Ohio History Journal







Upon the south wall of an old brick mercantile build-

ing, at the northeast corner of Monroe and Summit

Streets, Toledo, hangs a faded inscription reading as

follows, viz: "This building stands on the site of Fort

Industry, a stockade erected by General Anthony

Wayne, in the year 1794, as a safeguard against the

British, who then held Fort Miami. It was garrisoned

by a company of United States troops, under the com-

mand of Captain J. Rhea, who held it until after the

evacuation of all the British Posts in the northwest in

the year 1796, an Act which was brought about by the

operations of Jay's Treaty with Great Britain. In July,

1805, the treaty was negotiated at Fort Industry by

which was extinguished the Indian title to all the west-

ern part of the reserve known as the Fire Lands, a tract

of about 500,000 acres, granted by the State of Con-

necticut to the sufferers by fire from the British troops

in the incursions into that state during the War of the

Revolution. Evidences of the Fort were not entirely

obliterated as late as 1836. A bluff 20 feet high was

leveled and Fort Industry Block erected 1842-1843 by

Richard Mott."

This brief and tersely expressed account of the time

and occasion for the building, occupancy and abandon-

ment of Fort Industry and its final disappearance should

and ordinarily would satisfy students of local history

who seek only the essential facts concerning this, at one


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time, rather important frontier post. However, a re-

view of the numerous authorities who have, in their

works, referred to Fort Industry by name or location,

discloses the fact that the above inscription does not in

several respects harmonize with their account, nor are

the writers in accord among themselves. Because of

these conflicting accounts, and with the object of en-

deavoring to clarify the history of Fort Industry as

much as possible, the writer, during leisure moments of

recent years, has undertaken to assemble in convenient

form for reference, all the information obtainable from

available authorities and to deduct therefrom a plausi-

ble narration of facts concerning this early post. The

result of these researches and the conclusions reached

will follow.

Before proceeding farther, and on the assumption

that this post may have been established or at least oc-

cupied at a much earlier date than that given in the

Richard Mott inscription (1794), it may be profitable to

recall a few of the most important events in the history

of the lower lake region and the Valley of the St. Law-

rence River.


In 1535, Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, en-

tered the St. Lawrence River and took nominal posses-

sion of North America, in the name of his King, Fran-

cis I.

In 1623, De Champlain built Fort St. Louis, at Que-

bec, and from this strong fortification, for a period of

150 years, France ruled a vast region, including the

Great Lakes, and the Valley of the St. Lawrence and

later that of the Mississippi River. The Recollet and

Fort Industry--An Historical Mystery 233

Fort Industry--An Historical Mystery  233

Jesuit Missionaries traversed the country in all direc-

tions, and became the pioneers of civilization in the Far


In 1679, LaSalle in the Griffin sailed the waters of

Lake Erie, bearing a Royal Commission to establish a

line of forts along the Great Lakes and to hold for

France this rich domain, which Frenchmen had discov-

ered. He looked forward to a chain of forts and trad-

ing posts, stretching from  Quebec along the Great

Lakes, and down the Mississippi to its mouth.

In 1680, Lieut.-Governor Frontenac caused Fort

Miami to be built as a French military trading post. In

1694, this post was under the command of Sieur Courte-

manche. It was abandoned shortly thereafter, (prob-

ably about 1719) for a location farther west, on the pres-

ent site of Fort Wayne. (Note--In Brice's History of

Fort Wayne, page 11, we read, "It is probable that be-

fore the close of the year 1719, temporary trading posts

were erected at the sites of Fort Wayne, Quiatenon and

Vincennes.")  Fort Miami was rebuilt by the British

Governor, Simcoe, in 1794, abandoned in 1796, after

the Treaty of Greenville, and occupied and abandoned

by the American forces a little later. It was reoccupied

and re-abandoned by the British General Proctor in the

War of 1812. This ancient Fortress has the distinction

of being not only the oldest in the state, but as having

triumphantly floated the flags of three nations. As fur-

ther proof of the antiquity of this post we extract the

following from a research report by the Deputy Minister

in charge of the Public Archives of Canada under date

of January, 1925, addressed to the Right Honorable

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Sir George E. Foster and transmitted by Mr. Foster

to the writer, viz:


In answer to the letter of Mr. Sherman, dated the 2nd of

December, which you transferred to this office sometime later, I

beg to say that I have had a search made and found there is a

great deal of information on the subject of Fort Miami. There

are, however, on the early maps of 1680 two Forts bearing the

same name, one of them I think no doubt was LaSalle's Fort;

as they were both on the Miami River, it is possible that one of

these may have been called Fort Industry. We do not find the

name of Fort Industry on any document nor on any plan. One

map we have shows a third Fort of Miami, but a long distance

away, but these two Forts near the Lake, I should think are the

two referred to by Mr. Sherman. I enclose herewith a copy of

the document, dated the 26th of July, 1794, which gives the sum-

mary of the history of the Fort which may be of interest to your

correspondent, viz:

FORT MIAMIS. Maps show five general locations of Forts

of this name three of which may be dismissed as irrelevant to this

inquiry. * * * Of the other two locations, the one about

where the present Fort Wayne stands is fairly definite. * * *

The last location which seems at all definite is the Fort at the Foot

of the Rapids. In the MS document many letters are thus dated.

The name Miami being understood. * * * The map of Nou-

velle France, etc. (1690) showing Port des Miami" on the north

bank of the present Maumee River is the earliest for this location,

or any post bearing the name. * * * Two of the 1794 MSS.

show "Fort Miamis as proposed" and "Miamias Fort established

in 1794," both on the north bank of the river--the first of these

being the one referred to as making the distance fifteen miles from

Turkey Point. One 1794 and one 1795 MS plan each show "Site

of the Post in 1783," on the south shore directly opposite this. It

seems probable that this south shore site is the one established by

Captain Potts as referred to by Colonel McKee, and may have

been maintained until the north shore site was used in 1794.

* * * Regarding Fort Industry, there is no map showing a

fort of this name, and so far as learned, no record of it in the

Manuscripts. There is evidence that General Wayne, in 1795,

had intentions of building a fort at the mouth of the Miamis River

at Point au Chene, should he be enabled to push that far to the

northeast. There is no indication that he did so.

