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Fort Johnston, North Carolina

Fort Johnston, North Carolina

FORT JOHNSTON, NORTH CAROLINA. Guarding the mouth of the Cape Fear River and located some ten miles below Brunswick, North Carolina, Fort Johnston was built by the British between 1748 and 1764 primarily as a defense against privateers. Named for Governor Gabriel Johnston, it figured in the Stamp Act Crisis, when British naval Captain Jacob Lobb spiked its guns to keep them from being used by the aroused patriots. Governor William Tryon was unable to prevent the citizens from occupying the fort in February 1766, after Lobb had refused to give him armed support. The post became badly deteriorated. Governor Josiah Martin fled to it on 2 June 1775, and on 18 July he escaped to a British warship when the patriots occupied the fort in an attempt to capture him. The fort was burned at this time in the first overt act of defiance of the American Revolution in North Carolina. A new Fort Johnston was built by the United States from 1794 to 1809. This fort was seized by the Confederates in 1862 and used during the Civil War.

SEE ALSO Martin, Josiah; Stamp Act; Tryon, William.

                       revised by Michael Bellesiles

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