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American Revolution History by
American Revolution History by
Legend: Selected Site Area Merchant Site Historic Site Historic Marker Historic Shipwreck
Marker data courtesy of   Some map icons courtesy of Map Icons Collection

1776 Mayflower : A Story of Courage, Community, and War
George Washington: The Crossing 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
The Federalist Papers 1776
Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West
Click here for additional books

George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War American Revolution (DK Eyewitness Books)
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery Molly Pitcher : Young Patriot (Childhood of Famous Americans)
We the Kids : The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States King George: What Was His Problem?: The Whole Hilarious Story of the Revolution
A Young Patriot : The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy Now &  Ben : The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

Pirates and Traders: Gold! Hidden Treasures Hidden Object
Dedaloop (Kindle Fire Edition) Word Treasure
Treasure Island, The Experience Robinson Crusoe
The Patriots Hero Tales from American History - AudioBook

Selected Site

Thomas Paine

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024


"Common Sense"                     "American Crisis"
  January 10, 1776                   December 19, 1776

Thomas Paine volunteered for the Continental Army. He marched to Amboy, New Jersey, located off the tip of Staten Island where the British began the invasion of New York. He arrived before the first 9,3000 Redcoats landed and stayed until the fighting went north. Paine then went to Fort Lee where General Nathaniel Greene appointed him as one of his aides. While stationed at Fort Lee, he authored "The American Crisis" pamphlet which contained the famous quote "These are the times that try men’s souls." Fort Lee (Monument Park area) is the site where this most influential writing was conceived. Paine’s passion and writings about freedom had a great influence on many of the delegates that created the Declaration of Independence.

Click on heading to visit the website (excludes markers).

Nearby Historic Sites

Dyckman Farmhouse

4881 Broadway at 204th Street
New York, NY, 10034

Hamilton Grange National Memorial

287 Convent Ave
New York, NY, 10031

Morris-Jumel Mansion

65 Jumel Terrace
New York, NY, 10032

NJ Palisades

2400 Hudson Ter
Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Click on any heading to visit the website.

Nearby Historical Markers

"Achter Col" Colony

Bogota, NJ, 07603

In 1642, when this area was part of New Netherland, Johannes Winckelman built near here a ninety-foot long fur trading post and farmhouse - a building which sheltered both settlers and cattle. During the 1643 Indian war it was protected by five Dutch soldiers but on the night of September 17, 1643, it was attacked and burned to the ground by the Hackensack and Tappan Indians. This section of Bogota was known as "Winkelman" for many years.

Sponsored by Ralph H. Hall Post No. 5561, V.F.W. and Ladies’ Aux. 1974

Abatis Construction at Fort Lee

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Fortifications were protected by obstacles, such as an abatis, or other major hindrances to assaulting troops. They were easily placed before a parapet, or breastwork, wherever trees were plentiful and were used to supplement defensive rampart walls or barricades.

Derived from the French word meaning heap of material thrown together, the abatis was built of piles of trees or large branches sharpened to a point and turned toward the enemy’s approach. They were entangled to form an impassable barrier for cavalry and infantry.

At Fort Lee, maps show than an abatis was placed to provide protection from an assault from the northwest exposure.

The use of an abatis either alone or together with other entanglements, led to an extensive tree-chopping program to supply logs for these obstructions and for battery emplacements as well as to provide timber for huts and firewood for cooking and heating.

Maps show that the fortification built on the high ground to the west was rectangular in shape with bastions at each corner. It undoubtedly was built to provide additional protection to the important batteries on the bluff and to prevent their capture by a land assault.

American Redoubt

New York, NY, 10034



Battle of Harlem Heights

New York, NY, 10027

In grateful remembrance of
the brave soldiers
of New York, New Jersey,
Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Pennsylvania,
Maryland and Virginia
who under
General George Washington
fought and died on this site
for liberty
in their country’s struggle
against British tyranny.

Dedicated by the
Daughters of the Defenders of the Republic, U.S.A.
Amanda Shaw Hirsch
Founder & President-General
May 16, 1961

Battle of Harlem Heights

NEW YORK, NY, 10027

To commemorate the Battle of Harlem Heights, won by Washington’s troops on this site, September 16, 1776.
Erected by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York.

