Monday, July 11, 2016

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from left are: JULIUS MARX, Frank (Mac) McDonald, Al Weiskopf, John Roberts, OLLIE DELCHAMPS, Bob Gay, John Rolston, A. B. JEFFERIES, Bob Hays and Other Lockett. image courtesy of

A man who everyone on Dauphin Island should be grateful for..

Stanley Blake McNeely (1896 - 1982) .


A link to the first part of McNeely's book
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 Golf course architect Robert Bruce Harris, of Chicago, is showing a layout of one of the fairways to Blake MeNeely just prior to start of work building the golf course by golf course builder Charles Maddox, and his son, Charles, Jr., of Chicago. image courtesy of
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S. BLAKE McNEELY's house on Quivira Bay which was destroyed by a hurricane.

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Shown are two of the prime boosters and untiring workers for the four mile bridge to Dauphin Island. On the left is A.B. Jefferies who was Chairman of the Mobile County Board of Revenue and road Commission, and at the right is Oliver H. Delchamps, Sr., then President of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. This picture was made on the island in 1953 and
they are standing in what is now the west lane of the four laned LeMoyne Drive. image courtesy of

Oliver Delchamps, Sr. find-a-grave link

Richard Joseph Scott, Sr 1898-1985:The first man WILLING to go to work on Dauphin Island and "take his pay when and if the project was activated and sales of the lots were actually made." Scott surveyed and did the lay out for all of Dauphin Island's streets.
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Seated with back to camera is JULIUS E. MARX; facing camera from left:
Bob Hays, DICK SCOTTBLAKE McNEELY, Dimitri Patronas, and a young visitor to the Island. 
image courtesy of

Julius E. Marx 1905-1991 One of my boss Lee Pake's cousins who was able to bundle up enough money so they could make the deal.

A.B. Jefferies 1887-1954 POLITICAL BOSS MAN for the DAUPHIN ISLAND DEVELOPMENT startup


I couldn't let March of 2017 pass without acknowledging the 300th anniversary of THE STORM OF 1717, an event which shaped Dauphin Island's future as certainly as any other event in the island's 318 year recorded history. One year after this storm which closed Pelican Pass trapping three French ships in Pelican Bay, Bienville and his men left Dauphin Island in March of 1718 on a mission to establish a city for the first time on the lower Mississippi River. That city, New Orleans, fulfilled the French dream of establishing the dominance of New France upon the Mississippi River as it had been established earlier on the St. Lawrence River in Canada. Next year New Orleans will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding. All of the men who founded New Orleans came from Dauphin Island. 

from page 94 of Hamilton's MOBILE OF THE 5 FLAGS:
"The Storm of 1717.
Meantime in America the elements seemed to be conspiring to aid Law in his plans. The old dream of La Salle had been to make the Mississippi River in the South what the St. Lawrence River had been in the North—the centre of a French empire. Sailing ships of that day, however, could not ascend the Mississippi and the banks near the mouth were not suitable for habitation, and thus it was that Mobile and Dauphine Island with their higher lands had developed as the joint capital of the colony. The town without the port would be worth less and the port without the town would be helpless. Both had grown and flourished together.

There have occasionally been great storms about Mobile Bay, but one which came in March, 1717, was the most momentous of all. Three French ships had arrived, the Duclos, Paon, and Paix. The Paon entered the harbor at Port Dauphin as usual by the twenty-one foot channel, but while the other two were lying outside there came up a great storm. All rode it out in safety, but the wind which spared the ships acted upon the Gulf in such a manner as to close up the channel with sand, and the Paon was imprisoned This was merely inconvenient for the ship, because after her cargo was unloaded she was lightened so as to draw only ten feet and it was possible to take her around to the channel at Mobile Point, where she rejoined the other vessels. But the effect upon Port Dauphin was lasting. Vessels drawing over ten feet could no longer enter the harbor and its usefulness was gone. The effect upon Mobile itself was as great; for the life of any port depends upon the depth of water to the sea. The importance of all this was not at first realized. Ships still came and were to come for years; but they had to anchor outside the harbor and not only was it difficult to land their cargoes from the open sea, but the vessels themselves were at the mercy of every storm.

There had already been a change in the colonial government, for these three vessels had brought out the appointment of Bienville as governor for the time being and Hubert as commissaire, thus superseding Cadillac and his officials. Bienville received the Cross of the Order of St. Louis, an honor which he had long soughſ, together with a grant of Horn Island near Biloxi as his own property. This was done by Crozat himself, for Law's Company, although planned, was not organized until August of this year. Nevertheless Bienville and Hubert had to take the situation in hand and make plans for the future."

 The DAUPHIN ISLAND HISTORY BLOG now has an agreement with the owner of one of the top recording studios in Mobile to allow us to use his studio to record a boat tour of the water around D.I. Here's our first attempt to put together a soundtrack for the story of Dauphin Island.

In his book WHISTLIN' WOMAN & CROWIN' HEN, Mobile author Julian Lee Rayford described many of Dauphin Island's indigenous superstitions, fables and legends and on the subject of this island, a character in Rayford's book says,"Dauphin Island is a deep subject, I tell you that!"
It's natural wonders are self evident but this island's 318 year recorded history reveals this place to be one of the greatest strategic positions on the face of the Earth. Conventional history tells us that five countries' flags have flown here but it is really seven. The two that are ignored are Napoleon's Republic of France (1801-1803) and the Republic of Alabama in January of 1861.

The continuous recorded history of the entire Gulf Coast after 200 years of failed attempts at colonization essentially begins with Iberville's landing here in January of 1699. By 1702, Dauphin Island was the governmental and military center for the entire colony of La Louisiane. By the time Crozat received his contract for a monopoly on trade from King Louis XIV in 1712, Dauphin Island was the ONLY geographic place name mentioned in the entire document which defines the boundaries of Louisiana and how they project from a single place: Dauphin Island. Crozat's Contract was the legal basis for all of America's claims from THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE. As early as 1758, the great Louisiana historian Du Pratz wrote that Mobile was the birthplace of Louisiana and that Dauphin Island was the cradle. Since time immemorial, prehistoric man traveling down the Mississippi River and destined for Dauphin Island would leave the river at the present-day location of New Orleans in order to take advantage of the route through the lakes. On New Year's Eve-2017 , New Orleans will kick off their TRICENTENNIAL commemorating 300 years since Bienville and his men left Dauphin Island in 1718 on their voyage to break ground on Louisiana's newest municipality:La Nouvelle-Orléans . In his first words of his Dauphin Island history, Professor Richebourg McWilliams wrote, "With the exception of Cuba, Dauphin is, historically, the most prominent and interesting island in the Gulf of Mexico."
Dauphin Island's first 100 years make it the STRATEGIC FOCUS of an amazing story of how two Catholic countries, France and Spain, reconciled their differences in order to try to stop the English.

This presentation is being brought to you by THE DAUPHIN ISLAND HISTORY BLOG. We bill ourselves as DAUPHIN ISLAND: AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC GULF ISLAND. You see it every day when you travel the streets of Dauphin Island. Those street names are our island's HERITAGE HALL OF FAME. Our history blog has described 20 different armed amphibious invasions which occurred on the shores of this island during the first 166 years of its settlement and now we are on our way to the scene of one of the last of the many military contests these shores have seen.

Tunis Craven's remains may still be inside the wreckage of the U.S.S. Tecumseh that presently rests at the bottom of Mobile Bay off Mobile Point along with 92 other U.S. Navy sailors who perished when their ship went down.

Craven by Henry Newbolt
(Mobile Bay, 1864)
Over the turret, shut in his iron-clad tower,
Craven was conning his ship through smoke and flame;
Gun to gun he had battered the fort for an hour,
Now was the time for a charge to end the game.

There lay the narrowing channel, smooth and grim,
A hundred deaths beneath it, and never a sign;
There lay the enemy's ships, and sink or swim
The flag was flying, and he was head of the line.

The fleet behind was jamming; the monitor hung
Beating the stream; the roar for a moment hushed,
Craven spoke to the pilot; slow she swung;
Again he spoke, and right for the foe she rushed.

Into the narrowing channel, between the shore
And the sunk torpedoes lying in treacherous rank;
She turned but a yard too short; a muffled roar,
A mountainous wave, and she rolled, righted, and sank.

Over the manhole, up in the iron-clad tower,
Pilot and Captain met as they turned to fly:
The hundredth part of a moment seemed an hour,
For one could pass to be saved, and one must die.

They stood like men in a dream: Craven spoke,
Spoke as he lived and fought, with a Captain's pride,
"After you, Pilot." The pilot woke,
Down the ladder he went, and Craven died.

All men praise the deed and the manner, but we---
We set it apart from the pride that stoops to the proud,
The strength that is supple to serve the strong and free,
The grace of the empty hands and promises loud:

Sidney thirsting, a humbler need to slake,
Nelson waiting his turn for the surgeon's hand,
Lucas crushed with chains for a comrade's sake,
Outram coveting right before command:

These were paladins, these were Craven's peers,
These with him shall be crowned in story and song,
Crowned with the glitter of steel and the glimmer of tears,
Princes of courtesy, merciful, proud, and strong.

In the interest of making the DAUPHIN ISLAND: AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC GULF ISLAND blog more accessible, I have posted links to each of the 16 posts that make up the blog along with a description of each post.

1.) JUNE 11, 2012
This post includes a superb timeline which outlines almost 70 separate events centered in present-day Alabama which occurred in the eighteen months prior to the horrible massacre at Ft. Mims in August of 1813. It also includes all the details of events in the Mobile Bay area in April of 2013 which commemorated the BICENTENNIAL OF THE AMERICAN FLAG OVER THE PORT OF MOBILE.

2.)April 26, 2014
This post includes an invitation to Prince William and Prince Harry to visit the Gulf Coast region so they can see for themselves where their ancestor, Captain the Honourable Sir Robert Cavendish Spencer, R.N., second son of the Second Earl Spencer, served during the War of 1812. Their Mother, the Princess of Wales, was a Spencer and the daughter of the Eighth Earl so both Prince William and Prince Harry are collateral descendants(great nephews) of Captain Spencer. This post also includes A SUPERB ANNOTATED CHRONOLOGY OF ALL THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS & THE LONG TERM PEACE WHICH BEGAN BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES IN 1815.

3.) JANUARY 15, 2015
This post is a detailed annotated timeline describing the events which took place around Dauphin Island in February 1815 during the Siege of Fort Bowyer and the arrival of the news that peace had been declared and that the WAR OF 1812 had ended. 

4.) April 3, 2015
This post includes descriptions of the first seven armed amphibious invasions of Dauphin Island along with a proposal for a Dauphin Island Armchair Admiral Contest and a proposal for a Dauphin Island Street Fest. I also included an outline of D.I. history called THE TWELVE AGES OF DAUPHIN ISLAND as well as an article I wrote about beachcombing in Panama City Beach which could easily be adapted for Dauphin Island.

5.) July 3, 2015
This post includes a detailed description of Dauphin Island's eighth armed amphibious invasion.

6.) July 20, 2015

7.) August 22, 2015 
 This post includes a detailed description of Dauphin Island's ninth armed amphibious invasion.

8.) October 26, 2015
This post includes descriptions of the yellow fever epidemic of 1853, Dauphin Island during WWII, the restoration of the Mobile Bar Pilots' boat ALABAMA and a link to the Historic American Engineering Records file on the 90 foot, 2 masted schooner ALABAMA.

9.) October 30, 2015
This post includes descriptions and links to the building and testing of Confederate submarines in Mobile Bay. Also included are links to the British consul's reports on commerce at the Port of Mobile after the Civil War.

10.) November 5, 2015 
The photos have dropped off the blog but they were 
DAUPHIN ISLAND RELATED IMAGES FROM WASHINGTON,D.C. including The Washington Navy Yard (The Nation's Oldest Military Installation) and the Congressional Cemetery (The Nation's Only National Cemetery Before the Civil War)

11.) November 11, 2015
An annotated list of the attributions for the first 61 Dauphin Island street names. 

12.) November 22, 2015
 Dauphin Island's absolutely BEST American Revolution stories you've NEVER heard of.

13.) November 24, 2015

14.) February 2, 2016
Thirty more annotations of Dauphin Island street names followed by the rest of the material on the 116 street names  included in the Chamber committee's list.

15.) March 9, 2016

This long post includes much information on the strategic importance of Dauphin Island in American History including excerpts from Hamilton's COLONIAL MOBILE and from THE COMMERCE OF LOUISIANA DURING THE FRENCH REGIME, 1699-1763 by N.M. Miller Surrey. Links include material on the importance of shells in the Native American economy, D.I. shipwrecks, coins of New France, archaeology of D.I., Dewberry's failed 1915 attempt to build the Cedar Point railroad bridge and the fate of Ft. Gaines' Confederate prisoners of war.

16.) JUNE 10, 2016
This post includes the congressional investigation into the fortification of Dauphin Island, a description of the U.S. Navy's offensive against Fort Powell in February of 1864 and bar pilot guides for the mouth of Mobile Bay in 1823 and 1829.

17) If you continue scrolling down this post, you will find 20 reasons why D.I. is a world-class heritage tourism destination; the story of D.I. land title recognition by the U.S.; links to articles about Gulf Coast artifacts, the cypress lumber industry, emigration of French women, the schooner VIRGINIA, ship building on D.I., the 2018 New Orleans Tricentennial, 1819-1820 D.I. newspaper articles, the 12 ages of D.I., Admiral Buchanan's grave, poem to the victims of the U.S.S. Tecumseh, Kay Starr, 1720 drawing of New Biloxi, 1847 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey on D.I. , 1820 Mobile County militia orders, 1819 Mobile ship news, Commander Isaac McKeever (1791-1856), a chronology of events leading up to the 1817 Scott's Massacre, and the 1816 destruction of The Negro Fort.


Standing on top of the dunes that tower over Pelican Bay, one is struck by the timelessness of the scene; however, the sands of time are always shifting and the paths of those who came before us disappear. But over three centuries of the recorded history of Dauphin Island have left many clues as to who has trod these sands before us...

1) As the first place of anchorage during Iberville's initial voyage of discovery to claim the colony of Louisiana for France in 1699, Dauphin Island stands as old Louisiana's FIRST PORT OF CALL.

2) The initial construction for the entire Intracoastal Waterway was Grants Pass which was dredged at the north end of the present-day Dauphin Island Bridge in 1839. 

3) For 318 years Dauphin Island has been continuously occupied under 7 different flags. (many people ignore the French Republic, 1801-1803 and the brief occupation by the Republic of Alabama in 1861 prior to the formation of the Confederate States of America.)

4) Dauphin Island has experienced 20 different armed amphibious invasions that have included the French versus Jamaican Pirates, The French and Indians versus Spain, The English versus Spain, The U.S. versus Spain, The U.S. versus Great Britain and The Confederacy versus the U.S.

5) In 1708, Jacques Le Roux, a ship's carpenter, arrived at present-day Dauphin Island and began building shallow-draft ships at the site of Old Mobile and on the island. These were the first large watercraft built on the northern Gulf of Mexico or in the Mississippi Valley.

6) According to Giraud, the first fish net used in old Louisiana was brought to Dauphin Island in 1717 and used in the waters off Dauphin Island.

7) The enduring qualities of cypress wood were discovered on Dauphin Island in 1709 and the entire cypress lumber industry, Louisiana's first profitable export, was founded on the island.

8) Dauphin Island is the ONLY geographic place name on the original 1712 Crozat contract with the French king. This contract became the definition of the territory claimed by the U.S. under the 1803 Louisiana Purchase with France.

9) The first slave ship from Africa to arrive in the colony of Louisiana dropped anchor at Dauphin Island in 1719.

10) The only man to ever be publicly executed by having his arm and leg bones broken on the wheel was born on Dauphin Island in 1715.

11) Bienville departed from Dauphin Island when he left on his voyage to found the City of New Orleans in 1718.

12) Dauphin Island was the ancient destination for most pre-historic people when they exited the present-day Mississippi River to portage their canoes at the present-day location of New Orleans.

13) Marine shells were a big-time pre-historic business. Almost all pre-historic males in the Mississippi Valley wanted to drink their sacred tonic from a lightning whelk shell. The demand for these shells was so great that Mississippi Valley archaeologists have discovered dozens of pottery cups made of clay in the shape of the lightning whelk shell. Cabeza de Vaca, a survivor of the failed Narvaez expedition, financed his journey to Mexico City by selling marine shells to natives in the interior. Dauphin Island's Indian shell mounds stand as evidence of the importance of this pre-historic commerce.

14) To the right of the altar of the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis (the floor of the altar is built above the room that holds the sarcophagus of Captain John Paul Jones) is a stained glass window of Admiral Farragut strapped to the mast of the U.S.S. Hartford at the Battle of Mobile Bay. An anchor of the Hartford, identical to the one in the courtyard at Dauphin Island's Fort Gaines, stands outside the Naval Museum at the Washington Navy Yard. The entire front foyer of the museum is dedicated to the Battle of Mobile Bay. The expression "DAMN THE TORPEDOES, FULL SPEED AHEAD" is now a part of our national consciousness.

15) In 1758, the Louisiana historian de Pratz wrote that Mobile was "the birthplace of French Louisiana" and that Dauphin Island was its "cradle." The events which took place on Dauphin Island between 1701 and 1722 occurred during the critical years which determined the success or failure of the Louisiana colony.

