Near Sumatra in Franklin County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Built in 1814 by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Nichols, His Majesty's Marines, as a rallying point to encourage the Seminole Indians to ally themselves with England against the United States in the War of 1812. Abandoned after 1814 [the date is wrong, should be 1815], it was occupied by a band of free Negroes, and was known by 1816 as "The Negro Fort." Its location in Spanish Florida did not deter Major General Andrew Jackson from ordering its elimination as a threat to American commerce on the Apalachicola River.
On July 27, 1816, Lieutenant Colonel Douglas L. Clinch, with U.S. forces and 150 Creek Indians, fired on the fort and destroyed it with a “hot shot” cannon ball which exploded in the powder magazine killing all but 30 of 300 occupants. In 1818 General Jackson directed Lieutenant James Gadsden to build “Fort Gadsden” here, in spite of Spanish protests. Confederate troops occupied the fort until July 1863, when malaria forced its abandonment.
Erected 1968 by Florida Board of Parks and Natural Resources. (Marker Number F-159.)
Location. 29° 56.297′ N, 85° 0.588′ W. Marker is near Sumatra, Florida, in Franklin County. Marker can be reached from Forest Road 129 4 miles west of State Road 65. Touch for map. On Route 65, a sign marks the turn for Fort Gadsden/Prospect Bluff Historic Sites. Go west on Forest Road 129. In about 4 miles, turn left onto Forest Road 129-D. The kiosk and parking lot are visible from that point. Roads are unpaved and may have potholes.
There is a walk from the parking lot, kiosk, and toilets to the site.
The site was named Fort Gadsden Historic Site until 2016, when its name was changed to Prospect Bluff Historic Sites. Some signs still carry the old name. Marker is in this post office area: Sumatra FL 32335, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "Milly Francis" (here, next to this marker); British Fort Magazine (here, next to this marker); Steamship Tragedy (here, next to this marker); Wewahitchka Centennial (approx. 16.7 miles away); Gulf County Old Courthouse (approx. 16.7 miles away).
Regarding Fort Gadsden. The fort was abandoned when Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821. Despite the marker, there is no known activity at the site between 1821 and 1862-63, when it was occupied by Confederate troups.
Also see . . . Prospect Bluff Historic Site - Wikipedia. (Submitted on February 25, 2018, by Daniel Eisenberg of Boca Raton, Florida.)
Additional keywords. Apalachicola River, Prospect Bluff, British post
Categories. • African Americans • Forts, Castles • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 21, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 24, 2018, by Daniel Eisenberg of Boca Raton, Florida. This page has been viewed 158 times since then. Last updated on April 15, 2018, by Daniel Eisenberg of Boca Raton, Florida. Photos: 1. submitted on February 24, 2018, by Daniel Eisenberg of Boca Raton, Florida. 2. submitted on February 25, 2018, by Daniel Eisenberg of Boca Raton, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.