Fort King (1827-1829, 1832-1843) - A U.S. Army post established in 1827 by Captain James M. Glassell and two companies of the 4th U.S. Infantry, in present day Ocala, Marion County, Florida. Named for Colonel William King, U.S. Army officer, who was military Governor of West Florida (1818-1819). Abandoned in 1829 and regarrisoned in 1832, finally abandoned in 1843. Also known as Cantonment King or Camp King.
Fort King History
Established adjacent to a Seminole Indian Agency and first garrisoned in February 1827 by Captain James M. Glassell and two companies of the 4th U.S. Infantry. The post was built as a log stockade with a 14' square blockhouse in one angle. A 50' by 25' barracks housed the enlisted troops and two separate 20' by 50' buildings housed the officers. A mess hall and powder magazine were also in the compound. The fort was abandoned 1 Jul 1829 but reoccupied on 18 Jul 1832 by 1st Lt. William M. Graham (Cullum 164) and Company D, 4th U.S. Infantry from Fort Brooke.
On 28 Dec 1835, Seminole Indians led by Osceola attacked and killed the Indian agent General Wiley Thompson and six others in his party outside the Fort King stockade. Thompson was shot 14 times and scalped. The Dade massacre of the relief column coming to Fort King from Fort Brooke took place on the very same day. These two events signaled the beginning of the Second Seminole War. Osceola was captured under a false flag of truce in July 1837 and imprisoned at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, where he died on 30 Jan 1838.
Fort King was abandoned in favor of Fort Drane in May 1836 and the Indians burned it to the ground two months later. The post was regarrisoned and rebuilt 25 Apr 1837 by Bvt. Major Thomas Childs (Cullum 97), 3rd U.S. Artillery and a force of 136 officers and men. The war continued until 1842 and the post was finally abandoned and the garrison withdrawn on 25 Mar 1843.
A National Historic Landmark mostly under city and county ownership (not currently open to the public). Marker and a monument in Ocala, Marion County, Florida. Site Archeological ID: 8MR60.
Location: Ocala, Marion County, Florida.
Maps & Images
Lat: 29.186230 Long: -82.082831
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 180-181
- North American Forts - Fort King
- Explore Southern History - Fort King
- Southern History - Fort King and Fort Drane
- Fort King Heritage Association
- Marion County Archaeology
Fort King Picture Gallery
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