Chambers, Thomas - Packet Ship Passing Castle Williams in NY Harbor art print

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SKU: 28 folk art

An archival premium quality folk art Print of a Packet Ship Passing Castle Williams in New York Harbor by Thomas Chambers. The itinerant artist painted this oil on canvas naive print sometime during the middle of the 19th century.

Castle Williams was designed and erected between 1807 and 1811 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) Jonathan Williams, Chief Engineer of the Corps of Engineers and first Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. The castle was one component of a defensive system for the inner harbor that included Fort Columbus (later renamed Fort Jay) and the South Battery on Governors Island; Castle Clinton at the southern tip of Manhattan, Fort Wood on Liberty Island, and Fort Gibson on Ellis Island.

It's pioneering design consisted of multiple levels of enclosed or fortified gun enplacements. It established a prototype for American coastal fortification design for the rest of the 19th century. The nearly circular fortification, 40 feet high and 210 feet in diameter, was constructed of sandstone walls 7 to 8 feet thick. Each of its four levels had 13 casements that could each hold 26 cannons of varied caliber. Before its completion, Colonel Henry Burbeck, commanding the defenses of New York, issued an Army order on November 24, 1810, that named the castle for its designer and builder: "In future the Stone Tower on this Island (by the approbation of the Secretary of War) will bear the name of Castle Williams, in honor of the commandant of the United States Corps of Engineers, who designed and erected it." Folk art print #28

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