Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
Fort Toulouse was built before the Yamasee War!
“The French founded Fort Toulouse in 1717, naming it for Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse. In order to counter the growing influence of the British colonies of Georgia and Carolina.”
The article cites as its source: “Fort Toulouse Site-Fort Jackson”. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service.
This is another surprise that one gets by studying primary sources of historical information, rather than just relying a string of academicians citing each other as references. Fort Toulouse was an infantry fort constructed by French Marines at the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers.
As you can see above, Fort Toulouse was already constructed when the Yamasee War began in 1715 and a note on the map says that it was involved with the war. This map by John Beresford was hand drawn in 1715, immediately after the Yamassee attacked Carolina officials, while other tribes around the Southeast began killing all the Indian traders in their midst. Talking about fast relief from crushing debts!
In 1705, during the Queen Anne’s War, the brilliant French commander, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, had prepared a written war plan for the destruction of the Carolina Colony. It called for a general uprising of all the tribes in the Southeast in which they would immediately kill all British men in their midst. An army spearheaded by Creeks but accompanied by French Marines and Spanish Colonial Troops, would then strike Charleston from the west, quickly exterminating the colony. The Spanish agreed with the plan and an invasion force was put together in Havana. However, D’Iberville died of a tropical disease before the attack could be carried out.
In late 1715, Chikili did lead an army of Creeks, Uchees and Yamasees into South Carolina. However, apparently the French and Spanish reneged on their part of the deal. Lacking their firepower, Chikili eventually decided to turn around and march back into the future province of Georgia.
Forgotten fort in Eastern Tennessee
There was a much larger fort constructed by the French in Eastern Tennessee, at the confluence of the Tennessee and and Little Tennessee Rivers. I appears on French maps from the 1690s onward, plus this 1715 British map. It has been completely forgotten by history, but was excavated by Smithsonian archaeologists in he 1880s. They thought that it was “Cherokee Village.”
Now you know!
There was already a much larger French fort on an island
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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