West Point is a United States federal military reservation established by Thomas Jefferson in 1802. It comprises about 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) including the campus of the United States Military Academy, which is also frequently called "West Point" or "The Point". It is a census-designated place located in the Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York, located on the western bank of the Hudson River. The population was 6,763 at the 2010 census.
West Point, (then Fort Clinton) was a fortified site during the Revolutionary War. Originally picked because of the abnormal S-curve in the Hudson at this point, it was founded by military engineer, Polish Colonel Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko. It was manned by a small garrison of Continental soldiers through the entirety of the war. A greatiron chain was laid across the Hudson at this point in order to impede British Navy vessels, but it was never tested by the British. The site comprised multiple redoubts, including Fort Putnam, which is still preserved in a Revolutionary-period design.In perhaps the most infamous act of treason in American history, General Benedict Arnold attempted to turn the site over to the British Army in 1780 for a bribe consisting of a commission as a Brigadier General in the British Army and a cash reward of £20,000 (about $1.3M in 2009 dollars). However, Arnold's plot failed when British Major John André was captured as a spy by the Americans. Arnold received a decreased cash reward of £6,000 (roughly $350,000) but was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the British Army.The United States Military Academy was established at West Point in 1802 and has the longest continuous service of any United States military installation and is the nation's oldest service academy.