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Historic Fort Loudoun

Paul Kelly

Copyright 1958 by Fort Loudoun Association

Smashwords Edition

Historic Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudoun was built on the Little Tennessee River in 1756-57 by the Colony of South Carolina to protect the southern frontier of the English from the French, who were threatening to occupy the Tennessee Valley. It was located, at the request of the Cherokee Indians, in the heart of the rugged Overhill Cherokee country, more than one hundred miles from the nearest English outpost, Fort Prince George in the South Carolina foothills. For three years Fort Loudoun helped to keep the Cherokee loyal to their English allies, while English soldiers in the north were winning victories that eventually gave England control of eastern North America.

Around this fort and trading center the first English outpost west of the high Smoky Mountain range developed as soldiers and traders brought their families there. The Cherokees granted seven hundred acres of land to the English king for the fort site and for the support of the garrison, the first land granted by the Cherokees west of the mountains. Thus, the building of Fort Loudoun prepared the way for colonial expansion across the southern mountains.

Fort Loudoun becomes nationally significant with an understanding of the hostility between France and England, before and after the fort was built, as each nation struggled for supremacy in North America.

England verses France

The rivalry between England and France in America which reached a crisis in the French and Indian War (1756-1763) began with the founding of colonies early in the seventeenth century. The English, starting with Virginia in 1607, established a thin line of thirteen colonies along the Atlantic coast. The French, at almost the same time, founded Quebec on the St. Lawrence River and later erected small forts and trading posts in the Great Lakes region and along the Mississippi River.

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