Free History Studies: Francis Marion

Francis Marion was a heroic figure during the American Revolution known for his cunning and bravery, earning the nickname “Swamp Fox” by the British.

Read the current chapter online: “Marion’s Tower”

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
    • South Carolina
    • Pee Dee River (where the Swamp Fox roamed)
    • Ft. Watson (where the siege tower was built)
  • Read more about why Francis Marion was given the nickname “Swamp Fox.”
  • To get an idea of what the swamps looked like, view these murals from the Swamp Fox Mural Trail.
  • Tell the story of the building of the tower.
  • Build a model of the siege tower using toy wood planks, blocks, Legos, or other building material.
  • Read the account from the Book of Knowledge below.  Why do you think the officer said that men like Marion could not be conquered?
  • Enjoy a baked sweet potato over a campfire — or not!
  • More about General Francis Marion from the Book of Knowledge:

Perhaps you have heard the story of the British officer who visited Marion under a flag of truce. A flag of truce is a white flag used when one side in a war wishes to send someone to talk with the enemy without being fired upon or taken prisoner.  The officer was met at a certain place by some of Marion’s men, who blindfolded him and led him through the swamps.  Finally, the bandage was removed from his eyes, and he found himself in the little clearing in the forest.His business was soon finished, and General Marion asked him to stay to dinner.  The officer saw no cook and no sign of anything cooking, though a fire was burning on the ground, but he accepted.  Then Marion told his servant to serve dinner.  The man raked aside the ashes of the fire and drew forth some sweet potatoes that had been roasting there.  These he served on pieces of bark.  There was no other food.  The officer went back and reported to his superiors that men like Marion and his troops could not be conquered.

“The Revolution,” The Book of Knowledge
Further Investigation

General Francis Marion
Biography from Francis Marion University (scroll down).

The Siege of Fort Watson
Background including the building of the tower.

Fort Watson
Explanation with pictures from the Historical Marker Database.

Francis Marion
South Carolina State House Chamber portrait.


South Carolina Map/Quiz Printout

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Make your own maps.

General Marion Inviting a British Officer to Share His Meal
View the painting by John Blake White.

Fort Watson
Pictures then and now with a map at the bottom of the page to locate the fort on a map of South Carolina (below).


“Marion, The ‘Swamp Fox’”
Chapter from Stories of Later American History by Wilbur F. Gordy.

With the Swamp Fox by James Otis
James Otis’s books are typically well-researched, historically accurate, and exciting portrayals.  In the public domain.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

United States Map map for locating South Carolina.

South Carolina State Map
Map for notebook, helpful for locating the Pee Dee River.

Francis Marion Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans

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