Fort Defiance

From Ohio History Central

In August 1794, Anthony Wayne ordered the construction of Fort Defiance at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers. Wayne had the fort built during his campaign against Ohio American Indians to provide his men with protection and as a staging ground for future operations. The fort was a rough square with a blockhouse located on each corner. In addition to the stockade, a wall of earth eight feet thick and a ditch eight feet deep and fifteen feet wide protected the fortifications. Lieutenant John Boyer, an officer in Wayne's army, claimed that the fort could protect the American soldiers from "the English, the Indians, and all the devils in hell."

Following the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Wayne utilized Fort Defiance as his base of operations. He ordered the destruction of all American Indian villages and crops within a fifty-mile radius of the fort. With the signing of the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, the American Indians permitted the Anglo-American settlers to maintain a trading post and fort at Fort Defiance, although the United States had ceded the right to settle this portion of Ohio. Until the War of 1812, Fort Defiance served as one of America's  western-most outposts in the Ohio Country and helped protect local citizens from American Indian attacks, as well as promulgating attacks on area American Indians. William Henry Harrison utilized the fort in his campaigns against American Indians in the early 1810s as well as a staging area against the British in the War of 1812. Modern-day Defiance, Ohio, was founded at the fort's location.

See Also


  1. Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.