Database

Blockhouse NC/SC

Other names:

What:
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

Where:
35.19598 -82.216301 Blockhouse (JCP)
35.195912 -82.21627 NC/SC line, Greenville/Spartanburg county line

Maps: [map notes]

Sources:

  • 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:

    Blockhouse marker

  • John Belton O'Neall Landrum, Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina: ..., 1897, Shannon and Co. p.161.
    p.31
    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."

    p.161
    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.
    p.308.
    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 daughters.

    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 RevWar75   Not found.

Related locations:
Gowen's Fort,   McDowell's Camp on the N.Pacolet,   Earle's Fort,   Earle's Ford,   Earle's Plantation,  

Confidence level:: See above.

12-6-16