History & Culture
Fort Monroe was designed by the French military engineer Brigadier General Simon Bernard, Fort Monroe (sometimes called Fortress Monroe) was conceived as an element of the Third System of coastal defenses outlined by Congress in the aftermath of the War of 1812.
The history of Fort Monroe holds a vital link to a more complete understanding of freedom and equality in the United States. Click here for more stories about Fort Monroe and its connection to social injustice on the landscape.
Did You Know?
Hampton University can trace its existence to the American Missionary Association and Mary S. Peake, its first Black Teacher. Peake taught former slaves encamped for protection near Fort Monroe and had previously defied Virginia law to teach slaves to read and write.