From a recent letter from Prof. Louis C. Karpinski

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 235

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery     235

of the University of Michigan in reference to the an-

cient maps of this region in their Library I quote as fol-


I do not find Fort Industry on any map. I do not find Fort

des Miamis on the 1746 Amerique by D'Anville, published at

Paris. Also on his Canada Louisiane at Paris 1755. It appears

on the left bank but looks 30 miles from the Lake. On the

Mitchell maps, various editions, 1755-1776, etc., it appears on

the right bank.

In 1701, the site of Detroit was permanently settled

by French colonists under De la Motte Cadillac and Fort

Pontchartrain was built as a defense against the Indians.

In 1745, a Colony of English traders from Pennsyl-

vania built Fort Sandowski, on the north side of San-

dusky Bay.

By the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763) France

surrendered her possession in the Ohio country to the

British who remained in possession until after Wayne's

victory over the Indians, at Fallen Timbers, August 20,

1794, when in accordance with the provision of the

treaty between the United States and Great Britain,

signed November 17, 1794, all of the military posts held

by the British south of the Great Lakes were surren-

dered to the Americans.

Prior to the arrival of the French, and long there-

after, the Valley of the Maumee was the abode of the

Miami Indians, the boundaries of whose lands were so

graphically described by Chief Little Turtle. (See To-

ledo and Lucas County, Vol. 1, p. 61) at the Council of

Greenville in August, 1795, in these words:

My fathers kindled the first fires in Detroit; from there

they extended their lines to the head waters of the Scioto; from

there to its mouth; then down the Ohio to the mouth of the Wa-

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bash; then to Chicago and over Lake Michigan. These are the

boundaries within which the prints of my ancestors' houses are

everywhere to be seen.

The river itself was the favorite route between the

tribes of the north and those living along the Ohio and

Mississippi Rivers. We think therefore it is safe to

assume that the site of Fort Industry was at least a

convenient rendezvous for both the Indians and the

authorities and traders from the beginning of the

French, in 1680, to the end of the British occupation, in


With this brief historical review before us, we can

now note a little more intelligently what the various

authorities have to say as to the origin of Fort Industry.

We have already the Richard Mott inscription from

which it would appear that Anthony Wayne built the

fort in 1794.



The Deputy Minister in charge of these Archives

writes under date of January 23, 1925:

Regarding Fort Industry, there is no map showing a fort of

this name. No record in the manuscripts. There is evidence that

General Wayne in 1795 had intentions of building a fort at the

mouth of the Miamis River at Point au Chene (probably Bay View

Park) should he be enabled to push that far to the Northeast.

(See extracts from C. Series, Vol. 673.) There is no indication

that he did so. * * *

From these Archives we make the following ex-



Mr. Godfroy * * * brings the same reports respecting

the intentions of General Wayne to advance and built a Fort at

Sandusky, and another at the mouth of this river. * * * All

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 237

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery       237

reports say that a fort is certainly to be built immediately at

Sandusky and another at the entrance to this river. Whatever

General Wayne may do at Sandusky, I can hardly think he will

send any party below the Glaize.--From letter from Major Steele

to Colonel England, dated Fort Miamis, August 20, 1795, Archives

C Series, Vol. 673, page 45.

Supposing no attempt should be made upon Detroit itself,

its importance will be much diminished and the effects upon our

trade nearly the same if establishments are formed by the States

at the mouth of the Miamis on Lake Erie through which our trade

to that part of the country passes.--Letter from Lord Dorchester

to Mr. Grenville, Archives, Q Series, Vol. 50, Part I, page 21.

* * * And he heard from some of the officers that he

(Wayne) would build a fort this Fall at Point aux Chenes, pro-

vided Perroques with merchandise and stores were prevented from

passing the British post of the Miamis. N. B. Point aux Chenes

is shown on the 1795 MS. Plan (from Q 74) as being on north

shore of Miamis Bay, opposite Turkey Point. (This is probably

a point on what is now Bay View Park.)--Information from

Charles Tillier, dated "Detroit, October 20th, 1795," C Series,

Vol. 673, page 50.



Upper Posts Prior to the War of the Revolution

For the year 1774 and before the war, the King's or Eighth

Regiment occupied the upper posts, viz:

Michilimackinac ......... 23 men

Detroit ..................                             68      "

Fort Erie ................                             29          "

Fort Schlosser ..........                          14      "

Landing  .................                            7        "

Niagara ................. 100                      "

--From Vol. 20, page 272.

Captain Grant being ill desires me to acquaint you that not

doubting Major DePeyster gave you every information from the

Indian Country, he declined troubling you on his return from the

Miami River; that finding the provisions at the mercy of the

weather and Indians, he built a rough block house for its lodge-

ment which may be defended by 10 men against 100.--From Let-

ter from Captain Burnet to Brigadier-General Powell, Detroit,

September 5th, 1782, Vol. 20, page 55.

In obedience to your Excellency's commands, I paid every

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attention in my power to the management and conduct of the In-

dians and with the assistance of Colonel Butler, have endeavored

to get every information possible respecting their ideas and opin-

ions of the Peace * * * They (the Indians) added, that

many years ago, their ancestors had granted permission to the

French King to build trading houses or small forts on the water

communication between Canada and the Western Indians in the

heart of their country for the convenience of trade only, without

granting one inch of the land, but what these forts stood upon

* * *.--From letter from Brigadier-General Maclean to Gen-

eral Frederick Haldimand, Niagara, May 18th, 1783, Vol. 20,

pages 117, 119.

I have your letter of Monday last. The goods for the In-

dians at Gaspe will be sent from Lachine and a requisition shall

be forwarded for them. Having wrote to Colonel McKee, the

22nd ult. that if I did not hear from him in the course of eight

days, I would make a requisition for 35,ooo rations of provisions

and 1,000 gallons of rum as an additional supply for the In-

dians at Swan Creek and Detroit, etc. * * * --From letter

from Captain Joseph Chew to Thomas Aston Coffin, Montreal,

September 3rd, 1795, Vol. 20, page 419.

