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986 > Page 986 of Annals of the West : embracing a concise account of principal events which have occurred in the western states and territories, from the discovery of the Mississippi valley to the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six.

986 CONFLAGRATION AT PITTSBURGH. 1845. region was determined on. In the spring of 1847, a pioneer party of one hundred and forty-three men proceeded to open the way, wdiile the main body followed gradually, iu divisions of tens, fifties and hundreds, until finally all have departed excepting a few scattered families about Missouri river, on the borders of Iowa and Nebraska. Their present location in the "Far West," is beyond the province of this work. Their history is still unfinished, and appearances render it probable, that the most important part is yet to come. Among the conflagrations which, in 1845, destroyed the hopes of 1845.] thousands, none will be longer remembered in the West than that which devastated the city of Pittsburgh on the 10th of April, in that year, destroying in a few hours the labor of many years blasting suddenly the cherished hopes of thousands, who but that morning were contented in the possession of comfortable homes, busy workshops, and magazines of manufactures and other products of well directed industry unnerving the most self-possessed, who saw their own wealth suddenly pass from them while yet endeavoring to save that of their neighbors from the devouring flames. Our work is to perpetuate a slight record of the disaster, as none will be found in the streets of that busy city the "Burnt District" having long ago been rebuilt with more substantial structures than those they replace. In an account of the disaster, published by J. Heron Foster, editor of tbe Daily Dispatch of that city, (from which is compiled this brief notice,) he truly says: "None witnessed the conflagration but know the difficulty of adequately describing it, and we trust that some charity may be extended to us should we fail in the effort to picture to the imagination of our readers the most destructive conflagration it has ever been our lot to describe." Commencing about noon, on Ferry street, two squares from the Monongahela front, it rapidly spread eastward, until it reached five squares in breadth by eight or ten when, being luckily hemmed in by a high hill on the north, and the Monongahela river on the south, its ravages were confined to a narrow space, along which buildings were destroyed for a mile from the point where the carelessness of a washerwoman had kindled it, and until further fuel was denied it. Efforts to stay its ravages by the people were utterly ineffectual and the firemen only succeeded (with the aid of some men who engaged iu blowing up the blazing houses,) in