Franklin County Commemorates the 250th Anniversary of Colonial and British Conflicts at Fort Loudoun

Share Article

During the weekend of Sept. 25 through Sept. 27, the public is invited to the 250th anniversary of the Black Boys Rebellion event at Fort Loudoun. Visitors can experience life on the frontier in the 18th century through the sounds, smells and sights brought together during this free event.

Re-enactors march at Fort Loudoun

This free event will tell the story of the conflict that occurred after increasing tension between settlers and Indians, which is the heart of the Black Boys Rebellion.

The Fort Loudoun Historical Society will be hosting a special 250th Anniversary event to commemorate the actions of James Smith and his Black Boys this Sept. 25 through Sept. 27 and the public is invited!

Ten years before the first shot of the American Revolution was fired, a rebellion took place in Franklin County at the historic Fort Loudoun. Smith, and his troops, defended the Conococheague Valley from attacks during a conflict in 1765.

This free event will tell the story of the conflict that occurred after increasing tension between settlers and Indians, which is the heart of the Black Boys Rebellion.

After the French and Indian War, British law forbade trade with Indians, but actually stopping traders was another matter. Locally, James Smith was angered by the attacks on his friends and neighbors, using the weapons and ammunition supplied by the illegal and reckless trade and led a rebellion of as many as 100 men who clashed with the British at Fort Loudoun before the British surrendered.

The event drew the attention of none other than Benjamin Franklin who wrote a letter shortly after on June 8, 1765 to John Ross.

“The Outrages committed by the Frontier People are really amazing!...Rising in Arms to destroy Property…insulting the King’s Troops and Forts, is going great Lengths indeed!” Franklin wrote. “Such Practices throw a Disgrace over our whole Country…which our weak Government cannot or will not inflict. And the People I pity, for their want of Sense. Those who have inflam’d and misled them have a Deal to answer for.”

The public will be invited to the site starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25 and are invited to see artifacts on loan from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in the Patton House.

Mr. Steven Warfel will present his lecture “The Archaeological Digging of the Fort Loudoun Site” that will begin at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the public is invited to the site at 9 a.m., and throughout the day, visitors will witness re-enactors portraying prisoner rescues, skirmishes between the sides, including the one at the Widow Barr’s House and the firing on the fort by James Smith and his Black boys ending with the surrender of firearms to The Black Boys.

On Sunday, join the re-enactors for an 18th Century Church service at 9:30 a.m. and join them for a scout into the forest a little later on in the day. Watch as the garrison of Highlander troops depart for Fort Pitt as the day comes to a close.

Also during the three-day event, visitors can take tours of the fort, meet the re-enactors in their camps and experience first-hand what 18th century life was like on the frontier, complete with live animals and cooking by the fireside.

For additional information or for the full list of events, go to or contact: Larry Gorecki at associator1756(at)comcast(dot)net or Andy Newman at anewman45(at)comcast(dot)net.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Janet Pollard

Lauren Cappuccio
Ben Franklin
since: 04/2013
Like >
Visit website