History Comes Alive at Fort Loudoun!

History Comes Alive at Fort Loudoun!

On November 13th, visit Fort Loudoun and time travel to 1765 to witness the clash between civilians and soldiers, that happened here, 10 years before the American Revolution. Immerse yourself in history by choosing sides!

Do you side with Justice William Smith and his loyal volunteers? Or, do you support Sgt. McGlashan and his brave Highlanders? Live the history of the Allegheny Uprising. Take an in-depth look at the events of 1765 that made up the Allegheny Uprising aka. Black Boys Rebellion, featuring an interactive and immersive experience, including:.

  • Pack Train & Skirmish at Widow Barrs: See the action unfold before your eyes.
  • You’re the Jury: Listen to the testimonies of both sides; the British Garrison and Justice Smith’s rebels.
  • YOU DECIDE: Side with who you believe is correct.
  • Historic displays: inside and outside.
  • Museum and gift shop will be open.

Admission is free. Join the historic Fort Loudoun family and friends at the fort site, 1720 North Brooklyn Road, Fort Loudon, PA on Saturday, November 13, Noon to 5 PM. To be part of the history, please be on time!

Learn more about Fort Loudoun.


James Smith and the Siege of Fort Loudoun

James Smith and the Siege of Fort Loudoun

James Smith, who was born in Mercersburg, another frontier settlement in Franklin County, was captured in 1755, at age eighteen, as he was building the Braddock Road. Smith was taken captive by Caughnawaga Indians and was adopted by the tribe to replace a fallen warrior. While living with the tribe, he learned the ways of Indian warfare. In 1760, James Smith was freed in a prisoner exchange.

At the end of the French and Indian War, the Indian attacks along the frontier lessened. But, within two to three years, the attacks increased due in part to indiscriminate trading. Trading companies didn’t particularly care who paid for their goods, so guns, powder, lead, hatchets and knives ended up with the Indians. These goods were used against the settlers. The British issued permits to the traders without considering the danger such trade brought to the settlers on the frontier.

James Smith gathered a group of men who wanted to protect their land and their families and trained them to fight Indian style – using the cover of trees, bushes, fences—the very opposite of the formal British style of fighting in open lines. The men James Smith gathered were called Black Boys, painting their faces just as the Indians did. The Black Boys began stopping supply wagons and inspecting for weapons.

In March 1765 and May 1765, James Smith and the Black Boys burned contraband supplies—those items that would be used to attack the frontiersmen and their families. The traders sought help from the British at Fort Loudoun. Each incident brought confrontation between James Smith, his Black Boys, and the British soldiers of Fort Loudoun. The British captured the Black Boys; and in turn, the Black Boys captured the British. Prisoners were exchanged, but the British did not return the captured colonist’s guns—nine in all and a major point of contention to the frontiersmen.

On November 16, 1765, tensions peaked, and James Smith and the Black Boys attacked Fort Loudoun. At 7 PM, Fort Loudoun was surrounded by men shooting guns and yelling all night. More men joined the contingent and by 10 PM, one hundred Black Boys closed in on the fort, firing on all corners continuously. The British had little ammunition on hand, so the men were ordered not to fire. During the siege, the British soldiers only fired one return shot.

After two days of attack, a surrender of the frontiersmen’s weapons was arranged, and in return, James Smith and the Black Boys ceased the attack of Fort Loudoun.