The policy of the British Government in the matter

of surrendering to the United States possession of the

upper posts is disclosed in the following letter from

Quebec dated 14th November, 1784, and unaddressed,



Sir,--Different attempts having been made by the American

States to get possession of the posts in the upper country in con-

sequence of the Treaty of Peace (Jay's Treaty, 1794) I have

thought it my duty uniformly to oppose the same until His

Majesty's orders for that purpose shall be received. * * *

--Vol. 20, page 269.

Other extracts from the Michigan Pioneer and His-

torical Collections follow:


Late yesterday afternoon, I received a number of letters from

Detroit * * * also two letters from Colonel McKee dated

19th, 21st, April, that of the 19th respecting mode of paying the

Department at Detroit, the other concerning flour, wanted for the

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 239

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery       239


Indians at Swan Creek, likewise two letters from Mr. Selby of the

19th and 22nd April, the first relating to the postage of letters

sent by Colonel McKee and the latter saying that Colonel Eng-

land had given orders for the flour being supplied for the Indians

at Swan Creek, etc. *  *  *."--from letter from Joseph Chew

to Thomas Aston Coffin, Montreal, May 12th, 1796, Vol. 20, page


After the troops had taken some refreshments, the Legion

continued their route down the river and encamped in sight of

the British Garrison (Fort Miami) * * * and continuing

from "Camp, Foot of the Rapids 22nd August, 1794," * * *

we have destroyed all the property within 100 yards of the Gar-

rison. The volunteers were sent down eight miles below the

fort and have destroyed and burned all the possessions belonging

to the Canadians and savages * * * a small party of dra-

goons were sent over the river to burn and destroy all of the

houses, corn, etc., that were under cover of the fort (Miami)

which was effected.--From  Boyer's Daily Journal of Wayne's

Campaign, Vol. 34, page 546.

The Indians, to all appearances have totally abandoned their

settlements, quite to the mouth of the river and their villages and

corn field being consumed and destroyed in every direction, even

under the influence of the guns of Fort Miami.--From Boyer's

Daily Journal of Wayne's Campaign, Vol. 34, page 547.

Having burned and destroyed everything contiguous to the

Fort without opposition, the Legion took up the line of march

and in the evening encamped on this ground, being the same they

marched from on the 20th.--Boyer from Camp Deposit, August

23rd, 1794, pages 547-548.

Having this day received a report from Swan Creek that

messengers have arrived from the Spanish Governor or his agents

to draw away the Indians from thence (Swan Creek) to their

frontier on the Mississippi, by unjust representations of the con-

duct of the British Government toward (the Indians) I judged it

immediately necessary to dispatch one of the interpreters from

hence to counteract, etc.--From letter from Colonel Alexander

McKee to Joseph Chew, Detroit, June 20th, 1796, Vol. 20, page


* * * In my last I said the Yankees were either at San-

dusky or were hourly expected. * * * The Iroquois have

left the Village and are at Swan Creek.--From letter from Rev.

Edmund Burke to Brigade Major Littlehales, Military Secretary

to Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe of the Province of Upper Canada,

River Raisin, June 17, 1795, Vol. 20, page 406.

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Lieutenant Boyer, in his official journal of Wayne's

Campaign, makes no mention of Fort Industry.



We located the original private and official Wayne

papers in the library of the Historical Society of Penn-

sylvania, his native state. There are eleven volumes of

125 pages each, covering the period from the date of the

Battle of Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794, to the time

of Wayne's death at Fort Erie, December 15, 1796.

There were many volumes in addition to the above, re-

ferring to an earlier period in his career. The writer

arranged for the careful examination of each paper in

the entire eleven volumes. The reader's report says:

I have examined II volumes of Wayne's papers, covering the

period from August, 1794, to December, 1796, and am sorry to

say I found no reference to Fort Industry by that name. En-

closed you will find extracts from the Wayne letters relating to

Forts, Stockades, and Blockhouses erected in Ohio; whether any

of these extracts refer to Fort Industry, you are better able to

judge than I am. You will notice there are several references

to orders for provisioning various Forts, and that Fort Industry

is not included in the list * * *." Following is from en-

closures: "Greenville Headquarters, December I, 1795, Colonel

Kilpatrick--you will furnish the Posts herein mentioned up to

the first of April, 1796, with the following complete rations

* * * viz: Forts Washington, Hamilton, St. Clair, Jefferson,

Greenville, Recovery, the Post at the old Piqua Town, at Low-

mies [Loramie], St. Marys, Forts at Adams, Wayne, Defiance,

Knox, Steuben and Massac (fifteen in all). (Signed) Anthony


A letter from General Wayne to Isaac Williams,

Agent, etc., of the Wyandottes at Sandusky, Vol. 43--

Headquarters Greenville, May 31, 1795, reads as fol-


Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 241

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery       241


Sir * * * Bluejacket assures me that all the Indians

from Swan Creek, etc., will undoubtedly attend the treaty and

he has accordingly gone back to bring them on and to counteract

McKee, etc. * * * This will be handed you by Capt. Reid,

a Shawnee Chief, who is accompanied by Mr. MacLean, a man

whom you probably know. Reid left Swan Creek on the 15th of

this month and says that the Indians at that place were preparing

to come to the treaty. * * *

One of the readers of this collection of Wayne pa-

pers says:


I do not think from what I found that Fort Industry was

ever a Fortress or a Military Fort. Its very name would preclude

that. I think Howe is nearly correct in placing it 1799 or 1800,

as a stockade fort. It seems reasonable that after Wayne had

cleared Ohio of the Indians and the settlers flocked in there as

they did, or went back to their abandoned farms, they naturally

built a stockade fort naming it "Industry," for that name to my

mind could never for any reason that I can see be given to a

garrisoned fort.

J. R. Spears, in his Biography of Anthony Wayne,

page 228, says:


After clearing the ground about Fort Miami, Wayne went

down the river and built a wooden fort, called Fort Industry, on

land that now forms the easterly quarter of Summit and Monroe

Streets, Toledo.