16) Dauphin Island's street names stand as a daily reminder of the individuals who make up the island's historic "Hall of Fame".

17) The greatest and longest alliance between two nations that the world has ever known began in the water off Dauphin Island when American officers shook the hands of  the commanding officers of the Royal Navy's North American Expeditionary Force after the men received word that peace had been declared to end the War of 1812.

18) Plans for an American fortification on Dauphin Island were approved by Congress in 1818, however, it would take over forty years for this fort to be constructed. The legal and logistical obstacles that were overcome in order to build Fort Gaines have never been properly examined.

19) For two hundred years there was no adequate ship channel to accommodate large ocean-going ships coming into Mobile Bay. These ships anchored in the water off Dauphin Island and their cargo was transferred to smaller shallow draft boats that could navigate the shallow waters of the bay. Pilots to guide the ocean-going ships into Mobile Bay have always been necessary and Dauphin Island has been their home during most of the three centuries of maritime trade in present-day Alabama.

20) Numerous shipwrecks lay undisturbed in the sands beneath the water that surrounds Dauphin Island. These include the Confederate submarine AMERICAN DIVER, the Union ironclad Tecumseh and the French treasure ship BELLONE.

21) A granite survey monument erected in 1847 by Coast and Geodetic Survey Superintendent A. D. Bache, stands today in the courtyard of Fort Gaines. Although moved from its original location, it is the oldest known Coast Survey marker on the Gulf Coast.

When the U.S. Army stormed the strategic beaches of Spain's Isla Delfina (Dauphin Island) on the night of Saturday April 10th, 1813, little did those conquering soldiers know that an American had already owned title to the entire island since 1806. Not only was the owner an American but he was also General James Wilkinson, the commanding general of the invading American military and the namesake for D.I.'s GENERAL WILKINSON PLACE. The victorious Americans were ignorant of this fact because Wilkinson kept that kind of subversive information about his relationship with the Spanish authorities of West Florida to himself. Most folks had no idea Wilkinson claimed to own D.I. until years after his death when Congress in 1827 made provisions for owners of French, English and Spanish land titles on Dauphin Island to present evidence of their titles to a land commission which examined the submitted documentation and made recommendation on the claims to Congress.


"Wilkinson resolutely argued that Mobile and Pensacola should be quickly occupied in order to prevent their use as hostile bases for operations against Louisiana; in fact, New Orleans was constantly menaced so long as they remained in the hands of the Spaniards, who were then allied with the English in a war with Napoleon. Personal reasons possibly abetted Wilkinson's strategic conclusions. In 1806 Forbes & Co., a great English trading house in the Floridas, had turned over to him, for an unknown consideration [ed. note:It is said that the island was payback to Wilkinson for his negotiating a land cession with the Choctaws which gave the Indians money to pay their debts to John Forbes & Co.], Dauphin Island at the mouth of Mobile Bay. The company may have been merely a blind to hide a payment that the Spanish Crown wished to make to its old-time pensioner. No matter what induced the transfer, Wilkinson knew the island would increase greatly in value once it became a part of the federal domain. He could not foresee that his title would be disallowed ultimately by United States commissioners, strangely enough on the ground that he was not a Spanish subject at the time that the tract was acquired. He did not dare to turn over to them a paper that he had drawn up and signed in 1787, a paper Miro had accepted as equivalent to an oath of allegiance to the King of Spain."

Two other groups of heirs also claimed title to Dauphin Island. The following is the story of the claim of the Moreau heirs which was certified by the land commissioners, confirmed by Congress and is the origin of all land title on the island to this day.  FROM THE PRECEDING LINK: "On December 5, 1783, a Spanish grant was recorded to Joseph Moro/Moreau. At his death he willed this to his niece, Euphrosie Lemé/ L'May. A patent from the United States to Augustin LaCoste [namesake for D.I.'s LACOSTE PLACE]
From Hamilton's COLONIAL MOBILE, page 263:
"This is the first instance in these records of re-granting what had been British property. The Versailles treaty of peace of September 3, 1783, was to allow eighteen months for British subjects to sell and leave, and the time was extended six months longer ; but this treaty was not yet concluded. While West Florida was Spanish in fact, the war continued elsewhere until that treaty recognized the independence of the United States, and at the same time confirmed East and West Florida to Spain.

The most prominent re-grant was that by Governor Grimarest of Dauphine Island to Joseph Moro, the origin, in fact, of the existing title to that historic spot. Moro's petition of July 31, 1781, is dated at New Orleans, and says that he is an inhabitant of that city. Galvez the next day directs Grimarest to investigate the matter, and if the land is vacant to put Moro into possession and return the proceedings made out 'in continuation' with the commission, — a substitute for the endorsements on original papers by officials in our practice. September 21 of the same year there was a report by Charles Parent, Orbano Demouy, Dubroea, and Louis Carriere, who had been called on for evidence.

For some reason the matter was held up over two years, until after peace was declared; for Grimarest's concession to Moro bears date December 5, 1783, after J. B. Lamy had made a settlement in the centre of the island. In 1785 we find the king maintaining there a pilot and four sailors at an expense of $696.00."]

A third group, the heirs of British Major Robert Farmar [namesake of D.I.'s MAJOR FARMAR STREET] also submitted a claim that failed to confirmed by the land commissioners.

When Major Robert Farmar arrived on Dauphin Island in the fall of 1763 he began to mix his private business with his military service as the military head of the new British colony of West Florida which at that time included all the land south of the 31st parallel (a part of which now serves as our Alabama-Florida line from Flomaton to the Chattahoochee River) between the east bank of the Mississippi River and the Chattahoochee/Apalachicola River. Major Farmar set his eyes on Dauphin Island because of its abundant fresh drinking water, its strategic importance at the mouth of Mobile Bay and also for its potential as a cattle pen protected from raiding Indians by the water surrounding it. Up until that time, the area around Mobile Bay had never produced any form of cash crop for export other than the furs and skins traded from the Indians. The most valuable commodities from West Florida were live cattle (salt beef, tallow, hides) and lumber (tar, pitch, turpentine). Dauphin Island produced both commodities and had a harbor where these products could be readied for transportation to other ports. Dauphin Island was also an important "lightering" port for not only Mobile but for the entire coasting trade. Prior to the dredging of the ship channel, ocean going ships could not make it to Mobile or any other port on the Mississippi Sound. Ships drawing more than 13 feet of water could not cross the Sand Island bar and only very shallow draft boats could make it all the way to the wharf in Mobile.  Cargo had to be transferred to shallow draft vessels around Dauphin Island in order for it to be delivered to the inland ports. In addition to that, Dauphin Island was the home of the harbor pilots who could safely guide ocean going ships across the bar and into the harbors of Mobile Point and Dauphin Island so that their cargoes could be transferred to the shallow draft vessels.

Very soon after his arrival in West Florida, Major Farmar showed his interest in Dauphin Island when he immediately assigned a corporal and six men to a station on the island to assist the French pilot who was the only resident. He also succeeded in obtaining bills of sale for most of the island from Frenchmen living in Mobile and also bought all the livestock on the island which included seventy-six cattle and three pigs. He had this livestock exchanged for two male slaves named Peter and Prince. At about the same time, the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor of West Florida, Montfort Browne, had selected Dauphin Island as the location of the royal grant of acreage he'd received for the settlement of English and Irish emigrants he planned to recruit to sail to West Florida. On February 5, 1765, Major Farmar went before the Governor of West Florida Johnstone's council and challenged Lieutenant Governor Browne's royal order for acreage that Browne wanted to be located on Dauphin Island. Farmar had a chance to present his proof of purchase including his bills of sale and a petition for a formal grant of the island. The council rejected Major Farmar's evidence and ordered that Browne's petition to be granted Dauphin Island be accepted but they gave no reason for making their decision.

If you look at George Gauld's 1768 Dauphin Island map, you'll see a spot marked at about the location of the Indian Mounds which is labeled "Lt.Gov. Browne". This was probably the location of the house occupied by Browne's overseer, Richard Hartley.

Lieutenant Governor Browne moved very quickly to occupy the island. He ordered a corporal's guard to the island and seized about 100 head of cattle grazing there.

Major Farmar never accepted Governor Johnstone's decision against his ownership of the island but he was too busy to do anything about it. He was tied up during most of 1766 leading a military expedition up the Mississippi River to the Illinois country. When he returned, he was facing the court martial related to his alleged financial malfeasance during his tenure as military governor of West Florida in 1763-64.

King George III removed Governor Johnstone from office in 1767 and even though Lieutenant Governor Browne took Johnstone's place at the West Florida capital of Pensacola, Farmar was finally able to direct more attention to his Dauphin Island interests after he was acquitted of all his court martial charges on April 20, 1768. Farmar was elected to represent Mobile in Pensacola's colonial assembly in January of 1769 and by the beginning of April of that year, West Florida had a new governor in John Eliot. Governor Eliot immediately ordered an investigation of Lieutenant Governor Browne's administration and that was all Farmar needed to justify his forced eviction of Browne's men from Dauphin Island. Little did Farmer know when he set sail for the island from Mobile on May 1, that his new ally, West Florida Governor John Eliot, would commit suicide the next day.

Auburn professor Robert Rea in his book, MAJOR ROBERT FARMAR OF MOBILE, includes an excellent, detailed description of the violent eviction Major Farmar led to get the "trespassers" off of "his" island.

"On Monday, May 1, 1769, having returned to Mobile from Pensacola, Farmar gathered several determined friends aboard two boats and sailed down to Dauphin Island. His own party consisted of Dougal Campbell, now a Mobile merchant but formerly commissary at Mobile and one of Farmar's witnesses in the late court martial; Henry Litto or Latto, formerly skipper of the sloop JAMES, and much indebted to Farmar for employment; William Harris; and a Negro servant. On Dauphin Island were Richard Hartley, Browne's resident manager; William Kimbe, a laborer; Hartley's servant Robert Love; and a female housekeeper. At about two o'clock these men were seated at dinner in Hartley's house when they heard distant musket fire. Hartley dispatched Love to see if the shots might indicate the presence of a band of Indians, but the servant returned to report the approach of a boat. Hartley and Kimbe went down to the shore to meet their visitors and invited them to the house. Campbell told Hartley that they had come for oysters, and both parties began to walk up the beach to Hartley's house, formerly the residence of the harbor pilot. Shortly after leaving the beach, Hartley and Kimbe saw a second party of armed men who had apparently landed elsewhere. These were James Waugh, George Martin, and Thomas Gronow, good Mobilians who were no friends of Lieutenant Governor Montfort Browne. Martin and Gronow reached the house ahead of the others, forcibly ejected Deborah Coughlin, the housekeeper, from the house and began to throw furniture out the door. Litto and Harris rushed to join their confederates and slammed the door against the confused pair of Browne's men.

"Turning to Farmar, Hartley asked if they had come to rob him, to which the major replied that the island was his. Together they entered the house, Hartley protesting and Farmar proclaiming his right to everything in sight. As kitchen furniture and utensils were rapidly disappearing out the window, Hartley ordered Kimbe to recover them, but Farmar and his friends seized Kimbe, and the major forcefully applied the end of his stout stick to the small of Kimbe's back (causing considerable pain, according to Kimbe's later account). Hartley grabbed at Farmar, but the others roughly seized him, tearing his jacket and cutting his cheek. Both of Browne's men were thrown bodily out of the house. George Martin then kept them at bay with his leveled musket. Hartley demanded to see Farmar's authority for such highhanded action, but the major refused him any satisfaction and threatened to lay Hartley by the heals and send him to jail. Nor would Farmar even allow Hartley to leave his bed and chest in the house, safe from rain, though the poor fellow was permitted to deposit them in an open shed. Hartley and Kimbe soon withdrew from the scene, though they did not leave the island until Sunday, May 28. Some of Farmar's party remained at the overseer's house throughout the month."

When Brown got the news of Farmar's actions, he contacted his attorney general and depositions were taken on June 12 with a grand jury being impaneled in Pensacola to inquire into the Dauphin Island affair on Friday, June 30. The jury heard witnesses and found "the Entry and Detainer to be forcible." On July 12, Chief Justice William Clifton ordered the restoration of Montfort Browne's property on Dauphin Island.

It appears that Major Farmar finally accepted the fact that Dauphin Island was not to be his but that did not stop his daughter from investigating the chances of recovering the island from the Spanish in 1800 and later "the heirs of Major Robert Farmar" to attempt on multiple occasions from 1813 until 1834 to attempt to secure private land claims for Dauphin Island from the land commissioners of the U.S. Congress. Finally on January 1, 1834, Commissioner William Crawford reported to Congress that the Farmar heirs had forfeited their claim to Dauphin Island and "do not appear to be entitled to confirmation under any law of the United States."



"Cypress (Taxodium districhum) was discovered to be the most insect and rot resistant timber available along the Gulf Coast. After a brief experimentation with cedar in New Orleans, almost all building frames, support structures and coverings were made of cypress.

'Having set out by order of Sieur de Bienville, the commandant, to go to Massacre (Dauphin Island) with a detachment of eighteen men for the safety of the King's property, from the 15th of June until the end of August, I sank ten different sorts of wood in salt water to see which would resist the borers best. The result was that of the ten kinds of wood, there was only one sort to which the borers did not attach themselves and all the others are completely riddled. It is a very common wood, tall, easy to saw and to work, being very tender(Mandeville, 9/27/1709:51)'

'Subsequent experience revealed also that this species of wood was resistant to rot as well as to insects, and its durability was a most important characteristic in a region where wooden buildings fell into disrepair. (Moore 1983:28)'

"The export of cypress was the earliest commercially successful industry in the fledgling Louisiana colony. Even prior to the founding of New Orleans, cypress was being shipped to Martinique and Saint Domingue. By 1716, two mills supplied cypress for local needs. The first horse-powered mill was built in 1724, with nine ganged saw blades (Moore:1983: 32)

"Driven by teams of two or four horses, it could turn out 150 planks per day. In 1729 the first water-powered mill went into operation. Prefabricated 'knock-down' houses were shipped to many West Indian islands. In the 1730s Dr. Liburo's house, completely prefabricated, was shipped to the island of Nevis (Hobson, 1987)."

 "Prostitution was nothing new to Louisiana but it had been confined to isolated cases, such as a Frenchwoman on Dauphin Island who, Cadillac noted in 1716, 'sells herself to all comers, the Indians just like the whites.' The impact of the former inmates from the maison de force, however, was felt throughout Louisiana. Indeed, soon after their arrival, the problem of Indian concubinage vanishes from administrative correspondence, and never again would it create a moral controversy in the colony, despite the dramatic growth of the Louisiana garrison after 1717."

"In 1713 a French garden on Dauphin Island was described as 'a bit of terrestrial paradise, there are a dozen fig trees that are very fine and that produce black figs. I saw pear trees of wild stock, three apple trees, a little plum tree about three feet in height that had seven poor plums on it, about 30 feet of grapevines with nine clusters of grapes, about forty feet of French melons, and a few pumpkins.' "

 The document from this link is one of the most informative I have found on the history of the mouth of Mobile Bay. It is a Ph.D. thesis that tells the story of the VIRGINIA, a two-masted fishing schooner built in Baldwin County near Fish River in 1865. Built 152 years ago, VIRGINIA is today preserved and in storage but the story of this boat in many ways is the big part of Dauphin Island's story since 1865. Many of you will appreciate the history of Mobile Bay's oyster industry which begins on about page 24. The illustrations are SUPERB!

In 1709, D.I. was still called Massacre Island and the colonists were desperate to find a cash crop, a trading partner and any form of lucrative enterprise.
In January, a month before the Renommée arrived, "a small French sailing vessel," its name lost to history, appeared at Port Massacre.  The ship had sailed from Havana and carried a cargo of "tobacco, bacon, and brandy," some of which was purchased by the more prosperous colonists.  "This was the first instance, ten years after the arrival of the French in Louisiana," François-Xavier Martin notes, "of a vessel coming to trade with them."  Several weeks later, an 80-ton vessel out of Nantes appeared, "bringing more vendibles."  Louisiana now was perceived as a market for French trade goods.  For years, Bienville had sent traversiers to Veracruz and Havana to engage in questionable commerce, but now legitimate commerce was coming to him.  Massacre was becoming a proper port, connected, at least, to the francophone world.128
But, sadly, it was a port without its own ship.  With the exception, perhaps, of Bienville and Châteauguay, the arrival of the Renommée was welcomed by everyone; the first re-supply in nearly two years.  Iberville's old ship brought few soldiers, no women, and only a single priest, but it did bring a plethora of food and provisions, the largest re-supply since the Pélican three and a half years earlier.  And therein lay the problem--there were no more traversiers or feluccas to move the supplies from the ship to the warehouse and then up to Fort Louis.  Every available canoe and pirogue converged on the ship, but this "resulted in heavy fees, as well as losses in time and merchandise"--a prolonged, inefficient, and chaotic transfer.129
The Minister of Marine had anticipated the need for a new vessel at Mobile.  One of the passengers aboard the Renommée was Jacques Le Roux, a shipbuilder--specifically, a second-master constructor--from Rochefort who specialized in building small craft.  Le Roux had come to the colony with Iberville in 1702 and had been ordered to build a flat-bottomed pinnance that was never finished and which had rotted on the ways.  He had returned to Rochefort, but now he was back, tasked with building another flat-bottomed barge, this one of 35 or 40 tons burden, "capable of transporting goods over the sometimes shallow bars between the fort and Massacre Island."  Dartaguiette's contract with Le Roux called for 15 workers, who would be mostly Canadians, and an outlay of 3,000 livres.  The barge would be constructed at the fort, "near the small hospital on the creek just north of town."  Le Roux began construction probably in the late winter, and the barge was ready by the first week of June.  The vessel was "constructed mostly of green oak to ward off the insects and wood borers...."  The final product was between 30 and 35 tons burden, slightly smaller than what the contract had called for, but, most importantly, the barge drew only a foot of water unloaded and only four feet when fully loaded.  It completed its maiden voyage down to Massacre in late summer, and the co-commanders were pleased with the vessel's performance.  They named it the Vierge de Grâce.130

In 2018 the City of New Orleans will celebrate its TRICENTENNIAL. In preparation for this event, the mayor of New Orleans has created a FRENZY OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS which promises to destroy many of the memorials to the city's heroes. No matter what changes may hold for the City of New Orleans, the history of that great city BEGINS ON DAUPHIN ISLAND! "On February 9, 1718, three ships of the Mississippi Company dropped anchor off Dauphin Island. Aboard were hundreds of colonists and an agent of the Crown. The agent, besides informing L'Epinay that he had been recalled, handed Bienvllle a commission naming him Commandant General of the colony. Bienville moved promptly to select a site on the north bank of the Mississippi, some 70-river miles upstream from Head of Passes, as a new settlement. He named the future city New Orleans, in honor of Philip of Orleans, regent of France. Bienville wished to transfer immediately the seat of government to this new outpost, but he was checkmated by Hubert and the Superior Council. Instead, the capital was moved from Mobile to the old Biloxi settlement."

