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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries

 
 
Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 7, 2011
1. Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries Marker
Inscription.
The earliest fort on this site was built in 1794. Great Britainís navy had been seizing American merchant ships and forcing their sailors into service on British vessels. Congress decided that the nationís most important harbors should be defended in case war broke between Great Britain and the United States. Charles Vincent, a French engineer, was hired to construct defenses in New York Harbor. He chose tiny Oyster Island (as Ellis Island was then called), known only for its oyster banks, shad fishing and as the location for a battery of eight cannons. Tensions rose again between the two countries when a British frigate fired on the USS Chesapeake in 1807, leading President Thomas Jefferson to further improve the nationís defenses and rebuilt many of its early forts.

Colonel Jonathan Williams, a grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin, oversaw the construction of the brick and stone structure, the remains of which you see here. The new fort was completed only months before the outbreak of the War of 1812. During this war British prisoners were housed on Ellis Island, but the fort was never attacked. In 1814, the fort was named after Colonel James Gibson, a 33-year-old officer killed at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location.
Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 7, 2011
2. Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries Marker
The remains of Fort Gibson can be seen in this photo behind the marker.
40° 41.942′ N, 74° 2.318′ W. Marker is in Jersey City, New Jersey, in Hudson County. Click for map. Marker is located on the north side of Ellis Island, near the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. Marker is in this post office area: Jersey City NJ 07304, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Gibson: Ammunition to Immigration (here, next to this marker); Fort Gibson: The Other Ellis Island Story (a few steps from this marker); Fort Gibson: Uncovering the Past (a few steps from this marker); The American Immigrant Wall of Honor ģ (a few steps from this marker); Fort Gibson: Defending the Approaches (a few steps from this marker); Fort Gibson: The New York Harbor System (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The American Immigrant Wall of Honor ģ (within shouting distance of this marker); Delaware Indian Burials (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Jersey City.
 
More about this marker. The right side of the marker contains a portrait of Col. James Gibson, courtesy of the Delaware Public Archives, Division of History & Cultural Affairs, Dover, DE.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812
 
Ellis Island Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 7, 2011
3. Ellis Island Markers
The Ellis Island Immigration Center and the American Immigrant Wall of Honor can be seen in the background.
Markers on Ellis Island image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 7, 2011
4. Markers on Ellis Island
Two markers are found at this location. The Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries marker is seen here on the left. The remains of Fort Gibson are also visible.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 376 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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