Fort Duquesne

Fort Duquesne (dəkānˈ, dō–) [key], at the junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers, on the site of Pittsburgh, SW Pa. Because of its strategic location, it was a major objective in the last of the French and Indian Wars. The fort was begun by a group of Virginians in 1754 at the insistence of Gov. Robert Dinwiddie. The French drove the Virginians away on Apr. 17, 1754, and completed the fort; they named it after the Marquis de Duquesne, governor-general of New France. George Washington's Virginia militia had failed to reach the fort before the arrival of the French (see Fort Necessity). Fort Duquesne was also the goal of an unsuccessful expedition under English Gen. Edward Braddock in 1755. On Nov. 24, 1758, the French abandoned their position without a fight to advancing British troops led by Gen. John Forbes and retreated north after burning Fort Duquesne. The English rebuilt it and renamed it Fort Pitt, around which Pittsburgh grew.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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