Fort Pitt (2)
Fort Pitt (2) (1829-1918) - A Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) fur trade fort established in 1829 by Patrick Small Jr at present day Frenchman Butte, Saskatchewan. Site of the Battle of Fort Pitt in 1885 and the signing of Treaty 6 in 1876. Named for Thomas Pitt, who was on the HBC governing board (1810-1832). Abandoned in 1890
History of Fort Pitt
A Hudson's Bay Company fur trade fort established in 1829. The site was located at the intersection of the Cree, Assiniboine and Blackfoot territories and mid-way between Fort Carlton and Fort Edmonton on the North Saskatchewan River. The post was built as a provisioning, transportation and distribution center.
Treaty negotiations for Treaty 6 continued from Fort Carlton to Fort Pitt on 7 Sep 1876 and after two days of negotiations most of the tribes present agreed to the provisions initially set forth at Fort Carlton. The tribes were faced with widespread starvation created by the slaughter of the buffalo herds and epidemics of communicable diseases. The chiefs were faced with survival issues and chose a reservation system to protect as many as they could.
Things did not go well and there were abuses by federal officials. Discontent among the Cree led to the posting of a detachment of North West Mounted Police (NWMP) to Fort Pitt to control the situation. The NWMP made the situation worse and violence erupted at Frog Lake in April 1885. A Cree band under Big Bear returned from the Frog Lake Massacre and laid siege to Fort Pitt for 12 days. A NWMP officer was killed in an initial confrontation and it took negotiation between Big Bear and HBC trader William McLean to defuse the situation. The NWMP were allowed to leave for Fort Battleford. The fort burned down after the siege and the HBC staff and their families joined Big Bear’s camp.
The HBC rebuilt the post but operations moved to Onion Lake Post in 1890 and Fort Pitt was closed.
Part of the Fort Pitt National Historic Site and operated as the Fort Pitt Provincial Park in Frenchman Butte, Saskatchewan. Some remains of both the HBC and the NWMP post are still visible. Map point is the provincial park.