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idea was subsequently made effective by an Act of Congress. His attitude against the participation of the United States in the League of Nations was irreconcilable. He is reported to have said that if he was the only man in the Senate to do so he would vote against the approval of the Treaty of Versailles which included the League of Nations. He early took the position that it was futile to impose upon Germany such indemnities as would be destructive of that nation. These views did not make for his popularity. Probably no man cared as little for popularity as he did. Right or wrong, the people of the United States later came to adopt his principles in relation to the League of Nations.
It is said that he twice was offered and declined the position of Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Twice he was seriously mentioned as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States.
The University of Pennsylvania gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1906, Yale University in 1907 and Villa Nova in 1909.
He died suddenly at his home in Washington on the evening of October 12, 1921, in his sixty-ninth year. He left to survive him his widow, Lillian Smith Knox, the daughter of Andrew G. Smith of Pittsburgh, whom he had married on February 29, 1876, three sons and a daughter. He had established a beautiful home at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, which he left by his will to his daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Knox Tindel.
This is the short record of a useful and successful life. In recent years no son of Pennsylvania has left a record so marked by the luster of personal ability and by the splendor of achievement.
TEN YEARS ON HISTORIC GROUND.
Early and Later Days at the Pittsburgh Point.
REV. MORGAN M. SHEEDY, D.D.*
Down at the corner of Third Avenue and Ferry Street, Pittsburgh, stands the Catholic Church of Saint Mary of Mercy. It is one of the few, if not to-day, the only downtown church in that part of the city. It has an interesting history, chiefly because within the limits of the parish the first religious service in Western Pennsylvania was held during the French occupation of Fort Duquesne, as will be noted later on in this paper. It is also interesting to note that the present site of this Catholic church was the original site of the leading Presbyterian Church of the city which was destroyed in the great fire of 1845, and afterwards the Ames Methodist Episcopal Church occupied the site. In May, 1876, it became the property of the Catholic congregation at "The Point." The present building was erected and dedicated on Trinity Sunday, May 28, 1893. One cannot fail to note the significance of these religious changes. Not only in Pittsburgh, but in all our large cities the down-town churches are abandoned, leaving those people who are forced to live there without any moral or spiritual ministration.
For ten years (1885-1895) the writer of this paper was Rector of the St. Mary of Mercy Church. He had, as we shall see, a strenuous time. He succeeded the late Dr. A. A. Lambing, the well-known local historian, sometime President of this Western Pennsylvania Historical Society and always deeply interested in its work.
Immediately after taking charge of the parish I discovered two important things: First, that I was on historic ground; that in the early days two great nations, France and England, fought here for supremacy; and secondly, *Read before the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania on November 29, 1921.
that there was here an inviting field of labor for social and civic betterment. The First ward of Pittsburgh in those days had an unenviable reputation. It was the "red-light" district of the town; what is known as "the underworld" had its habitation there.
That I might know something of the early and stirring days I became a member of the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society which met then in a room of the Carnegie Library, Allegheny City, now the North Side, Pittsburgh, and I read all the local history I could find. As a result this is what I found:
Both the French and the English laid claim to the territory embracing the Western part of Pennsylvania, the former by right of La Salle's discovery, and the latter as forming a part of her colonies; and about the middle of the eighteenth century both prepared to assert their claim by force of arms. The French had already built small fortifications at Presqu'isle, on the headquarters of French Creek and at its mouth, but these principally with a view to further movements. Late in the fall of 1753, Major George Washington, whose illustrious name the reader will be pleased to find so early mentioned in the history of Pittsburgh, was appointed by Lieutenant-Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, the bearer of dispatches to the commander of the French at these posts; and on the strength of his report a small body of men was sent out under command of Captain William Trent, to throw up a fortification at "the Forks," as the land at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela was then called, a name which was soon after changed to that of "the Point," which it still bears. He arrived on the seventeenth of February, 1754, and with this date begins the permanent occupation of the site of Pittsburgh. Prior to that time it had been known among the Indians by the name De-un-da-ga. He commenced a small fortification, but before its completion the French and Indians suddenly appeared to the number of about one thousand, with eighteen cannon, in sixty batteaux and three hundred canoes, under the command of Captain Contrecoeur, having descended the Allegheny. Contrecoeur summoned Ensign Ward, who commanded in the absence of Captain Trent, to an immediate surrender. Having but
forty men in his command, nothing was left but to comply. The next day he was permitted to retire with his men up the Monongahela. The French then built a fort at the Point, to which they gave the name of Fort Duquesne, in honor of Marquis Du Quesne, Governor-General of New France. But only the garrison occupied the fort; the Indian allies and many of the French lived near it in cabins, and only retired within the enclosure when menaced by an enemy.
