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Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a 1717 manuscript, and later that year European fur traders established area posts and settlements.
During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off.
By the terms of the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Penns were allowed to purchase the modern region from the Iroquois.
On March 8, 1771 Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created to govern the frontier.
On April 16, 1771, the city's first civilian local government was created as Pitt Township.
By 1797, glass manufacture began, while the population grew to around 1,400.
Settlers came via routes over the Appalachian Mountains or through the Great Lakes.