“A Map of the Land about Red Stone and Fort Pitt,” Used by George Washington


This pen-and-ink manuscript map contains several handwritten annotations by George Washington. A note on the back in Washington’s hand reads: “A map of the land abt. Red Stone and Fort Pitt, given to me by Cap. Crawfd.” Washington’s annotations on the map itself indicate place-names, the boundaries of large tracts of land, and the initials of their owners. The map covers the watershed of the Ohio River in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The author and date are not known, but the map appears to have been made sometime between 1758 and 1771. The annotations date from about 1780, during the Revolutionary War, when Washington was commander of the Continental Army. Fort Pitt was built by the British in 1759–61 during the French and Indian War. It stood on the site of Fort Duquesne, built by the French in 1754 and abandoned and destroyed by them in 1758. In the Revolutionary War, Fort Pitt was an important strategic post in the western theater of the conflict. Red Stone probably refers to a stockade built in 1759 on a hill overlooking the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh that came to be called Fort Burd, which stood on the same site as an earlier fortification called Redstone Old Fort.

Last updated: February 22, 2016