No matter how many historical names or monuments the present-day citizens of New Orleans would like to OBLITERATE an they anticipate their upcoming TRICENTENNIAL, one thing is for certain, their City of New Orleans was FOUNDED IN FEBRUARY, 1718, by expeditions of Europeans who began their journey at DAUPHIN ISLAND. In fact, the crescent in the Mississippi River where New Orleans was established was known to the indigenous people for centuries as a portage place where you left the river if your journey was taking you to the mouth of Mobile Bay.
from A HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION OF NEW ORLEANS (1717-1722) :  "Since time immemorial, the present site of Louisiana’s capital [New Orleans] had been a camping-ground for Indians going from the Mississippi to the mouth of the Mobile River. As soon as the French had settled on Massacre Island, that site became the customary landing-place for travelers on the Father of Waters."
"In February, 1718, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, Governor of Louisiana, set out to select a place on the banks of the Mississippi River for a new settlement. Departing in small vessels from Dauphin Island, at the entrance of Mobile Bay, his party of several score navigated the shallow waters of the Gulf without difficulty, passed the bar, took soundings of the Mississippi, and began the tedious ascent of the river. The marshlands, the high-pitched cries of the wild birds, the glare of the low horizon- all of this was familiar to Bienville from a prior journey. Moving slowly against the rapid current, deftly avoiding the swirling debris of unknown northern storms and floods, the convoy for many days sought out a suitable tract of land on which to establish a settlement some one hundred miles from the Gulf, where the winding river changes from its east- southeastern course, turns almost due north and then jogs back to the southeast, a likely spot was found on the east bank of the elbow of the jog."

"The locale was wet, heavily forested, and, even then, clouded by mosquitoes, but it had certain advantages over other possible sites. The terrain was generally higher than it was along most of the river and only a narrow strip of land, traversed part way by a bayou, separated the site from Lake Ponchartrain. Access to the spot- named New Orleans- from the Gulf was afforded by Lakes Borgne and Ponchartrain as well as by the river. Indeed, it was thought that the lake route would be paramount. Bienville left fifty men to clear the land and build some houses and returned temporarily to Dauphin Island."

"The development of New Orleans proceeded fitfully. Although the earlier headquarters of the colony at Dauphin Island, Mobile Bay, and Old and New Biloxi were recognized to be inadequate as ports, there was considerable reluctance to move the colony's administration center to the Mississippi River..."
from the April 19, 1820 issue of the MOBILE GAZETTE & COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER:

At Mobile Point

L.C. SOISSONS, has the honor to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of this state, that he has taken the Large and Commodious House at Mobile Point, where he will be able to accommodate twenty Lodging BOARDERS- the quality of the Liquor and Table, as well as the Convenience of the Rooms and Furniture therein, will he hopes deserve the Public patronage.

The proprietors of the Mobile Gazette and Alabama Courier, are requested to insert the above six times and present their respective accounts to the subscriber.        L.C.S.
April 12

from the May 3, 1820 issue of the MOBILE GAZETTE & COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER:


We learn that the brig Ann, from New York, is ashore on the bar at Mobile point,with the loss of her foretopmast and and head of her foremast.

from the Wednesday, June 30, 1819 issue of the MOBILE GAZETTE & COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER:

Mobile Point HOTEL.

THE public are respectfully informed that the subscriber has taken that commodious and well furnished house on Mobile Point, (lately erected by Col. Hopkins) which is now open for the reception of company. From its known reputation as a very healthy resort- pleasure of sea bathing and its genteel accomodations, the subscriber feels assured of receiving a full share of public patronage.
Mobile-point, 30th June, 1819
N.B. Preparations will be made for the celebration of the 4th July.

from the Wednesday, January 5, 1820 issue of the MOBILE GAZETTE & COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER:


THE owner or owners of the Schooner called the "Trial of Mobile," (lately stranded on Ship Island) are hereby notified that the above vessel has been got afloat by the Subscriber, at an expense of $30- they are requested to come forward within the time limited by Law, defray her expenses, and take her away, other wise she will be sold to pay charges.
                                                                                     JACQUES LADNER
Mobile, Dec. 22-                                                           Cedar Point

I, The undersigned do hereby certify,that I have seen the schooner called the "Trial of Mobile" lying in the Bay of Beloxy, before Mr. Dominique Ladner's House- and I further certify,that she will be ruined before long, if she is not shortly repaired- the said Schooner is now there, without sails.
    In witness whereof, have heretowith set my hand on this the (obscured) day of November, 1819
                                                                                     NOEL JOURDAN

Now that the LITTLE RED SCHOOLHOUSE project has broken ground, it's time for the DAUPHIN ISLAND HISTORY BLOG to advocate that the new museum include two exhibits:
1st: The construction of a geographical model that prominently features the Sand Island Lighthouse, Pelican Island, Cedar Point, Mobile Point and Dauphin Island. We feel that this geographic exhibit is of major importance because not only does it emphasize Dauphin Island's strategic importance but it also promotes the preservation of one of our most important landmarks: THE SAND ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE (this exhibit could also include graphic photographs of old lighthouses that have collapsed due to neglect)

2nd: The painting of scenes along the crown molding of the building which illustrate the incredible history of Dauphin Island. In the interest of inspiring artists to design this mural, we have broken down D.I. history into 12 periods which highlight the events that have taken place on and around Dauphin Island: AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC ISLAND. (future updates on the D.I. History Blog will be dedicated to describing the major events which occurred during the TWELVE AGES OF DAUPHIN ISLAND HISTORY) 

(DISCLAIMER: The following is a "work in progress" so check in on this blog occasionally to see how we tune it up.)

Age Number 1 (Chapter 1): Prehistoric Dauphin Island (this includes the island's transformation into being the most prominent landmark on European maps of the Northern Gulf Near the Mouth of the Mississippi River during almost 200 years of failed attempts at colonization. Exhibits pertaining to prehistoric D.I. should include the use of marine shells as tools and ceremonial vessels by American Indians, the significance of the shell mounds and important D.I. artifacts such as the crawfish effigy displayed at the University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum     )

"Since time immemorial, the present site of Louisiana's capital (ED. NOTE: New Orleans at the time of writing) had been a camping-ground for Indians going from the Mississippi to the mouth of the Mobile River. As soon as the French had settled on Massacre Island, that site became the customary landing-place for travelers on the Father of Waters." first words of the essay, A HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION OF NEW ORLEANS (1717-1722) BY BARON MARC de VILLIERS
 I. Pineda voyage of 1519 (2019 will mark the 500th anniversary of Pineda's arrival in Mobile Bay

II.  Narvaez Expedition 1528 (Cabeza de Vaca, a survivor of this expedition, financed his journey to Mexico City by trading seashells with the Indians of the interior of the Gulf Coast. ) "In this wilderness I became a trader, and went to and fro on the coast and a little inland. I went inland with seashells and cockles, and a certain shell used to cut beans, which the natives value. I came out with hides, and red ochre for the face and hair, flint for arrow points, and tassels of deerhide. I came to be well known among the tribes, and found out the lay of the land." ~ Cabeza de Vaca

 III. DeSoto Expedition 1535 (legend has it that Maldonado brought DeSoto's wife, Isabella, to Dauphin Island to wait for the arrival of her husband. The original place name for the location of the D.I. airport is ISABELLA POINT)

IV. Guido de las Bazares Expedition of 1558 ( On September 3, 1558, Bazares left San Juan de Lua (Vera Cruz) with sixty seamen and soldiers in a large bark, a galley, and a shallop. They mapped the northern Gulf Coast and Bazares description of what he called "Filipina Bay" may have been Mobile Bay and his maps would be used the next year by the colonization expedition of Tristan de Luna)

V. Tristan De Luna Colonization Attempt in the summer of 1559

 1685: LaSalle established the first French settlement on the Gulf Coast near Matagorda Bay on the right bank of Garcitas Creek in southern Victoria County, Texas near the present-day town of Inez.

1685-1690: The Spanish launched 11 expeditions to the northern Gulf Coast to search for the LaSalle colony.

1687: LaSalle was killed by his own men in East Texas while on a rescue mission for his colony.

1697: The Peace of Rijswijk ending the War of the Grand Alliance allowed King Louis XIV to relaunch his plans to seize the mouth of the Mississippi River. These plans had been put on hold for ten years due to the war.

April 1698: The Spanish found out that the French were outfitting four vessels in Brittany so they sped up their plans to occupy Pensacola Bay.

October 24, 1698: The Iberville expedition put to sea at Brest.

October, 1698: An expedition to occupy the mouth of the Mississippi River left England but was bound for Carolina. This English expedition did not reach the Gulf until the spring of 1699. English traveling overland from Carolina had visited the Alabama and Tombigbee River Valleys as early as 1698.

November 17, 1698: The Spanish expedition to fortify Pensacola entered Pensacola Bay.

Dauphin Island Place Names associated with AGE #1: Deluna Street, DeSoto Avenue, DeSoto Drive, Isabella Point, Maldonado Place, Marquette Place, Mauvilla Place, Narvaez Street, Ponce de Leon Court, Tristan Court, Pineda Street, Mississippi Street, Pascagoula Street, La Salle Street, Hernando Street, Vaca Court.

Age Number 2 (Chapter 2): Cradle of the French Colony, 1699-1729 ~ This 30 year period begins with the arrival of Iberville in January of 1699 and ends with the disastrous Natchez Revolt of 1729. After this conflict, control of the colony was permanently returned to the King of France.

January 25, 1699: The Iberville expedition approached the mouth of Pensacola Bay but was turned away by the Spanish.

January 31, 1699: Iberville visited Dauphin Island for the first time. Even though Dauphin Island is considered the first settlement in what would become the French colonial province of Louisiana, Iberville made Ship Island his primary anchorage for his ocean going fleet and established his first fortifications on Biloxi Bay. After exploring the Mississippi River delta and not finding a suitable site, Iberville concentrated his colonizing efforts in the eastern shore of Biloxi Bay near the present-day city of Ocean Springs. 

February 2, 1699: Iberville discovered a pile of human bones and named present-day Dauphin Island, Massacre Island.

August 1701: A hurricane partially destroyed the anchorage at Ship Island.

December 1701: Iberville returned to Dauphin Island and ordered that the fortifications at Biloxi Bay be moved to 27 Mile Bluff on the Mobile River and Dauphin Island was made the primary anchorage for the ocean going vessels.

Mid-February,1702: Iberville spent two weeks on Dauphin Island before heading upriver to 27 Mile Bluff. He arrived there on March 3, 1702 and found that his brother, Bienville, already had Fort St. Louis under construction.

April, 1702: Before leaving the colony for the last time, Iberville supervised the construction of a warehouse on Dauphin Island. Dauphin Island remained the primary port for the capital of Louisiana at Mobile from 1702 until 1718.

July 1704: The ship PELICAN arrived with 24 French women who had been shipped over to become wives for the colonists.

1708: The first shipyard in Louisiana was on Dauphin Island and it produced a 35 ton vessel.

September 9, 1710: Dauphin Island was captured and burned by Jamaican pirates. Before the pirate raid, La Vente reported 20 houses in the village.

October 27, 1711: Bienville wrote Ponchartrain that the name MASSACRE ISLAND had been changed to DAUPHIN ISLAND. Moving the location of Mobile from 27 Mile Bluff to the banks of the Mobile River north of Choctaw Point cut the distance from Dauphin Island in half.

September 14, 1712: A monopoly for commerce in Louisiana was given to Crozat and the only geographic place name in the entire contract was DAUPHIN ISLAND. Consideration was given to moving all fortifications to Dauphin Island due to its excellent anchorage which was then in present-day Pelican Bay. This harbor was 31 to 35 feet deep and Pelican Pass between Pelican Island and Dauphin Island was 21 feet deep.

(from McWilliams) "Penicault, who was usually rather accurate in his estimates, wrote that the Dauphin Harbor (ed. note: present-day Pelican Bay south of the Isle Dauphine Golf Course) could shelter 30 ships; Cadillac, usually pessimistic with his estimates, said four ships. D'Artaguiette estimated the capacity at 15 ships. The estimates of these observers show how important Dauphin was to the future of the colony which was now on the eve of expansion to other posts."

1713 to 1717: During Cadillac's time, 19 families and several unmarried men lived on the island. Cadillac was alarmed at the narrowness of Pelican Pass and estimated its width as the length of a French ship.

May 1717: Du Saut's chart and drawing shows between 17 and 25 houses. The fort was built near Pelican Pass (present-day fishing pier) opposite the northwest tip of Pelican Island.
A storm closed Pelican Pass completely trapping two ships inside Pelican Bay.

1717: 24 Indian tribes sent diplomatic missions to Dauphin Island so they could meet the new governor, L'Epinay. This meeting lasted two months and according to McWilliams "surpassed all other ceremonial diplomacy during French dominion in the South."

February, 1718: Bienville and about 50 men leave Dauphin Island in shallow draft boats to break ground for the City of New Orleans to be built in a crescent of the river on the east bank of the Mississippi about 100 miles from the Gulf.

September 5, 1719: The slave ship Duc du Maine docked at Dauphin Island and disembarked 250 African slaves. This was the first large slave ship to bring slaves to the Louisiana colony.

By 1719, the harbor settlement was being abandoned due to the closing of Pelican Pass with sand.

On Saturday, May 13, 1719, a French naval attack on Pensacola embarked from Dauphin Island and approached Pensacola Bay the evening of the same day.  The French naval force consisted of a squadron of at least three large company ships from France carrying over 600 officers, soldiers and volunteers commanded by Serigny and Larcebault. Bienville commanded the rest of the naval force of 80 men on three skiffs along with some supply barges and initiated the invasion by taking over the Spanish battery located on Santa Rosa Island near present-day Ft. Pickens without firing a shot.  The company ships were then free to enter Pensacola Bay and by firing their sixty naval cannon into town for three hours, they silenced the 29 cannon in Pensacola’s Spanish Fort San Carlos.

On Friday, August 4, 1719, a Spanish fleet  carrying over 1300 troops and consisting of two captured French ships, a Spanish flagship and nine two-masted coastal schooners forced the French surrender of Pensacola and the French lost their ships anchored in the harbor that were filled with John Law’s Company of the West’s supplies.The French retreat from Pensacola led the French back to Dauphin Island and required them to reinforce Dauphin Island’s defenses.
On Sunday, August 13, 1719, Louis Juchereau de St. Denis brought 50 Pascagoula Indians to Dauphin Island . By August 20, the French had assembled between 200 to 400 Indians between Mobile and Dauphin Island and these natives represented “the backbone of the French defensive forces.”

The Spanish fleet was limited to privateers who sailed from Pensacola on 9 two-masted coastal schooners and two brigantines. The Spanish sent the French on Dauphin Island a message that demanded unconditional surrender and made some violent threats. The French on shore showed their contempt for the Spanish privateers and decided to “make a gallant defense.” 

After their bluff failed, the Spanish decided to put off a full frontal assault upon the improvised French fortress hastily constructed on the shore near an inlet the French called Trou du Major. The Spanish decided to impose a naval blockade and began to capture all ships bringing supplies to the island. For over two weeks the Spanish privateers continued their blockade on the mouth of Mobile Bay and executed raids on the warehouses and farms in the area. During a raid on a Mon Luis Island farm, the French and their Indian allies captured  18 French deserters who were fighting for the Spanish. One of the deserters was condemned to a public hanging on Dauphin Island which served as a strong lesson in civic responsibility for the islanders and the other 17 were turned over to the Indians so they could be dragged to Mobile to be tortured and killed. 
 When a large French fleet carrying 2000 troops arrived at Dauphin Island on September 1, the few Spanish vessels still maintaining the blockade retreated back to Pensacola.

