The Calendar and Quartermaster Books of General George Rogers Clark's Fort Jefferson, Kentucky, 1780-1781


Brief though the history of Fort Jefferson was, its records provide fascinating and heretofore unplumbed insights to the life of a frontier outpost. Kenneth C. Carstens has brought these materials together for the first time, adding additional data from the extensive collection of documentary material in the archives of Virginia. This book will be of great interest to the prosopographer, the genealogist, and the historian of Kentucky’s earliest settlers. Reenactors who strive for authenticity in their historic costume designs and living history portrayals will find this work particularly useful. Part I, the Calendar, is a list of abstracted information, including the names of enlisting soldiers and their officers; requests for food, articles of clothing, weapons and other supplies; articles requested as gifts for Indians; reports of military actions at other forts; summaries of letters between important people such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry; and much more. These abstracts give flesh and blood to the narrative, filling the scene with living men and women. Part II, “the Quartermaster Books” of John Dodge and Martin Carney, are reproduced line by line from the original books. These books contain 2,731 line item entries, identifying more than 280 persons and providing the following information: references to the movements of various military companies such as the Clarksville militia; a catalogue of arms, accoutrements, munitions, commodities and dry goods issued to officers, members of their companies, members of the militia and Indian allies; and an approximation of family size and activities pursued by men, women, and children while serving in a support capacity at Fort Jefferson and the civilian community of Clarksville. Introductory material and separate fullname indices are provided for each section, as well as maps delineating places mentioned in the text and a useful glossary of eighteenth century terms. Historical background is provided, describing George Rogers Clark’s campaigns to seize Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes.


Kenneth C. Carstens


(2000), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, indices, 376 pp.

ISBN: 9780788415258