This article is one of a series on the forts of southwest Virginia during the period of Indian Hostilities, (1774-1794). The accompanying map shows the location of the forts in the Powell, Clinch, and Lower Holston watersheds. An index to these forts is found at List of Forts of Southwest Virginia. The location of many of these forts is known only approximately, and different sources sometimes suggest different locations. Much of the information in these articles is based on Emory Hamilton's article "Frontier Forts".
Mumps Fort was located at the Sinking Springs, about 20 miles from Martin's Station, in Jonesville, per Hamilton, 1968 citing John Redd's Reminiscences.
This fort was built in the fall of 1775 by William Mumps following the close of Dunmore's War in 1774. It was evacuated in 1776 during the resumption of Indian Hostilities. While it was apparently abandoned, Hamilton makes a case that the militia made use of the fort on occassion. For this he sites the pension application of Alexander Ritchie, Jr. who mentions in connection with a description of forts on the frontier in 1777, "A fort where Lee County Courthouse now stands". The seat of county government in Lee County is Jonesville, so as Hamilton states, its likely that Ritchie was referring to Mump's Fort.
In June of 1776 George Rogers Clarke stopped at Mumps Fort during the retreat from Kentucky. John Redd says:
- My first acquaintance with general Clarke was in June, 1776 at Mumpes Fort in Powell Valley. Gen. Clarke informed me tht he had just come from Kentucky through the wilderness and did... Source:Redd, 1899. The foregoing from [a Google Snippet] [The original is in the Draper MSC, and needs to be extracted, as it is not otherwise available in complete form on the net.]
Source:Redd, 1899-1900. Reminiscences of Western Virginia, 1770-1790. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol 6:338-340, vol 7:248. See Google Snippets. Need to see original. This work seems to have been published over at least two years, and appears in both volume 6 and 7. Portions may also have been published prior to 1899.