A stroll down the Battery Park promenade in 1827. Castle Williams guards the harbor from Governor’s Island across the water. Manhattan still retained some of its easy colonial lifestyle, but the Erie Canal, completed two years before, will help change all that. By connecting the harvests of the Great Plains to the Atlantic Ocean, it will make New York harbor the busiest in the world within a generation and catapult the city fledgling financial industry into a global behemoth.
Seen here is a view Manhattan from Castle Williams in 1820. Trinity Church is by far the tallest structure and will remain so until the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge are completed 50 years later. The East River docks are lined with tall-masted ships, and at the foot of Castle Williams, a lone sentry patrols, alert for the next war with England which never occurred.
Our Walk through Old Manhattan begins in Bowling Green, the first park in North America, passes through the Battery and ends up near Wall Street in the heart of the island’s colonial streets. Standard Oil, the world’s largest oil company; Castle Gardens, America point of entry for fifty years, Battery Park and the expansion of the coastline, New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; South Ferry and Whitehall, the Stadthuys whence Peter Stuyvesant governed the city . . . these and more are covered in during our walk.