History

This page contains historical background information about Fort Daniel.  It begins with a summary, including a transcript of Major General Allen Daniel's orders that led to the fort's construction and is followed by a list of PDF articles about, or related to, Fort Daniel.  

Citations in these articles try to follow the Chicago/Turabian style, because the subject matter is history.  Because American archaeology is a social science (Anthropology), archeological reports, including their historical context section, use APA style.   When citing material from this website, the student should take care use the style preferred by his/her teacher. 

Fort Daniel is situated on the highest part of Hog Mountain in northeastern Gwinnett County, about 3600 feet northeast of the head of the Appalachee River (aka south fork of the Oconee river).  This point is the south end of the boundary allotted to the Cherokees for their hunting grounds, between the said Indians and the citizens of the United States as described in the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell.  The line served as the western boundary first of Franklin County and then Franklin and Jackson counties (see Figure 1).

The head of the Appalachee, or south fork of the Oconee as it was mistakenly called, was cited again in the 1790 Treaty of New York and the 1796 Treaty of Coleraine, and served for a time as the (north)western end of the treaty line separating the Creeks from U.S. territory (see Figure 2)


The 1785 line was  first run by by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins in 1798 but had to be re-run in 1804 due to problems with settlers ending up on the wrong side of the line. The line was thereafter known as, “the Hawkins Line" (See in Figure 2, "Wofford's Tract;"  and http://ngeorgia.com/ang/Wofford's_Tract.

Cunningham's survey sketch maps for the 1819 survey, completed at the time of the creation of Gwinnett County, shows that the fort site would have been located less than 1200 feet south of the Hawkins line and, being on a high place, would have overlooked the head of the Appalachee  (see Figure 3).  In fact, they would have been able to see Stone Mountain. The actual end of the line at the head of the Appalachee is  about 3600 feet west of the fort on the south side of Hog Mountain Road (Hwy 124) depicted by a dotted line.

Figure 3. Cuningham's 1819 surveyor's sketch. End of (corrected) Hawkins line in upper figure at "Apalachy" and fort's relative location as indicated in red rectangle. Note the north arrow.


 

Early fortified sites along the frontier played an important role in Georgia’s history as settlement of new territories invariably led to conflict between the settlers and the indigenous peoples.  There are reconnaissance sketch maps made during the Oconee (Creek Indian) War in the 1780's and 1790's that show locations of various forts and "stations" in Franklin, Green and other affected counties, at the Georgia archives.  The 1793 sketch map in Figure 4 shows some 18 forts and stations located along the 1785 frontier in what was the northern most part of Georgia... Franklin County (see more below).  The portion that would include Hog Mountain and the Appalachee River is missing, but the accompanying letter, which lists all the forts, does not include any that are not depicted on the map. The letter that goes with this map is document TCC799 in, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, Digital Library of Georgia.


In a letter dated October 21, 1813, Major General Allen Daniel, Commander of the 4th Division of the Georgia Militia, via his Aid Decamp, John D. Terrell, sent a letter to Brigadier General Frederick Beall, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the Georgia Militia, covering two topics (see below for the full transcript). The first was that all regular militiamen serving in the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Division, be mustered by their proper officers once in every month, by companies, at their respective Regimental muster grounds and that each man would “furnish himself with a knapsack, blanket, arms and equipments untill [sic] arms & equipment can be furnished them by government and hold themselves in readiness to take the field at a moments warning.” 

