From 1721 to 1736, Fort King George was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. The fort was built to protect the young and struggling colony of Georgia against any potential threat from the Spanish in Florida to the south. The British constructed a cypress blockhouse, barracks, and palisaded earthen fort on the site in 1721. The fort was garrisoned by His Majesty’s Independent Company. The fort itself was eventually abandoned because of the hardship the garrison had to endure from the harsh coastal environment. But Scottish Highlanders came to the site in 1736 to found a settlement, called Darien, which eventually became a foremost export center of lumber until 1925. The state of Georgia has reconstructed the eighteenth-century fortifications using old records and plans. A museum offers displays and exhibits on the local Guale Indians, the old fort, the Scots of Darien, and the nineteenth century Darien sawmill.
Fort King George State Historic Site is located in southeastern Georgia, near Darien, 3 miles east of Interstate 95 exit 49.
The Carter Center is unique among twentieth century post-presidential institutions. Like other ex-presidents, Carter has established the requisite presidential library and museum (right next door to the Center). The Carter Center, however, has been the institutional vehicle for Carter’s activist post-presidential life. And Carter’s only rival for distinguished post-presidential service is John Quincy Adams, who led the fight in Congress against suppression of antislavery petitions, no less. The institution’s own mission statement declares that “The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.” To these ends, the center runs health and peace programs internationally, and claims accomplishments like successful election monitoring and refugee relief. The Carter Center itself is open to the public by business appointment or for special events. The museum of the adjoining Jimmy Carter Library is open to the public daily, as are the grounds surrounding the complex. By the way, the Carter Center is also one of the top venues in Atlanta for hosting special events, weddings and receptions, and bar/bat mitzvahs.
Location and Directions
Links: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum
Fort Pulaski guarded the barrier islands off the Georgia coast and the entrance to Savannah harbor at the beginning of the Civil War. In April of 1862, Union troops attacked the fort and successfully employed experimental rifled cannon to breach the fort’s southeast angle and force its surrender. The fall of Fort Pulaski halted export of cotton from Savannah. After the taking of Fort Pulaski, Union Major General David Hunter, an ardent abolitionist, ordered the release of area slaves and recruited many of them into the Union army as the First South Carolina Colored Regiment. The park includes 5,623 acres of scenic marsh and uplands that support a variety of animal life, including white-tailed deer, alligators, and raccoons and migratory birds.
Location Information and Directions
Links: Fort Pulaski National Monument
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site preserves the boyhood home of the great civil rights leader. The home is in the residential section of “Sweet Auburn,” the center of black Atlanta, two blocks west of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King’s grandfather and father served as pastors. Martin Luther King’s contributions do not need to be recounted here. Let us just say that he, at long last, healed the nation’s (self-inflicted) wounds and gave the country a new standard of citizenship: “Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man but to win his friendship and understanding.”
Location Map and Directions: Click Here
Links: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., National Historic Site