Fort Monroe, Old Point Comfort and Hygeia Hotel, Va

Fort Monroe, Old Point Comfort and Hygeia Hotel, Va

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The first fort on Point Comfort was constructed by the settlers of Jamestown in 1609, but the fortification displayed in this 1861 print was completed in 1834 and named in honor of President James Monroe. After the fall of Fort Sumter, Lincoln ordered the fort to be reinforced to prevent it from meeting a similar fate. Although located in Hampton, Virginia, Fort Monroe remained in Union hands for the entirety of the war. The strategically placed stronghold served as a base for Union attacks into Virginia and also as a refuge for runaway slaves, who were freed by the Union forces if they reached the fortress.
The Hygeia Hotel was constructed in 1822 and was visited by many famous American notables, including Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, and Edgar Allen Poe. It was demolished the year after this print was produced, in order to create more space for defenses. In the print, sailing ships and a steamboat cruise past Point Comfort, which is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.
The print’s creator, Edward Sachse, moved to America from Germany sometime in the 1840s. He settled in Baltimore, working under E. Weber & Co., one of the city’s most prominent lithography firms. He established E. Sachse & Co. in 1850, specializing in bird’s eye views of Baltimore and Washington D.C. His brother Theodore joined the firm in the mid-1850s and after Edward’s death in 1873, Theodore’s son Adolph headed the company, as A. Sachse & Co., from 1877 to 1887.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
E. Sachse and Company
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
United States: Virginia, Old Point Comfort
image: 18 1/4 in x 28 in; 46.355 cm x 71.12 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Architecture, Commercial Buildings
Chronology: 1860-1869
Architecture, Domestic Buildings
Sailing Ships
Civil War
Civil War
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Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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