Discover The Military Facility Hidden Beneath Alcatraz Penitentiary

Handed Over To The Military

john c fremont bought alcatraz for 5,000 dollars
Universal History Archive/Getty Images
Universal History Archive/Getty Images

In 1850, two years after California was sold to the United States, President Millard Fillmore ordered that Alcatraz Island be handed over to the military. This act turned the island into a military base, where it could be used as a defense to protect the bay.

The rightful owner of the land, John C. Fremont, expected the United States to pay him a hefty fee for the island. His investment was about to pay huge dividends. Or was it?