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Frémont, champion of Manifest Destiny and leader of the Bear Flag Republic, bought the island for ,000 in the name of the United States government from Francis Temple. Frémont and his heirs sued for compensation during protracted but unsuccessful legal battles that extended into the 1890s.Frémont had expected a large compensation for his initiative in purchasing and securing Alcatraz Island for the U. Following the acquisition of California by the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) which ended the Mexican–American War, and the onset of the California Gold Rush the following year, the U. Army began studying the suitability of Alcatraz Island for the positioning of coastal batteries to protect the approaches to San Francisco Bay. Tower, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began fortifying the island, work which continued until 1858, eventuating in Fortress Alcatraz.Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours.Visitors can reach the island in a little under 15 minutes by ferry ride from Pier 33, located between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.The first Spaniard to document the island was Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, who charted San Francisco Bay and named one of the three islands he identified as the "La Isla de los Alcatraces," which translates as "The Island of the Pelicans," ("pelican").Over the years, the Spanish version "Alcatraz" became popular and is now widely used. A gun fired over the feathered legions caused them to fly up in a great cloud and with a noise like a hurricane." The earliest recorded owner of the island of Alcatraz is Julian Workman, to whom it was given by Mexican governor Pio Pico in June 1846, with the understanding that Workman would build a lighthouse on it.

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In addition, citizens were increasingly protesting the environmental effects of sewage released into San Francisco Bay from the approximately 250 inmates and 60 Bureau of Prisons families on the island.On June 11, 1962, Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin carried out one of the most intricate escapes ever devised.Because the penitentiary cost much more to operate than other prisons (nearly per prisoner per day, as opposed to per prisoner per day at Atlanta), and half a century of salt water saturation had severely eroded the buildings, then Attorney General Robert F.At this time it also served as the San Francisco Arsenal for storage of firearms to prevent them falling into the hands of Confederate sympathizers.Alcatraz, built as a "heavily fortified military site on the West Coast", formed a "triangle of defense" along with Fort Point and Lime Point, and ensured security to the bay.

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