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New Amsterdam: the original N.Y.C.

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posted on Apr, 23 2003 @ 07:05 PM
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For most of its life, New Amsterdam had fewer than 1,000 residents, but its influence would far outstrip its size. This was the first and most important multicultural base in colonial America. While Boston and, later, Philadelphia, developed along distinctly English lines, New Amsterdam was pluralistic from the beginning. In 1643, when barely 500 people called it home, director Willem Kieft told a visiting Jesuit priest that 18 languages were spoken. In fact, according to some estimates this “Dutch” city was never more than 50 percent Dutch in its population. The other major groups included Germans, English, Africans, Scandinavians, French, and Jewish. From this tiny mix of peoples would come the structure of New York City.

Fifteen streets or so, depending on how you count them: that was the capital of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. At its southern end, Manhattan Island tapered to a smoothed point, rather like a sock, with the toes sticking out toward the harbor. Once the decision was made to make it the capital, other features of the town fell into place. The position of the fort at the end of the island naturally meant that the town would develop around it, the streets radiating northward from it and from the East River frontage. The presence of a small inlet cutting through the developing grid didn’t deter the inhabitants. They decided it was a “gracht”—a canal—and built pretty little bridges over it, as in Holland.

The so-called Castello Plan—a map drawn up in 1660—gives an excellent picture of what New Amsterdam was like at its height, just four years before the English took over and renamed it New York. Most of the individual houses indicated on the map can be identified with their owners. Other major features—the fort, gardens, windmill, the small pier—are easily recognized.




posted on Apr, 24 2003 @ 01:25 AM
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I really enjoyed reading about the historical side of NYC, thanks for posting that! With regard to the English control, it still is (at least by blood). Damned Illuminati's.



posted on Apr, 24 2003 @ 08:52 AM
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I found this information quite interesting also. I never knew that Manhatten was a Dutch colony and N.Y.C. was originally called New Amsterdam.

Appearantly, the Dutch imported African slaves to labour on the docks to load cargos bound for Amsterdam and other ports.



posted on Apr, 25 2003 @ 03:40 AM
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The Dutch bought the NY plot land to the Belgians.



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