Fort Toulouse/ Jackson State Park
Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery Alabama, November 5, 1997, article by Jim Plott:
"It was a simple matter of geograph that attracted the first visitors into the area several thousand years ago when nomadic Indians first made encampments. Ths same principles applied to the followers. Park director Ned Jenkins said, 'This spot has been lived on as a major habitat since about the time of the birth of Christ.' The rivers provided water, food, protection and later transportation. 'Being at the juncture of the river was important,' siad Jenkins. And you keep your feet dry. 'Its high, its well-drained and it doesn't flood,' said Jenkins of the fort area. It was by invitation of the Creek Indians that the French built Fort Toulouse at the location in 1717. Staffed by about 20 to 50 French Marines, the fort served as a trading center with the indians and also helped the French keep on guard against the British, who were also eyeing the territory. Other than a small mutiny by soldiers in 1722 -- mainly over boredom and shortages in provisions and pay, there was never any violence surrounded with the fort. '(The French) were friendly with the Indains so if anyone attacked them they would have had to go through several Indian villages to get to them,' said Jenkins. The fort was part of the land package the British obtained after the French and Indian War, but other than being used as a trading center, it was never occupied. About 50 years later, Creek Indian leader William Weatherford, a deer straddled over the back of his horse, rode in to a temporary camp near the fort to sign a treaty surrendering abbout 20 million acres of land -- about half the Creek Nation -- to U.S. Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson. 'He came in the second day Jackson was here. They didn't even start on Fort Jackson until about three weeks later,' said Jenkins. 'It was the treating signing that opened up this whole area. Alabama was populated by settlers as a result of the treaty signing here in 1814.' The area was also the site of Fort Jackson Town, a village that was the first county seat of Montgomery County for about 3 years."