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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 attaining independence from English rule in 1776, solidifying it’s role as an enterprising city of a fledgling nation.


1776: Entry of Royal Troops into New York

Illustration shows British troops marching down the street in New York City.

1775: New York Harbor

Engraving of New York's harbor filled with ships and commerce. Etched by the artist Balthasar Friedrich Leizelt in 1775.

1760: Winter in Brooklyn

A painting of Brooklyn after a snow storm in 1760, rendered by artist Francis Guy. During this time the Kings County was still quite rural.

1765: View of Harlem from Morrisania

Artist's rendering of Harlem drawn from the perspective of Morrisania - a rural neighborhood in the southwestern Bronx.

1760: Southwest View of NYC from New Jersey

Artist's depiction of a sunset over New Jersey, with the island of Manhattan in the distance with a visible amount of traffic in the harbor.

1775: Old Post Office

Artist's sketch of one of the city's oldest post office branches which is no longer standing. Artwork by John Briem, colorized by Fine Print.

1776: First Reading of the Declaration of Independence

Illustration by A.R. Waud depicting the very first reading of the Declaration of Independence by George Washington at City Hall Park on July 9, 1776.

1776: Ruins of Trinity Church

Painting by Thomas Barrow Trinity church in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War after it was burned to the ground by clergy loyal to Britain.

1778: NYC from Brooklyn Heights

A 1778 illustration of Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights, NYC's first historic district. Pictured is the current location of the neighborhood's famous Promenade.

1783: George Washington's Victorious Return

A large crowd gather at the corner of Third Avenue and the Bowery to witness George Washington's grand entry into New York on November 25th, 1783.

1785: Broadway and Canal Street

A painting by Thomas Horner depicting each building from the Hygeian Depot corner of Canal Street to beyond Niblo's Garden in the year 1785.


Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1800-1850

During this period, the Erie Canal begins operating - a game changer for the City and its place as a nexus of trade and economics. The New York Stock & Exchange Board is establi... 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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