The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Fort Royal
FORT ROYAL, or Fort de France, a seaport of the French West Indies, capital of Martinique, situated on a deep and well sheltered bay on the W. side of the island; pop. about 12,000. It is defended by a fort which commands both the town and the harbor, is the residence of the French governor and of a bishop, and contains, besides the parish church and government offices, a prison, hospital barracks, and an arsenal. The streets are straight and spacious, and the houses in general well built. The town was founded in 1672. In 1839 it was almost wholly destroyed by an earthquake, in which more than 500 lives were lost.