In his official report of his campaign against the

Indians General Wayne wrote:


We remained three days and nights on the banks of the

Maumee, in front of the Field of Battle.



From Robert C. Davis, Acting Adjutant General,

comes the following:

Vol. XXXVIII--16

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War Department A. 9. O., May 1, 1922, to Mr. W. J. Sher-

man, 302 Produce Exchange, Toledo, Ohio -- A search of the

records on file in the War Department, deemed likely to afford

information relative to old Fort Industry on the site of the pres-

ent City of Toledo, Ohio, has resulted in failure to disclose any

original official data on the subject. The records of the War

Department during which that post was maintained are far

from complete. * * * I find on file here one unofficial memo-

randum  stating that Fort Industry was built under General

Wayne's orders in 1794; another that it was built in 1800, and

another that the First Regiment of the United States Infantry

under Colonel Thomas Hunt landed there in June, 1803. (En

route to St. Louis.)

James H. Perkins in his Annals of the West, 1846,

on pages 409-410, prints Wayne's report to the Secre-

tary of War in which he makes no mention of Fort





In the office of the State Auditor, at Columbus, is

filed a report by Jared Mansfield, Surveyor General of

the United States, entitled "Notes of the Survey of the

Twelve Mile Square at the Foot of the Rapids of the

Miami River of the Lakes, made under the direction

of Jared Mansfield, Surveyor General of the United

States and signed by him." These notes contain the fol-

lowing reference, viz: "* * * to the mouth of Swan

Creek * * * where is kept a small garrison by

the United States," dated September 8, 1805. (Name

of fort is not given.)

A quaint old volume, entitled Sketches of the War

Between the United States and the British Isles, pub-

lished by Fay and Davidson in Vermont, 1815, contains

on page 15, the following: "There was also a small

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 243

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery       243

settlement on Swan Creek on the Michigan side, which

falls into the Miami seven miles below this Fort" (Mi-


In his History of the Late War in the Western Coun-

try, McAfee says Colonel McKee, Superintendent of In-

dian affairs for the districts of Detroit and Mackinaw

wrote to Colonel England, the (English) Military Com-

mander at Detroit, from "Camp near Fort Miami,

August 30, 1794," as follows:


Sir: I have been employed several days in endeavoring to

fix the Indians (who have been driven from their villages and

corn fields) between the Fort [Miami] and the Bay. Swan

Creek is generally agreed upon and will be a very convenient place

for the distribution of provisions, etc.

Henry Howe in his Historical Collections of Ohio

says that Fort Industry was erected about the year 1800.

Homer and Harris in The Toledo Directory, 1858.

on page 14, say:


A small stockade known by the name of Fort Industry was

built near the Junction of Swan Creek and the Maumee River

immediately after the Treaty of Greenville. It was garrisoned

until 1808 by about 150 men, merely to guard the territory ceded

to the United States against Indian depredations.

L. H. Hosmer, in Early History of the Maumee

Valley, writes:


A small stockade by the name of Fort Industry was built

near the junction of Swan Creek and the Maumee immediately

after the Treaty of Greenville. It was garrisoned until 1808 by

about 150 men merely to guard the territory ceded to the United

States against Indian depredations.

Benson J. Lossing, in his Pictorial Field Book of the

War of 1812, 1868, states:

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244       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications


I visited (Toledo) on the 24th of September, 1860, and had

the singular good fortune to be accompanied by L. H. Hosmer

* * * and the venerable Peter Navarre (page 490). We left

the city for our ride up the Maumee Valley * * * Mr.

Hosmer volunteered to be coachman * * * At the Oliver

House in time for dinner and a stroll about the little City of

Toledo * * * It covers (page 493) the site of Fort Industry,

a stockade erected there about 1800 near what is now Summit


James D. McCabe in his The Great Republic, 1871,

page 836, says:

Toledo covers the site of a stockade fort called Fort Indus-

try, built in 1800.

H. S. Knapp in his History of the Maumee Valley,

1872, shows on the frontispiece of this work, a wood

engraving of Fort Industry and writes:

Landing at Fort Industry (Toledo) of the First Continental

Regiment of United States Infantry under Colonel Thomas Hunt

in June, 1803 * * * on its way from Detroit to St. Louis.

A night was spent in the vicinity of the Fort under tents * * *

This Old Fort stood near the edge of the Bluff, about thirty feet

above the river * * * erected under orders of General

Wayne in 1794.

Knapp (page 93) says that Fort Industry was built

by order of General Wayne, immediately after the Bat-

tle of Fallen Timbers. He also says (page 10):


In 1695, Captain Nicholas Perrot built a trading station at

the west end of Lake Erie, which in 1697 was destroyed by the

Miami Indians * * * the exact location of Perrot's station

cannot now be determined * * * about this time (1700)

a party of factors from Detroit built a small post on the Maumee

where Toledo now stands. (Page II.)

Andreas and Baskin, editors and publishers of the

Historical Atlas of Wood and Lucas Counties, 1875,


Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 245

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery       245


To counteract the influence of Fort Miami, Wayne built a

fort at the mouth of Swan Creek and named it Fort Industry.

In his History of Fort Meigs, James P. Averill says

that General Wayne built and garrisoned Fort Industry

with a small force under Lieutenant Rhea by whom it

continued to be occupied for several years. * * *

Upon the completion of Fort Industry, General Wayne

marched his army back up the river.


On page 44 of his History of Toledo and Lucas

County, 1888, Clark Waggoner says:


The immediate object sought in this expedition to the Mau-

mee River having been attained in the brilliant and complete vic-

tory of Fallen Timbers, General Wayne, by easy marches, made

his way to the Grand Glaize, arriving there August 27, 1794,

(seven days after the Battle of Fallen Timbers). * * * Leaving

a sufficient force at Fort Wayne, the General with a remnant of

his former command, Proceeded to Greenville, where he arrived

November 2nd, after a fatiguing tour of 97 days during which

he marched upwards of 300 miles through a dense wilderness,

meanwhile erecting three fortifications--Fort Adams at St.

Marys, Fort Defiance at Auglaize, and Fort Wayne at the Miami


And on page 64, he quotes as follows from a letter

received by him (Waggoner) from Adjutant General L.

