Fort Roberdeau was constructed to protect that a lead mine could be operated in the region, and to protect the local population from hostile incursions. In the end Roberdeau felt he had accomplished one of the two, the protection of the local population for a time. The lead operation on the other hand was a learning experience for everyone involved. Several lead mining operations had been tried in the colonies during the Revolution. None had been of much success.
Harmon Husbands was an outspoken patriot, and was happy to help the Board of War with a problem facing the Continental troops. A lack of lead. He shared his knowledge about the location of an old French lead mine that could be found not far from Frankstown. The idea of having an expedition to the area, and getting a mine started was spurred on by General J. Armstrong. A few months later General Daniel Roberdeau volunteered for the adventure.
General J. Armstrong