: This engraving features a sketch of Fort McIntosh, which was established in 1778 near present-day Beaver, Pennsylvania. The log fort is situated on a bluff above the Ohio River, slightly less than a mile below the mouth of the Beaver River. Paths zigzag down the bluff to the river. The fort itself consists of logs placed horizontally; a flag attached to a flagpole is waving high above the palisade. A caption below the drawing reads: “View of Fort McIntosh.”
The western wilderness played a major role in American, British, and American Indian strategy during the American Revolution. In May 1778, General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, ordered Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh to establish a new fort in the Western Department, one of the regional divisions within the Continental Army. The Western Division included the area that would become the Northwest Territory, including the future state of Ohio. The French engineer who designed the fort, Chevalier DeCambray, named it in honor of its new commander.
During the American Revolution, Fort McIntosh had the largest assembly of troops west of the Alleghenies. Originally the fort was intended to be the starting point for an offensive against the British garrison at Detroit and against the Wyandot Indians. At the time, most American Indians residing in the Ohio Country allied themselves with the British. Although they were neutral in the conflicts, the Christian Delaware Indians were among the few natives who were friendly to the Americans.
During November 1778, McIntosh decided not to carry out his orders due to the winter months that lay ahead. Rather he decided to wait until the warmer spring months before conducting his attacks. Instead, he ordered the construction of a fort along the Tuscarawas River (Fort Laurens, near modern-day Bolivar, Ohio) to help his men survive the harsh winter weather. Fort Laurens was Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort.
In 1785 Fort McIntosh was the site of meeting where a treaty was signed by representatives of the Continental Congress and by American Indian tribal leaders from the Chippewa, Delaware, Ottawa, and Wyandot. They signed a treaty that surrendered control of American Indian lands in southern and eastern Ohio to the United States government. Most Indians rejected the validity of the treaty, and rather than improving relations, the Treaty of Fort McIntosh only intensified existing tensions between the United States government and the Indian tribes.
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06155 Subjects
: McIntosh, Lachlan, 1725-1806; Treaties; Fortification--Pennsylvania; American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783 Places
: Beaver (Pennsylvania)