Why Was The Fort Built Here?
Captain Christopher Newport explored the land of the Kecoughton tribe in 1607. English colonists named it Cape Comfort before moving up the James River to settle at Jamestown. Captain John Smith, who surveyed the area between 1607 and 1609, thought it was an ideal place for a fort.
Following the War of 1812, President James Madison recognized the importance of establishing fortifications on the eastern seaboard. Initial planning for Fort Monroe, the largest of these fortifications, began in 1817.
Fort Monroe was built near the point where the Chesapeake Bay meets Hampton Roads, a natural deep water channel that made it a critical defense site.
Forts built on what is now known as Old Point Comfort controlled the Hampton Roads harbor—including access to Jamestown and later, Norfolk, Richmond, and cities farther north.
With the Chesapeake Bay on one side and Hampton Roads on the other, Fort Monroe was uniquely positioned as the first line of defense for the bay.
Erected by Fort Monroe Authority; National Park Service, U.S. Department
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Exploration • Forts and Castles • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #04 James Madison series list.
Location. 37° 0.136′ N, 76° 18.659′ W. Marker is in Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is on Ingalls Road just north of Fenwick Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 32 Ingalls Rd, Fort Monroe VA 23651, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Bay Worth Preserving (here, next to this marker); Wisser Hall: From Books To War Games (a few steps from this marker); How Big Is Fort Monroe? (a few steps from this marker); Who Built Fort Monroe? (a few steps from this marker); Hurricane Isabel (within shouting distance of this marker); Flood of August 23, 1933 (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Monroe's Arc Of Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Algernourne (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Monroe.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 9, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.