Fort Jesup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fort Jesup
Army Kitchen at Fort Jesup State Historic Site.jpg
An army kitchen on the grounds of Fort Jesup state historic site
Fort Jesup is located in Louisiana
Fort Jesup
Fort Jesup
Location Sabine Parish, Louisiana, USA
Nearest city Many, Louisiana
Coordinates 31°36′41″N 93°24′3″W / 31.61139°N 93.40083°W / 31.61139; -93.40083Coordinates: 31°36′41″N 93°24′3″W / 31.61139°N 93.40083°W / 31.61139; -93.40083
Area 21 acres (8.5 ha)[2]
Built 1822
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 66000381[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966
Designated NHL July 4, 1961[3]

Fort Jesup, also known as Fort Jesup State Historic Site or Fort Jessup or Fort Jesup State Monument, was built in 1822, 22 miles west of Natchitoches, Louisiana, to protect the United States border with Spain and to return order to the Neutral Strip.[4] Originally named Cantonment Jesup, the fort operated from 1822 until 1846. After the abandonment of the fort in 1846, the United States federal government continued to own the abandoned fort site until the privatization of the site in 1869.[5]

History[edit]

The Neutral Strip was created after the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, from which arose a disagreement about the location of the border between the American and Spanish territories. In order to avoid a war, the two countries agreed that the land in contention would remain neutral and free of armed forces from either side. This region stretched from Sabine River to Arroyo Hondo and encompassed the land that now makes up modern Sabine Parish, Louisiana. The Neutral Strip remained devoid of government and law enforcement until the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 finally set the border at the Sabine River.

Zachary Taylor[edit]

Colonel (later General) Zachary Taylor,--future President of the United States—established Cantonment Jesup in 1822 after Fort Seldon, a temporary headquarters for General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, was too far from the conflict zone of the Sabine River. Taylor quickly subdued the former Neutral Strip, gaining experience and popularity. The surgeon at the cantonment recorded meteorological observations. His forces, known as the Army of Observation, remained in the fort and monitored the Texas territory as it passed from Spanish to Mexican control, and finally broke away as an independent republic. In 1845, General Taylor commanded led the US' Army of Observation into Texas and ignited the Mexican-American War. He would eventually gain popularity from his victories that would propel his political career to the Presidency of the United States of America.

Closure[edit]

The United States won the war and gained control of Texas, rendering Fort Jesup unnecessary. Officially evacuated in 1846, the fort thereafter deteriorated. The federal government privatized it in 1869.

State Park[edit]

By the 1930s, the only remaining building at Fort Jesup was the kitchen of Enlisted Barracks 4. Residents of the nearby town of Many, Louisiana raised money to restore the building and turned the area into a park.

The site was acquired by the Louisiana Office of State Parks in 1956, and in 1961, the fort was designated a National Historic Landmark.[3][6]

Since then, the kitchen has been restored and decorated with historically accurate furniture. An officer’s quarters building has been reconstructed, and now serves as a museum.[7]

The fort site is located on Louisiana Highway 6, seven miles (11 km) northeast of Many, Louisiana.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Sternberg, Mary Ann (1993-06-30). The Pelican Guide to Louisiana (2 ed.). Firebird Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-88289-901-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b National Historic Landmark summary listing (National Park Service). 
  4. ^ Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Fort Jesup Historical Marker". 
  5. ^ Frontier Army Road Terminus Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 41st Congress, 1st Session, Read twice, referred to the Committee on the Public Lands, and ordered to be printed. Mr. Julian, on leave, introduced the following bill: A Bill Declaring the lands constituting the Fort Jessup military reservation in the State of Louisiana subject to homestead entry and settlement.
  6. ^ Patricia Heintzelman (August, 1975). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Fort Jesup PDF (343 KB). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 6 photos, exterior and interior, from 1958, 1960 and undated PDF (1.22 MB)
  7. ^ Fort Jesup--Cane River National Heritage Area: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary - National Park Service