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3 FortPrinceGeorge,SouthCarolina Marshall W. Williams Fort Prince George was a British frontier fort situated on the Keowee River in what is now Pickens County, South Carolina. It was located in the Keowee ’s flood plain, which became prime bottomland. The fort site was a few hundred yards above (north) Crow Creek’s mouth. Downstream on the west side of the river was the Cherokee town of Keowee. Other Cherokee towns lay within fifteen miles. In the mid-eighteenth century, the valley and surrounding country were subjected to great turmoil as settlers, traders , and Indians vied for control of the valley’s resources. The fort was built in 1753 and garrisoned by British regulars and American provincials until 1768, when the garrison was withdrawn and sent to New York and Boston. The fort then became a trading post until the land was purchased by William Tate for a plantation. During its 15-year existence, Fort Prince George continually changed its appearance from the first construction until abandonment in 1768. There are periods during which there is virtually no documentary information; at other times descriptive material is almost overwhelming. The archaeological findings present a composite picture of the fort’s occupation. Temporal construction interpretation is almost totally dependent on participant accounts. This report’s focus is to present information concerning the archaeological findings as they relate to structures. The artifact catalogue and the faunal material have disappeared. The artifacts are curated at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, in Columbia. Figures 3.1a and 3.1b. Location of Fort Prince George in Pickens County, South Carolina. (South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.) A B 54 · Marshall W. Williams Fort History The British government’s decision to build a fort among the Cherokee Indians was first noted in a 9 June 1748 letter: Pursuant to your Lordship’s Order of the 20th of last Month, we have prepared for the Draught of an Additional Instruction for James Glen, Esq., His Majesty’s Governor of the Province of South Carolina, conformable to our representation to His Majesty dated 13th of August, 1747 upon a proposal made by the Cherokee Nation of Indians bordering upon that province that a Fort might be built & Garrisoned in their Country. (Privy Council 1748) The letter went on to authorize Glen to enter into a treaty with the Cherokee for securing land on which to build the fort. Several years elapsed between authorization and actually commencing construction. In a letter from James Glen to the Privy Council, written “in the woods above two hundred miles from Charles town,” I propose to build a small Fort that I have been solicited to do for seven years past by the Indians. . . . Before the Council advised me to take this step they examined all the traders and they all agreed that unless it were built this Fall it would never be in the power of the Government to do it again for that all the Lower Town Indians declared that they would never plant more on this side of the Mountains unless it were built. (Glen 1754) Governor Glen wrote the next year: I immediately laid out the fort, having carried instruments with me for that purpose. It is a square with regular bastions and four ravelins. It is near two hundred feet from salient angle to salient angle, and is made of earth taken from the ditch, secured with fascines and wellrammed , with a banquet on the inside for the men to stand on when they fire over the ravelins made with posts of Lightwood, which is very durable; they are ten feet in length, sharp points, three foot and a half in the ground. (Glen 1754) Raymond Demere wrote to Governor Lyttelton, adding that “Fort Prince George was first erected by digging a Ditch two Feet wide at the Top, and five wide at the Bottom [sic], and five Feet deep, and a Parapet or Breast Work raised five Feet high, ten Feet wide at the Bottom, and five Feet at Top, Fort Prince George, South Carolina · 55 and a Banquet, or Foot Bank on the outside [sic] of the Parapet” (Demere 1756). Aside from the transposition of top and bottom, outside and inside, Demere’s account is relatively straight forward as seen by a soldier’s comment that the “ramparts are daily falling with the least rain and has already rendered the ditch capable of being leaped over by Indian children...


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