Fort Pitt Museum
From fiery protests and speeches of the 1760s and early 1770s, through the military and political events of the War of Independence, most American history buffs are more familiar with the Boston Tea Party, Patrick Henry, Independence Hall and Yorktown than Yellow Creek, Simon Girty, Vincennes and Blue Licks. And yet in many ways, the people, events and ideas of the American Revolution west of the Appalachian Mountains shaped the future course of American history just as profoundly as those from the east.
Located in Pittsburgh’s historic Point State Park, at the confluence of the Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, Fort Pitt Museum traces the story of Western Pennsylvania’s pivotal role in the conflicts that shaped America’s founding generation and the beginning of American expansion across the North American continent. The 12,000 square foot museum is filled with interactive exhibits, lifelike historical figures and original objects, art and manuscripts.
Visitors to Western Pennsylvania can retrace the steps of young George Washington in the region that shaped and prepared him for command of the Continental Army and the presidency of the United States. The triangle of land on which the city of Pittsburgh stands was the scene of many important events during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and the War of American Independence (1775-1783). Here, a young 21-year old George Washington undertook his first public duty as an emissary of the colonial Virginia government, and at nearby Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity. Washington sparked the global conflict known as the Seven Years’ War and suffered his first military defeat on July 3, 1754. Washington played a key role in the 1758 British-American expedition that drove French forces from the Forks of the Ohio, founding the city of Pittsburgh and constructing Fort Pitt.
As one of the principal bases of operation for American revolutionary forces in the west during the War of Independence, Fort Pitt played a prominent role in the events of the 1770s and 1780s. In September 1778, representatives of the fledgling United States signed the nation’s first peace treaty with a Native American nation—the Lenape or Delaware Nation. The Lenape/Delaware people played a key role in the struggles of the revolutionary era. After visiting Fort Pitt Museum, history-minded visitors will enjoy the Senator John Heinz History Center, the largest history museum in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.