James White’s Fort

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James White’s Fort (1786-1790s) - A settler fort established in 1786 in present day Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee. Named after Revolutionary War Captain James White who settled in the area and built the fort. Abandoned as a fortification sometime in the 1790s. Also known as White's Fort.

James White’s Fort Corner Building.
James White’s Fort Interior.
James White’s Fort Exterior.

History of James White’s Fort

James White's Fort Kitchen.
James White's Fort Sleeping Quarters.

Established in 1786 as a single log cabin by James White near what is now the corner of State Street and Clinch Avenue in Knoxville. General White brought his wife Mary and their five children to this cabin on his 1000 acre tract along the Holston River. His original cabin became the southwest corner of an 8' high defensive palisaded formed with three additional cabins at the other corners and an entrance facing toward First Creek.

The Treaty of the Holston was signed near the fort in 1791. The site was selected as the capitol of the Southwest Territory and renamed Knoxville after General Knox, then secretary of war. James White was then commissioned lieutenant colonel commandant of Knox County when it was formed in 1792.

Abandoned as a fortification sometime in the 1790s but continued as a residence. The original cabin became the kitchen of the James Kennedy Jr. residence after White family moved to another location away from the fort. The cabin was purchased in 1906 and carefully moved and reconstructed. It was later purchased and again moved to the present site where it and other reconstructed cabins form the state historic site.

Current Status

James White's Fort Entrance Sign.

James White’s Fort State Historic Site, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee. Reproduction of the original site with seven log cabins and a stockade (not on the original site). Two related markers, one for the Treaty of the Holston and one for James White.

Location: Original fort site reportedly at the corner of State Street and Clinch Avenue in Knoxville. Reproduction of the fort at 205 East Hill Avenue, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.

Maps & Images

Lat: 35.96469 Long: -83.9167

  • Multi Maps from ACME
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  • Elevation: .....'

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Visited: 21, 25 May 2016

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