Pittsburgh: The Story of a City

Pittsburgh: The Story of a City

Pittsburgh: The Story of a City

Pittsburgh: The Story of a City

Excerpt

This book is not for historians. If the formal history of Pittsburgh has not been sufficiently set forth, let no one seek to find a remedy here. This volume, rather, endeavors to draw for the general reader an impressionistic picture of the city's development; mass effects have been sought rather than minutiae, however significant, and feeling, drama, and atmosphere rather than textbook completeness. If in this search certain obscure facts have been romantically expanded for dramatic effect (such as Washington's dinner party in Semple's tavern) yet nothing essential or statistical has been altered. To save labor for those who would seek the sources on the section devoted to the beginning of the Revolution let it be understood that the account is conjectural beyond a few basic facts. And here I must also apologize to the shade of Lewis Evans. I have so distorted his Analysis that he could scarcely hope to recognize it, and in addition I have inserted many a brick from writers contemporary with Evans and have bound them together with modern mortar.

In an endeavor to show how Pittsburgh developed I have deliberately used most of the allotted space on the history of the city before the Civil War, instead of trying to tread too closely upon an ever receding present that might serve as a more logical stopping point. It may as well be confessed here that one reason for the adoption of this policy was the difficulty of collecting suitable material in the time allotted for the task; another comes from the fact that we are so close to the figures and events of the period since the Civil War that it is almost impossible to evaluate their places in Pittsburgh's progress as accurately as can be done with those in the more distant past.

Locations of important places and events have been placed as accurately as existing data allowed, and choice has been made as carefully as possible when authorities disagreed. Anyone who definitely locates slips will confer a favor by communicating them to the author. The policy has been adopted of considering the streets that run part way from river to river as north and south . . .

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