On Tuesday September 5, 1719, a French squadron under the command of Commodore Desnos de Champmeslin consisting of the flagship Hercule and twelve smaller ships sailed from Dauphin Island to Pensacola while Bienville marched one hundred troops and almost 500 Indians overland. On September 16, the French fleet was anchored off Pensacola while Bienville and his Indians prepared to attack. On the morning of September 17, Bienville’s Indians and the Canadians began their attack upon Fort San Carlos as the French fleet battled the Spanish ships anchored in the bay. The Spanish commander had “had no stomach for a fight with Indians” and so he surrendered to Champmeslin. The French had lost six men; the Spaniards, a hundred. Bienville also captured  47 French deserters fighting for the Spanish.  Twelve of these men were condemned to be hanged from the yardarm of a French ship anchored in Pensacola harbor and the other 35 were sentenced to serve ten years as galley slaves for the Company of the West.
Spain’s long-awaited naval expedition to drive the French out of Louisiana was finally launched in 1720 before news of peace had arrived. It accomplished nothing because Commander Francisco Cornejo “promptly ran his ships aground on the Campeche Banks in a violent storm.”
France continued to hold Pensacola while flying Spanish flags so they could capture Spanish supply ships that took the bait. Finally, on November 26, 1722, the French “destroyed the fort and town and returned the site to the Spaniards in conformity with the peace treaty in Europe.”

September 5, 1719: The slave ship, Duc du Maine, arrived at Dauphin Island bringing the first shipload of slaves to Louisiana. 


April 1, 1725: "Bellone" or "Bellona" sank outside Pelican Island with a cargo estimated to be worth 200,000 livres. The cargo was said to contain silver which had been loaded on at New Orleans.

 Dauphin Island Place Names Associated with AGE #2: Apalache Avenue, Bienville Boulevard, Biloxi Avenue, Cadillac Avenue, Calumet Park, Chateaugue Point, Chaumont Avenue, Conde Avenue, Conti Street, Epinet Street, Fort Conde Place, Fort Louis Court, Fort Rosalie Place, Fort Tombecbe Place, Graveline Bay, Hubert Street, Huitres Place, Iberville Drive, Infanta Place, Iroquois Place, Lamothe Place, La Vente Street, Lavigne Place, Lemoyne Drive, Louisianne Avenue, Nanafalya Place, Narbonne Place, Natchez Street, Notre Dame Place, Orleans Drive, Pelican Street, Penicaut Street, Pensacola Street, Perdido Street, Ponchartrain Court, Quebec Court, Saint Andrew Court, Seneca Court, St. Denis Court, Serigny Court, Taos Court, Tombigbee Street, Tonty Street.

Age Number 3 (Chapter 3): French-Indian Trade Port of Call, 1729-1763

1734: While New Orleans had the largest garrison in Louisiana with about 150 soldiers by 1734, Dauphin Island was stationed by only 7 men in 1725 and there job was to protect the Port of Mobile.


1740s and 1750s: Dauphin Island was a center of illicit trade with the Spanish at Pensacola. See first article in this publication

1743:  Bienville voluntarily resigned the governorship in May 1743 and retired to Paris.

1750s: Trade between Dauphin Island and Pensacola remained extremely strong.

1757: Dauphin Island native, Jean Baptiste BAUDREAU, dit Graveline II , became the only person in all of American History to be broken on the wheel as his method of execution in New Orleans.

Age Number 4 (Chapter 4): British Dauphin Island, 1763-1780


  On Sunday, October 9, 1763, British Major Farmar , commanding a convoy of six troop transports and a warship carrying three regiments dropped anchor off Dauphin Island with orders to occupy French Louisiana east of the Mississippi River as well as Spanish Pensacola. Farmar had earlier received an official French authorization for the commander of Fort Conde' in Mobile to surrender the fort.

Dauphin Island at the time mainly served as "a sea-girt cattle pen" for Frenchmen living in Mobile while the only residents were a French sergeant's guard and a harbor pilot, both of whom would soon leave the island.

 For over a week after arriving at Mobile Bay, Farmar had his men sounding the channel and setting out buoys to guide three of the smaller troop transports over the bar. The 32 gun frigate, H.M.S. Stag, and a larger troop transport sailed over to Ship Island to find safe anchorage. Earlier in October, while Farmar had been in Pensacola, two French pilots from the mouth of Mobile Bay had arrived and warned him that they doubted whether the large British ships could clear the bar at Mobile.
The problems Major Farmar encountered entering Mobile Bay emphasized his dependency upon the French pilot who resided on Dauphin Island and was needed to navigate any large vessel intending to enter Mobile Bay. Only one month after taking possession of Mobile Bay, Farmar wrote ".....A corporal and six men I have sent to the Island Dauphin to be assisting the Pilot in going off to ships, as the bar is very dangerous, and there are no inhabitants upon the island."

On Monday, May 1, 1769,  Major Farmar violently evicted Lieutenant Governor Montforte Brown's employees from Dauphin Island.

1771: The British Admiralty Chart showed the island directly west of Dauphin as MASSACRE.

Age Number 5 (Chapter 5): Spanish Outpost and Pilot House, 1780-1813 

February 10, 1780, Spanish Governor of Bernardo de Galvez led a fleet of warships and troop transports into Mobile Bay to begin the SIEGE OF FORT CHARLOTTE.

In early 1781, the British launch an offensive from Pensacola to take Dauphin Island but fail.
In May of 1781, the Spanish under Galvez launch an invasion from Mobile Bay and take Pensacola from the British.

Age Number 6 (Chapter 6): A Leading Lightering Port of The Cotton Kingdom, the opening of Grant's Pass and the construction of Ft. Gaines, 1813-1865 [ed. note: a "LIGHTERING PORT" is where ships go to have their cargo moved to small boats.]

April 4, 1813:  Commodore Shaw arrived at Pass Christian and picked up 30 scaling ladders built to the exact specifications needed to allow troops to climb the walls of Fuerte Carlota (Ft. Conde).

April 7, 1813: U.S. troops left New Orleans with the objective of taking Mobile from the Spain.

Saturday, April 10, 1813:  The invading force of U.S. troops from New Orleans approached Pass Christian.

Saturday, April 10, 1813:  Colonel Bowyer took his troops from Ft. Stoddard near present day Mt. Vernon across the Mobile Delta on Mims Ferry and marched them down the Tensaw side through present day Stockton in Baldwin County.

Saturday, April 10, 1813:  Some U.S. gunboats sailed through Pass Heron in present day southeastern Mobile County while Commodore Shaw crossed into the open sea between Horn and Petit Bois Island.

Saturday night, April 10, 1813:  Captain Atkinson and his detachment of U.S. troops arrived on Isla Delfina (Dauphin Island). The next, morning, Sunday, April 11, they expelled the Spanish guard on Dauphin Island and captured the pilot.

Saturday night, April 10, 1813:  Commodore Shaw on the armed boat ALLIGATOR and Lieutenant Roney’s bark captured Spanish ships in Mobile Bay.

April 11, 1813:  The Spaniards captured the night before on Dauphin Island sailed toward Pensacola.

April 12, 1813:  The galley carrying the Spanish guard from Dauphin Island rowed into Pensacola.

April 12, 1813:  General Wilkinson issued a proclamation to the citizens of Mobile and demanded the surrender of the Spanish commander of Fuerte Carlota (Ft. Conde) and ordered the immediate evacuation of all Spanish troops from Mobile.

Friday, April 15, 1813: The Spanish troops evacuated Fuerte Carlota (Ft. Conde) and boarded a ship sailing for Pensacola. The U.S. occupied Mobile for the first time.

April 17, 1813:  Colonel Carson took the west bank of the Perdido near present day Orange Beach, Alabama and was ordered to build a stockade by General Wilkinson.

April 20, 1813:  General Wilkinson visited Mobile Point for the first time and staked out a fort he called SERAF. This became Ft. Boyer and Wilkinson also recommended building a cooperating battery on Dauphin Island but this part of his plan was either ignored or abandoned.  Wilkinson then traveled via the Bon Secour River to a site on the west bank of the Perdido where he recommended building a stockade.

June, 1814: U.S. General Flournoy ordered Colonel John Bowyer to abandon Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

July 1814: U.S. Navy Commodore Patterson of New Orleans sailed to Dauphin Island to assist a stranded cargo ship. The Royal Navy was already beginning their naval blockade of the mouth of the Mississippi and was using Dauphin Island as a camp on their supply line.

July 20, 1814: A committee of Mobile citizens appealed to General Jackson to restore Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

                                MAJOR GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON
                                               Commanding the 6th and 7th
                                                                   Military District
                                                            HICKORY GROUND
(ed. note:  The following quotation was on the outside of the envelope when it was delivered to the War Department in Washington. It is Jackson's endorsement in his handwriting.)
"The memorial of the citizens of the Town of Mobile, to be answered with assurances of every protection, that the means within my power will afford, that the abandonment of Mobile Point was by the order of the secratary of war. The remonstrance, has been forwarded to the secratary of war with the appropriate remarks. The remonstrance to be forwarded to the secratary of war as above."

At a meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Mobile convened at the dwelling house of Josiah Blakeley Esquire on Wednesday the 20th July 1814, for the purpose of taking into consideration the perilous situation of affairs in  this section of the Territory.
                                       Josiah Blakeley Esq. was called to the Chair,
                                       and  M. McKinsey was appointed Secretary
                                       On motion of Joseph P. Kennedy, seconded,

                 That a committee of Five be forthwith appointed to draft a memorial to his Excellency Major General And. Jackson explanatory of the defenseless and awful situation of this quarter of the Territory- the ill-advised abandonment and evacuation of Mobile Point, and the withdrawal of the Gunboats from the Bay of Mobile- praying his Excellency's relief thereupon
                                                              which motion was unanimously agreed to 
Whereupon the President appointed Colonel Hinson Powell and Messieurs Kennedy, Robertson and McKinsey, as a Committee to draft said memorial and dispatch the same tomorrow morning by Lieut. Conway

                                            A true Copy of the Original 
                                            Mobile 20th July 1814
                                                                                    M. McKinsey

August 1814: General Andrew Jackson ordered the restoration of Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

Saturday, August 13, 1814: Vincent Gray, a native of Massachusetts who made his living as a cotton merchant in Havana, wrote a letter of U.S. Secretary of State James Monroe describing the Royal Navy's secret campaign to capture New Orleans. Gray received this information from the conversations British Colonel Nicolls had with citizens in Havana. Gray wrote three letters: one to Secretary of State Monroe, one to Governor Claiborne in New Orleans delivered by way of Captain Jean Lafitte and one to James Innerarity, the head of John Forbes and Company in Mobile and head of the Mobile town council.

August 22, 1814: Jackson arrived in Mobile on the same day American Commodore Joshua Barney scuttled his fleet of gunboats in the Patuxent River in Maryland while being pursued by the British coming from the Chesapeake. In Mobile, Jackson met Major William L. Lawrence before the Major embarked for Mobile Point with 160 men to restore the defense of Fort Bowyer. 

August 22, 1814: The 65 ton schooner, Speedwell (probably about 63 feet long), was captured by the British on the Patuxent River in Prince George County, Maryland at the same time that U.S. Commodore Joshua Barney scuttled his U.S. Navy gunboats in the same river. In February of 1815, the Speedwell was at Dauphin Island serving as a tender for Admiral Malcolm's HMS ROYAL OAK. It also held a Royal Navy sailor as a prisoner because he refused to participate in the New Orleans Campaign. On February 17, 1815, this sailor who claimed to be an American, Archibald W. Hamilton, was released at Dauphin Island from the Speedwell by the British.

August 27, 1814: At 5 P.M. on this Saturday afternoon, James Innerarity, first President of the Mobile Town Council, handed General Andrew Jackson two letters, one written by Innerarity's brother, John, in Pensacola and another one written by cotton merchant, Vincent Gray, in Havana. Both letters described in detail the Royal Navy's plan to capture New Orleans and the fact that the Royal Navy's ships had anchored in Pensacola and that British troops were occupied forts around the town.
"...but for this intelligence so fortunately and singularly given, New Orleans, would most probably have fallen without a battle, and without a renowned hero to grace its history." ~ from the journal of R.K. Call who had kept this information a secret for over 40 years because it would have been harmful to the Innerarity brothers' business interests in Great Britain.

September 3, 1814: Captain Percy of the HMS Hermes delayed the attack on Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point so that Captain Lockyer of the HMS Sophie could sail from Pensacola to Barataria Bay to contact Lafitte and attempt to enlist the Baratarians for the British cause. This proved that New Orleans was the ultimate target of the British Expeditionary Force.  

September 10, 1814: Colonel Nicolls and his Royal Marines embarked from Pensacola aboard the HMS Childers for an attack on Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

September 11, 1814:The HMS Sophie captained by Nicholas Lockyer returned to Pensacola from their mission to Barataria to meet Lafitte..A few days' previous, she had chased a Baratarian privateer and seized its prize, a Spanish ship, which was manned by some men from the Sophie to go to Pensacola. On the way, the Spanish ship grounded at Dauphin Island and the Americans at Ft. Bowyer captured the ship and crew. Gen. Jackson proceeded to hold the Spanish crew members hostage for an earlier raid on Mobile.

 U.S. Captain MacDonough won a great naval victory over the British on Lake Champlain. 

September 12, 1814: The HMS Childers disembarked the Nicolls and his Royal Marines 9 miles east of Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point. They were armed with a 5.5 inch howitzer and were joined by refugee Red Sticks and fugitive slaves who had been recruited into the Colonial Marines.

 September 13, 1814: General Andrew Jackson sailed toward Fort Bowyer on Mobile Bay but is stopped by Americans in a boat bound for Mobile near the mouth of Mobile Bay and informed that the British amphibious attack on Fort Bowyer had begun. Jackson's boat turns around and sails back to Dog River. These Americans prevented Jackson from sailing directly into the British naval fleet off Fort Bowyer.

September 15, 1814: British Colonel Nicolls, Royal Marines and newly recruited fugitive slaves and refugee Red Sticks failed to win their attack on Fort Bowyer at Mobile Point. The HMS Hermes ran aground, caught fire and exploded. This defeat was fatal to British prestige. It alienated the Spanish, scattered their Indian recruits and increased American confidence in General Jackson.

Thursday 15 September 1814
HM Sloop Childers
At anchor off Mobile Bay
Raining at Noon
Light winds & fine
2.15 weighed and made sail in the following order: Hermez[sic] Sophie Carron Childers
2.30 Hermez Gint
3 Fort on Mobile Point commenced firing at Hermes which she returned at 3.30-3.45 Sophie opened her fire wind light and variable made all sail
4.20 Carron aphirsid her broad side
4.45 came to luistal that from the Fort with the Brot Bower with ossiings rraced to half a cable comissicar and and lrifit info kroney fire on the fort
fire from the fort going dark 5.45 Hermes gone
6 man and action the boats ready to bord and Hermes drifting out. 
6.10 Hermez Gint
To rescue the crew Hermes aground to the south of the fort
6.45 guasend facing out the cables and made sail fathom off auch with the small Bow 5 fins Fort North 2 miles
7.30 Boats returned all 4 the min being removed from the Hermes recd to evacuated men and 38 of the Creek. Obsd the Hermes in flames. Supplied the following provisions to Marines and Indians on sh for order bread 826lbs rum gallons beef 2 barrels twenty seven lbs eight lbs each pork two barl fifty 
At 11 Hermes blew up


Private James Rose of the Woolwich Division deserted on 18 September 1814 from Pensacola, just after the first attack on Fort Bowyer. Private Charles Butcher, a labourer from Switzerland, was the sole fatality from Nicolls's detachment at the attack on Fort Bowyer on 18 September 1814. Ship-borne casualties were: 
HMS Hermes 17 killed in action, 5 died of wounds, 19 wounded 
HMS Sophie 6 killed in action, 4 died of wounds, 12 wounded 
HMS Carron nil killed in action, 1 died of wounds, 4 wounded 
All of these 69 casualties from the battle are named in Admiral Cochrane's letter to the Admiralty dated 7 December 1814 which is in the correspondence file, UK National Archives reference ADM/1/505.

September 17, 1814: The Royal Marines and Indians, returning to Pensacola during their retreat from Mobile Point, raided the Forbes and Co. stores and mills at Bon Secour. 
On the same day, Admiral Cochrane on the Chesapeake, received a secret July 29th letter from Lord Melville authorizing an attack on New Orleans. Cochrane on board the HMS Tonnant sailed the same day for Halifax, Nova Scotia, leaving Rear-Admiral Malcolm to continue leading the blockade and the attacks against Americans on the Chesapeake. (page 119 of HOW BRITAIN WON THE WAR OF 1812) 

September 20, 1814: Following the sounding of reveille, approximately 180 of the nearly 500 men at Fort Jackson(located near present-day Wetumpka) deserted and marched for Tennessee, "yelling and firing their guns".General Jackson had the six ringleaders of this rebellion executed by firing squad in Mobile on February 21, 1815.

September 21, 1814: General Jackson issued a proclamation from Mobile to all free men of color in Louisiana. "As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend our most inestimable blessing... To every noble-hearted freeman of colour volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and lands, now received by the white soldiers of the United States."

