Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Fort Gibson: Ammunition to Immigration
In the decades following the War of 1812, Fort Gibson continued to be used as a military installation. Large magazines were built to store explosive black powder, which was too unstable to be kept at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn. During the Civil War, the fort’s importance in guarding the approaches to New York Harbor again became critical. Twelve new cannons were installed and 120 army and navy personnel were garrisoned here.
After the war, stories about the 10,000 pounds of explosive powder stored on Ellis Island appeared in the popular Harper’s Weekly magazine and the New York daily newspapers. These accounts alarmed the local populace, who were afraid that an explosion would destroy parts of Brooklyn, New York City, Staten Island and Jersey City. Protests against this hazard occurred sporadically during the next twenty years. Finally, the need of a new immigration station became an occasion for removing the “imminent peril” from Ellis Island. In 1891, the first immigration building rose on the site of the old battery.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jersey City NJ 07304, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Gibson: Oyster Banks to Batteries (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 ® (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 ® (within shouting distance of this marker); Delaware Indian Burials (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jersey City.
More about this marker. Three photographs of buildings on Ellis Island appear at the bottom of the marker. These contain the captions: “Illustration from Harper’s Weekly, March 14, 1868, showing storage buildings for ammunition and black powder. Courtesy the New-York Historical Society.”; “Immigration building, Ellis Island, constructed in 1891. Collection of Statue of Liberty N.M.”; and “Immigration building Ellis Island c. 1902. Collection of Statue of Liberty N.M.”
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 579 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 9, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.