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Encyclopedia > Fort de Chartres

Fort de Chartres existed as a succession of three French fortifications built during the 1700s on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area of upper Louisiana known as the Illinois Country. A partial reconstruction of the final stone fort stands in a state park at the site south of St. Louis, in Randolph County, Illinois. The name of the fort honors Louis duc le Chartres, son of the Regent of France. The stone armory of the fort is considered the oldest standing building in Illinois. Today, the fort hosts several large re-enactments of colonial-era civil and military life each summer. Nakhal Fort, one of the best-preserved forts in Oman. ... Events and trends The Bonneville Slide blocks the Columbia River near the site of present-day Cascade Locks, Oregon with a land bridge 200 feet (60 m) high. ... This page is about the river in the United States; there is also a Canadian Mississippi River (Ontario). ... Louisiana sold in 1803 by Napoléon to USA, which was a portion of the historical extent of French Louisiana Louisiana (French language: La Louisiane) was the name of an administrative district of New France in the 17th and 18th centuries. ... French settlements and forts in the Illinois Country in 1763, showing U.S. current state boundaries. ... The Gateway Arch, shown here behind the Old Courthouse, is the most recognizable part of the St. ... Randolph County is a county located in the state of Illinois. ... State nickname: Land of Lincoln, The Prairie State Official languages English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) Senators Richard Durbin (D) Barack Obama (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 25th 149,998 km² 4. ...


History

The gatehouse of Fort de Chartres was reconstructed in the 1930s.
Enlarge
The gatehouse of Fort de Chartres was reconstructed in the 1930s.

The original wooden fort was built in 1718-1720 by a French contingent from New Orleans, led by Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand, when administration of the Illinois Country was moved from Canada to New Orleans. Governance was transferred to the Company of the Indies and the fort was built to be the seat of government and to control the Indians of the region, particularly the Fox. The original fort was a pallisade of logs with two bastions at opposite corners. Description: The reconstructed gatehouse and front curtain (wall) at Fort de Chartres in Illinois. ... Description: The reconstructed gatehouse and front curtain (wall) at Fort de Chartres in Illinois. ... // Events July 21 - Treaty of Passarowitz signed November 22 - Off the coast of Virginia, English pirate Edward Teach (best known as Blackbeard) is killed in battle when a British boarding party cornered and then shot and stabbed him more than 25 times. ... // Events January 6 - The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble publishes its findings February 11 - Sweden and Prussia sign the (2nd Treaty of Stockholm) declaring peace. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand (1675-1736) was a French-Canadian who commanded several areas in North America claimed by France in the early 18th Century. ... The Fox tribe of Native Americans are an Algonquian language-speaking group that are now merged with the allied Sac tribe as the Sac and Fox Nation. ... The point of a bastion on a reconstructed French fort in Illinois. ...


Within five years, flooding from the Mississippi had left the original fort in bad condition. Construction of a second fort farther from the river, but still on the flood plain, began in 1725. This fort was also made of logs and had a bastion at each of the four corners. Events February 8 - Catherine I became empress of Russia February 20 - The first reported case of white men scalping Native Americans takes place in New Hampshire colony. ...


The second wooden fort deteriorated somewhat less rapidly, but by 1742 it was in bad repair. In 1747 the French garrison moved to the region's primary settlement 18 miles to the south at Kaskaskia, and the French debated where to rebuild the fort. Discussions of a stone fortress had begun in the 1730s after the Company of the Indies had failed and governance had reverted to the crown. The government in New Orleans wanted to move the garrison permanently to Kaskaskia, but the local commandant argued for a location near the original. // Events January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... // Events January 31 - The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Dock Hospital April 9 - The Scottish Jacobite Lord Lovat was beheaded by axe on Tower Hill, London, for high treason; he was the last man to be executed in this way in Britain May 14 - First battle of Cape... Kaskaskia is a village located in Randolph County, Illinois. ... Events and Trends The Great Awakening - A Protestant religious movement active in the British colonies of North America Sextant invented (probably around 1730) independently by John Hadley in Great Britain and Thomas Godfrey in the American colonies World leaders Louis XV King of France (king from 1715 to 1774) George...


