Lake Erie Region
8th and Elk Streets (on US 322), Franklin
October 10, 1971
Fort Venango was essentially a large blockhouse with earthwork defenses. It was much smaller than Fort 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, " 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.
Charles M. Stotz, Outposts of the War for Empire: The French and English in Western Pennsylvania: Their Armies, Their Forts, Their People, 1749-1764 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press), 1985.