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The Evolution of New York City up to the Revolution


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From being buried under miles of stone, to the Native Americans, the Dutch, the English and up to the Revolution, this is an overview of the history and geography of New York City.

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The Evolution of New York City up to the Revolution

  1. 1. The History and Maps of the evolution of NEW YORK CITY Up To The Revolution NEW YORK MINUTE
  2. 2. The image on the previous page shows a computer rendering of what Manhattan Island looked like before it was developed. The New York area was at the edge of a large ice sheet during the last ice age, between 75,000 to 11,000 years ago. This shaped the land. When the ice sheet withdrew it scraped the surface, leaving bedrock, which is what gives Manhattan Island the solid rock base upon which the skyscrapers are built. It also separated Long Island and Staten Island from the mainland. NEW YORK MINUTE
  3. 3. Note that the shoreline of southern Manhattan is quite different. We’ll cover that in a bit. NEW YORK MINUTE
  4. 4. Geology has shaped the current Manhattan skyline. 300 million years ago when most land masses were a supercontinent called Pangaea, New York was close to the center. The Manhattan schist was buried under 8 miles of mountains, higher than Everest. This tremendous pressure formed the bedrock of the current island. The two places where the schist is closest to the surface are in Midtown Manhattan and Downtown. Thus, you can see two clusters of skyscrapers in those two areas. NEW YORK MINUTE
  6. 6. The Algonquian Native Americans, particularly the Lenape, inhabited the area. NEW YORK MINUTE
  8. 8. The first documented visit by a European was an Italian, Giovanni da Verrazzano, in 1524. He was sailing for the King of France. Which foreshadows the city’s multicultural flavor. NEW YORK MINUTE
  9. 9. Verrazzano claimed the area for France. Just think: New York City could have been New Paris City. No one knows Verrazzano’s fate. There is some speculation he was captured and eaten on a later voyage. NEW YORK MINUTE
  10. 10. The next year, 1525, a Spanish expedition led by a Portuguese Captain, Estevao Gomes, charted the mouth of the Hudson. Thus the first map to show the east coast of North America, the Padron Real of 1527, has the area named: Tierra de Esteban Gomez.
  11. 11. Gomez named the Hudson River the Rio de San Antonio. So New York could also have been called San Antonio. NEW YORK MINUTE
  12. 12. In 1609, Henry Hudson, while searching for the mythical Northwest Passage to the Far East, entered New York Harbor. He sailed up the Hudson past Albany in search of a through route. He claimed the area for the Dutch East India Company. And thus begins the colonized history of the area. NEW YORK MINUTE
  13. 13. Two years later, while searching for the Northwest Passage in the large bay that would later be named for him in Canada, his crew mutinied, casting Hudson, his son, and seven others adrift in the bay. They have never been found. NEW YORK MINUTE
  15. 15. While the English settled Jamestown in 1607 and Plymouth in 1620, the Dutch established a trading post, Fort Orange, in the vicinity of Albany in 1614. It was five miles south of where the Mohawk joins the Hudson River. In May, 1624, 30 families landed at Governor’s Island in New York harbor. This was the beginning of New Amsterdam. NEW YORK MINUTE
  16. 16. 1660 Map of New Amsterdam NEW YORK MINUTE Note the wall, which later becomes Wall Street.
  17. 17. New Amsterdam became New York in 1664. The city’s population was around 2,000. There was no centralized plan and the city grew organically. On the southern end of the island many of the original Dutch streets remain and the ones that came after tended to be short and narrow. The rest of the island of Manhattan was mostly meadows, farms, ponds and marshes. Roads tended to follow the easiest terrain. NEW YORK MINUTE
  19. 19. New York was named after the Duke of York, who later became King James II. He was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. When he died his body was apportioned with the heart going to a convent, the brain to a college, his entrails split and given to a church and college and the flesh from his right arm to an order of nuns. That’s just weird. But interesting. NEW YORK MINUTE
  20. 20. In 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, a Dutch captain captured the city and named it New Orange after William III, the Prince of Orange. So the city could have been called New Orange. Nope. The city was returned to the English the following year. NEW YORK MINUTE
  21. 21. In 1702 a yellow fever epidemic wiped out 10% of the population. The native population of Lenape was now down to less than 200 members. NEW YORK MINUTE
  22. 22. In the early 1700s, New York became a center for the slave trade. Outside of Charleston, SC, NYC had the highest percentage of households with slaves (42%). The African Burial Ground National Memorial was dedicated in 2007 on Broadway in lower Manhattan. NEW YORK MINUTE
  23. 23. The African Burial Ground National Memorial 290 Broadway NEW YORK MINUTE
  24. 24. In 1754 Kings College was founded. It would later become Columbia University. It was located in lower Manhattan next to Trinity Church. A member of the Class of 1777, Alexander Hamilton, was known for arguing with his professors. NEW YORK MINUTE
  25. 25. The largest battle of the Revolution took place in New York. The Battle of Long Island in August 1776. We lost. NEW YORK MINUTE
  26. 26. The Revolution almost ended on 11 September 1776. The Staten Island Peace Conference. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin met with Admiral Howe. However, none of them really had authority to make peace so . . . This is one of the missions in my book, Nine Eleven (Time Patrol) which posits what might have happened. NEW YORK MINUTE
  27. 27. NEW YORK MINUTE For a slideshow on this event, click on the image.
  28. 28. New York City was the center of British forces during the Revolution. This is a British map from 1781 of the area. NEW YORK MINUTE
  29. 29. More American soldiers and sailors died in prison ships (primarily Wallabout Bay in the East River, now Fort Greene Park) than in all the battles of the Revolution: over 11,500. NEW YORK MINUTE
  30. 30. New York City was occupied by the British for the entire war. Evacuation Day, 25 November 1783, was the date the last British troops departed. It was celebrated by New Yorkers for many years until it was superseded by Thanksgiving. NEW YORK MINUTE
  31. 31. The statue of George Washington in Union Square Park commemorates Washington’s return to the city on that date. It is also in a scene in New York Minute. NEW YORK MINUTE
  32. 32. Another slideshow will show the development of the City from after the Revolution to present day. NEW YORK MINUTE
  33. 33. Click on the cover for buy links in eBook, Print and Audio Rambo meets Breaking Bad in New York City in the summer of 1977, culminating during the citywide blackout.
  34. 34. NEW YORK MINUTE Other free slideshows (loaded or will be loaded soon)
  35. 35. NEW YORK MINUTE Other free slideshows (loaded or will be loaded soon)
  36. 36. NEW YORK MINUTE Other free slideshows (loaded or will be loaded soon) And more to come!
  37. 37. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret, and feeder of Cool Gus. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains and other places, including time in the Orient studying martial arts. He now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs.