Blockhouse, landmark, intended to be within feet of the NC/SC line on the then Cherokee line (Greenville/Spartanburg) /
Possible site of murder of Indian trader and capture of his wife and daughter, Summer 1776
35.19598 -82.216301 Blockhouse (JCP)
35.195912 -82.21627 NC/SC line, Greenville/Spartanburg county line
Maps: [map notes]
- I originally marked this site on 23 Feb 2001, in a tour of local Rev War sites with J.W. Lawrence, owner of the Landrum newspaper, then 95, still driving to work each day. There was a sign or marker of the site, visible from the road in a horse pasture.
- Blockhouse marker, courtesy of Jack Parker:
- John Belton O'Neall Landrum, Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina: ..., 1897, Shannon and Co. p.161.
Besides Fort Prince there were two other forts located
on the Blackstock road—one of these was Gowen's Fort,
the site of which is near Williams' Mill, on the waters of
South Packolet River. This old fort is mentioned in Governor
Perry's articles, which appear in Johnson's Traditions.
The other referred to is the Block House Fort,
which stood near the present residence of Ceburn Foster,
on the present dividing line between the counties of Greenville
and Spartanburg, and within a few steps of the
North Carolina line. It was located, in other words, in
the extreme northwest corner of Spartanburg County.
The Blackstock Road is perhaps the oldest road in
Spartanburg County and in the extreme np-country. It
was originally an Indian trail. Governor Perry, in some
of his writings, informs us that the Block House was an
Indian trading post, and it was doubtless over the Black-
stock Road that the merchants or Indian traders from
Charleston, in times of peace, and prior to the first settlements
in the up-country, traveled to exchange with thn
Indians guns, ammunition and other articles of convenience
and comfort, for skins and furs which they carried
with them on their return to Charleston, and which were
exported to different parts of the world.*
* See Commercial Reports of Charleston, 1731-1747. In 1731 three
hundred casks, containing eight or nine hundred each of deer skins
were exported from that place. The report of 1747 shows that two
hundred beaver hides, and seven hundred and twenty hogsheads of deer
hides were exported. (See Carrol's Commercial History of S. C., Vol.
II, pages 129 and 237). Says Carrol, (page 128) " The trade in Carolina
is now (1731) so considerable, that of late years there has sailed from
thence annually, about two hundred ships laden with merchandise of
the growth of the country, besides three ships of war, which they commonly
have for the security of the commerce, etc."
The trade with the Indians in the up-country of South Carolina was
mostly by English merchants. Says Carrol, further, " They carry on
great trade with the Indians, from whom they get great quantities of
Deer Skins and those of other Wild Beasts, in exchange for which they
give them only Lead, Powder, Coarse Cloth, Vermillion, Iron ware and
some other goods, by which they have a very considerable profit."
In Mr. John P. Kennedy's narrative
of "Horse Shoe Robinson," he states that the course
of Clarke and Williams, after the engagement at Mus-
grove's Mill, "lay towards the head waters of Fair Forest
in the present region of Spartanburg." It may have
been that the army of Clarke and Shelby, after crossing
North Tyger at Anderson's Mill, fell into the old Black-
stock road, which ran by Prince's Fort, Gowen's Fort,
the Blockhouse to the mountains.
- John Belton O'Neall Landrum, History of Spartanburg County, South Carolina: Embracing an Account of Many ..., 1900, The Franklin Prtg. and Pub. Co.
It was during the Indian outrages of 1776, instigated by Indian emissaries or agents, an account of which we have published elsewhere, that the early settlers in the vicinities of Fort Prince, Poole's Fort near Wofford's Iron Works (now Glendale), Nicholl's Fort at "Narrow Pass" near the residence of the late Captain David Anderson, Blockhouse near Landrum, Thickety and other forts gathered and erected forts to defend themselves from an impending danger.
- Celina Eliza Means, Palmetto Stories: A Reader for Fifth Grades, 1903, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., p.94ff.
XL A Story Of Indian Warfare
At the beginning of the Revolutionary
War, the Cherokee Indians espoused the
British cause, and took the warpath against
the colonists. In the summer of 1776, a battalion
composed mostly of York men was
ordered out against them. Under the command
of Major Frank Ross, the soldiers
started for the Keowee country.
At the Blockhouse, the residence of Colonel
Height, a trader, in the northeastern part of
what is now Greenville county, they learned
of the Indian outrages. The savages had
killed Colonel Height, pillaged the settlement,
and captured Mrs. Height and her two
Louise Pettus, editor of The Quarterly, York County Genealogical & Historical Society, "'Gentleman' Frank Ross"
One of York County's Revolutionary War heroes was Maj. Frank Ross with the Whig militia in the Regiment headed by Col. Thomas Neel. Ross was with Neel in the "Snow Campaign" of 1775-1776 which was mounted against the Cherokees and called by that name because of the heavy snows the men struggled with in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the summer of 1776, Ross commanded a battalion that took part in the Keowee expedition, a second attempt to contain the Cherokees who were assisting the English armies. On their way to the "Block House" in Greenville County, the York battalion heard that Colonel Height, a Whig Indian trader, had been killed by the Cherokees who had abducted Mrs. Height and two doughters. When a young son of Mrs. Height attempted to follow and rescue them, he was murdered. Ross and his men pressed on to the Keowee towns.
RevWar75 Not found.
McDowell's Camp on the N.Pacolet,
Confidence level:: See above.