10. Benjamin Franklin’s Grand Nephew Played a Huge Role in the Establishment of Castle Clinton

As an expert on fortifications and a senior officer in the Army Corps of Engineers, Colonel Williams, a grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin, was the principal force behind the design and establishment of Castle Clinton and Castle Williams (named after the Colonel).

Completed in 1811, the structure was not built beyond its first tier of 28 casemated gun positions, and featured eight foot thick walls, which are the only original part of Castle Clinton, as all the other sections have been reconstructed. Although the fortification was never actually utilized, Colonel Williams originally designed it to provide crosshair fire with Castle Williams (East Battery) so that the channel between them could be closed.

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Abandoned Hospital Complex at Ellis Island and Fun Facts About Ellis Island.