The decision was eventually reached to build in stone near the first forts rather than at Kaskakia. Construction began in 1753 and was mostly completed in 1756. The limestone fort had walls 15 ft (3 m) high and 3 ft (1m) thick enclosing an area of 4 acres (16,000 m²). The stone for construction was quarried in bluffs about two or three miles (4 km) distant and had to be ferried across a small lake. In 1763 the Treaty of Paris was signed and the French transferred control of the Illinois Country to Great Britain. The stone fort served as center of French administration of the region for only ten years. The British had difficulty getting a regiment to their newly acquired fort, but on October 10, 1765, the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment took control of the fort and surrounding area. The fort was renamed Fort Cavendish. The British, however, saw little value in the fort and abandoned it in 1771. 1753 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1756 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1763 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... There are several treaties that have taken place in Paris: Treaty of Paris (1259) - between Henry III of England and Louis IX of France Treaty of Paris (1763) - ended Seven Years War Treaty of Paris (1783) - ended American Revolutionary War Treaty of Paris (1810) - ended war between France and Sweden... October 10 is the 283rd day of the year (284th in Leap years). ... 1765 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1771 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


Ruin and Reconstruction

One of the reconstructed bastions at the fort.
Enlarge
One of the reconstructed bastions at the fort.

The Mississippi continued to take its toll, and in 1772 the south wall and bastion fell into the river. The remaining walls deteriorated, and visitors noted trees growing in them by the 1820s. Locals carted away the stone for construction bit by bit over the years, and by 1900 the walls were gone. The only part of the original fort that remained was the stone building that had served as the powder magazine. Download high resolution version (480x640, 53 KB)Description: A detail of a bastion of Fort de Chartres in Illinois. ... Download high resolution version (480x640, 53 KB)Description: A detail of a bastion of Fort de Chartres in Illinois. ... 1772 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Events and Trends Nationalistic independence movements helped reshape the world during this decade: Greece declares independence from the Ottoman Empire (1821). ... 1900 (MCM) is a common year starting on Monday. ...


The State of Illinois acquired the ruins in 1913 as a historic site and restored the powder magazine in 1917. The powder magazine is thought to be the oldest existing building in the state of Illinois. In the 1920s foundations of the fort's buildings and walls were exposed, and in the 1930s the WPA rebuilt the gateway and two stone buildings. 1913 (MCMXIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday. ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... State nickname: Land of Lincoln, The Prairie State Official languages English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) Senators Richard Durbin (D) Barack Obama (D) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 25th 149,998 km² 4. ... Sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or primarily in North America and in Australia as the Roaring Twenties . In Europe it is sometimes refered to as the Golden Twenties. ... // Events and trends A public speech by Benito Mussolini, founder of the Fascist movement The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the global depression. ... The Works Progress Administration (later Works Projects Administration, abbreviated WPA), was created on May 6, 1935 with the signing of Executive Order 7034. ...


Partial reconstruction of the fort's walls followed later. The frames of some additional buildings were erected as a display of the post and beam construction techniques used on the originals. Other buildings' foundations and cellars were exposed for educational display as well. Timber framing is the modern term for the traditional half-timbered construction in which timber provides a visible skeletal frame that supports the whole building. ...


Today the site has a museum and small gift shop. It plays host each June to a Rendezvous that is one of the largest and oldest in the country, celebrating frontier French and Indian culture. The site is protected by modern levees, but the Mississippi is still an occasional menace. In the flood of 1993 the levee was breached, and water fifteen feet deep lapped at the top of the walls. A levee, levée (from the feminine past participle of the French verb lever, to raise), floodbank or stopbank is a natural or artificial embankment or dike, usually earthen, which parallels the course of a river. ... The Great Flood of 1993 was a huge, costly, and devastating flood that occurred in the American Midwest from April to October of 1993. ...


References

  • Illiniois Historic Preservation Agency website on October 22, 2004.
  • [http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/athome/1700/timeline/ At Home on the French Frontier* [http: on the website of the Illinois State Museum on October 27, 2004.
  • The Expedition to Fort Chartres on the website of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, Inc., of Lafayette, Indiana.[1] on October 27, 2004.
  • http://www.ftdechartres.com The official website of Fort de Chartres on January 2006.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Fort de Chartres (1008 words)
The fort was a palisade of squared logs, surrounded by a dry moat.
With the frequent flooding of the Mississippi River, the fort deteriorated rapidly.
During the 1993 flood, Fort de Chartres was inundated by fifteen feet of water.
Fort de Chartres home (101 words)
Fort de Chartres is the last of three eighteenth-century forts by that name erected near the Mississippi River by France's colonial government.
The stone fort, built in the 1750s and abandoned in 1771, has been partially reconstructed to provide a glimpse of life in Illinois under the French regime.
Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, which also preserves the archaeological remains of the earlier wooden forts, is managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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