Documenting the American South

Doc South header logo Home
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes banner
  • Monument Name

    Fort Johnson Marker, Southport

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    Colonial History

  • City

    Southport

  • County

    Brunswick

  • Description

    The rectangular shaped large white marble tablet designates the site of the first Colonial era fort built in North Carolina. The marker is attached to a large boulder that was a part of the sea wall from the old fort.

  • Inscription

    THIS TABLET WAS ERECTED MAY 1911 BY THE NORTH CAROLINA / SOCIETY OF COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA TO MARK THE SITE OF / FORT JOHNSON THE FIRST FORT IN THE PROVINCE OF NORTH CAROLINA. / BUILT UNDER ACT OF ASSEMBLY OF 1745 AND COMPLETED IN 1764, / AND NAMED IN HONOR OF GOVERNOR GABRIEL JOHNSON. / THE PATRIOTS OF THE CAPE FEAR RESISTING THE EXECUTION OF / THE STAMP ACT IN 1776 FORGED THE SPIKING OF ITS 24 CANNON. / THE GIFT OF GEORGE II – THE FORT WAS THE REFUGE OF / GOVERNOR JOSIAH MARTIN AFTER HIS FLIGHT FROM NEW BERN. / MAY 24, 1775 UNTIL HE WAS COMPELLED BY THE PATRIOTS TO / ABANDON IT JULY 18, 1775 ON WHICH DAY IT WAS DESTROYED / AND ROYAL GOVERNMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA CEASED. / LUOLA MURCHISON SPRUNT PRESIDENT / GABRIELLE DER WADDELL VICE PRESIDENT / CARRIE E PRINCE SECRETARY

  • Custodian

    Southport Visitors Center

  • Dedication Date

    May 23, 1911

  • Decade

    1910s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    33.917420 , -78.017260 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      “Fort Johnson,” CivilWarAlbum.com, (accessed September 9, 2015) Link

      “Fort Johnson,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed September 9, 2015) Link

      “Old Fort Johnson,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), May 28, 1911

      “Tablet at Ft. Johnson,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), May 24, 1911

      “Unveiling of Marble Tablet,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), May 24, 1911

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    White marble, boulder

  • Sponsors

    North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The unveiling was well attended by citizens of Southport and visitors who traveled by boat from Wilmington. The program began at 4:30 PM with the invocation by Rev. L.T. Singleton followed by a welcome from Southport Mayor Furpless. After the singing of “America” the monument was unveiled by Mrs. Walter Curtis. The tablet was then presented by Mrs. James Sprunt, President of the NC Society of Colonial Dames of America. University of North Carolina History Professor J.G. deRoulhac Hamilton was the day’s orator and spoke on the history of the fort. The ceremony ended with the “Star Spangled Banner” and a benediction by chaplain Springer of Ft. Caswell.

  • Location

    The monument is located on the grounds of the Southport Visitor Center, 203 East Bay Street, Southport, NC.

  • Landscape

    The monument sits in a large grassy area facing the Cape Fear River in front of the visitor center.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.