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Camp d’Asile

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring Southern Early American Forts

Frenchmen arrived in Galveston in 1818, led by French General Charles Lallemand, whom the British refused to accompany Napoleon into exile. The group claimed to be exiles from France and only wanted to settle in Texas and establish a new life. They built their fortification along the Trinity River near the Liberty-to-Nacogdoches Trail. One source reports the camp was in the vicinity of Moss Bluff, north of Wallisville, in Liberty County. While another source, a book published in Paris in 1819, says the location was near Liberty. A third source reports there were two forts built (at undisclosed locations) along the river. The 1819 Paris book reported that the settlement had more than 400 persons, including Germans and Spaniards, and contained four forts with eight artillery pieces. Another report describes it as being a five-sided fort containing twenty-eight wooded houses, each a miniature fort in itself. Despite these reports of its large size, archeologists today have found no ruins or artifacts.

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