C. Drumm    (U. S. War Department), viz:


A stockade fort was erected about the year 1800, near the

mouth of Swan Creek on the Maumee River, and as near as can

be determined upon what is now Summit Street, in the City of

Toledo, to which was given the name of Fort Industry. It was

at this Fort that a treaty was held with the Indians, July 4, 1805,

by which the Indian title to the Fire Lands (Huron and Erie

Counties) was extinguished and at which were present Mr.

Charles Jouett, United States Commissioner, and Chiefs of Ot-

tawa, Chippewa, Pottawatomie, Shawnee, Muncie and Delaware

Indian Tribes.

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In his Settlement of the Northwest Territory, 1896,

William Van Z. Cox, states that


Fort Industry was erected as a blockhouse near the mouth of

the Maumee and that it was built so expeditiously that he called it

Fort Industry.

The Uhl Brothers, publishers of A History and At-

las of Lucas County, 1901, say on page 3:


The following important data, giving a recapitulation of the

most important of these contests and battles (between the Whites

and the Indians) was presented in a paper read by Mr. Charles

B. Bliven of this city (Toledo) before the Maumee Valley Pio-

neers' Association, in which he says: "In the numerous Indian

wars, the war between the French and Indians, the French and

the English, the English and the Indians, the United States and

Great Britain, and the United States and the Indians, many severe

battles were fought in this immediate vicinity * * * 1669-1670

French Fort built at Swan Creek  * * * 1697 French Forts

built at Kekionga (Fort Wayne) and foot of Rapids (Miami).

* * * * When General Wayne, or rather Colonel Ham-

tramck in 1796, took possession for the United States of

the British Post, Fort Miami (or Campbell) at the foot of

the Rapids, also Detroit and Mackinac, he rebuilt the post at

the Swan Creek, very near the northeast corner of the Twelve

Mile Square Reservation and named it Fort Industry. It was

garrisoned for some ten (1806) or twelve (1808) years and is

distinguished as the location of an important treaty with the In-

dians. The fort consisted of a blockhouse surrounded by a

stockade and stood in the center of a clearing of about four acres.

The exact location has been questioned, but from the best at-

tainable evidence it stood on the later site of the National

Hotel now occupied by the Duell Block or F. Eaton and Com-

pany's store, 143 Summit Street. The cellar or magazine as was

supposed, also some of the stockade, were visible as late as 1830.

Several of the older citizens of Toledo have a vivid remem-

brance of it, and substantially agree as to the precise point of

location. It has been thought that the location was nearer the

river, but aside from the evidence of the living, it must be re-

membered that Water Street was not then in existence, hence

the bank or shore was much nearer this location of the fort than

now. Also there was a very steep bluff on the north side of

Monroe Street, the original bank of Ottawa River, later Swan

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 247

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery        247

Creek, now Mud Creek, rising some thirty feet or more. There-

fore, the center of the indicated theory would be about the spot as

here stated. While we give the precise date of the rebuilding of

the Fort by General Wayne, the evidence is abundant that a

French Trading Post was located on this spot in 1680 and there

is also strong evidence that it was occupied many years earlier

even before LaSalle came down the river in 1669-1671, probably

1640-1648 when the French escorted the Hurons to the Miami


Fort Miami or Campbell which was situated on the west

bank of the river about twelve or fifteen miles from its mouth

and rebuilt by the British in 1763 after its surrender by the

French, appears to have been a regular military work, mounting

fourteen guns, four nine-pounders on the river side, and six six-

pounders on the land side, also two large howitzers and two

swivels. It was surrounded by a deep ditch with horizontal pickets

projecting over it. It was doubtless the strongest fort ever built

in the valley. Its outlines are distinctly visible. Although its

construction probably antedates any other earthwork in the valley,

the precise date of its occupation as a post is like that of Fort

Industry, quite indistinct, but is doubtless contemporaneous, as

the Foot of the Rapids, as well as Swan Creek and Kekionga (Fort

Wayne) were places early recognized as being objective points to

the earliest whites in the valley."

John Gunckel in his Early History of the Maumee

Valley, 1902 (pages 41, 43), says:


After completely routing the Indians, General Wayne fol-

lowed them down the river, passed the silent Fort Miami, where

upon a high bank (Swan Creek) overlooking the river, he rapidly

constructed a military fort on August 23, 1794, and this was built

so expeditiously that he called it Fort Industry. This fort or

blockhouse, as it was familiarly known, General Wayne left in

charge of a small but efficient force, by which it continued to be

occupied for several years. The dimensions of the Fort were

about 200 x 250 feet. * * * On August 27, 1794, he started

with his main army for Fort Defiance.

Harvey Scribner in the Memoirs of Lucas County,

1910, (page 77) says: "S. S. Knabenshue, in an edi-

torial in the Toledo Blade of January 24, 1903, writes

that 'The date of its (Fort Industry) erection, by whom

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and for what purpose have never been determined. The

tablet on the Monroe Street side of Fort Industry Block,

recites the popular legend, but no historic proof of the

statement has ever been      found;"" * * * "The

popular belief is that it was erected by a detachment of

Wayne's army soon after the Battle of Fallen Timbers,

which is probably correct, even though the records on

the subject are not clear," says Scribner.

Randall and Ryan in their History of Ohio, 1912,

page 560, say:


Fort Industry, located at the mouth of the Maumee, was

erected by orders of Wayne, after the Battle of Fallen Timbers,

as a safeguard against Fort Miami. It was never in possession

of the British.

In Charles E. Slocum's History of the Maumee

River Basin, 1905, page 387-388, he says:


Two Quakers, Hopkins and Ellicott, started from Phila-

delphia February 23, 1804, taking Philip Dennis with them to

remain with the Indians and teach them. They traveled to Fort

Wayne, via Zanesville, Lancaster, Chillicothe, Piqua and Lora-

mie and reached Fort Wayne March 30, 1804. They departed

for Detroit, April 15, 1804, via the Maumee River. In the report

of their journey we find, "Prudence seemed to dictate that we

should run into a harbor, which we did, at the mouth of Swan

Creek, where is a small fort (Fort Industry) lately established

by the United States."

