© 2024 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The French build Fort Crevecoeur

Fort Crévecoeur Marker, Front
HMdb.org PhotoID=25009
Fort Crévecoeur Marker, Front

The French just would not stop trying to take La Florida, they even sneaked into St. Joseph Bay, deep into the Spanish territory.

Since the early 1700s, the French were well-established in Mobile Bay. Strategically, it was a good spot. However, it is very long and shallow, causing French ships to dock on Dauphin Island, transfer their cargo to small boats and travel 37 miles to the settlement at the head of the bay. But in 1718, a hurricane hit Mobile Bay and closed the entrance, even to small boats.

Desperately needing a new port for their ships, the French snuck into St. Joseph Bay. Along with Pensacola 115 miles to the west, it was the only other deep-water bay on the northern Gulf of Mexico. There, the French built a small stockade with four bastions named Fort Crevecoeur. The Spanish soon found out about the intrusion and forced the French to leave and occupied the outpost themselves. Little did they know that soon it would become a refuge after the French took and burned their presidio on Pensacola Bay the very next year.

Although the remains of Fort Crevecoeur have not been found, its general location is known and has a historic marker.

Unearthing Florida is a project of WUWF Public Media, the Florida Public Archaeology Network(FPAN), and its founder, Dr. Judith Bense, since 1998. FPAN's Michael Thomin is a contributor to the program. WUWF's Sandra Averhart is the executive producer.

Dr. Judy Bense is President Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology/Archaeology at UWF.