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Forts Along the Federal Road

The location of the Forts along the Federal Road played a significant role in the location of communities we know today.

Passports through Indian Territory

Significance in Creek Indian Wars

Fort Wilkinson - Milledgeville
Fort Hawkins - Macon
Fort Lawrence - west side Flint River (Taylor County) across from Francisville on east side of Flint
Fort Perry - (Marion County)
Fort Mitchell - Columbus


Georgia Forts

Fort Wilkinson - Milledgeville

When the Federal Road reached Fort Wilkinson on the Oconee River, near Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia, it essentially followed the post rider's trail. If your ancestors moved westward, they are sure to have traveled on this road The Oconee River was an important boundary line for the growing territory.     More on Fort Wilkinson

Fort Hawkins - Macon

Fort Hawkins
Photo by Joe Halstead

Fort Hawkins was established in 1806 to protect the border of the existing United States (the Ocmulgee River) from not only the Native Americans, but the Spanish, French and British troops. Until it was "decommissioned" in 1828, much American history passed its way.

This Fort was named for Benjamin Hawkins, who was appointed by Washington as Federal Indian Agent. You'll want to visit these sites to learn more about its history and the life of Benjamin Hawkins.


Diane Wilcox's page includes excerpts from her book, "Fort Hawkins and Frontier Georgia".

1822 Map of Jones County showing Fort Hawkins.(Carl Vinson Institute of Government, The University of Georgia.)

BOOKS-MANUSCRIPTS

Fort Hawkins and Frontier Georgia 2nd Edition by Dianne Dent Wilcox
Review of book and its five major parts: Fort Hawkins' Annotated Chronology; People at Fort Hawkins; People mentioned in the Writings of Benjamin Hawkins; Forts, House and Place Names; and Fort Hawkins Bibliography. The index covers only the chronology section, since the remaining sections are arranged alphabetically.

Fort Hawkins Frontier Fort Ocmulgee National Monument Georgia by F. Ross Holland, Jr.

Tracy Brooking-Master's thesis on Hawkins at Valdosta State University, 1999

Letters of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796-1806 ( Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. IX, Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1916), pp. 58-59.


Fort Lawrence - Flint River

Fort Lawrence (Laurence) (1810's?), on the west side of the Flint River across from Francisville, near Roberta was a temporary post. Located between Roberta and Reynolds in present day Taylor County. Many times the town grew up on the opposite bank from the Fort.

Francisville was founded in 1825 by Francis Bacon who had married Jeffersonia, the youngest daughter of Benjamin Hawkins. It was a thriving town located on the river, until railroads came into existence in 1850s.


Fort Perry

Fort Perry was built in Marion County by General John Floyd, on the old Alabama Road. It was named in honor of the hero of the Lake Erie Battle in 1812.

Fort Mitchell

Fort Mitchell (Alabama) begins its role when Pres. Jackson in 1829 stations troops for the protection of frontier settlers.     Fort Mitchell Index
joehalstead@mindspring.com
Yes, my gggg gf was Jonathan Halstead, who was Indian agent and Factor at Fort Benjamin Hawkins. He came to GA from NJ in 1802 to be Factor at Fort Wilkinson near Milledgeville. Then there was the need to move the factory further west to facilitate Indian trade in 1806 when Fort Hawkins was built. Actually, Jonathan died in 1816 before the "Indian Wars" began, but he had a dozen or so children to seed Halsteads in the South. "Factor" was the title of the manager, or person in charge of the Factory, a sort of general store/trading post, and both Forts Wilkinson and Hawkins procured supplies for the State and for Federal troops as well. Additionally, there was trade with the Indians (Creeks mostly) of the area. As to how my gggg grandfather got the job, it is my understanding that Benjamin Hawkins was extremely displeased with his Factor for Fort Wilkinson and hired Jonathan Halstead to replace him (he was reportedly extending too much credit to the Indians, selling them too much whiskey, and the books were increasingly in negative balance). Jonathan came from a prominant NJ family with ties to the origins of Princeton University and was quite active in politics, which may be how he got the job - I just don't know for sure. ***Incidentally, Benjamin Hawkins was a grad of Princeton University***

Resources

Southerland, Henry DeLeon and Brown, Jerry Elijah. The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Alabama 1806-1836. The University of Alabama Press. 1989


Passports Through Indian Territory

Prior to early 1800's passports were issued to travel through Creek territory to places such as New Orleans and Mobile. These may be a valuable source of information.

Passports issued by the Governors of Georgia 1785-1809 by Mary G. Bryan (1959)

Passports issued by the Governors of Georgia 1810-1820 by Mary G. Bryan (1964) both published by the National Genealogical Society.
These 2 are often referred to as the Georgia Passports.

Passports of southeastern pioneers 1770-1823: Indian, Spanish, and other land passports for Tennessee,Kentucky,Georgia,Mississippi,Virginia, North and South Carolina by Dorothy Williams Potter, 1982 Gateway Press.

Information of Passports issued by Governors of Ga. from 1785 to 1820 Index and Introduction. Look-up available.

from the Georgia State Archives

Gaila Merrington contributed this newspaper advertisement:
Georgia Journal - 1809 -1818
[GEORGIA] "Ga Journal" 1809-1818 Post # 57
2 Dec. 1817
To Alabama Movers
In the course of ten days I will start to Ala. Territory with my family,I request that all persons,wishing to go,will meet me in Milledgeville..
Signed Nehemiah Howard..

Rootsweb Message Board regarding Alabama to Texas migrations.



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