Fort Nassau (North River)

Fort Nassau (North River)

Military Structure
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Fort Nassau (North River)

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Description:
Fort Nassau was the first Dutch settlement in North America, and was located along the Hudson River in present-day Albany, New York, United States. The factorij was a small fortification which served as a trading post and warehouse. It was sited on an earlier French fortification from 1540.

History

Henry Hudson explored what would be known as the Hudson River for the Dutch in 1609, including Castle Island which was at the center of Native American fur trading routes from the interior. Castle Island was so named for the ruins of a French fortification which was dated from 1540 and had been abandoned due to flooding. Hendrick Christiaensen chose this same location to build Fort Nassau in 1614 or 1615 as a dual warehouse and military defense structure and named the fort in honor of the stadtholder of the United Netherlands, who was of the House of Orange-Nassau. This was the first Dutch settlement in North America. Jacob Eelkens became commander on Christiaensen's death in 1616.

In 1617 a freshet damaged the fort to such an extent that it was abandoned and rebuilt on more secure ground at the mouth of the Normans Kill (called the Tawasentha by the natives) with the Hudson River. This new fortification was built by Eelkens on a prominence called Tawass-gunshee by the natives. Once the new fort was completed the first treaty between...
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