The second part of the letter specifically addressed the situation at Hog Mountain. It ordered Beall to “forthwith order out thirty of the militia of his Brigade to relieve those now stationed (by his order) at the hog mountain,” and to set up a system for rotation every 10 days. Further, based on information that Daniel had received that “the fort at the hog mountain is not only formed of old, dry and insufficient timbers, but is also badly constructed, consequently easily destroyed by fire and inadequate for defence,” the letter orders Beall, along with Major John D.Terrell, was to supervise the construction of, “a new fort at or near the place whereon the present fort stands which shall be sufficient for the reception of two hundred men, out of substancial [sic] timbers with port holes compleatly [sic] cut at proper hight [sic], with platforms so as to raise the port holes at such hight [sic] that the enemy will be prevented from any advantage therefrom. The stockading will be at least then or eleven feet above ground & well let into the Earth three feet, all the houses which may be built within the fort, will be built with slanting roofs to drip in and to the centre of the fort, so that in case fire should be [?] on them from without it may be extinguished without danger. The walls of no house within the fort shall exceed the hight [sic] of the stockading, except block house. When the work is completed, the letter continues,” the militia which may be in Service at the present fort will take possession of the new one.”  See full text transcript below.

Until Daniel’s letter came to light during preliminary research for the archaeological investigation, the fact that there were two forts at Hog Mountain had not been recognized. One of the questions now being asked is whether Beall et al built Fort Daniel de novo or simply re-built the existing fort. If entirely new, the question remains as to where the original “fort at Hog Mountain” was located, and when was it built? The presence of wrought nails and early cut nails at the site suggests they were at the same location, but archaeology at the site has not settled the question. 

Daniel's reference to "old, dry..." timbers suggests that it was at least 8 years old.  When Benjamin Hawkins camped at the head of the Appalchee, the beginning point of his 1804 re-survey of the 1785 Treaty Line, he never mentioned a "fort at Hog Mountain," which would only be about .7 of a mile away, and, as was his custom, he would have visited, let alone mentioned if it existed at the time.  The circumstantial evidence argues that the original fort at Hog Mountain had to have been erected sometime around 1805, which would have put Beall's rebuilding some eight years later.

Fort Daniel Related Articles

1. The Search for Fort Daniel , by Jim D'Angelo & Shannon Coffee. Facsimile from: The Heritage Fall 2007 Vol 36 pp 60-61

2.  Allen Daniel, Harriet Nichols.  Facsimile from: The Heritage Fall 2007 Vol 36 pp62-63.

3. A New Take on an Old Story: Fort Daniel, Fort Peachtree, and the road that connected them: Part I Fort Daniel, by Jim D'Angelo. Facsimile from: The Heritage (not yet linked)

4. Part II  A New Take on an Old Story: Fort Daniel, Fort Peachtree, and the road that connected them–Peachtree Road and Fort Peachtree, by Jim D'Angelo.  Facsimile from: The Heritage (not yet linked)

5.  The Original Peachtree Road - How and Why It Was Built, by Jim D'Angelo.  

6. The State Militia and US Army in the War of 1812 and  How It Relates to Fort Daniel by Jim D'Angelo. From: The GAB, February, 2017.

7.  The Major Tandy Key Blacksmith Shop at Fort Daniel: who was Key & what was his role at Fort Daniel?  by Jim D'Angelo. Facsimile from: The Heritage 46 No. 1 pp 20-22.

8.  Captain Whorton's Other Forts: Where Where They?  Part 1, by Jim D'Angelo. Adapted from: The GAB, March, 2017. 

9. Captain Whorton's Other Forts: Where  Were They?  Part 2, by Jim D'Angelo.  Adapted from: The GAB, April 2017. 

10. Part III Whorton's Other Forts: Where Where They? Part 3, by Jim D'Angelo. Adapted from: The Gab, May 2017

11.  The Curious Mr. Kidd, Part I, By Eli Stancel.  From: The GAB, Summer, 2017.  (not yet linked)

12.  The Curious Mr. Kidd, Part II, By Eli Stancel.  From: The GAB, September 2017.  (not yet linked)

13.   The Kidd "Fraction." by Jim D'Angelo. From: The GAB, September 2017. (not  yet linked)

      14.  The Kidd Fraction and his neighbors John Gresham and Isha Williams, by Jim D'Angelo.  From: The GAB, October 2017. (not yet linked)