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Saturday, February 26, 2011

FORT TWITTY, the Little Fort

In 2007, I was working on a project researching the pioneer stations of Madison County Kentucky, when it came to my attention that there was another marker for Fort Twitty, other than the historical marker on Highway 25. A granite marker was erected in 1937 by the Boonesborough Chapter of the DAR on private property, once owned by Judge Vernon Leer, in a location believed to be near the fort.  The old farm had been purchased for a Planned Urban Development location in the fall of 2006.  In process of excavating the land, a bulldozer operator unwittingly knocked the marker off the base.

By coincidence, fate, what-have-you, I happened by the gated construction entrance one afternoon, when the former tenants of the farm were about to take a sentimental drive. I inquired whether they knew where the marker was located. Indeed they did, and I was able to take some photographs of the debased monument. (Photo A, 2007)

A few days ago, I happened to be in Richmond, Kentucky on another research venture, and thought I would try to find the marker once again. It was rumored that a small park, or pavilion would be built around the historical marker. New streets and houses had replaced acres of old farm land. Presently, the “Fort Tweety” marker is isolated, and properly seated upon the base. (Photo B, February 21, 2011)

Although it reads “First Fort Built In Kentucky”, Fort Harrod was built earlier in 1774. Fort Twitty was also known as the Little Fort. Samuel Estill stated in deposition that it was "a few logs put in the likeness of a square cabin." (Fayette County Records, , Vol II, Cook,case of Hart vs Benton, page 246) The fort was named for Captain William Twitty who died from injuries sustained in an Indian attack in early dawn hours of March 25, 1775.  Captain William Twitty was survived by his wife, Susannah and eight children: William, Susannah, Allen, Russell, Polly, Arabella, Belariah, and Charolette. His nuncupative will was “made in presence and proved by the Oath of Thomas Johnson to have been made and pronounced a few hours before his death on the River Kentucke in the Indian Lands on the twenty seventh Day of March Anno Dom. 1775. To wit, That it was his will that his wife, Susannah Twitty should keep the children and what there was together to give them a good education and do well by them.” (Tyrone County North Carolina Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July Term 1775 and October Term 1778)
Daniel Boone gave a report of the event in a letter dated April 15, 1775 to Colonel Richard Henderson.  Felix Walker who was also injured, but survived gave his account of the event in Memoirs of a Southern Gentleman. Due to Walker's wounds the party remained there twelve days before removing Walker on a litter to the "Kentucky River, where we stopped and made a station and called it Boonesborough."

Photographs by Valerie J. Thompson
Text and photographs copyright