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Stevens, who observed that the Ellis family still owned most of the island, suggested selling off the land to the federal government. Samuel Ryerson, one of Samuel Ellis's grandsons, deeded the island to John A. Berry in 1806. The remaining portion of the island was acquired by condemnation the next year, and it was ceded to the United States on June 30, 1808, for $10,000. Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Williams, placed in charge of New York Harbor defenses in the early 1800s, proposed several new fortifications around the harbor as part of the Second System of fortifications. The new fortifications included increased firepower and improved weaponry. The War Department established a circular stone 14-gun battery, a mortar battery (possibly of six mortars), magazine, and barracks. The fort was initially called Crown Fort, but by the end of the War of 1812 the battery was named Fort Gibson, in honor of Colonel James Gibson of the 4th Regiment of Riflemen, who was killed in the war during the Siege of Fort Erie. The fort was not used in combat during the war, and instead served as a barracks for the 11th Regiment, as well as a jail for British prisoners of war.
The island is administered by the National Park Service, though fire protection and medical services are also provided by the Jersey City Fire Department. In extreme medical emergencies, there is also a helicopter for medical evacuations. 2b1af7f3a8