Part 1 - Prehistory
From WoD Gotham
Part 1 of New York City's Mundane Historical Timeline.
Skip to: Part 2 - The British and Revolution
Prehistory-Dutch Colonial Period Up to 1674
- Prehistory – 1613 Lenape peoples inhabit New York Bay and the Tri-State area.
- 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano discovers New York Bay.
- 1609 Henry Hudson explores and maps the area while employed with the Dutch East India Company and discovers Manhattan Island.
- 1613 the Dutch under Christiaan Hendriksen established a trading post for the fur trade on the western shore of Manhattan Island in the area of present Church Street where the WTC was located. Beginnings of the area as a financial and trade center.
- 1613 First African arrives in the area. Jan Rodrigues
- 1614 and 1616 Further Dutch trading posts were established in the area, creating a network for the fur trade. Established trade with natives for beaver pelts. Within 20 years the beavers in the area are all but hunted out. Native wampum is devalued as well and so native peoples soon become economically dependent on the Dutch.
- 1614 New Netherland was established as a Dutch colony which extended over the Tri-State Region and Hudson River Valley.
- 1623-1624 The Dutch under the Dutch West India Company (WIC) built Fort Amsterdam in what was later to be the U.S. Custom House next to Bowling Green Park in Lower Manhattan and the foot of Broadway. The fort’s purpose was to protect Dutch trading interests from other European powers. The city of New Amsterdam is established as a community grows around the Fort.
- 1625 First European is born in the New Netherland colony.
- 1626 Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island and Staten Island from native people in exchange for trade goods. This is an example of economic exploitation of native peoples.
- 1637 English Settlers from the Massachusetts Colony began to create homesteads without permission around present day Hartford, Connecticut. Basis for later competition between the English and Dutch.
- 1638 Willem Kieft becomes director of the struggling New Netherland colony.
- 1638 Peter Minuit having been dismissed as director of New Netherland years earlier established New Sweden in Delaware Bay to the south. Basis for competition between the Swedes and Dutch.
- 1643 Kieft's War begins as Kieft attempts to exact tribute from native peoples in order to bolster profits as he is under pressure by the WIC to make the colony flourish.
- 1643 Pavonia Massacre - One of the first documented acts of genocide committed by Europeans in the New World.
- 1643 British colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven form the New England Confederation – a British political and military alliance.
- 1645 Kieft's War ends. The arrival of ships from Holland, reinforce Dutch forces and overwhelm native tribes and a treaty is signed.
- 1647 Petrus Stuyvesant replaces Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland.
- 1650 Unable to protect or populate the northern reaches of New Netherland, Petrus Stuyvesant signs the Treaty of Hartford, giving the Connecticut River region to the British colonists of the New England Confederation.
- 1652-1654 First Anglo-Dutch War
- 1652 New Netherland given self-rule.
- 1653 New Amsterdam incorporated as a city.
- August 22, 1654, the first Ashkenazic Jews arrived with West India Company passports from Amsterdam to be followed in September by a sizable group of Sephardic Jews, without passports, fleeing from the Portuguese reconquest of Dutch possessions in Brazil. The legal-cultural foundation of toleration as the basis for plurality in New Amsterdam superseded matters of personal intolerance or individual bigotry. Hence, and in spite of certain private objections (including that of director-general Petrus Stuyvesant), the Sephardim were granted permanent residency on the basis of "reason and equity" in 1655.
- 1655 Peach Tree War
- 1658 Dutch re-purchase lands around present day Jersey City to further formalize treaties with native tribes. This effectively gives the Dutch all the land west of the Hudson and directly across the river from Manhattan Island.
- 1661 Bergen Square is established as a settlement in present day Jersey City. Stuyvesant gives the settlement self-rule and so it is the first independent settlement in New Jersey.
- 1664 Dissatisfied with Dutch rule and the inability of the Dutch colonial government to protect them from hostile natives, the colonists of New Netherland welcomed a British fleet and Stuyvesant negotiated the surrender of the colony to the British. Surrender included a guarantee of the freedom of worship which then became part of the city's foundation. They rename New Amsterdam to New York City.
- 1665 Thomas Willett the first of the mayors of New York.
- 1672 Third Anglo-Dutch War begins - an enterprise that will bankrupt the Dutch Republic as they are simultaneously attacked by the French, the English and the Bishops of Cologne and Munster.
- 1673 Dutch sail back into New York Bay with 21 ships and retake the colony. They chose Anthony Colve as governor and renamed the city “New Orange”, reflecting the installation of William of Orange as Lord-Lieutenant (stadtholder) of Holland in 1672. William of Orange was also William III, King of England.
- 1674 Third Anglo-Dutch War ends with the Treaty of Westminster and New Netherland is formally ceded to England.