On the morning of July 5, 1776, the Second Continental Congress authorized the Committee of Safety to purchase a 96 acre tract of farm land in Billingsport, New Jersey (a section of Paulsboro). This was the first land purchase made by the United States of America. As such, it became the “Birthplace of Homeland Security.” During late August 1776, Thaddeus Kosciuszko was commissioned as a Colonel. General George Washington immediately sent Kosciuszko to Billingsport to select the exact location and draw plans for a fort. On October 2, 1777, 1,500 seasoned British troops attached and occupied Fort Billingsport. The guerilla tactics of the New Jersey militia resulted in losses to British soldiers foraging for food and supplies. As a result, on October 5th the British army evacuated Fort Billingsport. A dispatch from General Washington written on November 6, 1777 stated, “I beg liberty to repeat that Billingsport is of far more Importance than all the Forts and Gallies put together…”
The site of the fort is now marked by several monuments and is located in Fort Billingsport Park in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
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Hours: The park is open from dawn until sunset daily.
FROM THE NORTH:
Take I-295 South to Exit 18. Keep right at the fork in the ramp. Follow signs for Paulsboro. Stay right on the ramp until traffic signal at the top of the ramp. Turn left onto Delaware Street. Follow Delaware Street for 1.7 miles to the entrance to Fort Billingsport Park
FROM THE SOUTH:
Take I-295 North to Exit 18. Follow ramp on right to traffic signal. Go straight through signal to next traffic signal. Turn left at traffic signal onto Delaware Street. Follow Delaware Street for 1.7 miles to the entrance to Fort Billingsport Park.
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