In Slocum's The Ohio Country, 1910, (pages 161,

164-165,), we find the following:


In the United States "Estimates of all posts and stations

where garrisons will be expedient and of the number of men

required," made December 3, 1801, but three military posts were

mentioned for the territory northwest of the Ohio River, viz:

Detroit, one company of artillery and four of infantry; Michili-

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 249

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery        249

mackinac, one company of artillery and one of infantry; Fort

Wayne, one company of infantry.

In this same work occurs the following:


Fort Industry was built in 1804 on the left bank of the lower

Maumee River, at the mouth of Swan Creek for protection in

various ways, and for the convenience of the commissioners who,

July 4, 1805, there effected an important treaty with the chiefs and

warriors of the Wyandotte, Ottawa, Chippewa, Munsee, Dela-

ware, Shawnee and Pottawotami tribes and those of the Shawnees

and Senecas who lived with the Wyandottes at this time, all of

whom ceded to the United States their entire claims to the West-

ern Reserve of Connecticut for and in consideration of an an-

nuity of $1,000, in addition to $16,000 paid to them by the Con-

necticut Land Company and the proprietors of a half million

acres of Sufferers' Lands (Fire Lands) granted to those who suf-

fered by fire in Connecticut by acts of the British during the Revo-

lutionary War. The small stockade composing Fort Industry

was abandoned by the United States soon after the treaty. (Page


As fast as possible McKee (the Indian trader) assembled the

savages by the Maumee River, at the mouth of Swan Creek, about

eight miles below Fort Miami. (Page 118. This was after the

Battle of Fallen Timbers.)

Colonel Richard England (Commandant at Detroit) wrote

October 28, 1794, to Francis LeMaitre, British Military Secre-

tary, complaining of the great amount of food supplies taken by

Colonel McKee to the Maumee River, at the mouth of Swan

Creek. (Page 119.)

On pages 122-125 of Volume 12 of the Ohio Archae-

ological and Historical Society Publications, 1903, Slo-

cum writes as follows:


There has also been much of conjecture with unauthoritative

statements regarding Fort Industry, the site of which tradition

places about the crossing of Summit and Monroe Streets in the

present City of Toledo, Ohio. Henry Howe, in his Historical

Collections of Ohio, in 1846, also in his edition of 1896, volume

II, page 148, wrote that Fort Industry was "erected about the

year 1800." H. S. Knapp, in his History of the Maumee Valley,

1872, page 93, wrote that it was built by order of General Wayne

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immediately after the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Neither of these

writers give any authority; and their statements are negatively dis-

proved by official records, as follows:

I. The Battle of Fallen Timbers occurred 20th August,

1794, and General Wayne's army was very busy caring for

the wounded and dead, in searching the country for savages and

in destroying their crops, during the two days before the coun-

termarch began. The night of the 23rd, according to Lieutenant

Boyer's Dairy, the army bivouacked at Camp Deposit, Roche de

Bout (not Roche de Boeuf as written by some early chroniclers),

and the morning of the 24th the march was continued up the

Maumee River. This shows that there was not sufficient time

between the Battle and the return march to build even a stock-

ade, with all the other work on hand, and this, also, immediately

after the great excitements and exhaustions of the Battle.

2. No mention is made of Fort Industry, nor of building a

post on the lower Maumee, in the Diary of General Wayne's Cam-

paign, nor in the reports.

3. The report to General Wayne that on the 30th August,

1794, the British Agent, Alexander McKee, had gathered the

Aborigines at the mouth of Swan Creek to feed and comfort them

("fix them"), is also presumptive evidence against the existence

there or thereabouts of an American fort or body of troops at that

time. (American State Papers, Aborigine Affairs, vol. II, page

526. Also McKee's letter to the British Colonel Richard England

at Detroit.)

4. Timothy Pickering, then acting Secretary of War, re-

ported to the Congressional Committee on the Military Establish-

ment 3rd February, 1796, the names of the then existing Mili-

tary Stations. In this list the name of Fort Industry does not

appear. The stations then existing in and near the Maumee

region were Forts Defiance, Wayne, Miami, and Sandusky, all of

which aggregated a force of one battalion of infantry, one com-

pany of riflemen, and one company of artillery at Fort Wayne

which was the headquarters for these posts. Also Forts Adams,

Recovery, Jefferson, Loramie, Head of the Auglaize, and Green-

ville, the headquarters, had one battalion of infantry and one com-

pany of riflemen divided among them.

5. The 29th March, 1796, James McHenry, Secretary of

War, with his thoughts on economy, particularly "ought the mili-

tary force of the United States to be diminished," gave to the

beforementioned Committee the list of forts to be mentioned in

this region, with the garrison each should have, as follows: De-

fiance, Wayne, Adams, Recovery, head of Wabash, (Auglaize?),

Miami, and Michillimackinac, each fifty-six men, and Detroit 112

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 251

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery       251


men. In these reports Forts Miami and Detroit were recognized as

the property of the United States, but they were not evacuated by

the British until the 11th July, 1796, according to the report of

Lieutenant Colonel Hamtramck and others.

6. With the date of "War Department 23rd December, 1801,

the estimate of all the Posts and Stations where Garrisons will

be Expedient, and the number of men requisite for each garrison,"

does not contain the name Fort Industry.

7. An official statement of the reduced army under the Act

of March, 1802, and its distribution Ist January, 1803, names

Fort Wayne, with a garrison of sixty-four men, as being the

only fortification or military station then in or near the Maumee


8. The report issued from "Head Quarters, Washington,

February 4, 1805, for the year 1803, designating every post and

point of occupancy," does not contain the name of Fort Industry.

