Fort Sandusky

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Fort Sandusky refers to at least three separate military forts that were in several locations in the area of Sandusky Bay, Ohio.

  • From about 1749 to around 1753, Fort Sandoské ("Fort Sandusky", as it is spelled on Evans' map of 1755) was a French military fort on the northwest side of Sandusky Bay. It stood near the Bay, and somewhere southerly and easterly of the (now) City of Port Clinton. This fort is known to have been abandoned by 1754.
  • From 1761 until 1763, "Fort Sandusky" was a British military fort on the southeastern side of Sandusky Bay, near the vicinity of (now) Venice, Ohio.
  • By 1812, "Fort Sandusky" (later, by 1813, called "Fort Stephenson") was on the Sandusky River, nearer to (now) Fremont, Ohio; the original plans for this fort designate it as "Fort Sandusky".

British Fort Sandusky (1761-1763)[edit]

Fort Sandusky was a small British fort in the Ohio Country, on the shore of Lake Erie in present-day Ohio, which was captured and destroyed by American Indians during Pontiac's Rebellion.

Most fighting in the French and Indian War in North America ended by 1760, and the victorious British began to take possession of forts in the Ohio Country and Great Lakes region previously occupied by the French. Although the 1758 Treaty of Easton with Ohio Country Indians promised that no additional forts would be built, in 1761 British General Jeffrey Amherst ordered the erection of Fort Sandusky on Sandusky Bay in order to link Fort Detroit with Fort Pitt. The Sandusky Bay area had long been an important trade area. There were a number of Native American villages in the area, primarily Wyandots. Orontony, a Wyandot chief, had settled here in the 1740s, and emerged as a leader. Before the French and Indian War, French and British traders competed for influence among the Indians here.

After Pontiac's Rebellion began at Fort Detroit, other forts in the region were attacked. Fort Sandusky was the first to be taken. On May 16, 1763, a group of Wyandots gained entry to the fort under the pretense of holding a council, the same stratagem that had failed in Detroit nine days earlier. They seized the commander and killed the fifteen-man garrison. A number of British traders were put to death as well, and the fort was burned.

Due to 19th-century confusion about the existence of at least three separate forts by the same name, the exact location of Fort Sandusky has been variously given as being in present Ottawa County, Sandusky County, and Erie County. But the British Fort Sandusky was not on the same site as an earlier French fort/trading post, Fort Sandoské/Sanduski (1750–53), which was on the opposite (north) side of Sandusky Bay.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Article from Ohio History Central, which (as of Nov.2013) erroneously details Fort Sandusky being destroyed in 1761, rebuilt, and then taken again in 1763. Probably confuses events of the French and Indian War and Fort Sandoské(1750–53), with the later Pontiac's Rebellion (and the different Fort Sandusky of 1761). The webpage also erroneously shows (as of Nov.2013) an image of a different Fort Sandusky; the image there is actually the plan of the other Fort Sandusky which became known as Fort Stephenson, at (now) Fremont, Ohio.