The following description of the fort as given by a prisoner detained there in the fall of 1756, will convey an idea of the appearance and strength of this, perhaps the most important French post at that time in the country: "It is four square, has bastions at each corner; it is about fifty yards long and about forty yards wide. About half the fort is made of square logs, and the other half, next the water, of stockades; there are entrenchments cast up all around the fort, about seven feet high, which consist of stockades driven into the ground near to each other and wattled with poles like basket-work, against which the earth is thrown up, in a gradual ascent; the steep part is next the fort, and has three steps all along the entrenchment, for the men to go up and down, to fire at an enemy; these entrenchments are about four rods from the fort and go all around, as well on the side next the water as the land; the outside of the entrenchment next to the water joins to the water. The fort has two gates, one of which opens to the land side, and the other to the water side, where the magazine is built; that to the land side is, in fact, a drawbridge which in day-time serves as a bridge for the people, and in the night is drawn up by iron chains and levers. The water sometimes rises so high as that the whole fort is surrounded with it, so that the canoes may go around it. The stockades are round logs, better than a foot over, and about eleven or twelve feet high; the joints are secured by split logs; in the stockades are loop-holes made, so as to fire slanting toward the ground. The bastions are filled with earth, solid, about eight feet high; each bastion has four carriage guns, about four pound; no swivels, nor any mortars. They have no cannon but at the bastions. The back of the barracks and buildings are
of logs about three feet distance from the logs of the fort; between the buildings and the logs of the fort it is filled with earth about eight feet high, and the logs of the fort extend about four feet higher, so that the whole height of the fort is about twelve feet. There are no pickets nor palisades on the top of the fort to defend it against scaling. There are no bogs nor morasses near the fort, but good dry ground, which is cleared for some distance from the fort, and the stumps cut closely to the ground. There are about twenty or thirty ordinary Indian cabins about the fort." ("The Olden Time," vol. I., pp. 39, 40.)
To return to the early history, the English immediately adopted measures for retaking the place, in which General Braddock was met by the French and Indians and defeated at what is now Braddock on the Monongahela, ten miles from the fort, on July 9, 1775. Major Grant met a similar fate within the present city limits on September 15, 1758. But the French seeing it impossible to resist the army advancing under General Forbes, set fire to the fort and adjacent buildings, November 24, of the same year, and withdrew to Lake Erie. The English took possession of the ruins the following day, and soon after commenced the erection of Fort Pitt from which the city was in time to take its name. The French posts in the Northwest of Pennsylvania were soon after abandoned, and the Frenca power was destroyed in Western Pennsylvania.
I shall now turn to the religious history of these early times. It is well known to every student of American history that the French soldiers and generally their Indian allies also were Catholics; and that on all their expeditions they were attended by an army chaplain, who said Mass daily in the camp, not only when there was no danger of surprise, but also in the face or in pursuit of the enemy, when haste and vigilance were necessary. We have a striking illustration of this religious custom in our own locality and at the precise period of which we are now treating. When M. De Villiers was marching against the English, who were encamped at a place within the limits of the pres