Historical Markers
Fort Venango Historical Marker
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Fort Venango

Lake Erie Region


Marker Location:
8th and Elk Streets (on US 322), Franklin

Dedication Date:
October 10, 1971

Behind the Marker

This 1878 map shows the positions of Fort Venango, Fort Machault and Fort Franklin at the confluence of French Creek and the Allegheny River, at what is now the city of Franklin, Pennsylvania. Fort Venango's design is detailed in the diagram on the left.
This 1878 map shows the positions of Fort Venango
The purpose of Fort Venango was to protect the passage from French Creek to the Allegheny River. The British intended for it to replace Fort Machault, which the French had destroyed when they retreated from the Ohio Valley in 1759.

Fort Venango was essentially a large blockhouse with earthwork defenses. It was much smaller than markerFort Pitt, the primary British post in the Ohio Country. Seneca Indians attacked it during Pontiac's Rebellion in June 1763 and burned it to the ground, killing its small garrison. They forced the post's commander, Lieutenant Francis Gordon, to write down their grievances concerning the British occupation of the Ohio Country before torturing him to death. When General Amherst learned of Gordon's fate, he wrote to Colonel Henry Bouquet, "marker no Punishment We can Inflict is Adequate to the Crimes of those Inhumane Villains." This remark, indicative of Amherst's hatred for Indians, reflects the tone of his exchange with Bouquet about using smallpox as a weapon against them.

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