Fort Nassau (3)

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Fort Nassau (3) (1614-1618) - A Dutch Colonial fort established in 1614 on Castle Island near Albany, Albany County, New York. Moved in 1617 to a new location at the mouth of Normans Kill. Abandoned in 1618.

History of Fort Nassau

Established in 1614 by Hendrick Christiaensen as a small fortification, trading post and warehouse. The post was initially located on present day Castle Island and named Fort Nassau in honor of the House of Orange-Nassau.

The fort was said to be built on the remains of an earlier 1540 French fort that was in ruins. The French fort purportedly had a 58 foot square enclosure surrounded by a 18 foot wide moat. The Dutch built the new fort, mounted a dozen swivel cannons and established a garrison of a dozen men with Jacob Eelkens in command. The French fort story is suspect simply because of the early date.

The fort site was plagued with spring flooding problems and in 1617 Eelkens rebuilt the fort on more secure ground at the mouth of the Normans Kill at the Hudson River. The new fort was built on a prominence overlooking the river and about two miles below the terminus of the great Indian trading path.

Once the new fort was completed, the Dutch completed their first treaty with natives of North America.

Abandoned in 1618 after a spring flood destroyed the new fort.

Current Status

No remains.


Location: Castle Island, Albany, Albany County, New York. Map point coordinates are approximate. The first fort location is said to be at the intersection of Broadway and Church Streets on the former island.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.63625 Long: -73.75513

See Also:

Sources:

  • Brodhead, John Romeyn, History of the State of New York, 1853, University of Michigan, page 81.

Links:

Visited: No


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