The fort and the settlement were named in honour of General William Jenkins Worth (1794-1849), a native of Hudson, New York, who served in the War of 1812, commanded the United States forces against the Seminole Indians in 1841-1842, served under both General Taylor and General Scott in the Mexican War, distinguishing himself at Monterey (where he earned the brevet of major-general) and in other engagements, and later commanded the department of Texas.
It was not till 1834 that, overcome by the insistence of Captain Francis Jenkins, who maintained and proved that, called by the name Camellia or not, the leaves belonged to a tea-plant, Dr Wallich admitted "the fact of the genuine tea-plant being a native of our territories in Upper Assam as incontrovertibly proved."
The discovery and reports of Captain Jenkins led to the investigation of the capacities of Assam as a tea-growing country by Lord William Bentinck's committee.
A commission, consisting of Sir Lawrence Jenkins, Lieut.-Colonel Bomford, M.D., principal of the Medical College, Calcutta, and Major Semple, R.A.M.C., director of the Pasteur Institute, Kasauli, was appointed by the government of India to inquire into the disaster.
Jenkins was deputed by the governor-general of India, Lord William Bentinck, to report upon the resources of the country, and the tea plant was brought to his especial notice by Mr Bruce; in 1834 a minute was recorded by the governor-general on the subject, in which it is stated that his attention had been called to it in 1827 before his departure from England.