Curated by Fine Print New York • 315 Madison Avenue • • 212.619.5446

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.

1771: Treaty of Penn with Native Americans

The Treaty of Shackamaxon, also called the Great Treaty and Penn's Treaty, was a legendary treaty between William Penn and Tamanend of the Lenape signed in 1682.

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.

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.

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: George Washington Visiting Congress in Wall Street

Illustration of George Washington arriving at Wall Street in a horse and carriage.

1789: George Washington at City Hall

Painting of George Washington delivering his inaugural address in the old City Hall in the Spring of 1789.

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.

1788: Elgin Garden on Fifth Avenue

The Elgin Botanic Garden was the first public botanical garden in the United States, established in 1801 by New York physician David Hosack.

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.

View All16Images

Subscribe to History101.NYC and get updates on new photos and exclusive promotional discounts


315 Madison Avenue • NYC 10017 • (212)619-5446 •

History 101 NewsFor License, Media & Press Inquiries Please Contact Us

History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge.
This project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating heritage through the restoration of vintage photographs and prints.