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gence. Their doors shall ever be open to all classes and ranks on an equal basis. Their doors shall always guard against Bolshevistic influences. It is by them that the intelligence and the power of our country is to be sustained.


Sarah Killikelly's "History of Pittsburgh and Vicinity".
Bausman's "History of Beaver County.'

Crumrine's "History of Washington County.”

"A Century of Education in Pennsylvania.'' Pittsburgh Gazette 1850-1860 files.

Pittsburgh Post 1850-1860 files.

Washington Examiner 1850-1860 files.

Washington Reporter 1850-1860 files.




The first mention of the district, in definite form, where Lawrenceville is located, I find in the late Monsignor Lambing's work, "Foundation Stones of a Great Diocese" (P25).

There we are told that an expedition, headed by Captains Peter Celeron, Knight of the Royal and Military order of St. Louis, and a Frenchman, arrived at Shannopinstown, an Indian village, on the East side of the Allegheny River, or South Side as we call it, about two miles above the Forks, afterward known as the Point. Celeron has this entry in his journal: "The Iroquois inhabit this place, and an old woman of that nation is their Leader-This place is one of the prettiest that I have seen up to the present on the Beautiful River."

The next mention is in connection with the trying experiences of Major Geo. Washington as he was then, a young man about 21 years, in endeavoring to make a landing at Shannopinstown. Washington has left a record of these experiences in his journal of Dec. 27th, 1753, but I shall quote from the relation, dated Dec. 29th, 1753 of Christopher Gist, his guide: "We set out early, got to Allegheny, made a raft, and with much difficulty got over to an island a little above Shannopinstown. The Major having fallen from the raft, and my fingers being frost bitten, and the sun down, we contented ourselves upon that island. It was deep water between us and the shore, but the cold did us some service, for in the morning it was frozen hard enough for us to pass over on the ice."

Shannopinstown was at 33d Street and the Allegheny


The island referred to was Washington's Island, afterward known as Wainwright's Island.

*Read before the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society on April 25, 1922.

What Celeron said about the Lawrenceville district, and its vicinity in 1749, Isaac Harris took occasion to repeat later, though in other words, (1837) in his Pittsburgh Business Directory: "Lawrenceville is beautifully situated on the Eastern (Southern) bank of the Allegheny River, at the distance of two miles and a half from Pittsburgh and near the Greensburg Turnpike. It is just opposite Wainright Island, the spot where Gen. Washington was cast away in his first effort to cross the Allegheny, when on his mission to Fort Franklin. As a location for country seats its vicinity is not surpassed in beauty of scenery or purity of atmosphere, by any of our suburban villages, and many of our wealthy citizens have availed themselves of its facilities, whose elegant villas add much to the appearance of the place, particularly when viewed from the opposite side of the river."

After reading or hearing such descriptions of the Lawrenceville District one can hardly help exclaiming what an attractive and desirable locality to have had a home in! Such was the spot where the map I have shows what might be called the nucleus, or beginning of Lawrenceville.

It is taken from the Warrantee Atlas, page 9, in the Recorder's Office of Allegheny County, and from W. B. Foster's Plan of Lawrenceville.

They show about three hundred acres of farm land, divided as follows, among five holders: Conrad Winebiddle, patented "Good Liquor" in 1787. Samuel Ewalt, patented "Belle Fontaine" (Beautiful Fountain) in 1787. John Brandon, C. Waltham and James Irwin, patented "Good Intent" very likely the same year. James O'Hara, patented "Springfield" in 1811. John Ewalt, patented in 1818.

All these farms lay east of Two Mile Run, except that of James O'Hara, part of which lay west of it; and the most of them seemed to have been north of where Butler St. is now, and stretched along the Allegheny River.

Though the maps I have here do not show the name of Wm. B. Foster as the owner of any of the land where Lawrenceville was situated, statements made by the late Father Lambing on page 186 of his "Foundation Stones of a Great Diocese," and by Morrison Foster on page 8 of his "Biography of Stephen C. Foster," his brother, lead one to infer that he was.

Father Lambing informs us that Wm. B. Foster sold in 1816 to the Government of the United States 37 acres of land for the Arsenal.

Morrison Foster states that his father Wm. B. Foster sold 30 acres for that purpose.

Thanks to the good offices of Hon. John M. Morin I have been favored with a communication from Adjutant General P. C. Harris of the War Department, Washington, D. C., dated Aug. 15, 1921, containing the following statement: "Allegheny Arsenal was established in 1814 at latitude 40° 32′ North, longitude 80° 2′ West, on left bank of the Allegheny River, 3 miles from its mouth, and within the city limits of Pittsburgh. The reservation is supposed to contain about 38 acres.

"It appears from notes found in this office that the site of Allegheny Arsenal was selected by Captain Abraham R. Wooley, Deputy Commissioner of Ordnance, who superintended the erection of the first buildings on it, and that the site consists of parcels of land purchased at different times from different parties; the first tract, 30 acres, being purchased April 9th, 1814; to which several small tracts were added in 1831, 1833, 1837 and 1867, respectively.

"The first buildings were erected four or five years after the establishment of the Arsenal. The small tract purchased in 1867 contained a spring that supplied the garrison and workmen with water."

I had asked for a list of the commanding officers of the Arsenal from the date of its establishment, but the Adjutant General begged to be excused, saying: "It is not practicable to undertake such a compilation at this time" alleging the great pressure the Department was under as a result of urgent public business, and other causes, as the reason.

To satisfy myself on the two questions as to whether Wm. B. Foster had sold land for the Arsenal, and how much, I went to the Recorder's Office of Allegheny County and there found on record the deed showing that he had sold 30 acres to the government. This, then, is "The first tract purchased by the Government April 9th, 1914," referred to by the Adjutant General.

No doubt this purchase of land for an Arsenal attracted wide attention throughout the country, and started visions

as to the future of that locality. Consequently it is not surprising to learn that a man of the ability, foresight and enterprising spirit of Wm. Barclay Foster, prepared for the future, that evidently loomed up big before his mind, by laying out a plan for a town, which he accordingly did. But what should be its name was the next question to be settled. The name of Captain James Lawrence lingered in everyone's memory at the time, the hero, who, when in the war of 1812, he was being carried below mortally wounded on the ship he commanded, cried out: "Don't give up the ship!" The mere mention of the name was enough, when it was agreed that the town should be called Lawrenceville, and the inscription on its seal should be: "Don't give up the ship."

Quite an invasion rapidly added to the population a variety of classes of professional and business men, contractors, tradesmen and workmen, as soon as it was known the great work the government was inaugurating in the purchase of such a large tract of land, and for the purpose of the establishment of a large arsenal. They came from all directions. The name of Captain A. R. Wooley and Wm. B. Foster together with the name of the new town of Lawrenceville no doubt also served as an incentive.

Captain Wooley, superintendent in the preparation of the grounds and, subsequently, the erection of the buildings, who had acquired distinction during the late war, seemed to have the full confidence of the government to secure the best results for all the purposes of what was, indeed, a great enterprise, the first arsenal, deserving the name, in the country.

It might be interesting and instructive to quote in this connection what is found in Harris' "Pittsburgh Directory of 1837" showing the occasion as well as the reasons for the erection of the Arsenal, and in Lawrenceville:

"The Arsenals of the country at that time (1812) were few and diminutive, with arms and munitions fearfully inadequate to the increased demand. There was no organized corps, in which to search, with any prospect of success, for the peculiar science and experience requisite for the important duties of establishing and preparing the vast material for the large force, which, it was foreseen would be demanded to bring the war to an honorable termination.

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