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The Five Forts George of New York

By Samuel Phineas Upham

When the Dutch first settled in New York, they needed to establish some kind of protected settlement that would create a buffer between them and the natives. Although relations between the two groups eventually warmed, before the British stepped in, Fort Amsterdam was built in 1626.

It stayed in Dutch hands for nearly 40 years, when the British and the native population of the area finally drove the Dutch out after a series of assaults. The British moved in and named it Fort James. This kicked off a contest over the land. The Dutch wanted to settle there, and still had interests there, so they pressed the British and the fort changed hands in 1673.

Then it was renamed to Fort Willem Hendrick, but the British regained control in 1703. At that point, the fort was known as Fort Anne, or The Queen’s Fort. Then, in 1714, the fort took the name historians recognize it as today: Fort George.

The Americans launched a series of attacks to try and destroy the port during the Revolutionary War. In 1776, they completely demolished the ramparts, and then destroyed the entire fort in 1790. The site is now a historical heritage site.

Since then, a series of Fort Georges were erected and subsequently demolished. The British built the second in1755 in Oswego, but it was destroyed by the French. The third, also built in 1755, was lost in 1777. The Fort George on Staten Island still shows remnants today on St. George, Staten Island.

The fourth Fort George was built near the intersection of Audubon and 192nd Street. It was briefly converted into an amusement park before becoming George Washington High School in 1914.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Twitter.

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