Fort Cumming, in present day La Fayette, Georgia, was a stockade that housed Cherokee
before their removal on the Trail of Tears. Nothing remains of the fort. Today,
the site contains only a historical marker documenting the events that took place there
and two metal building used by the city of La Fayette to cover and protect two spring
sources that provided water for the fort and today's population.
On December 29, 1835, at New Echota, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, some of the Cherokee leaders signed a treaty with the U.S. government agreeing to the removal of all Cherokees to the West. The Native Americans who signed the treaty also agreed to relinquish all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi River.
The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty on May 23, 1836, and the Cherokees were given two years to leave Georgia. Many Cherokees did not recognize the New Echota Treaty and refused to leave their homes. Gen. Winfield Scott was charged with gathering together the Cherokees and removing them from Southeast.
Stockades were built to house the Cherokees until they could be removed to the West. Fort Cumming in La Fayette, Georgia was one of those stockades. This site was chosen because of the availability of water supplied by natural springs. These springs are still used today to supply the town of La Fayette water.
Capt. Samuel Farris and a company of Georgia volunteers guarded the Cherokees until their removal. The fort is believed to have housed about 500 men, women and children. It was built in 1836 and named for David B. Cumming, a Methodist minister and missionary to the Cherokees.
The fort was a large enclosure of upright logs with a rifle tower in each corner. No photos or drawings of the structure have been found. The stockade with block house was built on a hill just above the area now known as Big Spring.
Today there are two large metal buildings used to cover water sources used for town's water supply.
Fort Cumming Marker
West Indiana Ave near Part St
La Fayette, Georgia