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Fort Nassau (North River): Wikis


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Fort Nassau (North) was a Dutch fort constructed on an island in the Hudson River in 1614 in what would become the city of Albany. Because this fort flooded every summer, the Dutch left it in 1617 or 1618. In 1624, they built a new fort further up the Hudson River, called Fort Orange.

A description of the fort says that "it was a building twenty-six feet wide and thirty-six feet long, enclosed by a stockade fifty-eight feet square, and the whole surrounded by a moat eighteen feet wide. Its armament consisted of two large guns and eleven swivels, and the garrison of ten or twelve men."[1]

The island on which Fort Nassau was constructed is now part of the mainland, and has been known variously as Castle Island, Westerlo Island, Martin Gerritse's Island, and Patroon's Island. From 1932 on it has been buried somewhere under the Port of Albany.

Jacob Eelkens, or Jaques Elekes (Netherlands), was the first leader of Fort Nassau. Later he became Commissary of Fort Orange.

By 1628 Eelkens had been dismissed by the West India Company from this post for illegal trading, and had entered the service of some London merchants, in whose behalf he had come to buy furs on Henry Hudson’s River.


  1. ^ E.M. Ruttenber, Indian Tribes of Hudson's River, p.99, Hope Farm Press, 2001, 3rd ed, ISBN 0-910746-98-

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