October 10, 1814: Jackson writes Secretary Monroe that "My undivided attention and all my disposeable force have been employed to place Fort Bowyer in, a complete state of defence. I have sent to new Orleans for heavier guns, and hope to have them well mounted, in a few days, on the battery of the fort. Major Lawrence has succeeded in raising from the wreck of the Hermes, 11 32 lb. carronades, and one 12 lb. Carronade. He expects to be able to recover the rest of her guns. This Fort, when completed, together with the ship now on the stocks at Tchefoneti (which I would recommend to be finished), well manned, and armed with long 24 and 32 pounders, would effectually protect the Bay, and of course the Town of Mobile. These points being thus safe, the troops now kept here to cover them, might be disposed of for other purposes. I beg leave to refer to my former letters as to the necessity of having possession of Pensacola, and confidently hope to receive instructions relative thereto."

November 13, 1814: General Jackson returned to Mobile from his capture of Pensacola.

Tuesday, November 22, 1814: General Jackson left Mobile on horseback, accompanied by only three or four other soldiers including his Adjutant General, Robert Butler, his aide-de-camp, Major John Reid and Major Howell Tatum, his chief topographical engineer. They traveled slowly for ten days to make a reconnaissance of the coast between Mobile and New Orleans. On this same day, Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Forester Inglis Cochrane, RN, arrived at Negril Bay in Jamaica aboard his flagship, HMS Tonnant, and began assembling the British Expeditionary Force that would attempt to capture New Orleans. 
Details of General Jackson's ride from Mobile to New Orleans may be found in Major Howell Tatum's Journal

December 5, 1814: Six Tennessee militiamen were court martialed for exciting mutiny of the troops at Fort Jackson on September 20. This mutiny occurred because of confusion over the time of enlistment. Men who enlisted on June 20 believed their tour of duty ended after three months on September 20. Unfortunately, they were incorrect.

December 9, 1814: (from Judge Alexander Walker's book "Jackson and New Orleans)
"The pilots, who have accompanied the fleets from the 
West Indies, have announced that the land is not far 
off and all parties are on deck, eagerly straining their eyes for a view of the desired shore. There, in the distance, they soon discover a
long, shining white line, 
which sparkles in the sun like an island of fire.
Presently it becomes more distinct and substantial 
and the man at the look-out proclaims 'land ahead'. 
The leading ships approach as near 
as is prudent and their crews, especially the land 
troops, experience no little disappointment at the 
bleak and forbidding aspect of Dauphin Island, 
with its long, sandy 
beach, its dreary, stunted pines, and the entire 
absence of any vestige of settlement or cultivation. 
Turning to the west, the fleet avoids the island and 
proceeds towards a favorable anchorage in the 
direction of the Chandeleur islands, the wind in the 
meantime having chopped around and blowing 
too strong from the shore to justify 
an attempt to enter the lake at night. 
"As the Tonnant and Seahorse pass near to Dauphin 
Island, the attention of the Vice-Admiral 
is called to two small vessels, 
lying between the island and the 
shore. They are neat little craft, sloop-rigged, and 
evidently armed. They appear to be watching the 
movements of the British ships and when the latter 
take a western course, they weigh anchor and 
follow in the same direction. 
At night-fall the signal 
'to anchor' is made from the Tonnant and the order 
is quickly obeyed by all the vessels in the squadron." 
"The suspicious little sloops, as if in apprehension 
of a night attack of boats, then press all sail and 
proceed in the direction of Biloxi Bay. They prove to be the United States gunboats No. 23, Lieutenant 
McKeever, (afterwards Commodore McKeever) , No. 163, 
Sailing Master Ulrick, which had been detached from 
the squadron of Lieutenant Thomas Ap Catesby Jones 
(later the Commodore Jones 
who ran up the first American flag at Monterey, 
California, in 1847), who had been sent by Commodore 
Patterson with six gunboats, one tender, and a 
despatch boat, to watch and report the approach 
of the British. In case their 
fleet succeeded in entering 
the lake, he was to be prepared to cut 
off their barges and prevent the landing of the 
troops. If hard pressed by a superior force, his 
orders were to fall back upon a mud fort, the Petites Coquilles, near the mouth of the Rigolets and shelter his vessels under its guns. 

"The two boats which had attracted the notice of the 
British Vice-Admiral, joined the others of the 
squadron that night near Biloxi. The next day, 
the 10th of December, at dawn, 
or as soon as the fog cleared off, 
Jones was amazed to observe the deep water 
between Ship and Cat Islands where the current flows, 
crowded with ships and vessels of every calibre and 
description. The Tonnant having anchored off the 
Chandeleurs, the Seahorse was now the foremost ship. 
Jones immediately made for Pass Christian with
his little fleet, where he anchored,and quietly 
awaited the approach of the British vessels."

January 22, 1815: General Jackson signed the order for the executions of the six Tennessee militiamen who were found guilty of exciting mutiny at Fort Jackson on September 20, 1814. 
Saturday, February 4, 1815: The weather improved and the larger British men-of-war and the larger troop transports received orders to sail to the lower(southern) anchorage off the Chandeleur Islands and the shallow draft vessels which included smaller men-of-war and troop transports were ordered to sail to the upper(northern) anchorage near Ship Island. This was done in anticipation of the ships of the lower anchorage taking the outer passage in the Gulf to the mouth of Mobile Bay and the ships of the upper anchorage taking the inner passage through the Mississippi Sound. Admiral Malcolm took command of the ships of the upper anchorage.
Sunday, February 5, 1815: The battering transports received orders to  move to the lower anchorage. All of the men and material aboard ships on the inner passage intended for the attack on Ft. Bowyer were identified and were ordered to disembark on Dauphin Island before being transported to Mobile Point.

Monday, February 6, 1815: The ships of both anchorages weighed anchor and sailed east toward Dauphin Island. All of the troops on board the ships on the outer passage except the ones to be used in the attack on Ft. Bowyer were ordered to land and occupy the eastern point of Dauphin Island the next morning. Lawrence, the American commander at Ft. Bowyer, sent a messenger from Mobile Point to General Winchester in Mobile with the news of the British arrival and requested reinforcements.
Tuesday, February 7, 1815: The 85th Regiment landed on Dauphin Island and found it so suitable that the 1st and 3rdBrigades were ordered to land and camp on the island. At daylight the ships of the lower anchorage off Petit Bois Island sailed to a new anchorage in the Gulf about three miles south of the shore of Dauphin Island. The ships designated to land troops on Mobile Point set sail at 1 P.M. and sailed for two hours and dropped anchor 4 miles south of the Gulf beach of Mobile Point. It was determined that it was too late in the day to begin landing troops.38 of the Royal Navy's ships-of-the-line sealed off all of the sea approaches to Mobile Point, U.S. General Winchester in Mobile received Lawrence's request from Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point for reinforcements.
Wednesday, February 8, 1815: At 9 A.M. the 2nd Brigade of about 1300 to 1400 men began landing on the Gulf beach with no opposition. This landing occurred about two and a half to three miles east of Ft. Bowyer. The landing craft were only able to land 600 men at a time and no field artillery were landed in this first operation. Captain Robert Spencer and Colonel Alexander Dixson walked east down the beach toward the fort and found a landing place for the artillery and stores located about a mile closer to the fort. This landing place was determined when an opening in the outer sand bar was discovered which had about 4 feet of water. As the men of the 21st Regiment marched toward the fort along the beach, two of their men were killed and another injured by small arms fire coming from the fort. After determining the ideal location for artillery emplacements on the highest dunes, troops under the command of Colonel Burgoyne began digging a ditch parallel to the fort during the night of the 8th. The Americans were able to see the dark bodies of the British soldiers on the white dunes at night and fired four cannons at them at once. This killed and wounded 8 or 10 men.
Thursday, February 9, 1815: The working parties continued to dig trenches to the locations of the proposed batteries which were to be built on the highest sand dunes. Two British boats located in the water between Dauphin Island and the fort were fired upon by the Americans in the fort and one boat was shot through the sails. The Americans maintained a brisk cannon and musket fire at anyone who moved on the land side of the fort. British countered with musket fire forcing the Americans to pile sandbags around their rifle ports and embrasures.
Friday, February 10, 1815: Enough ordnance for two days firing was landed on shore by the British. The rest of the army had completed its landing on Dauphin Island. Members of the 85th Regiment were brought over to Mobile Point from Dauphin Island to relieve the 44th which had begun the siege on February 8. Captain Spencer was now in command of all 200 Seamen who had been landed on Mobile Point. In the afternoon the British captured a Mr. Drury at Little Bay John 12 miles east of Mobile Point and he informed them that the Americans had mined the ditch in front of Ft. Bowyer.
Saturday, February 11, 1815: At 9 A.M., with the artillery batteries completed and the trenches dug within 40 yards of the ditch of the fort, Major Harry Smith was sent under a flag of truce to Ft. Bowyer to offer the Americans the opportunity to let their women and children to come out of the fort before it was to be destroyed by British cannon fire which was to commence at 10 A.M. After considering the British proposal for two hours, the American commander, Colonel Lawrence, agreed to surrender but pleaded to be allowed not to deliver the fort until the next day, using as an excuse that some of his men had gotten drunk. A British detachment was allowed to occupy the gate of Ft. Bowyer and the Americans remained inside. This was a delaying ploy by the Americans who hoped that they would soon be supported by a force of 1000 American troops under the command of Major Uriah Blue who were enroute to Ft. Bowyer from Mobile.
Sunday, February 12, 1815: Major Blue and his American troops did not arrive at Mobile Point and the Americans laid down their arms, marched out and surrendered Ft. Bowyer to the British at noon. 370 Americans marched out of the fort including 20 women and 16 children.
Monday, February 13, 1815: The HMS Brazen arrived that morning at the lower British anchorage with news that peace had been signed at Ghent between Great Britain and America on December 24, 1814.
Map of the Second Battle of Fort Bowyer from LaTour

February 12, 1815: The Americans formally marched out of Fort Bowyer and stacked their arms. The British flag was raised over Mobile Point.

[from the Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith]
AFTER the Army was somewhat refreshed, an attempt on Mobile was resolved on, for which purpose the fleet went down to the mouth of Mobile Bay. Here there was a wooden fort of some strength, Fort Bowyer, which some time previously had sunk one of two small craft of our men-of-war which were attempting to silence it. It was necessary that this fort should be reduced in order to open the passage of the bay. It was erected on a narrow neck of land easily invested, and required only a part of the army to besiege it. It was regularly approached, and when our breaching batteries were prepared to burn or blow it to the devil, I was sent to summon it to surrender. The Americans have no particular respect for flags of truce, and all my Rifle education was required to protect myself from being rifled and to procure a reception of my flag. After some little time I was received, and, upon my particular request, admitted into the fort, to the presence of Major Lawrence, who commanded, with five Companies, I think, of the 2nd Regiment. I kept a sharp look-out on the defences, etc., which would not have resisted our fire an hour. The Major was as civil as a vulgar fellow can be. I gave him my version of his position and cheered him on the ability he had displayed. He said, "Well, now, I calculate you are not far out in your reckoning. What do you advise me to do? You, I suppose, are one of Wellington's men, and understand the rules in these cases." "This," I said, "belongs to the rule that the weakest goes to the wall, and if you do not surrender at discretion in one hour, we, being the stronger, will blow up the fort and burn your wooden walls about your ears. All I can say is, you have done your duty to your country, and no soldier can do more, or resist the overpowering force of circumstances." "Well, if you were in my situation, you would surrender, would you?" "Yes, to be sure." "Well, go and tell your General I will surrender to-morrow at this hour, provided I am allowed to march out with my arms and ground them outside the fort." "No," I said, "I will take no such message back. My General, in humanity, offers you terms such as he can alone accept, and the blood of your soldiers be on your own head." He said, "Well, now, don't be hasty." I could see the Major had some hidden object in view. I said, therefore, "Now, I tell you what message I will carry to my General. You open the gates, and one of our Companies will take possession of it immediately, and a body of troops shall move up close to its support; then you may remain inside the fort until to-morrow at this hour and ground your arms on the glacis." I took out pen and ink, wrote down my proposition, and said; "There, now, sign directly and I go." He was very obstinate, and I rose to go, when he said, "Well, now, you are hard upon me in distress." "The devil I am," I said. "We might have blown you into the water, as you did our craft, without a summons. Good-bye." "Well, then, give me the pen. If I must, so be it;" and he signed. His terms were accepted, and the 4th Light Company took possession of the gate, with orders to rush in in case of alarm. A supporting column of four hundred men were bivouacked close at hand with the same orders, while every precaution was taken, so that, if any descent were made from Mobile, we should be prepared, for, by the Major's manner and look under his eyebrows, I could see there was no little cunning in his composition. We afterwards learned that a force was embarked at Mobile, and was to have made a descent that very night, but the wind prevented them. We were, however, perfectly prepared, and Fort Bowyer was ours.
 A portion of a watercolor of Fort Bowyer found in the Pulteney Malcolm papers at the University of Michigan. It was reprinted in Gene Allen Smith's article, DEFEAT AT FORT BOWYER, in the Summer 2014 issue of ALABAMA HERITAGE February 13, 1815: British Admiral Cochrane at Dauphin Island wrote General Jackson of the reception of news that peace had been declared. 
Captain Sterling of the HMS Brazen arrived at the anchorage of the British fleet off of Dauphin Island with news that a treaty of peace had been signed by the two countries on December 24th in Ghent.
[from the Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith]
In a few days after the capture of this fort the Brazen sloop-of-war arrived with dispatches [14 Feb.] The preliminaries of peace were signed, and only awaited the ratification of the President, and until this was or was not effected, hostilities were to cease. We were all happy enough, for we Peninsular soldiers saw that neither fame nor any military distinction could be acquired in this species of milito-nautico-guerilla-plundering-warfare. I got a letter from my dear wife, who was in health and composure, with my family all in love with her, and praying of course for my safe return, which she anticipated would not be delayed, as peace was certain. I for my part was very ready to return, and I thanked Almighty God from my heart that such fair prospects were again before me, after such another series of wonderful escapes. Pending the ratification, it was resolved to disembark the whole army on a large island at the entrance of Mobile Bay, called Isle Dauphine.62 This was done. At first we had great difficulty in getting anything like fresh provisions; but, as the sea abounded with fish, each regiment rigged out a net, and obtained a plentiful supply. Then our biscuit ran short. We had abundance of flour, but this began to act on the men and produce dysentery. The want of ovens alone prevented our making bread. This subject engrossed my attention for a whole day, but on awakening one morning a sort of vision dictated to me, "There are plenty of oyster-shells, and there is sand. Burn the former and make mortar, and construct ovens." So I sent on board to Admiral Malcolm to send me a lot of hoops of barrels by way of a framework for my arch. There was plenty of wood, the shells were burning, the mortar soon made, my arch constructed, and by three o'clock there was a slow fire in a very good oven on the ground. The baker was summoned, and the paste was made, ready to bake at daylight. The Admiral, dear Malcolm, and our Generals were invited to breakfast, but I did not tell even Sir John Lambert why I had asked a breakfast-party. He only laughed and said, "I wish I could give them a good one!" Oh, the anxiety with which I and my baker watched the progress of our exertions! We heard the men-of-war's bells strike eight o'clock. My breakfast-party was assembled. I had an unusual quantity of salt beef and biscuit on the table, the party was ready to fall to, when in I marched at the head of a column of loaves and rolls, all piping hot and as light as bread should be. The astonishment of the Admiral was beyond all belief, and he uttered a volley of monosyllables at the idea of a soldier inventing anything. Oh, how we laughed and ate new bread, which we hadn't seen for some time! At first the Admiral thought I must have induced his steward to bake me the bread as a joke, when I turned to Sir John and said, "Now, sir, by this time to-morrow every Company shall have three ovens, and every man his pound and a half of bread." I had sent for the Quartermasters of Corps; some started difficulties, but I soon removed them. One said, "Where are we to get all the hoops?" This was, I admit, a puzzle. I proposed to make the arch for the mortar of wood, when a very quick fellow, Hogan, Quartermaster of the Fusiliers, said, "I have it: make a bank of sand, plaster over it; make your oven; when complete, scratch the sand out." In a camp everything gets wind, and Harry Smith's ovens were soon in operation all over the island. There were plenty of workmen, and the morrow produced the bread. The officers erected a theatre, and we had great fun in various demi-savage ways. Bell, the Quartermaster-General, dear noble fellow, arrived, and a Major Cooper, and, of some importance to me, my stray portmanteau. I was half asleep one morning, rather later than usual, having been writing the greater part of the night, when I heard old West say, "Sir, sir." "What's the matter?" "Thank the Lord, you're alive." "What do you mean, you old ass?" "Why, a navigator has been going round and round your tent all night; here's a regular road about the tent." He meant an alligator, of which there were a great many on the island. The young ones our soldiers used to eat. I tasted a bit once; the meat was white, and the flavour like coarsely-fed pork. In this very tent I was writing some very important documents for my General; the sandflies had now begun to be very troublesome, and that day they were positively painful. I ever hated tobacco, but a thought struck me, a good volume of smoke would keep the little devils off me. I called my orderly, a soldier of the 43rd, and told old West, who chawed a pound a day at least, to give him plenty of tobacco, and he was to make what smoke he could, for of two evils this was by far the least. The old Peninsular soldiers off parade were all perfectly at home with their officers, and he puffed away for a long time while I was writing, he being under my table. After a time he put his head out with a knowing look, and said, "If you please, sir, this is drier work than in front of Salamanca, where water was not to be had, and what's more, no grog neither." I desired West to bring him both rum and water. "Now, your honour, if you can write as long as I can smoke, you'll write the history of the world, and I will kill all the midges." The ratification at length arrived [5 March], and the army was prepared to embark. Sir John Lambert, Baynes his Aide-de-camp, and I were to go home in the Brazen sloop-of-war, with a Captain Stirling, now Sir James, who was ultimately the founder of the Swan River Settlement. A more perfect gentleman or active sailor never existed: we have been faithful friends ever since. As many wounded as the Brazen could carry were embarked, and we weighed with one of our noble men-of-war. As soon as the word was given, we sailed to the Havannah for fresh provisions.   
A watercolor of Fort Bowyer found in the Pulteney Malcolm papers at the University of Michigan. It was reprinted in Gene Allen Smith's article, DEFEAT AT FORT BOWYER, in the Summer 2014 issue of ALABAMA HERITAGE February 15, 1815: The Treaty of Ghent arrives in Washington, D.C.
February 16, 1815: The United States and Great Britain exchange ratifications of the Ghent Treaty in Washington, thus officially ending the War of 1812.

