Wayne County Board of Tourism - 101 E Cherry St - Jesup GA 31545
Wayne County has a rich history dating back to the colonial era. A crucial building block in that history was the establishment of Fort James on the Altamaha River. The fort served a trading post in the early 1800s and also provided protection for people crossing the river.
The fort was built in the 1790s, after the state of Georgia ceded a 5-mile-square tract of land near Beard’s Bluff to the U.S. Government. Its garrison continued to be maintained for some 20 years. In addition to providing for the defense of what would become first part of Appling County and later Wayne County, Fort James was also a diplomatic post. From the stockade overlooking the Altamaha, militia leaders met with local Indian chiefs to mediate disputes between settlers and the nearby tribes. The exact location of the fort is not known, but it is somewhere in the general area of what is now called Upper County Landing.
A diagram showing the layout of the structure has survived. This rough drawing was made by a soldier stationed at the fort. It is believed that he made the sketch to send to his wife in Liberty County.
This diagram shows the layout of Fort James. It was drawn by a soldier stationed at the fort, possibly as part of a letter to his wife.