Talk:History of Pittsburgh/Archive 2

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Editor's Note: This talk page originally accompanied Pittsburgh, History to 1800. For more information see this.

Good luck with all that, Citizendium!

I deleted the substance of this article and put in a delete banner, per Wikipedia import guidance found in CZ:Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians. My intent had been to contribute a Wikipedia article I'd worked on for more than a year and find an "editor", but no expert wants to do the work. Per below, you can see that I made a good faith effort to find such an editor. Professors who previously told me they thought Wikipedia was a waste of time do not necessarily appear to be inclined to donate work to CZ. Tom Cool 17:41, 1 April 2007 (CDT)

OK, so maybe I overreacted a bit to CZ:Introduction to CZ for Wikipedians. Now that we have an editor (Richard Jensen), maybe now we can start the process of improving this article. I'm back in the game, in any case. Tom Cool 20:14, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

and welcome! Nancy Sculerati 20:19, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

Origins of this article

This is a Wikipedia import. I was the main contributor to this article. I developed the maps and found, scanned or imported all the images. They are all licensed appropriately, either public domain, GNU or Creative Commons Share-Alike.

I am not a professional historian. My family has deep roots in Pittsburgh. My paternal gggg-grandfather, Augustine Moore, signed the petition for the erection of Allegheny County. My maternal ggg-grandfather, William Alston, helped to build the second Courthouse and several early bridges, such as the first Ninth Street bridge. So my understanding of Pittsburgh history has grown out of my research as a family historian. In the Citizendium project, my role is more appropriately that of "author." I hope that a professional historian will assume the role of "editor" and I and others will be able to work under his or her supervision to improve this article. Tom Cool 10:52, 1 March 2007 (CST)

Recruiting letter - no takers so far



Sent: 01 Mar '07 20:07

Subject: Re: "History of Pittsburgh" article in Wikipedia

Dear professors and researchers,

In previous emails, I solicited your help on a Wikipedia article about Pittsburgh. Several of you responded by saying that Wikipedia is a waste of time, due to its amateurish nature.

One of Wikipedia's founders, Larry Sanger, agrees with that view. He has started an alternative encyclopedia led by academic experts, Citizendium. The "recruitment letter" is quoted below.

Do you think that an expert-led wiki is more promising than the "wisdom of crowds" Wikipedia?

Would you be interested in contributing as an "editor" (credentialed expert) to Citizendium?

I've copied over the "History of Pittsburgh" article to:

Warm regards, Tom Cool

Dear colleagues,

We're starting an expert-led alternative to Wikipedia. We feel this is badly needed. And we want your help!

Many people have a love-hate relationship with Wikipedia. On the one hand, they love the free availability of huge amounts of information. On the other hand, they hate its amateurish quality.

So, over the past few years we've seen many calls by experts to descend upon Wikipedia and whip articles in a certain area into shape. But when experts do that, though, they tend to get beaten back by an anarchical and somewhat insular Wikipedia community.

Other groups have proposed, and started, competing expert-led wiki encyclopedias, with very limited success. It's quite hard to start a successful wiki. There is a serious hurdle to clear: critical mass. If people don't see enough other people working on the wiki, they don't have an incentive to work on it themselves.

Enter the very person who conceived of Wikipedia and got it off the ground in its first year, a Ph.D. philosopher named Larry Sanger. Basically, Larry said: "Enough is enough. We can do better than this."

So the co-founder of Wikipedia is leading the construction of a newer, more mature, expert-led, but still dynamic wiki encyclopedia project, called the Citizendium (sit-ih-ZEN-dee-um), or "the Citizens' Compendium."

It will combine robust public participation with gentle expert guidance and more carefully enforced standards. It has begun life as a fully independent branch (a "fork") of Wikipedia. That means you can edit--or replace--all of those articles you hated on Wikipedia. But we expect it to take on a life of its own and, perhaps, to become the flagship of a new set of responsibly-managed free knowledge projects.

But will it achieve critical mass? There is already excellent evidence that it will. In the first ten days of the pilot project, over 110 Ph.D.-level editors in many fields from around the world activated accounts on the pilot project wiki. There were over 250 total activated accounts in that time, and over 200 articles under development. There were 450 subscribers to Citizendium-L, the main project mailing list, and 1,871 posts to the project forums.

And that's all without reaching out to mailing lists and professional associations. Most academics haven't heard about the Citizendium yet. We think that when they do, many of them will become strong supporters.

We are in the process of organizing discipline-specific editorial groups devoted to organizing Citizendium's work. We hope you will join us soon in the Computers Workgroup.

In the meanwhile, if you'd like to sign up to join the pilot project--as an editor *or* a rank-and-file author--then please apply here:

Let's show the world what is possible when strong collaboration is gently led by real experts. More importantly, if there are large quantities of information about computers available online, let's make sure it's of high quality.

Original Message-------


Subject: Re: "History of Pittsburgh" article in Wikipedia

Sent: 09 May '06 01:39

Dear Professors and Researchers,

I've finished writing the history of Pittsburgh article in Wikipedia:

Nothing in Wikipedia is ever final. I hope that you will help improve the article either personally, or by encouraging your students to contribute.

