Fort Dobbs State Historic Site


During the Cherokee War, a sub-conflict of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), settlers in the Carolina piedmont often “forted” for protection at Fort Dobbs. Daniel Boone’s family was among them.

Aside from the erroneous claims of Lyman C. Draper in the 19th century manuscript for his intended book on the life of Daniel Boone, Boone was not a soldier of the North Carolina Provincial Guard serving at Fort Dobbs. He did participate in the ill-fated campaign of Major General Edward Braddock in July 1755 to recapture Fort Duquesne in today’s Pittsburg, PA. In that campaign, some North Carolina Provincial Guard did participate to bring Braddock’s forces up to fighting strength. Daniel Boone went along as a civilian wagoner of a supply wagon in the rear. Daniel was then 20 years old. It was on that campaign when he met a fellow wagoner, John Finley (also Finlay and Findlay), an Indian trader who told enticing stories about the bountiful game in a region beyond the Appalachian Mountains he called Ken-tuk-e.

Following the conclusion of the French and Indian War, the fort no longer served a purpose as the frontier had moved westward by then. The fort was abandoned in 1764 and local settlers scavenged from it for building materials.

Images Show

1910 DAR marker at the site of Fort Dobbs

photograph by Randell Jones, 2004

In 1910, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a stone marker at the site of Fort Dobbs. Around 1928, Hampton Rich placed one of his Boone Trail Highway and Memorial Association tablets on the back of this DAR marker. | Creator: North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, Inc. [View Additional File Details]

North Carolina Provincial Guard

photograph by Randell Jones, 2006

During the colonial era, Royal Governor Author Dobbs ordered the building of a fort on the Carolina frontier for the projection of settlers. The fort was garrisoned by members of the North Carolina Provincial Guard. | Source: "In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone" by Randell Jones NC Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, Inc. Fort Dobbs State Historic Site [View Additional File Details]

Northern Indians (Iroquois) attacked British colonists

photograph by Randell Jones
Fort Dobbs State Historic Site, 2005

Settlers of the British colonies including North Carolina were subject to attacks by northern Indians (Iroquois) in league with the French. | Creator: North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, Inc. [View Additional File Details]

Wagons and pack horses

photography by Randell Jones

Historical events at Fort Dobbs State Historic Site present opportunities to learn about the colonial and frontier era of North Carolina's piedmont. Conestoga wagons were used on early frontier roads such as the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road (1750s) for moving large loads of goods. Note the absence of any place in the wagon for a "driver." The wagoner rode the left front horse of the team pulling the wagon. Pack horses were used to carry loads of supplies and skins on terrain without roads. A horse could carry up to 200 pounds for a long distance. Note the wooden frame used to distribute the cargo's weight onto the horses rib cage. [View Additional File Details]

Reenactors portray many people who came to the frontier

Photographs by Randell Jones
Fort Dobbs State Historic Site, 2005-2011

A visitor to the North Carolina piedmont of the 1750s would have encountered many different people engaged in various activities including a traveling musician, Cherokee leader Attakullakuila (portrayed here by Rob Rambo), A land surveyor, and a longhunter. [View Additional File Details]

Reenacting the Cherokee War

Photographs by Randell Jones

Reenactments at Fort Dobbs State Historic Site engage living history enthusiasts in portraying both sides of the conflict on the Carolina piedmont during the Cherokee War of 1758-1761. The only recorded attack against the fort occurred in February 1760. [View Additional File Details]

Reenactors gather in the morning before the public arrives

Photograph by Randell Jones

Throughout the year, Fort Dobbs State Historic Site hosts events which attract living history enthusiasts and professionals who share with the public their knowledge of life and the skills of the Carolina frontier of the 18th century. [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Randell Jones and North Carolina Daniel Boone Heritage Trail (, “Fort Dobbs State Historic Site,” Daniel Boone's Trail, accessed January 20, 2020, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​dboone/​items/​show/​4.​
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