at strategic locations for storage of supplies and to provide refuge if necessary.  The most important of these forts was Fort Ligonier, halfway to Fort Duquesne.  This typical wilderness fort was made of earth, stone and timber that lay about.  Here the army was gradually assembled after crossing the mountains from Fort Bedford.  The French and Indians attacked Fort Ligonier on October 12th and 13th but were repelled.


Grant’s Engagement

Grant's Engagement

Actual image size: 15" x 20"  -  $165


On September 9th, Major James Grant with 800 men, most of them Highlanders, suffered a humiliating defeat.  He was ordered to reconnoiter Fort Duquesne and take some prisoners, but to avoid open conflict.  However, when Grant came within sight of the fort without being detected by the French, he became overly confident and rashly decided to attack.  After carefully arranging his troops on the densely wooded hillside, he signaled his advance with his drummers, whereupon the French and Indians swarmed from their fort in overwhelming numbers, surrounded the British and inflicted a loss of 270, including prisoners.  The general area of this engagement is marked by present day Grant Street, named for the reckless Scot.


Forbes Arrives at Fort Duquesne

Forbes Arrives at Fort Duquesne

Actual image size: 15" x 20"  -  $165


The Indians celebrated Grant's defeat by returning to their homes to enjoy their loot.  Although the defection of their Indian allies was a gain for the British, the defeat of Grant was disheartening.  Forbes called a staff meeting on November 11th when it was decided to stay the winter at Fort Ligonier.  However, this decision was reversed a few days later when the true weakness of Fort Duquesne and its garrison was discovered.

The French were prepared to abandon Fort Duquesne if they could not defeat the British before they arrived at the Forks of the Ohio.  Now with the British but one day away, they knew their cause to be hopeless.  Destroying Fort Duquesne with fire and explosives, the French left by the rivers, never to return.

On his arrival Forbes described Fort Duquesne as a scene of “total desolation and wreckage”.  A letter from General John Forbes to Prime Minister William Pitt bore the significant heading “Pittbourgh, November 27th, 1758”.  Thus was Pittsburgh christened.  Forbes wrote: “sir, I do myself the Honour of acquainting you that it has pleased God to crown His Majesty's Arms with Success over all His Enemies upon the Ohio...I have used the Freedom of giving your name to Fort Duquesne.”

Forbes went on to predict that this newly-won territory “will soon be the richest and most fertile of any possessed by the British in North America”.  Within two years the completed Fort Pitt, largest fortification of great Britain in America, stood as the symbol of British sovereignty over the “land beyond the mountains”.