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Fort Nelson

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 series exploring the forts of Southern Early America

Picture of Plaque at Fort Nelson Park

Fort Nelson, built in 1781 by Richard Chenoweth, was the second on-shore fort on the Ohio River in the area of what is now downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Fort-on-Shore, the downriver and first on-shore fort, had proved to be insufficient barely three years after it was established. In response to continuing attacks from Native Americans and the threat of British attacks during the Revolutionary War, Fort Nelson was constructed between what is currently Main Street and the river, with its main gate near Seventh Street. It was named after Thomas Nelson, Jr., then the governor of Virginia. (Kentucky was part of Virginia at the time.)

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