Warm regards

Tom Cool

-------Original Message-------
Subject: "History of Pittsburgh" article in Wikipedia
Sent: 12 Apr '06 02:32

Dear Professors and Researchers,

I am helping to expand the "History of Pittsburgh" article in Wikipedia:

Wikipedia is the most visited reference site on the world wide web, and the number 17 site overall.  Unfortunately, its History of Pittsburgh article was lacking, both relative to what the Steel City deserves, and relative to similar articles for other cities.

I would like to ask for your help in improving the article.  Please take a minute to visit the site and decide whether you would like to help.

You can help by:
1) editing the article yourself (the beauty of immediacy)
2) forwarding this email to someone you think would be interested
3) asking your students to lend a hand
4) giving me notes that I will incorporate
5) identifying any images in the public domain that would help illustrate the article

Thank you for your kind attention.

Thomas Cool
CDR, USN (ret.)

help with article

I can help with the article. It's pretty solid right now. First suggestion is to split into two parts (Indians and whites, so to speak). Richard Jensen 18:33, 1 April 2007 (CDT)

Verifying that wikipedias Tomcool did create 287 of the of the 425 total edits on the wikipedia page with the bulk of the body his words. I think that should allow you to use the CZ Live category as you have and agree that you are one step closer to completing the CZ:Approval Process. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:00, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

let's split article at 1800

2 article will be more useful-- one on pe-1800 is not about the village but its location & roles of empires & Indians fighting over it. ANy expansion of this topic is awkard now becaue the village already overshadown the steel capital. OK?? Richard Jensen 23:38, 20 April 2007 (CDT)

OK I split it (and split the bibliog, and added a few items to bibliog part 1). I think both halves will grow in size and they have little in common, Richard Jensen 09:04, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

Checklist request

Can you please use {{checklist}}, not the "experimental" template. The trouble with the latter is that it has not been rendered consistent with the former, and display problems have still not been fixed. --Larry Sanger 11:08, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I can, sorry about that. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:18, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

Misspelling in Quote?

Is the misspelling of extremely in the quote from Washington's journal intentional based on his original spelling, or does it need to be corrected? "which I think extreamly well situated for a Fort;" Matt Mahlmann 22:50, 24 April 2007 (CDT)

that was a typo--very good eye! Richard Jensen 23:25, 24 April 2007 (CDT)


Have a care--just looking at the history, it appears to begin with a "move". I cannot tell who wrote this, if it was imported from Wikipedia and "worked on", or what.

I would like to see the original author(s) and editor(s) get credit for their work. Aleta Curry 01:07, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

What's the best place for this type of discussion...?

...if I have niggling or nit-picking questions (or even major ones) and I don't want to make a direct edit but rather initiate discussion, should I bring them up here? Discuss at the History Workgroup's page? Phone Dr Jensen? (just kidding about that one ;) Aleta Curry 01:12, 26 April 2007 (CDT)

Tom Cool is primarily due the credit; he wrote the Wiki article and moved it here and found the wonderful graphics. I split it in two parts and added the bibliography. All praise and rejoicing can go right here. (and people can email me anytime at and I will respond. (the article history can be found at the History of Pittsburgh talk page, by the way. Richard Jensen 01:39, 26 April 2007 (CDT)
I have combined the two talk page histories so that they are all here now. --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:29, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.0

Congratulations! This article is approved. Good work everyone. --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:27, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

Well done! and questions....


Questions with respect to the Native American Era--quote: "European diseases, such as smallpox, measles, influenza, and malaria, preceded European explorers (emphasis added) to western Pennsylvania, devastating the populations of the Native Americans living there."


Is disease what ends the Native American control and influence, or is it one significant aspect?

Discussion ends on an open note and further references to the Indians are footnotes to the European conflict. What are the conflicts with the European settlers that make the Indians conduct hostile raids? What effectively ends the Native American Era in Pittsburgh? Aleta Curry 20:20, 1 May 2007 (CDT)

On disease. we don't know much specific about the Pittsbg era, but generalize from other areas. 1) Disease arrived early (long before the European settlers--one or two people who had been to the east could infect everyone), and 2) it killed large fraction (50% to 90%) 3) it disorganized groups so they could not survive (for example if the hunters were dead the women and children could not survive) 4) overall Indian population fell because of 2 plus 3. (Plus Indians' own wars with each other). War with Europeans killed few Indians in this area. Richard Jensen 02:12, 2 May 2007 (CDT)
Yeppers, my point is that you and I can extrapolate based on years of study and life experience. Can this article (and the others we write) take into account that the 12-16-year-olds looking for homework help probably can't? Aleta Curry 17:47, 2 May 2007 (CDT)

User:Tom Cool on wikibreak

Sorry, but I won't be able to participate in Citizendium for the foreseeable future. Involvement with other wikis has pushed me into wikioverload. Won't be doing much WP, either. I hope you all success with CZ. Tom Cool 16:53, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.1