History is alive and well on the Coosa

Yesterday we took a drive to Wetumpka, AL and literally stepped back in time. History came alive with French Marines, English troops, Creek warriors, and US Army Regulars portrayed by living history units from across Alabama and the Eastern United States.

Ft. Toulouse

Situated at the head of the Alabama River system—at the juncture of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers—Fort Toulouse (named for the Count de Toulouse, a son of King Louis XIV) in 1717 was planned to keep the local Indians neutral, if not loyal, to the French and contain the British in their southernmost Atlantic colonies. Unlike the usual frontier settlements, Fort Toulouse was both a diplomatic post, since its officers acted as resident ministers, and a military post. Because it was located in a friendly territory adjoining an area under a rival (British) influence, the post participated in psychological warfare rather than in blood-letting. It used trade and aid, and was familiar with spies and double-agents—welcoming and debriefing British defectors; no cannon was discharged in anger at Toulouse. The most eminent figure to have been connected directly with Fort Toulouse was General Andrew Jackson, who established a military post there during the War of 1812 after his victory over the Indians at Horseshoe Bend. The outpost was named Fort Jackson in his honor and played a key role in the treaty negotiations and eventual settlement of the Indian land by Americans.

Creek Encampent

Archaeological research at the beautiful park has revealed evidence of Native American presence dating back thousands of years. The point of land formed by the confluence of the rivers was the location of a large mound and fortified village during the Mississippian era (A.D. 900-A.D. 1500).

One of the many old trees that fill the park

Fort Toulouse-Jackson is also home to many natural wonders. William Bartram, a famed 18th century botanist and friend of Benjamin Franklin, visited the site in 1776 creating notes and drawings of the area’s flora and fauna.


This entry was published on April 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm. It’s filed under Alabama, Alabama Rivers, French and Indian War, Ft. Toulouse-Jackson, Historic Forts, Military History, Photography, southern living, War of 1812 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

17 thoughts on “History is alive and well on the Coosa

  1. David,
    Thanks, it was a great day. I love your shots, especially the posting of the garden fence.

  2. Really nice post Stephane. Thanks for a complete tour.

    • Hi Wally,
      Thanks, I enjoy these outings. As a kid, mom and dad always stopped at museums and the like when ever we could – (I did love them as I do now) so my trips kinda keep my parents with me… if that makes sense…

      • It makes a lot of sense. My folks made a lot of outings also and some of them were museums but most of them were to the outdoors. Sleeping in WWII surplus tents, cooking by the side of the road and wandering through the brush. It was fun.

  3. Really wonderful Stephanie. Great photos and tour. I’m reading a biography of A. Jackson right now and just finished the 1812 war. Great to see Fort Jackson as it was.

    • Thank you, I wish I could have stayed longer – they were going to have a mock battle, but I tuckered out early… A. Jackson was an interesting person. More nearly than any of his predecessors, Andrew Jackson was elected by popular vote; as President he sought to act as the direct representative of the common man. To my understanding he is responsible for the two party system and as national politics polarized around Jackson and his opposition, two parties grew out of the old Republican Party–the Democratic Republicans, or Democrats, adhering to Jackson; and the National Republicans, or Whigs, opposing him.

  4. This is fascinating stuff, Stephaine! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Alabama history.

  5. antiquityandadventures on said:

    great post 🙂

  6. Fascinating post Stephanie. We don’t get taught anything about that part of history in the UK. It seems that it’s a microcosm of European belligerence and colonialism – were other European countries other than Britain and France involved in the South?

    • I know, it’s interesting how bits and pieces get left out of history. I guess that’s something else we have in common with the Roman Empire. Rewrite history as you want it to be. We do similar things here in the US.

      There were Spanish explorers here in the South. Hernando de Soto in 1540 explored through Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama & Mississippi then in 1541 to the west through Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana & Texas. He died May 21, 1542 in either Arkansas or Louisiana. His troops kept his death a secret as he was supposed to be the immortal Sun God. They hid his corpse in blankets, weighted it with sand and sank it in the middle of the Mississippi River during the night.

      Of course the US is a melting pot of immigrants. My family hails from North Carolina and Virginia and I am mostly ( I think) of English/Scottish(?) German and Dutch ancestry. That’s just going by surnames… I’m a mutt 🙂

  7. How interesting, and well documented.

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