Where Did the Name Chartiers Come From?Many people wonder why the address of this website is "Chartiers". Those who are a little familiar with Washington Co., PA know that there is a Chartiers Creek, a Chartiers Township, schools with the name Chartiers, etc. Just what is the origin of this name?
Boyd Crumrine, in his History of Washington County sheds some light:The white traders were persons of no little conseqence among the Indians. The French traders were here somewhat in advance of those of the English-speaking race, though the latter made their appearance among the Delawares and Shawanese soon after their settlement on the Allegheny and Ohio, certainly as early as 1730. The first French trader known to have been among the Indians on the Allegheny was James Le Tort, who probably came as early as 1720. One of the speakers of the Shawanese at a treaty council held in 1732 said that when they (the Shawanese) came over the mountains from "Patowmack" (about 1728), they met a French trader, who told them that the French Governor was excceedingly anxious to see them at Montreal, and that upon his advice they went there. This was doubtless the "French gentleman" whom the Indians called Cahictodo, was frequently mentioned in the proceedings of the Pennsylvania Council in 1731-32.
Peter Chartier, whose name was afterwards given to one of the principal streams flowing through the present county of Washington, went out from Philadelphia to the Allegheny at or very soon after the time when the Shawanese migrated there.1 He was the son of a French glover who had been established in that business in Philadelphia2, and was himself French in all his symmpathies and inclinations, though he went to the wilderness ostensibly as an English trader. It is told that he at one time had a trading post on the Ohio at the mouth of the creek which still bears his name (where King Shingiss was also located, as before mentioned); but he also establishied himself at a Shawanese village situated on the Allegheny, about twnety miles above the site of Pittsburgh. This place became known as "Chartier's Old Town." In 1744 he had decided to boldly take the side of the French, who were using great efforts to secure the Indian trade; and on the 18th April in that year he, with a large body of Shawanese whom he had induced to join him for the purpose, surprised and took prisoners two other traders on the Allegheny robbing them of their entire stock of goods, amounting to sixteen hundred pounds. The names of these two traders were James Dinnew and Peter Tostee. For this and numerous other villanies Chartier was severly reprimanded and warned by Governor Thomas, of Pennsylvania, and this was his pretended excuse for joining the French interst, which he did at once, and on the 25 of April, 1745, the Governor announced the fact to the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania. During the same year Chartier presuaded the Shawanese at the Old Town to abandon their settlement at that place and remove to the Scioto. He was rewarded by a commision in the French service, but his subsuquent career is not known.
1 Chartier had before that time become possessed of a tract of six hundred acres of land, near the place from which the Shawanese removed, and mentioned as "near Pextan."
2 On the 24th of February, 1707, a message "from the Queen of the Conestogoe Indians" was received by the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, informing "that divers Euorpoeans, namely, Mitchel (a Swiss) , Peter Bazolion, James Le Tort, Martin Chariere, the french Glover of Philadelphia, frank a young man of Canada who was lately taken up here, being all frenchmak, and one from Virginia, who also spoke french had seated themselves, and built Houses upon the branches of the Patowmack within this Gov'mt, and pretended that they were in search of some Mineral or ore."