February 17, 1815: After receiving confirmation that peace had been declared, the British released their American prisoners held in the ships anchored off Dauphin Island. British used this truce as an opportunity to ship supplies from Dauphin Island to their Indian and Negro allies on the Apalachicola. A man who claimed to be an American serving in the Royal Navy, Archibald W. Hamilton, came to be released from his confinement at Dauphin Island on February 17. He had been held a prisoner on the schooner SPEEDWELL, a boat from Prince George County Maryland that was captured Aug. 22, 1814 in the Patuxent River at the same time Commodore Barney scuttled his U.S. Navy convoy to avoid capture. Hamilton claimed to be an American who volunteered to be a sailor in the Royal Navy in 1809 because he wanted to learn the maritime trade. He served until he found out they were trying to capture New Orleans and so he was imprisoned on the Speedwell which had been converted by Admiral Malcolm into a tender for the HMS Royal Oak. The reason we have so much documentation is that the Hamilton filed a claim for compensation FROM THE U.S. CONGRESS plus George Biscoe, the original owner of the Speedwell used a Hamilton deposition for his own compensatory claim to the Congress. Of course, the Congress turned Hamilton down.
February 19, 1815: British Major-General John Lambert wrote Jackson that he had informed Edward Livingston,then with the British fleet at Dauphin Island, that the British were ready to exchange the Fort Bowyer prisoners and the Battle of Lake Borgne prisoners who had just been returned to Dauphin Island from Havana where they had been held since their U.S. Navy ships had been captured on December 14.
February 21, 1815: Six of the Tennessee militiamen are shot to death by firing squad three miles southwest of  the town of Mobile near the bay shore. They were ordered to be executed by a court martial that found them guilty of inciting a general mutiny of all of General Jackson's troops.
February 27, 1815: British Major-General John Lambert wrote Jackson a letter from his headquarters on Dauphin Island telling Jackson that he would cordially receive any slave masters claiming their slaves and that he would be "very happy if they can be persuaded all to return, but to compel them is what I cannot do...."
March 5, 1815: News of U.S. ratification of THE TREATY OF GHENT arrived on Dauphin Island.
From Parton's LIFE OF ANDREW JACKSON, pages 304 and 305 
...the opening fortunes of the 
British were suddenly closed by an event which 
occurred on the 13th, just two days after 
the surrender of Fort Bowyer. 
On that day Mr. R. D. Shepherd(ed. note:aide 
to Commodore Patterson) was standing on the 
deck of the TONNANT conversing with Admiral Malcolm
, a gentleman of the most amiable and genial
 manners, when a gig approached, 
with an officer, who coming aboard the
 TONNANT presented to 
the admiral a package. On opening and reading 
the contents, Admiral Malcolm took off his 
cap and gave a loud hurrah. 
Then turning to Mr. Shepherd, he seized his hand 
and grasping it warmly, exclaimed,
" 'Good news! 
Good news! We are friends. The BRAZEN has just 
arrived outside with the news 
of peace. I am delighted !'" 
adding, in an under tone, " ' I have hated this war from the beginning.' "
March 15, 1815: Americans returned British prisoners of war to the Royal Navy at their headquarters on Dauphin Island. This was also about the first time that religious services were provided for British troops since they had been deployed to North America.
March 31, 1815: British troops begin to get on board ships anchored off Dauphin Island in anticipation of a voyage to Havanna to pick up supplies for a trans-Atlantic voyage.
April 4, 1815:  British embark from Dauphin Island. Many departing British ships sail either to St. Marys/Fernandina or to New Providence Island, Bahamas. From those ports, troops made their way home, generally by way of the Bermuda. The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Dauphin Island resulted in hundreds of fugitive slaves from the area around the Northern Gulf of Mexico being disembarked as freed "Refugee Negroes" on Nova Scotia and Trinidad.

1847:  The initial baseline for the Eastern Oblique Arc of the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. The survey was headed by the Superintendent of the U.S.C.G.S., A.D. Bache and was the first survey in which the Bache-Wurdemann Contact Level was ever used.

Age Number 7 (Chapter 7): An Occupying Army's Base of Operations and Fishing Village, 

Age Number 8 (Chapter 8): Inland Waterway Improvements and the  Island's Fortifications Strengthened, 1898-1918

October 14, 1914: ENGINEERING AND CONTRACTING magazine reported under the heading PROSPECTIVE WORK, "Alabama: Mobile, Ala.- Holabird & Roche, Chicago, Ill. Architects are preparing plans for a 200-room fireproof hotel to be erected on Dauphin Island for the Dauphin Island Improvement, Co. of which J.M. Dewberry is President."

February 1, 1916: AMERICAN STONE TRADE magazine reported that J.M. Dewberry, president of Tidewater Securities Corporation had said he would erect a $40,000 hotel on Dauphin Island.

Age Number 9 (Chapter 9): The Roaring Twenties, Great Depression & WWII, 1918-1945

Age Number 10 (Chapter 10): The Development of Dauphin Island Real Estate, 1945-1979

Age Number 11 (Chapter 11): Disaster Recovery and Natural Gas Drilling, 1979-2005

Age Number 12 (Chapter 12): Post-Katrina, BP and The Future, 2005- (until)

Admiral Franklin Buchanan, the commander of the CSS TENNESSEE during the Battle of Mobile Bay, married a lady from Talbot County, Maryland. His name is on the Talbot County Confederate Memorial and he's also buried in Talbot County

Grave 5 ------ N 38° 51.273' W076° 10.078'
Admiral Franklin Buchanan
Born Sept 17, 1800
Died May 11, 1874
The memory of the just is blessed.
Faith’s Journey ends in refuge to the weary.
The strife is o’er. The battle won.

Today while waiting for the computer to reboot, I was reading the FORT MORGAN SELF-GUIDED TOUR and discovered an interesting character, Commander Tunis Craven, commanding officer of the U.S.S. Tecumseh at the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864. I was intrigued by his name because last week on our trek to Talbot County, Maryland to find the grave of the C.S.S. Tennessee commanding officer, Admiral Franklin Buchanan, Buchanan's grave was located near Tunis Mill Road so I wanted to see if there was some sort of ironic connection. There wasn't other than both men were officers in the U.S. Navy at the same time. What I DID DISCOVER was the following poem dedicated to Craven's bravery while the U.S.S. Tecumseh sank in Mobile Bay. Tunis Craven's remains may still be inside the wreckage of the U.S.S. Tecumseh that presently rests at the bottom of Mobile Bay off Mobile Point.

Craven by Henry Newbolt
(Mobile Bay, 1864)
Over the turret, shut in his iron-clad tower,
Craven was conning his ship through smoke and flame;
Gun to gun he had battered the fort for an hour,
Now was the time for a charge to end the game.

There lay the narrowing channel, smooth and grim,
A hundred deaths beneath it, and never a sign;
There lay the enemy's ships, and sink or swim
The flag was flying, and he was head of the line.

The fleet behind was jamming; the monitor hung
Beating the stream; the roar for a moment hushed,
Craven spoke to the pilot; slow she swung;
Again he spoke, and right for the foe she rushed.

Into the narrowing channel, between the shore
And the sunk torpedoes lying in treacherous rank;
She turned but a yard too short; a muffled roar,
A mountainous wave, and she rolled, righted, and sank.

Over the manhole, up in the iron-clad tower,
Pilot and Captain met as they turned to fly:
The hundredth part of a moment seemed an hour,
For one could pass to be saved, and one must die.

They stood like men in a dream: Craven spoke,
Spoke as he lived and fought, with a Captain's pride,
"After you, Pilot." The pilot woke,
Down the ladder he went, and Craven died.

All men praise the deed and the manner, but we---
We set it apart from the pride that stoops to the proud,
The strength that is supple to serve the strong and free,
The grace of the empty hands and promises loud:

Sidney thirsting, a humbler need to slake,
Nelson waiting his turn for the surgeon's hand,
Lucas crushed with chains for a comrade's sake,
Outram coveting right before command:

These were paladins, these were Craven's peers,
These with him shall be crowned in story and song,
Crowned with the glitter of steel and the glimmer of tears,
Princes of courtesy, merciful, proud, and strong.

Rest In Peace, KAY STARR. She passed away on Thursday, November 3, 2016, at her home in Beverly Hills. Don't know how many times Ms. Starr visited Dauphin Island but she brought national attention to D.I. when she bought a lot in February of 1957. A couple of months later she married George A. Mellen who S. BLAKE McNEELY, called "the first man to give the island the first good shot in the arm that it needed to start on its way." Beginning in September of 1956, Mellen, according to McNeely,"purchased Little Dauphin Island for the sum of $300,000, took an option on Point Isabel (present-day location of the Jeremiah A. Denton Airport)  for $100,000 and bought sufficient Gulf front property adjoining the Sand Dunes Casino to build a motel (old Holiday Inn) and also agreed to construct a small shopping center in the Central Commercial area."

Ms. Starr wasn't married to Mr. Mellen very long and he later sold his D.I. holdings to his New Mexico associates. Ms. Starr did have a hit with STARS FELL ON ALABAMA in 1948.

from the January, 1957 issue of SWINGING AROUND GOLF: "Pushing construction of 18-hole course on Dauphin Island, near Mobile, Ala... George Mellen, Albuquerque, N.M.[ed.note: Kay Starr's fourth husband], Richard Misener, Carle McEvoy and George Rifley of St. Petersburg, Fla., are among those in deal to build and operate the club...Course construction being financed by sale of lots on the island thru a campaign conducted by Mobile Chamber of Commerce."  
 This is probably the best image we have that gives us an idea of what things looked like on early 18th century DAUPHIN ISLAND and it's not even a picture of D.I. This is an extraordinary 1720 drawing of New Biloxi but the details of the image give us our best impression of what life was like on Dauphin Island 300 years ago.

This article details all the types of work, tools and materials used in the 1720 image.

In 1847, A.D. Bache set the U.S. Coast Survey markers for the ends of the Dauphin Island Base Line which were part of the EASTERN OBLIQUE ARC survey. One of these granite blocks that marked an end point on the line was found to be out of place in 1883. It now stands in the courtyard of Ft. Gaines, the oldest survey marker on the Gulf Coast, commemorating the work of the 1847 survey but serving no surveying purpose at all. I found the following article in a December 27, 1848 issue of Niles' Weekly Register out of Philadelphia. Back then there was still a 12 foot channel between D.I. and Pelican Island but in 1883 when the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey relocated the 1847 marker, PELICAN ISLAND HAD COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED. :

"FORMATION OF ISLANDS.–Prof. A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Coast Survey, states some highly interesting facts in relation to the islands in Mobile Bay, &c.: Pelican Island in 1822, was 1723 yards long—in 1841 it was 2757, and in 1847 it had increased to 3457 yards, making an increase of 1735 yards in 25 years. The north end of this island has made a few yards further out in 1848. The shore of Dauphin Island, to the northward of Pelican, had cut out a few yards, so keeping the distance between them nearly the same. The distance between the north end of Pelican Island and Dauphin Island, in 1822, was 1957 yards—in 1841, it was 788, and in 1847, it was but 383 yards. The depth through this channel has remained the same since 1822, being 12 feet at mean low water... Sand Island, upon which stands the outer lighthouse, was in 1822 but 131 yards across, in 1841 it was 1542 in length -and in 1847 it had decreased to 908 yards. This Island is constantly undergoing changes, increasing or decreasing as the various causes."
The following link gives the details on the end point marker of the DAUPHIN ISLAND BASE LINE of 1847.

from the March-April, 1848 issue of DeBOW'S REVIEW out of New Orleans:
"We regret we have not space to bring to the notice of our readers all that has been accomplished in the eighteen States, we shall therefore be obliged to close this article by stating what has been done during the past year in the Mississippi sound. In this section a base line has been measured on Dauphin Island; the primary triangulation has been continued by filling up at stations not already occupied; the secondary triangulation has  been carried westward to Cat Island and the subjacent shores. The topography of the entrance to Mobile bay, and part of the Island chain from Mobile bay to Lake Borgne, has been executed; the hydrography of the entrance to Mob1e bay is being nearly completed, and that of Mississippi sound north of the base is in progress. A survey of Cat island harbor for the accommodation of shipping and the British mail line of steamers in connexion with the Mexican Gulf railway has been completed, operations too have recently commenced in Galveston bay and harbor. These taken together with the new channel round Dauphin island the still more important discovery of a deeper channel into Mobile bay, the establishment of a harbor at Cat island, are but the beginnings of more brilliant prospects for the local and general commerce in the Gulf.

from the Wednesday, June 7, 1820 issue of the MOBILE GAZETTE & COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER
(ed. note: of interest is the adjutant of the Mobile Militia, David Duval "D. Duvol" who was also Mobile County sheriff; also take notice of "ceader point", "bayau Bateris"a.k.a. Bayou La Batre and "Monhue Island" a.k.a. Mon Luis Island)

The Battalion of Militia of Mobile county, has been laid off and divided into five districts or companies, the boundaries of which are as follows.
Capt. J. Clements' company - Commencing on the south side of Dog river, & running to the state of Mississippi, to be the northern boundary; the western boundary to be the dividing line between the state of Mississippi and this state; south by ceadar point, or bayau Bateris, including Dauphin Island and Monhue Island; east by the Bay of Mobile.

By order of the Major commanding.
May 17- D. Duvol, Adj't.

As we approach the 200th anniversary of ALABAMA TERRITORY in less than 6 months...
an 1819 MOBILE GAZETTE article reprinted in the May 19, 1819 issue of NILES' REGISTER out of Baltimore:

..Mobile. When it is recollected that Mobile was not taken possession of, until April, 1813, and that a very great proportion of the country on which our town must depend for support, was owned by the Indians, until the close of the late war with Great Britain, and that in fact, the improvement of the Alabama territory ought not to be dated further back than the latter part of the year 1816, or the beginning of 1817; the following statement (for which we are indebted to the collector of this port) will demonstrate that no part of the United States has advanced with the same rapidity as this territory.
Entered at the custom house. Mobile, 1817:
Brigs 14
Ships 1
Schooners 158
Sloops 36- (total) 209
46 of which were from the Atlantic states.–Cleared, 152.
 - Entered at the same port, 1818:
Schooners 208
Galliot 1
Sloops 44
Steamboat 1
Brigs 19
Ketch  1
Pettiaugers  3
Keel boats 8– (total) 280
73 of which were from the Atlantic ports.
Cleared during the same time, including barges and keel boats 369
The amount of importations this year probably exceeded 3,000,000 dollars.
Registered Tonnage owned in the district, 31st December, 1818
Enrolled and licensed 739
Licensed under 20 tons, 939
 Total tons 2216
The amount of tonnage has more than doubled the last year.-, Mobile Gazette.

Isaac McKeever (1791-1856)
deserves to be associated with Dauphin Island as much as any member of the U.S. Navy who has ever served in the Gulf of Mexico. As a part of Commodore Patterson's anti-piracy squadron in the Gulf, McKeever made his mark in the shallow water of the Mississippi Sound and the mouth of Mobile Bay. McKeever participated in the September 1814 U.S. Navy attack on Lafitte's headquarters on Grand Terre Island at the mouth of Barataria Bay. After Lafitte's headquarters were destroyed and he had received a pardon due to his assistance of the U.S. at the Battle of New Orleans, Lafitte relocated his pirate band to Galveston Island and ended most of the his activity around D.I.

 Isaac McKeever was commander of one of the two U.S. Navy gunboats that were cruising off Dauphin Island in December of 1814 when he became one of the first U.S. military men to witness the entire Royal Navy's North American Invasion Force sail into view over the horizon and he immediately escaped by sailing into Mississippi Sound to Pass Christian to bring the word that the British had arrived for their attack on New Orleans.

A few days later, he commanded U.S. Navy gunboat #23 during the Battle of Lake Borgne and was the last American commander to surrender his ship. 
From the Military Hall of Honor:
The [U.S.] gunboats mounted collectively 23 guns, and were manned by 182 men. The British expedition consisted of 42 large barges and other boats, manned by over 1,000 seamen and marines. The engagement, which was very severe, lasted more than three hours, and over 200 of the British were killed and wounded. Lieutenant McKeever’s vessel was the last one attacked, and he was severely wounded, together with most of his officers, before he surrendered.

