Brick, Wall Street

ca. 1680
Museum Storage

This brick may have been part of the fortified wall of Fort Hendrick, originally called Fort Amsterdam. The fort and wall, built by enslaved people owned by the Dutch West India Company, served to protect the Dutch colony from English and French attacks. The structure was originally constructed of hard packed earth or rubble in 1626, including materials like this brick, which is thought to be ballast, heavy materials used in sailing ships to improve stability which came to the colony from the Netherlands. The brick was gifted to the museum after 1903 by George Ward Vredenburgh, descendent of Isaac.