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A 1769 survey referenced the future city as the "Manor of Pittsburgh".Both the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania claimed the region under their colonial charters until 1780, when they agreed under a federal initiative to extend the Mason–Dixon line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.The French built Fort Duquesne based on La Salle's 1669 claims.The French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War, began with the future Pittsburgh as its center.In 1784, Thomas Viceroy completed a town plan which was approved by the Penn family attorney.Pittsburgh became a possession of Pennsylvania in 1785.By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin, and glass.
The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders.
The following year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787, the Pittsburgh Academy was chartered.
Unrest during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 resulted in federal troops being sent to the area.
During Pontiac's Rebellion, native tribes conducted a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet relieved it after the Battle of Bushy Run.
Fort Pitt is notable as the site of an early use of smallpox for biological warfare.