9. Nor does the name Fort Industry appear in the schedule

of "Posts and places occupied by the Troops of the United States

in the year 1804, taken from the latest returns and designating

every post and point of occupancy; to which is annexed the num-

ber wanting to complete the Peace Establishment." The only fort,

or United States troops in the Maumee region at this date was at

Fort Wayne with an aggregate garrison, October 31st, 1804, of

sixty-eight men. (See American State Papers, Military Affairs,

V. II, pages 113, 115, 156, 175, 176.)

In fact, the only authoritative statement that Fort Industry

ever existed is the mere mention of it, "Fort Industry on the

Miami of the Lake," as the place where was held an important

treaty with Aborigines, 4th July, 1805 (American State Papers,

Aborigine Affairs, vol. I, page 695); nothing more, nothing be-

fore, and nothing after this date, so far as the writer has been

able to find by several inquiries, in person and by letters, at the

War Department, at the United States Library, and other large

libraries; and there is nothing but tradition to designate its site

within the limits of the present City of Toledo.

The negatives here adduced are equal to positives; hence we

may rest with the belief that "Fort Industry" was little more than

a stockade built hurriedly, industriously--if a former stockade

inclosure as a trading post there was not repaired instead--in

the summer of 1805 solely for the treaty there held, and called a

"Fort" to make it more impressive to the Aborigines. It was

soon thereafter abandoned by the troops who were then necessar-

ily present, as at former treaties.

The authenticity of the frontispiece to Knapp's History of

the Maumee Valley is completely set aside in an editorial from

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252       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications


the able pen of S. S. Knabenshue in the Toledo Blade of January

24, 903 0. J. Hopkins, who drew this view and engraved it on

wood, asserted that his drawing was without foundation in fact,

and purely a work of his fancy. And such is the case, also, with

the "old painting in oil" that is sometimes referred to, and of

many statements that have been written regarding this fort.

Before the grading for streets began, two prehistoric semi-

circular earthworks, presumably for stockades, were surveyed in

Toledo; one at the intersection of Clayton and Oliver Streets on

the south bank of Swan Creek, and the other at Fassett and Fort

Streets on the right bank of the Maumee. A third work of this

character was recorded over fifty years ago by the late Colonel

Charles Whittlesey as existing at Eagle Point about two miles

up the river from the Fassett Street work.

On page 20, of A Story of Early Toledo, 1919, Judge

John H. Doyle, the author, says:


Shortly after the treaty (Greenville) and about the year 1800,

there was erected by the Government in the vicinity of what is

now Monroe and Summit Streets, a fort which was called Fort

Industry. This was erected and garrisoned to enforce obedi-

ence to the treaty and to protect the reservations from depreda-

tion, and for a number of years a company of regulars was sta-

tioned there. At this fort, in 1805, another treaty was con-

cluded with the Indians, by which their title to the Fire Lands

(now Erie and Huron Counties) was finally extinguished.

On page 130, Vol. 1, of Toledo and Lucas County,

1923, John M. Killits says:

Fort Industry was erected on this site by order of General

Anthony Wayne just after the Battle of Fallen Timbers as a

defense against the British who occupied Fort Miami.


We now have assembled in convenient form for ref-

erence the views of practically all the historical writers

who have expressed themselves as to the origin, occu-

pation and abandonment of Fort Industry. It will be

seen there is much divergence in their views. Practi-

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 253

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery  253

cally all of the later writers, dependent as they were on

those who had attempted to record history while the

important actors were still living, have simply re-af-

firmed the views of some one of these pioneer historians.

Lacking access to source material, they merely reflect

the views of the early writers, so they should be disre-


It is indeed strange that the elements of doubt and

uncertainty should exist at all, for we must admit that

in the life of a nation this span of one and one-third

centuries since Wayne's campaign is indeed a brief one,

and an accurate history of important events should be

available and at our command. In the present instance,

difficulty in verifying events of such a recent date may

be explained in part by the destruction of the records

of the War Department when the British occupied the

City of Washington during the War of 1812; in part

by the fact that Northwestern Ohio was possessed of an

exceedingly sparse white population during and imme-

diately after the Revolution and none or practically none

of these were members of Wayne's "Legion of the

United States"; so local family records do not avail.

Reviewing briefly the numerous references hereto-

fore cited, we find that Mott, Knapp, Averill, Gunckel,

Spears, MacAfee, Killits and Randall and Ryan all

agree that Fort Industry was built by Wayne in 1794.

In this opinion, Scribner hesitatingly concurs. On the

other hand, Hosmer, Homer, Herne and the Toledo

Directory of 1858 assert that while this fort was built

by Wayne, yet it was in the year of 1795 instead of


Bliven claims the fort was built or rather rebuilt

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254      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications

after the British in 1796 surrendered to Wayne the

posts at Miami, Detroit and Mackinac.

Howe, Lossing, Waggoner, and Doyle place the date

at 1800 or four years after the death of Wayne.

Slocum says (1903) that Fort Industry was built in

1805, "for protection in various ways and for the con-

venience of the commissioners who negotiated the In-

dian Treaty in 1805 at this point." He also states that

Hopkins and Ellicott, the two Quakers, were sheltered

here late in April, 1804, "where a small fort had lately

been established."

The War Department is unable to furnish any in-

formation owing to the incompleteness of the military

records for the period prior to about the year 1820.

They are, however, inclined to think the post was es-

tablished about 1800; and under date of October 8, 1828,

they say "there was a treaty with the Indians at Fort

Industry July 4, 1805, and still others in that region on

various dates as late as October 6, 1818, which fact

suggests that there may have been troops at the site

of Toledo for nearly twenty years after the year 1800."

An old war map, in the writer's possession, of "Up-

per and Lower Canada and the United States contigu-

ous" dedicated "to the officers of the Army and the citi-

zens of the United States" under date of November 4,

1812, does not show Fort Industry at all. So it is safe to

say there was no garrison there during the War of

1812 though the post may have been reoccupied later for

conferences with the Indians.

War Department estimates and reports under dates

of February 3, 1796; March 29, 1796; December 23,

1801; January 1, 1803; October 31, 1804; and February

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 255

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery  255

4, 1805, make no mention whatever of Fort Industry

in referring to the posts maintained in the West by our


We know from the Quakers' journal referred to that

in the latter part of April, 1804, Fort Industry had

"lately been established."

