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National Historic Landmark FORT TOULOUSE (FORT JACKSON)

Location: Elmore County, at the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, on a gravel road, 4 miles southwest of Wetumpka.

Ownership and Administration. Alabama Historical Commission.

Significance. From its construction in 1717 until the end of the French and Indian War, in 1763, this fort was the offensive-defensive eastern outpost of French Louisiana. Situated just below the southern tip of the Appalachian Highland, at the junction of the two main tributaries of the Alabama River, it protected the French settlements from Mobile Bay westward to New Orleans. It was also the spearhead of the French drive to wrest control of the present Southeastern United States from the Spanish and English. In 1814, after defeating the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend, Andrew Jackson occupied the abandoned site. He constructed a new fort at the location of the old one and named it Fort Jackson, in August 1814 the scene of the treaty that officially ended the Creek War.

Present Appearance. The Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers follow nearly parallel courses for some distance above their junction, and form a narrow peninsula a mile long and only a few hundred yards wide. A privately owned tract that extends upstream from the junction includes the site of an ancient Indian village, where one large mound is discernible and the ground is liberally sprinkled with sherds. East of this tract is the 6-acre Fort Toulouse tract, owned by the State.

Adjoining the tract on the south and east is private property containing the Isaac Ross Cemetery, which dates from at least the War of 1812. In 1897, about 200 bodies were removed from this cemetery to the national cemetery in Mobile. Most of them were the remains of men who had been assigned to Andrew Jackson's army, but some of them may have been Frenchmen. Amateur archeologists have carried on excavations at the Indian village site, but not at the State-owned Fort Toulouse tract. The fort area includes two monuments and the remains of what appears to have been a powder magazine. [2]

NHL Designation: 10/09/60

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005