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History of NYC - 1600s

In the 1620’s, the Dutch settled what would be known as New Amsterdam – a modern european village in a pristine New World. For four decades it endured, until the first Anglo-Dutch war which led to the Netherlands surrendering the colony to Great Britain, eventually leading to the creation of New York in its place.


1626: Purchase of the Island of Manahatta

A letter written by merchant Peter Schaghen to directors of the Dutch East India Company stated that Manhattan was purchased for 60 guilders worth of trade.

1630: Coat of Arms of New Netherland

Much of the symbolism of New York's Official seal is derived from it's Dutch roots in the form of New Amsterdam's Official Coat of Arms.

1650: Fort Amsterdam

Fort Amsterdam circa 1650. Taken from "De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weireld," by Arnoldus Monatanus, Amsterdam

1660: Residence of Jacob Leisler

Illustration of the home of German-born colonist and entrepreneur Jacob Leisler located on "the Strand", or what we know today as Whitehall Street.

1660: Map of New Amsterdam, Manhattan Island

An illustrated map displaying early settlements and boundaries of New Amsterdam - a fledgling town occupied by an increasing amount of Dutch settlers.

1664: Earliest View of New Amsterdam

Earliest known image of New Amsterdam from a copperplate made by Augustyn Heermanns.

1667: New Amsterdam Harbor

Illustration of New Amsterdam, a small city on Manhattan Island, New-Holland, North America. The image depicts the harbor and multiple ships taking port.

1674: The Blockhouse and City Gate

View of the Schoeinge or street piling on the East River shore near present Coenties Slip - the dock and river front to Wall Street

1680: Corner of Exchange Place & Broad Street

Colorized illustration of pedestrians in front of a Dutch-style house, constructed on the north east corner of Exchange Place & Broad Street.


Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1700s

During the 18th Century, New York City was still largely rural, but rapidly expanding as more settlers arrived from Europe. The city would also play instrumental roles in attain... Continue Reading

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History of NYC - 10,000+ Years Ago

Learn all about NYC’s fascinating past by exploring the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.


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