Old Manhattan

The Garden Party that Led to the American Revolution

By the middle of the 18th century, New York and the other American colonies were becoming rich.  Trade with Europe and her Caribbean sugar colonies was extremely profitable and virtually tax-free.  But it would not remain tax-free for long.

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The Ratzer Map & Modern New York Landmarks

Created by British Officer Bernard Ratzer around 1769, this map of Manhattan depicts its 30,000 residents living below Chambers Street.  North of that were rolling pastures and farms, connected to the city by the Bowery Road running up the middle of the island, and the Greenwich Road along the Hudson.  The word ‘Bowery’ came from the Dutch ‘Baueries’, or farms that lay along it.

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The Expanding Manhattan Coastline

Since the days of Dutch New York, Manhattan island has undergone massive transformation to its coastline.  The first land reclamation was undertaken by Peter Stuyvesant upon taking over as the colony’s governor in 1646.  Hoping to facilitate waste disposal and transportation, he organized the excavation of the canal along what is now Broad St.  Back then, this was still called New Amsterdam, and the Dutch were great believers in canals.  

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