Ellis Island: the Beginning for Many Americans

Ellis Island is a small island with a big history. The island was called Gull Island by the Mohegan tribe in the 1600s and was just short of three acres. When Dutch settlers discovered its oyster beds in 1628, the island was renamed Oyster Island. In 1765 it was renamed Gibbet Island after the instrument used to hang Anderson the Pirate. Around 1776 Samuel Ellis purchased the property and renamed it Ellis Island. That name finally stuck.

In 1785 Ellis attempted to sell the island, but had no luck. In 1794, Ellis died and New York bought the island from his family for ten thousand dollars. The federal government took over the island in 1808 and used it as a military post where munition