Conceptualized Drawing of Fort Prince George

Building Fort Keowee – Fort Prince George

Note: Fort Keowee as it was commonly called in the 1800’s is now known by the name Fort Prince George.

A fort on the borders of the nation, or in the nation, had long been desired by the traders and settlers, and even by some of the best disposed Indians themselves. As early, even, as 1734, the importance of such a fort had been recognized in Charleston: but its erection had been put off, from time to time. And the colonists, instead of building the fort themselves, had petitioned the Parliament of Great Britain build it. After years of delay the province was compelled to do the work at its own expense, and the Council directed that land be purchased from the Indians, and that the fort be erected as near as possible to the Indian town of Keowee. Accordingly, Governor Glen, in the fall of 1753, visited the country of the Lower Cherokees, bought a quantity of land, and built the fort at Keowee. It was claimed that by this purchase the English acquired the territory now embraced in the Districts of Abbeville, Edgefield, Laurens, Union, Spartanburg, Newberry, Chester, Fairfield, Richland, and York. Whether this claim is just or not, it is certainly true that from this time the settlements began rapidly to extend. But be this as it may, the building of the fort, which was called Fort Prince George, purchased only a brief peace for the nation and short-lived confidence on the border [1]This fort is better known as Fort Prince George, and was located in Pickens County..

For further information: A Memoir of the Archaeological Excavation of Fort Prince George, Pickens County, South Carolina, Along with Pertinent Historical Documentation

Conference at Saluda Old Town

Governor Glen again invited the Chiefs to meet him in conference in Charlestown. They refused to go to Charlestown, basing their refusal, they said, on the fear of the fatal sickness which they had before contracted there, and which they might again contract. They agreed, however, to meet at some place between the nation and Charlestown. The meeting took place at Saluda Old Town in the summer of 1755.

Of what was actually done at this conference we know but little; but an enthusiastic admirer of the Governor, a man named Moses Thompson, writing to him in January 1756, says:

“I cannot forget my impressions of your paternal care of South Carolina since you came among us. First, your journey to Ninety-Six, to settle a peace with the Cherokees; and thence to Savannah to make peace with the Creeks. Second, your long journey to the Cherokee Nation to build a fort. Third, your journey to Saluda, in the heat of summer, to settle a second peace with the Cherokees in troublous times; which act crowns all the rest; for I verily believe there never was such a firm peace made with any Indians before, and all resulting in the advancement of the indigo manufacture. And likewise your great care of our back-settlers; for when I was Major under your Excellency; I cannot forget your care by your instructions to me on several occasions; besides your private letters to me to inform your Excellency of any event, that proper steps.

Source: Chapman, John Abney; History of Edgefield County from the earliest settlement to 1897; Newberry, S.C.: E. H. Aull, 1897.


1This fort is better known as Fort Prince George, and was located in Pickens County.

5 thoughts on “Building Fort Keowee – Fort Prince George”

  1. My Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather, Edward Wilkinson was a Indian Agent at this fort. He met and married Mollie of the Wolf Clan, whose father was Chief Dragging Canoe.

      1. Betty, how much research have you found on this family? I want to learn more and the correct information….

        1. I have some info on Mollie Welch and her husband Edward Wilkerson and 2nd husband last name Rains. I have found a list of Mollie’s children which moved around all over before the removal. I will share I all I have if you have any questions

          Jim palmer

  2. Edward Wilkinson was the Indian agent involved in building and trading out of the fort. The SC Gazette documents how much he was selling off the trading post. He and Mollie my 7th gen grandparents. Interesting, Ive read there was a welch who did fight iwth Tsiu Gunsini in Tennessee as did some Tories. James Welch was killed by Shawnees in 1766 along with his grandchild. But Mollie survived. Amazing story

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