Fort Wear

Fort Wear (HM18TO)

Location: Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 Sevier County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 48.405', W 83° 35.006'

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Col. Samuel Wear built Fort Wear in this vicinity about 1781, the year that Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. Fort Wear was one of nearly a dozen forts built in the 1780s in Sevier County. Its blockhouse was made from sturdy hand-hewn logs and was still a refuge in 1793. The fort was on a branch of the Great Indian War Path, which was also a trading route from Virginia to the Cherokee towns on the Little Tennessee River. This site, once surrounded by buffalo and other wild game, was in the wilderness western territory of North Carolina, one of the thirteen original colonies.

Some of the first settlers from western North Carolina had received land grants from their home state before Tennessee was formed. When Wear settled here, the U.S. Government and the Cherokee people considered this area to be Indian hunting grounds. However, there were pioneers who believed that the Native Americans had relinquished their right of ownership by aligning themselves with Great Britain in the war. This conflict led to fighting between the whites and the Native Americans.

North Carolina, not yet a state, unsuccessfully attempted to cede this western country to the Continental Congress in 1784. As a result, pioneers chose to secede from North Carolina at Jonesboro in 1784, and the area became the independent State of Franklin for four years. In 1789, North Carolina successfully ceded the area to the U.S. Government.

Fort Wear was in the U.S. Territory South of the River Ohio from 1790 to 1796, until Tennessee was finally admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. The fort was a haven for soldiers and settlers as North Carolina, the United States Government and the State of Franklin made treaties with the Indians, one superseding the other.

Samuel Wear was a patriot who fought for the American Colonies before the Revolution. During the American Revolution, he stood with Col. John Sevier at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. He defended settlers during the Indian Campaigns and was commissioned a colonel prior to fighting in the War of 1812. He served in the Sevier County and East Tennessee Militias.

Col. Wear was a leader in the formation of county, territorial, State of Franklin and Tennessee governments. He served as representative to the territorial legislature and was Sevier County Court Clerk for many years. He helped draft the Tennessee State Constitution in Knoxville and was a signer of the document in 1796.

Samuel Cole Williams, Associate Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, said: "Wear was a man of much force of character, brave in battle and wise in council." His participation in territorial government and in Tennessee's formation gives Col. Wear a prominent place in Tennessee history. Tennessee Constitution Preamble and Signatures - 1796
Richard L. Kelton, a Wear descendant, stands by the Colonel's monument, dedicated in 1925, located nearby.Col. Samuel Wear (1753-1817) brought his family here from Augusta County, Virginia. His son Robert Wear, born November 4, 1781, was likely the first white child born in this area. Col. Wear's brother John, a soldier, marched to Wear's Fort in early 1782.
HM NumberHM18TO
Historical PeriodColonial
Historical PlaceFort, Monument
Marker TypeMemorial
Marker ClassHistorical Marker
Marker StyleFree Standing
Year Placed2013
Placed ByCity of Pigeon Forge
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 6:11am PDT -07:00
Photo Credits: [1] PIGEONFORGEIYVC  
Locationbig map
Directions InformationLocated on Library Road directly behind the library.
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 266569 N 3965594
Decimal Degrees35.80675000, -83.58343333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 48.405', W 83° 35.006'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 48' 24.3000" N, 83° 35' 0.3600" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)865
Can be seen from road?Yes
Is marker in the median?No
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2530 City Park Dr, Pigeon Forge TN 37863, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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