Fort Herkimer

Variant name of place

Fort Herkummer

Geographic position

43.0256° N, 74.9864° W


Benton, Nathaniel S. A History of Herkimer County. Albany, NY: 1856. Print; “Fort Herkimer, NY.” Revolutionary Day. Web.; “History.” Fort Herkimer Church. Web.; “History of the Village of Herkimer, New York.” Village of Herkimer, 2015. Web.; “Old Fort Herkimer.” NY State Military Museum, 19 Feb. 2006. Web.

General note

Built around 1740 on the south bank of the Mohawk River in central New York, Fort Herkimer, also called Fort Kaouri, began as the home of Johann Jost Herkimer, for whom it is named. The area was originally inhabited by Mohawks, but Herkimer and other German settlers began to move to the south bank of the Mohawk River in the 1720s. By the outbreak of the French and Indian War, Fort Herkimer was a fortified homestead that included a church and two-foot-thick stone walls. Between 1757 and 1758, Nicholas Herkimer, Johann’s son, defended the Fort and its surrounding area from the French. Fort Herkimer also offered protection to Patriot troops and the area’s inhabitants during the Revolutionary War. After the war, it was the site of several treaty negotiations between the governor of New York and the Haudenosaunee Indians. Occom visited Fort Herkimer several times over the course of three decades while traveling through upstate New York. Although Fort Herkimer was destroyed in 1825 during the construction of the Eerie Canal, the town of Herkimer, NY, which is comprised of the land that surrounded Fort Herkimer, retains the name of the older structure and its builders.