George Rogers Clark's fort at the mouth of the Ohio River represented Virginia's physical claim to her western eighteenth-century border. It was also the only eighteenth-century military and civilian settlement in Kentucky constructed at the command of the Virginia government. First sanctioned by Patrick Henry, then reaffirmed by Thomas Jefferson in 1780, George Rogers Clark built Fort Jefferson as his economic hub and a military stronghold for the Illinois Battalion. Continual attacks by the Chickasaw Indians during the summer of 1780, led by a representative from the British southern Indian Department, foiled Clark's plans for Fort Jefferson and the community bearing his namesake. Although home to more than five hundred and fifty soldiers and civilians throughout its occupation, Fort Jefferson had to be abandoned only thirteen months and twenty days after it was settled. Kenneth Carstens has studied Fort Jefferson for twenty-four years and published books about Fort Jefferson and George Rogers Clark previously. He uniquely weaves historical fact with an unraveling of the minutia of Fort Jefferson history not previously told. Here, for the first time, is the complete story of Clark's Fort Jefferson and the many heroes and heroines of Revolutionary America on Virginia's western frontier.
Kenneth C. Carstens
(2005), 2006, 6x9, paper, index, 270 pp.