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Castle Clinton National Monument

  • 1824 to 1890, Known As: Castle Garden

  • Travel Genus: Sight
  • Sight Category: Structure

When I landed at Castle Garden, forty-eight years ago, I had only five cents in my pocket. Had I brought five hundred dollars, instead of five cents, my immediate career in the new, and to me perfectly strange, land would have been the same. A young immigrant such as I was then does not begin his career until he has spent all the money which he has brought with him. I brought five cents, and immediately spent it upon a piece of prune pie, which turned out to be a bogus prune pie. It contained nothing but pits of prunes. If I had brought five hundred dollars, it would have taken me a little longer to spend it, mostly upon bogus things, but the struggle which awaited me would have been the same in each case. It is no handicap to a boy immigrant to land here penniless; it is not a handicap to any boy to be penniless when he strikes out for an independent career, provided that he has the stamina to stand the hardships that may be in store for him. Mihajlo I Pupin

Built to keep people out, now welcomes millions in

Located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Castle Clinton stands where New York City began, and represents not only the city's growth, but the growth of a nation. Initially intended to prevent a British invasion in 1812, the fortification has transformed over the years to welcome theatergoers, immigrants, sightseers, and now, millions of visitors to New York Harbor. - NPS


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Timeline

Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
Y/M/D Person Association Description Composition Food Event
1808/00/00 Lt Col Jonathan Williams Architect McComb works as the building contractor on West Battery, 1807-1811. Although the entire design was once thought to have been McComb's, it is now considered the work of John Williams. McComb may actually have only designed the entrance way.
1808/00/00 John McComb Architect McComb works as the building contractor on West Battery, 1807-1811. Although the entire design was once thought to have been McComb's, it is now considered the work of John Williams. McComb may actually have only designed the entrance way.
1813/00/00 West Battery is used as a military headquarters in the War of 1812.
1815/00/00 Dewitt Clinton Honor West Battery is renamed 'Castle Clinton' in honor of Mayor De Witt Clinton, who worked as mayor during the War of 1812.
1824/00/00 The United States government cedes 'Castle Clinton' to the City of New York. They renamed it 'Castle Garden' and convert the fort into an entertainment center.
1824/08/16 Marquis de Lafayette Guest of Honor Marquis de Lafayette arrives at Castle Garden, New York and is met by a great crowd that includes a group of American Revolutionary War veterans in tattered uniforms. Lafayette's Triumphal Tour of America
1824/08/16 James Fenimore Cooper Organizer Marquis de Lafayette arrives at Castle Garden, New York and is met by a great crowd that includes a group of American Revolutionary War veterans in tattered uniforms. Lafayette's Triumphal Tour of America
1842/00/00 Patrick C Keely Life Patrick C Keely arrives at Castle Gardens in Manhattan and settles in Brooklyn.
1842/07/04 Matthew C Perry Supporter With the support of Capt Matthew Perry, Sam Colt from the deck of the NORTH CAROLINA uses his electronic Submarine Battery to destroy an old ship floating off Castle Clinton, a distance of some 200 or 300 yards.
1842/07/04 Samuel Colt Inventor With the support of Capt Matthew Perry, Sam Colt from the deck of the NORTH CAROLINA uses his electronic Submarine Battery to destroy an old ship floating off Castle Clinton, a distance of some 200 or 300 yards.
1850/09/11 Theodore Thomas Audience Member P T Barnum debuts singer Jenny Lind with a selection of classical music at Castle Garden Norma Jenny Lind's American Tour, 1850 to 1852
1850/09/11 Jenny Lind Performer P T Barnum debuts singer Jenny Lind with a selection of classical music at Castle Garden Norma Jenny Lind's American Tour, 1850 to 1852
1850/09/11 P T Barnum Promoter P T Barnum debuts singer Jenny Lind with a selection of classical music at Castle Garden Norma Jenny Lind's American Tour, 1850 to 1852
1850/10/30 Butler, Evarts, Southmayd and Choate Law William Maxwell Evarts defends the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law during a speech at Castle Garden. Slavery In America
1850/10/30 William Maxwell Evarts Law William Maxwell Evarts defends the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law during a speech at Castle Garden. Slavery In America
1850/10/30 William Maxwell Evarts Law William Maxwell Evarts defends the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law during a speech at Castle Garden. Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
1850/10/30 Butler, Evarts, Southmayd and Choate Law William Maxwell Evarts defends the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law during a speech at Castle Garden. Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
1855/08/01 Governed by New York State's Commissioners of Emigration, Castle Garden officially opens as the first receiving center for immigrants in the United States.
1855/08/03 After three ships are released from quarantine, the passenger are discharged at Castle Garden immigrant landing depot. Two out of every three immigrants to the United States will soon pass through Castle Garden.
1858/00/00 Nathalie Gumpertz Life Twenty-two-year-old Natalie Reinsberg emigrates to America through New York City's Castle Garden from Ortelsburg, Prussia. Her betrothed, Julius Gumpertz, another German Jew, had arrived a year earlier.
1863/00/00 Samuel Gompers Life The Gompers family immigrate to the United States via Castle Garden, settling in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City.
1863/00/00 Oscar Hammerstein I Life Oscar Hammerstein arrives at Castle Garden in New York City from Liverpool, England.
1864/00/00 Joseph Pulitzer Life Hungarian born Joseph Pulitzer arrives at New York City's Castle Clinton before moving on to Boston.
1868/00/00 The Labor Exchange is established and a new building built adjacent to the main Castle Garden structure. Here immigrants can find assistance in securing employment at no charge.
1870/00/00 Edward William Bok Life At the age of six, Edward William Bok immigrates to Brooklyn, New York.
1870/06/05 Jacob A Riis Life Jacob A Riis disembarks in New York and spends half of the $40 his friends had given him on a revolver for defense against human or animal predators.
1870/08/14 Charles Looff Life Karl Jurgen Detlev Looff immigrates through Castle Garden, New York City
1874/04/00 Mihajlo I Pupin Life After his father dies in March 1874, Mihajlo I Pupin ends his education in Prague due to financial problems and moves to the United States.
1880/00/00 Cuban poet, Jose Julian Marti Perez, arrives in New York City.
1881/00/00 William Fox (producer) Life Nine month old Vilmos Fuchs and his parents, Michael Fuchs and Hannah Fried immigrate to New York City. In 1881, 455,681 arrivals pass through Castle Clinton.
1882/01/03 Oscar Wilde Lecturer Oscar Wilde arrives in New York aboard the SS Arizona to promote Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, Patience, and to give a series of lectures. Oscar Wilde's 1882 Lecture Tour Of America
1882/08/03 US Congress passes An Act to Regulate Immigration prohibiting immigrants found to be a convict, lunatic, idiot or any person unable to take care of him or herself without becoming a public charge.
1883/00/00 Mary Mallon Life Mary Mallon, later to be known as Typhoid Mary, immigrates from Ireland.
1884/00/00 Sophie Tucker Life When still and infant, Sonya Kalish, whith her mother and brother immigrate to America through Castle Garden in Manhattan, New York City.
1884/02/14 Carl Laemmle Life Julius Hilder, Julius Klugman, Leo Hirschfeld and Karl Lammle are landed by the immigrant boat at Castle Garden.
1884/02/14 Leo Hirschfield Life Leo Hirschfeld, along with Julius Hilder, Julius Klugman and Karl Lammle, is dropped off by boat at Castle Garden. After processing, Hilder's brother takes Karl and Leo to a boarding-house at the corner of 59th Street and 3rd Avenue, where he leaves them.
1884/06/00 Nikola Tesla Life Persuaded by Edison manager Charles Batchelor, Nicola Tesla emigrates to the United States and begins working almost immediately at the Edison Machine Works (lost) on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
1885/00/00 Emma Goldman, a future anarchist political activist, immigrates to America from Russia.
1886/00/00 Franz Boas from Germany passes through Castle Garden in Manhattan, NYC.
1886/00/00 Harry Houdini Life The Weisz family arrives in New York City.
1886/00/00 Robert Ferdinand Wagner I Life Future US Senator, Robert F Wagner, immigrates to America from the Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, with his parents. The family will settle in New York City's Yorkville.
1886/10/24 Composer Victor Herbert and wife Therese Forster move to the United States to work for Walter Damrosch and Anton Seidl at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
1887/00/00 Future song writer and vaudevillian, L Wolfe Gilbert, immigrates from Russia through Castle Garden, NYC.
1888/00/00 Alexander Berkman from Lithuania arrives at Castle Clinton in Manhattan, NYC.
1889/00/00 Charles Proteus Steinmetz Life Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz immigrates to America. He changes his name to "Charles" in order to sound more American, and adds the middle name "Proteus", a wise hunchbacked character from the Odyssey, after a childhood epithet given by classmates.
1889/00/00 Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini Life Mother Frances Cabrini and her sister companions pass through Castle Garden into a New York that seems to be filled with chaos and poverty.
1890/00/00 Future US Senator, Magnus Johnson, and family immigrate from Sweden to La Crosse, Wisconsin, through New York City.
1890/00/00 Chicago May Life Chicago May, of Edenmore, Ireland, at Castle Garden in Manhattan, New York City, aboard a steamer from Liverpool, England.
1890/04/18 The United State government's contract with New York is terminated and Castle Garden immigrant landing depot closes.
1890/04/19 Federal Government assumes control of the examining of immigrants and begins operating the Barge Office (lost), located in the southeast corner of Battery Park, as an immigrant receiving station.
1896/12/10 McKim, Mead and White Architect Remodeled by architects McKim, Mead and White, the New York Aquarium opens in Castle Garden at Battery Park, Manhattan.
1916/12/25 Thaw's bodyguard takes Fred Gump Jr to the Aquarium. Assault on Fred Gump and Murder of Maizie Colbert
1941/00/00 Due to the construction of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the New York Aquarium is shut and the animals are relocated to the Bronx Zoo.

