James Island is an island on the River Gambia. It is the site where European established a settlement as early as the 16th century. The earliest settlers were Baltic Germans who named it St Andrews Island. The settlers erected a fort which they named after Fort James, after James Kettler, Duke of Courland.
When the British took over the island in 1664, they renamed Fort James as well as James Island after James, the Duke of York, who later ascended the throne of England as King James II. In the subsequent centuries the fort changed hands between the British and the French. It served as an important trading post for African slaves until its abandonment in 1870. (source: World Heritage Site)