Historical Markers
Fort Prince George Historical Marker
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Fort Prince George

Pittsburgh Region


Marker Location:
Point State Park, Pittsburgh

Dedication Date:
May 8, 1959

Behind the Marker

Once local Indians granted permission to build a fortified storehouse at the Forks of the Ohio, the Ohio Company of Virginia moved quickly to pre-empt a French occupation there. markerChristopher Gist, acting as the Company's agent, had promised the Indians that the post would supply them with a plentiful trade. He and his employers also expected it to serve as the nucleus for British settlement in the region.

Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia threw his influence behind the Ohio Company, creating a marriage between private land speculators and government power that he expected to cement Virginia's claim to the Ohio Country. With the assistance of the Virginia House of Burgesses, he granted military commissions to key Ohio Company agents and recruited militiamen to defend the Forks of the Ohio from French intrusion.
A detail from this antique map shows the location of Fort Prince George, then known as "Trent's Fort." The map marks the location as "...Trent drove out by French 1754." The French burned the existing, unfinished structure, and built Fort Duquesne in its place.
A detail from this antique map shows the location of Fort Prince George, then...

Construction began under the supervision of Ohio Company agent William Trent in February 1754. "Trent's Fort," as the post was known, was still unfinished when 500 French troops with artillery pieces in tow arrived at the site in April. Outnumbered by more than 10 to 1, the Virginians took the generous terms for surrender offered by the French and vacated the post. The French immediately set to work building a much larger structure, markerFort Duquesne, and burned Trent's Fort in July.

The name "Fort Prince George" was not attached to this site until September 1754, when Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia proposed it in a letter to his London superiors. By that time, the French were well entrenched at the Forks and the Ohio Company's plans had been reduced to a smoking ruin. Fort Prince George would never be more than a hopeful figment of Dinwiddie's imagination.

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