Whiskey Rebels: The Story of a Frontier Uprising

By Leland D. Baldwin | Go to book overview

Chapter II: "Gentlemen of Respectability" -- and Others

THE metropolis of the Monongahela country in 1794 was the little tree-shaded village of Pittsburgh, situated in the triangular flood plain between the forks of the Ohio. Just across the Allegheny River lay the edge of the wild and mysterious "Indian country," from which occasionally there still emerged bands of savages to harry outlying settlements and to give Pittsburgh itself more than one night of terror. Across the Monongahela River rose the high bluff known as Coal Hill because of its outcropping veins of coal, which were mined to furnish the village and the country down river with fuel. In the narrow strip between the river and the bluff nestled several small dwellings shaded by graceful white-barked sycamores. Back of the town rose the green slope of Grant's Hill, so called because it was there that the troops under Major Grant were cut to pieces by the French and Indians in 1758. Here a Frenchman named Jean Marie kept a tavern, and its grassy environs with their beautiful shade trees, well kept gardens, and graveled walks made it the local show place and the chief resort of the townsmen on pleasant afternoons and evenings.

Since its foundation as an English settlement in November, 1758, Pittsburgh had grown from scratch to a population of

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