In the spring of 1818, McKeever headed a U.S. Navy convoy from New Orleans that sailed past Dauphin Island on its way to St. Marks to support Andrew Jackson's army during the First Seminole War. This was the first of many "Seminole Wars" which were unique in that the U.S. Navy played a significant role and slavery was a major cause of the fighting. When McKeever arrived in Apalachee Bay he encountered William Hambly, an employee of the John Forbes & Co. store on the Apalachicola River. Hambly had just escaped from captivity by the Seminoles and he informed McKeever that the Prophet Francis (a.k.a. Hillis Hadjo), the Red Stick religious leader most responsible for the outbreak of the Creek War of 1813-1814, was looking forward to the arrival of a British supply ship.
 McKeever then took one of the naval convoy's chartered schooners, the THOMAS SHIELDS, out past the horizon and then sailed it back into Apalachee Bay flying the British flag. The Indians took the bait and soon a canoe carrying the Prophet Francis paddled out to the THOMAS SHIELDS. The Prophet also brought the Seminole chief responsible for Scott's Massacre, Homothlimico, along with him. McKeever immediately apprehended both men, turned them over to U.S. Army personnel at St. Marks and both Indians were hanged by Jackson's army without trial. McKeever doesn't mention them being hanged in his deposition where he described the events leading up to their arrest:

" I, Isaac McKeever, a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, on oath declare, that the following narration contains a true statement of facts, to the best of my knowledge. I commanded the naval force which convoyed the store-ships, transports, &c. from New Orleans to Fort Gadsden, and from thence to the bay of St. Marks, during the Seminole war. I arrived in the said bay on the 1st of April, 1818, with British colors flying at my mast head; on the next day I was visited by a Spanish lieutenant, the second in command at Fort St. Marks. The lieutenant was inquisitive as to the character of my vessels and the nature of my visit, and wished to know whether I had any authority from the Captain General of Cuba for entering the territories of His Catholic Majesty. In reply, I asked him if he had seen my colors on entering the bay of St. Marks, and intimated that the nature of my visit could not be satisfactorily explained until the arrival of Captain Woodbine, at the same time intimating that it was of an illicit character, and that succor, aid, &c. to Hillishajo and his warriors, in their present distress, was intended. At the mention of this he expressed much satisfaction, stated that Captain Woodbine and the Spanish commandant of St. Marks were good friends, and voluntarily gave me every information as to the movements of General Jackson's force, and his strength; the situation of the hostile Indians he detailed at length, and stated, what rejoicing the reception of the long promised and expected succor would occasion. He stated that Hillishajo and the Spanish commandant were on intimate terms; that the former was then in the vicinity, and had lately been at the fort of St. Marks, when he had urged, with menaces.the commandant to send on board to ascertain to demonstration the character of the strangers; and, having satisfied himself, he would see Hillishajo that evening, after which we might expect a visit from the latter, who accordingly came on board the following morning. He likewise informed me that Arbuthnot, a friend to the hostile Indians, and an acquaintance of Woodbine's, was in Fort St. Marks. On my expressing to him some apprehension of being blockaded by an American squadron reported to be on the coast, or of my retreat being cut off by Jackson, he replied, that the latter was impossible; that Jackson had but five pieces of artillery, and the impracticability of the swamp would prevent his assuming any position below me; but that I need apprehend no danger from any quarter; that, as allies, by anchoring under the guns of the fort, protection would be afforded me. About this time we were informed by the Spanish officers and Indians, who came on board, that, on our arrival within the bay, the Indian camp demonstrated much joy at the approach of their expected supplies of munitions, &c. I. McKEEVER. New Orleans, June 5, 1819. Sworn this 5th June, 1819, DOM. A. HALL, Dial. Judge U. S. Lou. Dial."

After escorting the supply ships for Jackson's army to St. Mark's, McKeever sailed west to support Jackson's capture of Pensacola in May. The events in Pensacola would lead to years of litigation and would influence the Congress to pass laws which made the penalty for slave smuggling the same as for piracy: punishable by death. 

On June 18,  McKeever ,captaining the USS SURPRISE, captured two American ships carrying Spanish-owned African slaves in the vicinity of Pensacola and then sailed these ships, along with their cargo and slaves to Mobile where everything was condemned and sold. It has been written that the 1818 seizure of these ships in Pensacola signaled "the start of a test of the American commitment to stopping the international trade of African slaves and an intense legal battle, foreign and domestic, over property rights to the slaves aboard these ships."

After McKeever captured the first two slave ships and sailed them to Mobile to have them condemned, the U.S. Army commander at Fort Barrancas, Colonel George W. Brooke, decided he would seize the next one that showed up so he could get the prize money. On June 21, the Constitution sailed into Pensacola Bay and Colonel Brooke seized it. The Constitution was carrying 84 African slaves and a valuable cargo of other goods. Brooke placed Captain A.L. Sands of the U.S. Army in charge of the ship and ordered him to sail it to Mobile for condemnation. As Captain Sands rounded Mobile Point he was boarded and claimed by Captain Curtis Lewis ( Lewis was captain of the U.S. Revenue Ship in Mobile Bay. He produced the famous map which the Federal government used in making its decision to build a fort on Dauphin Island. His wife's father, De Vaubercey was the son-in-law of Major Robert Farmar [namesake of D.I.'s "Major Farmar Street"] who had made a private land claim for Dauphin Island for the Farmar estate  
De Vaubercey built a mortar factory on Dauphin Island using lime produced from the shell mounds. This mortar was used later in 1818 to build the foundation for the first American fort on Dauphin Island). Captain Lewis' claim to the Constitution was overruled by an Alabama court in 1822.)

The owners of the slaves ships, slaves and cargo appealed the seizures to the U.S. Supreme Court where all the condemnations were upheld except for the 84 slaves on board the Constitution. The Spanish owners of these slaves received restitution on the legal technicality that they had not been seized by an officer of a U.S. ship but by a U.S. Army officer. McKeever had to testify so many times that his expenses were greater than any prize money he ever received. Finally, after McKeever had to petition for his expenses, the Congress passed a bill nine years after the incident compensating McKeever for his trouble.

About 1822, Lt. McKeever became part of Commodore David Porter's WEST INDIES SQUADRON
which patrolled the Gulf and Caribbean for pirates and slave smugglers. In 1825, Lt. McKeever took over command of the USS SEA GULL, the second steamship in the U.S. Navy and led expeditions along the coast of Cuba in search of pirates.
 He was commissioned commander in 1830 , captain in 1838 and ultimately attained the rank of commodore.

In 1849, McKeever again had an impact upon the Dauphin Island area when, as commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he confiscated two steamers loaded with supplies for the Cuban revolutionaries of General Narcisso Lopez.   The revolutionaries had violated the Neutrality Law of 1818, prohibiting armed enterprises against nations at peace with the United States. Round Island north of Petit Bois off Pascagoula served as a staging area for the revolutionaries of this failed expedition. The revolutionaries' rendezvous on Round Island was broken up in the fall of 1849 by a blockade by the U.S. Navy but reorganized in 1850 and one of the revolutionaries' commanders was Theodore O'Hara, namesake of D.I.'s O'HARA LANE.

 Isaac McKeever continued to serve as an officer in the U.S. Navy up to the moment of his death in 1856.  His naval career spanned 47 years.

1816 and 1817 saw U.S. surveyors taking the field to lay off the 23 million acres of land in present-day Alabama and Georgia lost by the Creeks after the defeat of the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend in 1814. This began a new phase in the conflict between the United States and the rebellious Indians and fugitive slaves of the Gulf frontier. To protect the surveyors and the settlers who would follow them, the U.S. Army established remote posts in Georgia: Fort Gaines on the Chattahoochee and Camp Crawford (later renamed Fort Scott) on the Flint near present-day Bainbridge. General E.P. Gaines (namesake of D.I.'s Fort Gaines as well as General Gaines Street) who was stationed at Fort Montgomery near present-day Tensaw in northern Baldwin County decided to experiment with a Gulf route to supply these remote posts that were not served by any major roads. Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point became a major port of call on this Gulf route with flotillas and convoys bound for Apalachicola Bay stopping there for mail, for passengers or for refuge from bad weather. A lieutenant and about 20 enlisted men occupied the fort and it was considered a dependency of Fort Charlotte (earlier named Fort Conde) in Mobile.

After American troops attacked Fowltown across the Flint River from Camp Crawford in November of 1817, the Lower Creek chiefs appealed for ammunition to the British Governor of the Bahamas, Cameron. In their request for arms, the chiefs wrote ,"... they[Americans] have also settlers and troops which come from Mobile, and go up the Appalachicola river ; thus seeing no end to those invaders, necessity compelled us to have recourse to arms, and our brethren are now fighting for the land they inherited from their fathers, for their families and forces."

In the late fall of 1817, one of these U.S. Army supply flotillas taking the Gulf route to Apalachicola Bay passed Mobile Point on a voyage that would result in the death of many of its passengers and would launch the first of many so-called Seminole Wars which would at intermittent intervals consume the resources of the U.S. for the next forty years. This Indian attack occurred on the Apalachicola River near the present-day Chattahoochee, Florida, on November 30, 1817. Known as Scott's Massacre, the Indians killed about 34 soldiers, 6 women and 4 children.
This horrible event caused President Monroe to order General Jackson to raise militia and to attack the Indians in what would end up being called THE FIRST SEMINOLE WAR. Below you will find a chronology of the events leading up to SCOTT'S MASSACRE. This list of events will show that this tragic incident that led to war was produced by the necessity of using the Gulf route to supply the new American outposts established on the newly opened land acquired by the U.S. by the Treaty of Fort Jackson.


Early 1816: General E.P. Gaines ordered Lt. Col. Duncan Clinch to march his battalion of the 4th Infantry from Charleston to Fort Mitchell on the Chattahoochee River just south of present-day Phenix City.

Mid-March 1816: Lt. Col. Clinch and the 4th Infantry arrived at Fort Mitchell to protect the surveyors who were laying out the north line of the Fort Jackson Treaty cession.

March 15, 1816: Secretary of War Crawford wrote General Jackson in Nashville and instructed him to write the Spanish Governor at Pensacola about what the Governor intended to do about the Negro Fort on the Apalachicola.

March 21, 1816: General Gaines arrived at Fort Mitchell and found Clinch's soldiers building flatboats. At this time Fort Mitchell could only be supplied via the Federal Road from Georgia or from the roads coming from Fort Jackson located at the confluence of the Coosa and the Tallapoosa near present-day Wetumpka. These roads were so bad that wagons often had to be abandoned and horses used as pack animals.

March 31, 1816: The soldiers of the 4th Infantry along with Clinch and Gaines departed Fort Mitchell on flatboats headed downriver to the point on the Chattahoochee where the north line of the Fort Jackson cession met with the river.

April 2, 1816: The troops of the 4th Infantry selected a spot on the east bank of the Chattahoochee where they began to construct a stockade which would be called Fort Gaines.

April 23, 1816: General Jackson sent the letter about the Negro Fort to the Spanish Governor of Pensacola by way of an aide.

May 24, 1816: General Jackson's aide reached Pensacola and delivered his letter to the Spanish Governor.

Early June, 1816: Lt. Col. Clinch and the 4th Infantry made camp on the west bank of the Flint River near its confluence with the Chattahoochee. This camp was named Camp Crawford after the Secretary of War and was located near present-day Bainbridge, Georgia.

June 15, 1816: General Jackson received a letter from the Spanish Governor of Pensacola which stated that the governor could do nothing about the Negro Fort until he received orders from the Captain-General of Cuba. Jackson immediately wrote the Secretary of War and recommended that the 4th and 7th Infantry along with a small naval force be used to destroy the Negro Fort.

July 27, 1816: A U.S. Navy gunboat which had accompanied a flotilla of supply boats along the Gulf route from New Orleans fired a hot shot into the powder magazine of the Negro Fort on the Apalachicola and destroyed it.

July 30, 1816: The supply boats from the armed flotilla could not ascend the Apalachicola to Camp Crawford so their cargo was transferred to small boats in order to ascend to the U.S. Army post on the Flint.

September, 1816: Lt. Col. Clinch had his troops build a permanent installation at Camp Crawford. This stockade would become known as Fort Scott.

December 1816: Due to an absence of major conflict with the Indians, Fort Scott was abandoned and the 4th Infantry troops were transferred to Fort Montgomery by an unknown route but it is presumed to have been via Fort Mitchell to Fort Jackson.

February, 1817: Georgia Governor Mitchell wrote protest letters to the Secretary of War and to General Gaines stating that the evacuation of Fort Scott had left South Georgia defenseless. 

February 2, 1817: The commander at Fort Gaines(Ga.) wrote to the commander at Fort Hawkins (present-day Macon) that the Red Sticks had stolen all the army property left at Fort Scott and had burned three of the buildings.

April or May, 1817: A company of artillery from Charleston, acting as infantry, reoccupied Fort Scott.

June, 1817: The Prophet Francis returned from England to Ocklockonee Bay aboard Alexander Arbuthnot's ship.

July, 1817: Troops from Fort Scott were reinforced with 73 men from the 7th Infantry bringing this post's strength to 112 men. The post began to buy corn, coffee and sugar from the Forbes & Co. store at Prospect Bluff (former location of the Negro Fort) on the lower Apalachicola.

September 6, 1817: Major David Twiggs
of the 7th Infantry had a talk from General Gaines translated and read to the Indians at Mickasuky near present-day Tallahassee. Gaines had demanded that the Indians surrender the individuals who were guilty of murdering Americans.

September 18, 1817: The Chief of Mikasucky responded to General Gaines demand and declined to surrender the guilty Indians.

October 30, 1817: The Secretary of War ordered the 1st Brigade consisting of the 4th and 7th Regiments to leave Forts Montgomery and Montpelier in Baldwin County and march to Fort Scott. The order also authorized Gaines to remove the Indians from the land ceded to the U.S. by the Treaty of Fort Jackson. 

November 19, 1817: Colonel Matthew Arbuckle,_Jr.
commanded the 4th and 7th Regiments when they arrived at Fort Scott after they had marched across South Alabama from Forts Montgomery and Montpelier in Baldwin County. These soldiers had to build a new route by constructing 90 miles of new road during their journey. With these reinforcements, the total strength at Fort Scott was 876 men. The difficulty of supplying these men caused General Gaines to order 3 provision vessels with 160 men to leave Camp Montgomery and Mobile at about the same time that the troops began their march toward Fort Scott. These vessels would more than likely have stopped at Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point before embarking for Apalachicola Bay. It is believed that these vessels arrived in Apalachicola Bay at about the same time that the troops arrived at Fort Scott from their march from Baldwin County.

November 20, 1817: General Gaines ordered Major Twiggs and his troops to march on Fowltown near present-day Bainbridge and capture their chief and return him to Fort Scott. The troops were fired upon when they reached Fowltown and returned fire. There were no U.S. casualties but four Indian men and one woman were killed.

November 23, 1817: U.S. troops commanded by Colonel Arbuckle returned to Fowltown and found it abandoned. While loading corn from the Indians' cribs the troops were fired upon and they returned fire. One U.S. soldier was killed. He was the first casualty of the Seminole Wars. The soldiers burned all the buildings in the town and returned to Fort Scott. The chief of Fowltown called for all Indians in the present-day Tri-State Region (AL-FL-GA) to gather on the Apalachicola to attack the supply boats destined for Fort Scott.

November 30, 1817: In order to move the supply boats upriver, a line had to be attached to a tree on the shore and the boat "warped" upriver by rolling the line onto a spool located on the bow of the boat. As the boat was close to shore near the present-day boat landing at Chattahoochee, Florida, the Indians fired a volley into the crowd of soldiers, women and children on board the boat. Most were killed at that moment but the Indians waded out to the boat and continued the carnage. 6 of the 40 soldiers survived with 4 of the survivors wounded. 6 or the 7 women were killed along with all 4 of the children. This incident set into motion the series of events known in the present-day as THE FIRST SEMINOLE WAR. In late December of 1817 another shipment of rations arrived in Apalachicola Bay via the Gulf route but the boats were unable to ascend the river due to the hostility of the Indians.

July 27, 2016 marked the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Navy's destruction of the Negro Fort on the Apalachicola River on Saturday, July 27, 1816.
 This event would begin a series of violent confrontations which would finally result in the FIRST SEMINOLE WAR in 1818
and the U.S. acquisition of Florida in 1819(few realize that regardless of the U.S. conquest of Mobile in 1813, neither Great Britain nor Spain recognized ANY U.S. sovereignty over Dauphin Island until after 1819's Adams-Onis Treaty. American claims for reparations for slaves taken by the British from Dauphin Island in 1815 were completely IGNORED because Great Britain considered Dauphin Island to be Spanish and never recognized the April, 1813 U.S. conquest of Mobile Bay.).

Events involving Dauphin Island and the mouth of Mobile Bay would be central to the story of all this conflict from 1816 until 1818.

The Negro Fort on the Apalachicola was a bit of left-over-business that remained from Great Britain's North American Expeditionary Force's attempt to conquer New Orleans which involved the 1814-1815 occupation of Dauphin Island. Over 200 Negro slaves left Dauphin Island with the British and most eventually ended up being granted land to cultivate in Trinidad, although others ended up making lives for themselves in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Newfoundland, with some accompanying British servicemen home to England.

The British occupation of the Gulf Coast also resulted in a large group of Spanish-owned fugitive slaves living on the Apalachicola. These Negroes refused to evacuate and the British left them with promises of support in their struggle along with a fort stocked with cannons, tons of gunpowder as well as thousands of rifles.