Data »

Particulars for Castle Clinton National Monument:
Criteria Architecture-Engineering
Area of Significance Community Planning and Development
Area of Significance Entertainment - Recreation
Experience European Immigrant
Owner Federal
Structure Type Fortification
Criteria Historic Event
Area of Significance Military
Museum Type Museum
Level of Significance National
Historic Use Outdoor recreation
Area of Significance Social History
Sight Category Structure



US National Registry of Historic Places Data »

Accurate at time of registration: 15th October 1966

PLACE DETAILS
Registry Name: Castle Clinton National Monument
Registry Address: South Ferry
Registry Number: 66000537
Resource Type: Structure
Owner: Federal
Architect: McComb,John; U.S. War Department
Architectural Style: No style listed
Area in Acres: 1
Contributing Structures: 1
Other Certification: Additional documentation
Certification: Listed in the National Register
Nominator Name: National Monument
CULTURAL DETAILS
Level of Significance: National
Area of Significance: Community Planning and Development, Military, Entertainment-recreation, Social history
Applicable Criteria: Event, Architecture-Engineering
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 1825-1849, 1800-1824
Significant Year: 1808, 1824, 1896
Historic Function: Recreation and Culture, Defense
Historic Sub-Function: Outdoor recreation, Museum, Fortification
Current Function: Recreation and Culture
Current Sub-Function: Museum

Creative Works »

WorkTypeAsNotedInCreatorNote
The Uprooted (book) History Book Oscar Handlin

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