Historical Markers
Fort LeBoeuf Historical Marker
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Fort LeBoeuf

Lake Erie Region


Marker Location:
US 19 in Waterford

Dedication Date:
November 1946

Behind the Marker

This fort was the second in a series of posts that the French built between spring 1753 and summer 1754 to assert their possession of the Ohio Country. These four posts markerFort Presque Isle, Fort LeBoeuf, markerFort Machault, and markerFort Duquesne ran from Lake Erie to the Forks of the Ohio; they represented the last links in France's effort to connect its dominions in Canada with those in the Illinois Country and Louisiana.
The rebuilt Fort LeBoeuf was burned by Indians during Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763. This etching shows the dramatic escape of the commanding officer, Ensign Price, and some of his men, through a hole they hewed through the back wall of the fort.
The rebuilt Fort LeBoeuf was burned by Indians during Pontiac's Rebellion in...

Fort LeBoeuf (modern Waterford, Pennsylvania) guarded the southern end of the portage road between Lake Erie and French Creek, which ran to the Allegheny River. It served as a French trading post and garrison until 1759, when the fall of Fort Niagara forced the French to abandon the Ohio Country. The British occupied the site until June 1763, when Ohio Indians angered by the British failure to withdraw from their homelands overwhelmed the garrison there during Pontiac's Rebellion.

The most famous encounter at Fort LeBoeuf took place between Virginia militia officer markerGeorge Washington and the French commander of the post, Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, in December 1753. Washington delivered a message from the governor of Virginia, ordering the French to remove themselves from British land, but the French officer politely declined. He sent Washington trudging home through the snow and ice, but not before the young Virginian had taken the opportunity to record a description of the post, marker in case the British might need to remove the French by force.

The French destroyed this post when they retreated from the Ohio Valley in 1759, but the British rebuilt it a year later. It fell to Indians during Pontiac's Rebellion in June 1763.

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