Fort Prince George, aka Trent’s Fort – February 1754

Fort Prince George, aka Trent’s Fort, was established at the Forks of Ohio River, on what is now the site of Pittsburgh, at the confluence of the Allegheny aand Monongahela Rivers. It was the first of five forts to be established there. Originally a trading post established by Ohio Company trader William Trent in the 1740s. construction of the fort, named for the crown prince (and later King George III), was begun in January 1754 by 41 Virginians, commanded by Trent, now commissioned as a militia captain. Occupancy of these strategic forks was the desire of Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie, on the advice of Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, who, while on a mission for Dinwiddie in late1753 to warn French commanders they were on English territory, had made a military assessment of the site. The fort never got completed, as, on April 17, 1754, 600 French soldiers and Indians led by Claude-Pierre Pécaudy de Contrecœur, arrived with at least four cannons, demanding surrender of the fort. As both Trent and his second in command were absent, this unfortunate action fell upon Ensign Edward Ward to accomplish.

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