We also know that it was at least temporarily occu-

pied in June, 1803, so it was probably built or rebuilt

in the spring of 1803 as a military outpost of Fort

Wayne or Detroit, having been previously occupied as

a trading post or supply station from the earliest arrival

of the whites and during both French and English oc-


L. H. Hosmer, and also Homer and Harris, in the

Toledo Directory of 1858, say that Fort Industry was

abandoned as a military post in 1808 and that during

the period of its occupation it was garrisoned by about

one hundred and fifty men. Bliven says it was aban-

doned in 1806 or 1808.

It may have been temporarily garrisoned at subse-

quent times as suggested by the War Department but

that it was not occupied during the War of 1812 is in-

dicated by the military map heretofore referred to and

by Slocum's statement "that on January 12, 1813, Gen-

eral Payne of General Winchester's army, routed a

gathering of Aborigines from an old stockade post on

the north bank of Swan Creek near its mouth."



There is little doubt that Swan Creek was consid-

ered by both the French and the Indians a point of

strategic importance for trading with the latter. There

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256      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications

were numerous Indian villages in the Maumee Valley be-

tween the present site of Fort Wayne and Maumee Bay,

including one at the mouth of Swan Creek. The river

itself was a favorite route of communication between

the Indians of the Ohio Valley and those of the North.

The importance of the Maumee route was very early

recognized by the French, for Killits says, (Vol. 1,

page 61), that after the loss of the Griffin, LaSalle re-

turned to Fort Frontenac for supplies and from there

wrote, "There is at the end of Lake Erie ten leagues

below the Straight (Detroit River), a river by which

we could shorten the way to Illinois very much. It is

navigable by canoes to within two leagues of the route

now in use," so LaSalle knew all about the Maumee

River as early as 1680. Indeed, it appears well defined

on the map of 1656 by Nicholas Sanson, the Royal

Geographer of France, referred to and shown by Kil-


Bliven says, "The evidence is abundant that a French

trading post was located on this spot in 1680 and there

is also strong evidence that it was occupied many years

earlier, * * * probably 1640-1648, when the French

escorted the Hurons to the Miami Conference." He

also states that a French fort was built at Swan Creek

in 1669-1670.

Knapp speaks of a trading station built in 1695 "at

the west end of Lake Erie" and about this time (1700)

a party of factors from Detroit built a small post on

the Maumee River where Toledo now stands."

The British Military Archives contain many refer-

ences to the Indians at the mouth of Swan Creek and to

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 257

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery   257

supplies furnished them at that point, and also to sup-

plies for Fort Miami from Swan Creek.

It is evident that this was an important British trad-

ing post and supply station both before and after the

Battle of Fallen Timbers, even up to the final evacu-

ation of the American posts in July, 1796.

Slocum says: "In 1702, Captain Francis Morgan

de Vincennes with French soldiers and others from

Canada, established posts along the Maumee and the

Wabash as far southwest as Vincennes, Indiana," and

that in 1742, there were forts on the Maumee and Wa-

bash and that in 1748, the French established trading

posts on the Maumee.

Slocum, on page 165 of The Ohio Country, says:


The small stockade composing Fort Industry was abandoned

by the United States soon after this Treaty (July 4, 1805).

He further says:


From the original records, we catch glimpses of different

traders with the Aborigines along the lower Maumee River,

and there can be no doubt that stockades were employed for the

protection of their goods and peltries from the beginning of the

eighteenth century or before.

Captain Grant, in command of British Naval opera-

tions on Lake Erie, on returning from the Miami River

in September, 1782, "finding the provisions at the mercy

of the weather and the Indians, built a rough

blockhouse for its lodgement which may be defended

by ten men against one hundred." We have nothing

definite as to the location of this blockhouse. If on the

site of Fort Industry, it may have been destroyed by

Vol. XXXVIII--17

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258      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications

Wayne's volunteers who immediately after the Battle

of Fallen Timbers pursued the Indians as far as Swan

Creek where they "destroyed and burned all the pos-

sessions belonging to the Canadians and savages."

(See Boyer's Journal of Wayne's Campaign.)



1. During the French occupation of the Maumee

Valley from 1680 to 1763, and the English occupation

from 1763 to 1796, trading posts or supply stations were

maintained on the north bank of Swan Creek near its

mouth, it being a convenient place for receiving supplies

and for distributing them among the numerous Indian

tribes in the valley.

2. These trading posts or supply stations were sub-

stantial log structures for housing stores of all kinds

and for protecting them from Indian depredations and

may have been and probably were stockaded.

3. They were never garrisoned by regular troops

and therefore never bore the name of "fort."

4. Fort Industry was not built by General Anthony

Wayne prior to the evacuation of Fort Miami, in July,

1794, and its occupancy by General Hamtramck, nor

was there need for him to build it thereafter with Fort

Miami in his possession only eight miles away.

5. It did not exist as a recognized and occupied

permanent army post during any portion of the Wayne

Campaign nor in December, 1801; nor January, 1804;

nor October, 1804; nor in February, 1805; nor during

the War of 1812; and in January, 1813, it was occupied

by the Indians who were driven out by United States


Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery 259

Fort Industry -- An Historical Mystery  259

6. It did exist as a temporary outpost station in

June, 1803; and in April, 18C4 and in July, 1805; also,

in September, 1805.

7. It was probably established and occasionally oc-

cupied as an outpost of Detroit, the nearest and most

important regularly garrisoned army post, or it may

have been an outpost of Fort Wayne on the upper

Maumee. It was occupied temporarily from time to

time as conditions required the presence at this point

of United States soldiers. The most important event

occurring at Fort Industry was the Indian Treaty in

July, 1805.

8. On the site of Fort Industry was probably an

English trading post or Indian supply station estab-

lished about 1670 (Bliven), abandoned in 1796, but later

repaired or rebuilt by United States troops and first

occupied by them in the spring of 1803 and thereafter

as required until 1808 or possibly until the War of 1812,

when it fell into the hands of the British and later of the

Indians who were driven out by United States troops

under General Wilkinson, in January, 1813.

9. We have no later information of a definite char-

acter concerning its history, so must assume it was al-

lowed to gradually decay and finally made way for the

Fort Industry block of 1842-1843.