Staten Island Steamboat, with Castle William in the Distance.
Views of Staten Island. No. 5. From the Sailors’ Retreat, Stapleton, looking towards New York.
Views of Staten Island. No. 6. Quarantine Landing, Tompkinsville. 1799 saw the creation of a quarantine station for immigrants with yellow fever and smallpox. It was authorized to move from Bedloe (now Liberty) Island to Tompkinsville. Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first American Roman Catholic Saint, assists her father, the New York City Health Officer, Dr. Richard Bayley. On September 1, 1858, fearing the spread of contagious disease a mob of Staten Islanders burn the Quarantine Hospital in Tompkinsville. The hospital served immigrants to the US who were thought to be too ill to enter the country. In 1870, Swinburne Island, a man-made island off of South Beach, is constructed as a Quarantine hospital for immigrants arriving in America with contagious diseases. It replaces the quarantine ships which had housed the sick immigrants since the burning of the Tompkinsville Quarantine Station in 1858. Originally named Dix Island, after a former New York Governor, the name was soon changed to Swinburne after the Civil War hero and surgeon who headed the development of the Island: John S. Swinburne. In 1873, Hoffman Island, a second man-made Quarantine Island, is completed off the shore of South Beach. Conditions on both quarantine islands were often overcrowded and unsanitary. In 1901 7,801 people were detained on Hoffman Island. Use of the hospitals declined until they were finally closed in the 1920s. From 1931 to 1937 the island was used as a bird quarantine station for imported parrots. The island is named for John T. Hoffman, a former New York City Mayor and New York State Governor.
Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island. Fort Wadsworth is a former US military installation on Staten Island in New York City, situated on The Narrows which divide New York Bay into Upper and Lower halves, a natural point for defense of the Upper Bay and Manhattan beyond. Prior to closing in 1994 it claimed to be the longest continually garrisoned military installation in the US. It comprises several fortifications, including Fort Tompkins and Battery Weed and was given its present name in 1865 to honor Brigadier General James Wadsworth, who had been killed in the Battle of the Wilderness during the Civil War.
Fort Tompkins, New York Harbor. Fort Tompkins is a fort on Staten Island in New York City, within what is now Fort Wadsworth at the Narrows. Fort Tompkins (and its predecessor of the same name) guarded the landward approaches to other forts in the area from 1808 through circa 1898. The current fort was built 1847-1861, and was operational as a fort until superseded by new defenses circa 1898. It is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. It is the last remaining of four forts in New York State named Fort Tompkins.