This past weekend, my interest in colonial history and William Bartram took me to the site of Fort King George, near Darien, Ga. The bluff overlooking the Altamaha River was once a Spanish Mission and later a British Fort. Oglethorpe recruited Highlanders to defend the area and protect the new colony of Georgia from a Spanish invasion. Highland Scots were selected for their reputation as fierce warriors whose independent nature would make them well suited for life on the frontier. The settlement was originally named New Inverness but changed to Darien in honor of a failed Highland Scot colony in Panama named Darien. These settlers not only helped to shaped the coastal areas of Georgia but the entire state. Many of Georgia’s most prominent citizens are descendents of the Darien settlers such as the Bullochs, McIntoshes, McGilliavry’s, and many others. Bartram first traveled to this area to explore the Altamaha River and unique flora and fauna native to the marshes around Darien. He also needed contacts to help him explore Indian Territory and the Scots settlement was home to several prominent trading companies with connections, and often blood relations, among the Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee in North Georgia.