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Descriptions of Pittsburgh Exhibit, Spring 2016 @ Archives & Special Collections

This exhibit brings together writings, quotes, images, and emotions related to the Pittsburgh area from 1750 to the present. It uses a wide selection of the Special Collections materials to illustrate the importance of Pittsburgh through the years.

1733: Henry Popple

Henry Popple's 1733 map was the earliest and most accurate large scale map that depicted the extent of the British, French, and Spanish colonial possessions in North America at that time. Popple created the map while at the Board of Trade and Plantations in London, and used the available manuscript maps of John Barnwell and Cadwallader Colden, and the printed maps of Guillaume De L'Isle and Nicholas de Fer as his sources. It remained the standard map of North America for several decades.

1733 Henry Popple A Map of the British Empire in America: With the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent Thereto

A Map of the British Empire in America: With the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent Thereto

1752: John Mercer & Christopher Gist

The part of the Ohio, Conhaway, Green Briar, Mohongaly & Kiskominettoe Ridge of Mountains coloured with Red… Original manuscript map by John Mercer circa 1752. Facsimile map hand-copied in London, April 1882.

The part of the Ohio, Conhaway, Green Briar, Mohongaly & Kiskominettoe Ridge of Mountains coloured with Red…

John Mercer’s manuscript map of Ohio Company lands made before November 6, 1752 shows Christopher Gist’s first and second exploring expeditions, the natural boundaries for the Ohio Company land grant, and the road from Wills Creek to a landing on the Monongahela River. Mercer created his map most likely after a manuscript map drawn by frontiersman Christopher Gist during his exploring expeditions into the Ohio Country in 1750 and 1751 for the Ohio Company. John Mercer was a founding member, secretary and general counsel of the Ohio Company of Virginia, a colonial land speculation company.

Christopher Gist was a colonial explorer and frontiersman engaged by the Ohio Company of Virginia, a colonial land speculation company, to explore and map the Ohio Country. His is the first British colonial description of Shannopin’s Town, the Delaware Indian village that was located at the site of the present-day Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville.

1755: Lewis Evans

A map of Eastern North America by Lewis Evans showing the modern-day Pennsylvania region

A general Map of the Middle British Colonies, in America, viz. Virginia, Mariland, Delaware, Pensilvania,New-Jersey, New-York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; Of Aquanishuoni^gy, the Country of the ConfederateIndians; comprehending Aquanishuoni^gy proper, their Place of Residence, Ohio and Ti¨iuxsoxru´ntie, theirDeer-Hunting Countries, Couxsaxra´ge and Skaniadara^de, their Beaver-Hunting Countries; of the LakesErie, Onta´rio, and Champlain, and part of New-France; Wherein is also shewn the antient and present
Seats of the Indian Nations

A general Map of the Middle British Colonies, in America, viz. Virginia, Mariland, Delaware, Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; Of Aquanishuoni^gy, the Country of the Confederate Indians; comprehending Aquanishuoni^gy proper, their Place of Residence, Ohio and Ti¨iuxsoxru´ntie, their Deer-Hunting Countries, Couxsaxra´ge and Skaniadara^de, their Beaver-Hunting Countries; of the Lakes Erie, Onta´rio, and Champlain, and part of New-France; Wherein is also shewn the antient and present Seats of the Indian Nations.

From Geographical, Historical, Political, Philosophical and Mechanical Essays: The First Containing an Analysis of a General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America; And of the Country of the Confederate Indians; A Description of the Face of the Country; The Boundaries of the Confederates; And the Maritime and Inland Navigations of the Several Rivers and Lakes Contained Therein.


"The Pass through the Mountains from Pensilvania, by Shamokin to Onondaga and Oswego, is from my own Observations, and well deserves Regard; because I had a pretty good Instrument for observing the Latitude, and minutely noted all our Courses, and am well accustomed to form a Judgment of travelling Distances. Mr. WILLIAM FRANKLIN'S Journal to Ohio has been my principal Help in ascertaining the Longitude of the Fork of Ohio and Monaungáhela; but however I must not omit mentioning, that the Latitude of this Fork is laid down from the Observation of COLONEL FRY, and is at least ten Miles more Northerly than I would otherwise have thought it was. The River from hence downward, is agreed by all who have gone down it, to be in general pretty strait, nor can its Curves be indeed considerable where it is confined in a Manner by a Chain of little Hills, from the last mentioned Fork, to ten Miles below the Falls. Mr . JOSEPH DOBSON gave me an Account of the Distances from Creek to Creek, as they fall in, and of the Islands, Rifts and Falls, all the Way from the Fork to Sioto...."