By 1816, the State of Georgia along with the United States were already sending surveyors to lay off the 23 million acres taken from the Creeks by the 1814's Treaty of Fort Jackson.  
Fort Montgomery near Tensaw in Baldwin County was located in the southwest corner of this new land which went as far north as the south ridge Tennessee Valley and east to include all of wiregrass Georgia to the source of the St. Mary's River. From Fort Montgomery, E.P. Gaines (namesake for D.I.'s Fort Gaines) commanded the U.S. Army's 7th Infantry and their responsibility in 1816 was to make sure things were going to be safe for the surveyors who were about to enter this territory. The Negro Fort was believed to be a stronghold for the war parties responsible for the continuing state of chaos that existed along our present-day Alabama-Florida line.

 Preceding the destruction of the Negro Fort, this letter from General Gaines at Fort Montgomery (near the present-day Baldwin County community of Tensaw) to Colonel Clinch at Fort Gaines, Georgia authorized Colonel Clinch to establish what was known as Camp Crawford (later Fort Scott) on the Flint River in present-day Decatur County, Georgia. I have emphasized the portion which deals with protecting the surveyors.

No. 19. General Gaines to colonel Clinch.
 Head Quarters, Fort Montgomery, M T.(Mississippi Territory)
 23d May, 1816.
Sir, — Your letters up to the 9th instant, have been received. The British agent Hambly, and the Little Prince, and others, are acting a part, which I have been at a loss for some time past to understand. Are they not endeavoring to amuse and divert us from our main object? Their tricks, if they be so, have assumed a serious aspect, and may lead to their destruction; but we have little to apprehend from them. They must be watched with an eye of vigilance. The post near the junction of the rivers, to which I called your attention, in the last month, must be established speedily, even if we have to fight our way to it through the ranks of the whole nation.

THE SURVEYORS HAVE COMMENCED LAYING OFF THE LAND TO BE SOLD AND SETTLED; AND THEY MUST BE PROTECTED. The force of the whole nation cannot arrest your movement down the river on board the boats, if secured up the sides with two inch plank, and covered over with clapboards; nor could all the nation prevent your landing and constructing a stockade work, sufficient to secure you, unless they should previously know the spot at which you intended to land, and had actually assembled at that place previous to. or within four hours of, your landing; but your force is not sufficient to warrant your march to the different villages, as suggested, by land. The whole of your force, (except about forty men, or one company, for the defence of fort Gaines,) should be kept near your boats and supplies, until the new post shall be established. You may then strike at any hostile party near you, with all your disposable force; but, even then, you should not go more than one or two days, march from your fort.

If your supplies of provision and ammunition have reached you, let your detachment move as directed in my letter of the 28th of last month.You can venture to move with twenty five days rations, but you should order a supply to the agency, or fort Gaines, where a boat should be built, and held in readiness to send down, in case any accident should prevent or delay the arrival of a supply which I have ordered from New Orleans.

 I enclose you an extract of a letter containing an arrangement for the supply, by water, and have to direct that you will provide a boat, and despatch it with an officer and fifty men to meet the vessels from New Orleans, as soon as you are advised of their being on the river One of your large boats will answer the purpose, provided you have no barge or keel boat. Should the boats meet with opposition, at what is called the Negro Fort, arrangements will immediately be made for its destruction, and for that purpose you will be supplied with two eighteen pounders and one howitzer, with fixt ammunition, and implements complete, to be sent in a vessel to accompany the provision. 1 have likewise ordered fifty thousand musket cartridges, some rifles, swords, etc. Should you be compelled to go against the Negro Fort, you will land at a convenient point above it, and force a communication with the commanding officer of the vessels below, and arrange with him your plan of attack. Upon this subject, you shall hear from me again, as soon as I am notified of the time at which the vessels will sail from New Orleans.
With great respect and esteem, Your obedient servant,
(Signed) EDMUND P. GAINES, ) Major general commanding.

Lieut, col. 1). L. Clinch, or officer commanding on the Chattahooche.

A true copy. — Rob. R. Ruffin, Aid-de-camp.

In the spring of 1816, General Gaines decided it was not feasible to try to supply his new fort located near present-day Bainbridge, Georgia by road and ordered thirty thousand rations from New Orleans shipped along the coast by boat and then up the Apalachicola.

Fort Montgomery ~ May 22, 1816
Sir, — By a letter I have received from lieutenant colonel Clinch, commanding a battalion of the 4th regiment infantry, on the Chatahoochie, I learn that in the early part of the present month, a party of Indians surprized and took from the immediate vicinity of his camp, two privates sent out to guard a drove of beef cattle, purchased for the subsistence of the troops. The cattle, amounting to thirty head, were also taken; the Indians were pursued forty five miles, on a path leading to St. Marks, but being mounted and having travelled all night, escaped with their prisoners and booty.

This outrage, preceded by the murder- of two of our citizens, Johnson and McCaskey, by Indians below the lines, and followed by certain indications of general hostility, such as the war dance, and drinking war physic, leaves no doubt that we shall be compelled to destroy the hostile towns.

The detached situation of the post, which 1 have ordered lieutenant colonel Clinch to establish near the Apalachicola, will expose us to great inconvenience and hazard, in obtaining supplies by land, particularly in the event of war, as the road will be bad, and the distance from the settlements of Georgia near one hundred and fifty miles.

Having advised with the commander in chief of the division upon this subject, I have determined upon an experiment by water, and for this purpose have to request your co-operation; should you feel authorized to detach a small gun vessel or two as a convoy to the boats charged with our supplies up the Apalachicola, I am persuaded that in doing so, you will contribute much to the benefit of the service, and accommodation of my immediate command in this quarter: the transports will be under the direction of the officer of the gun vessel, and the whole should be provided against an attack by small arms from shore. To guard against accidents, I will direct lieutenant colonel Clinch, to have in readiness, a boat sufficient to carry fifty men, to meet the vessels on the river and assist them up.

Should you find it to be convenient to send a convoy, I will thank you to inform me of the date of its departure, and the time which, in your judgment, it will take to arrive at the mouth of the river (Apalachicola.)

Enclosed you will receive the best account I can give you, from the information I have received, of the Negro fort upon the Apalachicola. Should we meet with opposition from that fort, it shall be destroyed: and for this purpose the commanding officer above, will be ordered to prepare all his disposable force, to meet the boats at, or just below, the fort, and he will confer with the commanding officer of the gun vessels, upon the plan of attack.

I am, with great consideration and esteem,
Your obedient servant,
 (Signed) EDMUND P. GAINES, Major general by brevet.

Com. Daniel T. Patterson, U. S. Navy, commanding New Orleans station.

Sailing Master Loomis of Gunboat #149 arrived at Pass Christian and put together a convoy consisting of Gunboat #154, the schooner Semilante and the schooner General Pike. They sailed for Apalachicola Bay and arrived on July 10, 1816. On August 16 in a letter to  Commodore Patterson mailed from Bay St. Louis, Loomis described the July 27th destruction of the Negro Fort. 

J. Loomis to Commodore Patterson. Bay St. Louis, 13th August, 1816,5 U. S. Gun Vessel, No. 149

 Sir, — In conformity with your orders of the 24th June, 1 have the honor to report, that with this vessel and No. 154, sailing master James Bassett, I took under convoy the schooners General Pike and Semilante, laden with provisions and military stores, and proceeded for Apalachicola river; oft' the mouth of which we arrived on the 10th July. At this place 1 received despatches from lieutenant colonel Clinch, commanding the 4th regiment United States infantry, on the Chattahoochie river, borne by an Indian, requesting me to remain off the mouth of the river, until he could arrive with a party of men to assist in get ting up the transports; desiring me also, to detain all vessels and boats that might attempt to descend the river.

On the 15th, I discovered a boat pulling out of the river, and being anxious to ascertain whether we should be permitted peaceably to pass the fort above us, I despatched a boat with an officer to gain the necessary information; on nearing her, she fired a volley of musketry into my boat, and immediately pulled in for the river, I immediately opened a fire on them from the gun vessels, but with no effect.

On the 17th, at 5 A. M. I manned and armed a boat with a swivel and musketry and four men, and gave her in charge of midshipman Luflborough, for the purpose of procuring fresh water, having run short of that article. At 11 A. M. sailing master Bassett, who had been on a similar expedition, came along side with the body of John Burgess, 0. S. who had been sent in the boat With midshipman Luffborough; his body was found near the mouth of the river, shot through the heart. At 4 P. M. discovered a man at the mouth of the river on a sand bar; sent a boat and brought him on board; he proved to be John Lopaz, O. S. the only survivor of the boat's crew sent with midshipman Luffborough. He reports, that on entering the river, they discovered a negro on the beach near a plantation; that Mr. Luffborough ordered the boat to be pulled directly for him; that on touching the shore he spoke to the negro, and directly received a volley of musketry from two divisions of negroes and Indians, who lay concealed in the bushes on the margin of the river; Mr. Luffborough, Robert Maitland, and John Burgess, were killed on the spot; Lopaz made his escape by swimming, and states that he saw the other seaman, Edward Daniels, made prisoner. Lopaz supposed there must have been forty negroes and Indians concerned in the capture of the boat.

On the 20th July, I received by a canoe with five Indians, despatches from colonel Clinch, advising that he had arrived with a party of troops and Indians at a position about a mile above the negro fort requesting that I would ascend the river and join him with the gun vessels He further informed me, that he had taken a negro bearing the scalp of one of my unfortunate crew, to one of the unfriendly Indian chiefs. On the 22d, there was a heavy cannonading in the direction of the fort. On the 23d, I received a verbal message from colonel Clinch; by a white man and two Indians, who stated that colonel Clinch wished me to ascend the river to a certrain bluff, and await there until I saw him Considering that by so doing, in a, narrow and crooked river, from both sides of which my decks could be command ed, and exposed to the fire of musketry, without enabling me to act in my own defence; and also, that something like treachery might be on foot, from the nature of the message; I declined acting, retained the white man and one of the Indians as hostages, and despatched the other, with my reason for so doing, to colonel Clinch, that his views and communications to me in future must be made in writing, and by an officer of the army.

Lieutenant Wilson and thirteen men joined me on the 24th to assist in getting up with the trans ports; he likewise informed me that colonel Clinch had sent the canoe the day before.

 On the 25th I arrived with the Convoy at Duelling Bluff, about four miles below the fort, where I was met by colonel Clinch: he informed me that in attempting to pass within gun shot of the fortifications, he had been fired upon by the negroes, and that he had also been fired upon for the last four or five days, whenever any of his troops appeared in view; we immediately reconnoittred the fort, and determined on a site to erect a small battery of two eighteen pounders to assist the gun vessels to force the navigation of the river, as it was evident from their hostility we should be obliged to do.

On the 26th the colonel began to clear away the bushwood for the erection of the battery; he however stated to me that he was not acquainted with artillery, but that lie thought the distance was too great to do execution. On this subject we unfortunate!) differed totally in opinion, as we were within point blank range; he however ordered his men to desist from further operations; I then told him that the gun vessels would attempt the passage of the fort in the morning, without his aid. At 4 A M on the morning of the 27th, we began warping the gun vessels to a proper position, at 5 getting within gun shot, the fort opened upon us, which we returned, and after ascertaining our real distance with cold shot, we commenced with hot, (having cleared away our coppers for that purpose,) the first one of which entering their magazine, blew up and completely destroyed the fort. The negroes fought under the English Jack, accompanied with the red or bloody flag.

 This was a regularly constructed fortification, built under the immediate eye and direction of colonel Nicholls of the British army ; there were mounted on the walls, and in a complete state of equipment for service, four lung 24 pounders, cannon; four long 6 ditto; one 4 pounder field piece, and a 5 and one half inch brass howitz, with three hundred negroes, men, women, and children, and about 20 Indian warriors of the renegade Choctaws; of these 270 were killed, and the greater part of the rest mortally wounded; but three es caped unhurt; among the prisoners were the two chiefs of the negroes and Indians On examining the prisoners they stated that Edward Daniels,O S who was made prisoner in the boat on the 17th July, was tarred and burnt alive. In consequence of this savage act, both the chiefs were executed on the spot by the friendly Indians.

From the best information we could ascertain there were, '

2,500 stand of musketry, with accoutrements complete.
500 carbines
500 steel scabbard swords
4 cases containing 200 pair pistols.
300 qr. casks rifle powder.
762 barrels of cannon powder, besides a large quantity of military stores and clothing, that I was not able to collect any account of, owing to an engagement made by colonel Clinch with the Indians, in which he promised them all the property captured, except the cannon and shot.

The property captured on the 27th July, ac cording to the best information we could obtain, and at the lowest calculation, could not have been less than $200,000 in value, the remnant of the property, that the Indians did not take, was transported to fort Crawford, and to this place, an inventory of which I have the honor to transmit for your further information.

 On sounding the river, I found it impassable for vessels drawing more than four and a half feet water, consequently, colonel Clinch took the provision from the General Pike into flats, and lightened the Semilante, so as to enable her to ascend the river as high as fort Crawford. On the 3rd August, after setting fire to the remaining parts of the fort and village, I left the river and arrived at this anchorage on the 12th current.

I cannot close this letter without expressing to you. my entire approbation of the conduct of sailing master James Bassett, commanding gun vessel No. 154, for his cool, deliberate, and masterful conduct, and the support I received from him in ill cases of difficulty and danger.
In fact, Sir, every man and officer did his duty.
Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) J. Loomis,

Commodore Daniel T. Patterson, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, New Orleans station.

In the interest of making the DAUPHIN ISLAND: AMERICA'S MOST HISTORIC GULF ISLAND blog more accessible, I have posted links to each of the 16 posts that make up the blog along with a description of each post.

1.) JUNE 11, 2012
This post includes a superb timeline which outlines almost 70 separate events centered in present-day Alabama which occurred in the eighteen months prior to the horrible massacre at Ft. Mims in August of 1813. It also includes all the details of events in the Mobile Bay area in April of 2013 which commemorated the BICENTENNIAL OF THE AMERICAN FLAG OVER THE PORT OF MOBILE.

2.)April 26, 2014
This post includes an invitation to Prince William and Prince Harry to visit the Gulf Coast region so they can see for themselves where their ancestor, Captain the Honourable Sir Robert Cavendish Spencer, R.N., second son of the Second Earl Spencer, served during the War of 1812. Their Mother, the Princess of Wales, was a Spencer and the daughter of the Eighth Earl so both Prince William and Prince Harry are collateral descendants(great nephews) of Captain Spencer. This post also includes A SUPERB ANNOTATED CHRONOLOGY OF ALL THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS & THE LONG TERM PEACE WHICH BEGAN BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES IN 1815.

3.) JANUARY 15, 2015
This post is a detailed annotated timeline describing the events which took place around Dauphin Island in February 1815 during the Siege of Fort Bowyer and the arrival of the news that peace had been declared and that the WAR OF 1812 had ended. 

4.) April 3, 2015
This post includes descriptions of the first seven armed amphibious invasions of Dauphin Island along with a proposal for a Dauphin Island Armchair Admiral Contest and a proposal for a Dauphin Island Street Fest. I also included an outline of D.I. history called THE TWELVE AGES OF DAUPHIN ISLAND as well as an article I wrote about beachcombing in Panama City Beach which could easily be adapted for Dauphin Island.

5.) July 3, 2015
This post includes a detailed description of Dauphin Island's eighth armed amphibious invasion.

6.) July 20, 2015

7.) August 22, 2015 
 This post includes a detailed description of Dauphin Island's ninth armed amphibious invasion.

8.) October 26, 2015
This post includes descriptions of the yellow fever epidemic of 1853, Dauphin Island during WWII, the restoration of the Mobile Bar Pilots' boat ALABAMA and a link to the Historic American Engineering Records file on the 90 foot, 2 masted schooner ALABAMA.

9.) October 30, 2015
This post includes descriptions and links to the building and testing of Confederate submarines in Mobile Bay. Also included are links to the British consul's reports on commerce at the Port of Mobile after the Civil War.

10.) November 5, 2015
The photos have dropped off the blog but they were
DAUPHIN ISLAND RELATED IMAGES FROM WASHINGTON,D.C. including The Washington Navy Yard (The Nation's Oldest Military Installation) and the Congressional Cemetery (The Nation's Only National Cemetery Before the Civil War)

11.) November 11, 2015
An annotated list of the attributions for the first 61 Dauphin Island street names. 

12.) November 22, 2015
 Dauphin Island's absolutely BEST American Revolution stories you've NEVER heard of.

13.) November 24, 2015

14.) February 2, 2016
Thirty more annotations of Dauphin Island street names followed by the rest of the material on the 116 street names  included in the Chamber committee's list.

15.) March 9, 2016

This long post includes much information on the strategic importance of Dauphin Island in American History including excerpts from Hamilton's COLONIAL MOBILE and from THE COMMERCE OF LOUISIANA DURING THE FRENCH REGIME, 1699-1763 by N.M. Miller Surrey. Links include material on the importance of shells in the Native American economy, D.I. shipwrecks, coins of New France, archaeology of D.I., Dewberry's failed 1915 attempt to build the Cedar Point railroad bridge and the fate of Ft. Gaines' Confederate prisoners of war.

16.) JUNE 10, 2016
This post includes the congressional investigation into the fortification of Dauphin Island, a description of the U.S. Navy's offensive against Fort Powell in February of 1864 and bar pilot guides for the mouth of Mobile Bay in 1823 and 1829.

 WHISTLIN' WOMAN & CROWIN' HEN: The True Legend of Dauphin Island and the Alabama Coast... by Julian Lee Rayford has been digitized and is free online.;view=1up;seq=1