Curated by Fine Print Art

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History101.NYC is an ad-free learning resource available to the public at no charge. The project is dedicated to exploring New York’s fascinating past. We restore vintage photographs and prints that document the City's history and heritage. We also research the natural forces that shaped the environment, along with the people who formed the landscape and culture.

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.

Artist Credit: Benjamin West Kilburn. Reprinted with permission.

1776: Entry of Royal Troops into New York

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

Artist Credit: Franz Xaver Habermann. Reprinted with permission.

1775: New York Harbor

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

Artist Credit: Balthasar Friedrich Leizelt. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Francis Guy. Reprinted with permission.

1765: View of Harlem from Morrisania

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

Artist Credit: G. Hayward & Co. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Pierre Charles Canot. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: John Briem. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Alphonse Bigot. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: A.R. Waud. Reprinted with permission.

1776: George Washington Visiting Congress in Wall Street

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

Artist Credit: George Gibson. Reprinted with permission.

1789: George Washington at City Hall

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

Artist Credit: T.H. Matteson. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Thomas Barrow. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Archibald Robertson. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Hugh Reinagle. Reprinted with permission.

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.

Artist Credit: Thomas Horner. Reprinted with permission.

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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