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Castle Clinton (1809-1821) - A Second System fort established off the tip of New York City in 1809. Designed and construction supervised by Col. Jonathan Williams, Chief of Engineers and first Commandant of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Named after DeWitt Clinton, 6th Governor of New York, U.S. Senator from New York and Mayor of New York City. Abandoned in 1821. Also known as Fort Clinton (3).
Castle Clinton History
A circular stone fortification located at the lower end of New York City. Originally built out in the harbor on a stone foundation and connected to the shore by a wooden causeway with a drawbridge. Later landfill made Castle Clinton a part of Manhattan Island. Began as West Battery completed in 1811. Designed with eight foot thick walls and 28 guns in a single tier of casemates. The embrasures were designed so that an incoming cannon ball could not pass between the gun and the embrasure, thus protecting the gun crew.
Named Castle Clinton in 1815 for New York City Mayor DeWitt Clinton. At the end of the War of 1812, Castle Clinton became the headquarters for the 3rd Military District and continued as such until MG Winfield Scott moved the district to Governors Island in 1821.
The U.S. Army abandoned Castle Clinton in 1821 and leased the property property to New York City. The city opened the facility as as a public venue known as Castle Gardens that featured some of the great early entertainers like Jenny Lind. In 1855 the building and grounds became an immigrant processing station that lasted until Ellis Island opened in 1892. The building and grounds were again repurposed as the New York City Aquarium from 1896 to 1941. Castle Clinton was made a National Monument 12 Aug 1946 and restored in the 1970s.
Castle Clinton National Monument a part of Battery Park on lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. Now also used as a departure point for tour boats to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Location: Castle Clinton National Monument, New York County, New York.
Maps & Images
Lat: 40.7034359 Long: -74.0168065
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 541-542
Visited: 15 Aug 2010
Castle Clinton Picture Gallery
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