Fort Johnson Marker, Southport
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.
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
Southport Visitors Center
May 23, 1911
33.917420 , -78.017260 View in Geobrowse
“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
White marble, boulder
North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America
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.
The monument is located on the grounds of the Southport Visitor Center, 203 East Bay Street, Southport, NC. Viewed from E. Bay Street the memorial to Jessie Stevens Taylor is at the far left edge of the lawn. A few yards from the Taylor marker, across E. Bay Street in Waterfront Park stands the Catalino Tingzon-S. S. John D. Gill Memorial marker. The NC Militia memorial is located in front of and to the left of the Southport Community Building, at 223 E. Bay Street.
The monument sits in a large grassy area facing the Cape Fear River in front of the visitor center.