Brinkerhoff-Demarest House

Teaneck, NJ, 07666

This old house was built around 1735 by Hendricks Brinkerhoff on land owned by his grandfather since the 17th century. An excellent example of early Dutch Architecture, it has been in the possession of the Brinkerhoff and Demarest descendants since it was built, and is one of the oldest in Bergen County.

Sponsored by Bergen County Post No. 208 American Legion The first Women’s Post in N.J. in the Tercentenary year 1964.

Burdett's Landing

Edgewater, NJ, 07020

In the time of the revolution, the road turned here and followed the brook to Peter Burdett’s ferry, the important Hudson River approach to General Nathaniel Greene’s encampment at Fort Lee, on the hill, and the connecting link with the American forces on the opposite shore.

South of the brook stood the Burdett homestead, Washington’s local headquarters.

Washington, Greene, Putnam and others crossed frequently here, dispatch-bearers arrived and departed, troops and military stores were landed at the wharf.

A memorial near the river recalls the engagements of August 18, October 8, 9, and 27, 1776, between General Mercer’s shore battery of eighteen-pounders and certain British ships-of-war.

Prepared for the mayor and council by the Edgewater Committee on Historic Sites, Edgewater, New Jersey.
July 4, 1952


Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

The word "cannon" is derived from the Latin canna, meaning tube, pipe or gun and dates back to the 13th Century. In the 1400’s, the term described a cylinder made from iron bars "soldered" together and fortified with iron hoops.

By the 18th Century, cannon barrels were cast in one piece and designated by the weight of the shot they fired. The largest weapons at Fort Lee were the 32 pounders which had an overall length of 10 feet and were able to develop a high muzzle velocity of up to 1,300 feet per second.

Loading and Firing
The gunnery crew, consisting of 7 to 12 men, inserted the powder charge and compacted it with a rammer. The projectile, either a solid shot or bar shot for ripping and splintering masts and rigging or an incendiary shell for setting ship decks afire - was loaded into the barrel. The cannoneer, sighting the target and depending on experience and long hours of practice, aimed the piece and ordered the cannon fired. A burning stick, or lint-stock, was used to ignite the powder in the vent.

Colonel William Baxter

New York, NY, 10040

In grateful remembrance of
the patriot volunteers of
the Pennsylvania Flying Camp
led by
Colonel William Baxter
of Bucks County, Pennsylvania
who with many of his men fell
while defending this height
16 November 1776
and was buried near this spot.
This rock
stood within the lines of
Fort George
the principal work constructed by
the British and Hessian forces
who occupied Laurel Hill
1776 - 1783

The Manhattan Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
placed this memorial
23 June 1923

De Mott - Westervelt House

Englewood, NJ, 07631

Built about 1808 by Henry DeMott, this sandstone Dutch Colonial house was once attached to the pre-Revolutionary homestead of Albert Lydecker. Material from the older house used in the present frame wing built c. 1810 by Peter Westervelt. The Westervelt family owned the homestead until 1936. Adjacent Dutch Barn is an adaptation of the European "bouwhuys", or farmhouse, where men and cattle lived under one roof.

Sponsored by the Englewood Bicentennial Committee. 1976

English Neighborhood Reformed Church

Ridgefield, NJ, 07657

Organized in 1770 as a Dutch Reformed Church, the first building, erected in 1768, was located in Leonia. After the Revolution, it was decided to "Erect a New One in A more Proper Place". In 1793 the present church was built on the farm of Cornelius Vreelandt in the locality once known as the "Point". Stone from the first building was used in construction of this church which has survived without major alteration.
Sponsored by the Exchange Club of Ridgefield

Fort Lee Historic Park

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Beneath these cliffs, Henry Hudson’s Half-Moon was welcomed by the Lenni Lenape Indians on September 3, 1609.

Nearly 167 years later, this giant Bluff Rock became a strategic stronghold in the American War for Independence as the conflict raged within view of this spot from early July through November 20, 1776. Around this fortification, first called "The Mountain," then "Fort Constitution" and later "Fort Lee," the American defense fought for control of the Hudson River.

General Washington laid out the emplacements on this site to delay British plans to crush the American rebellion.

Fort Lee, furnished with heavy artillery and paired with Manhattan’s Fort Washington, located across the river, served as a formidable obstacle to British warships attempting to sail along the Hudson River.

Fort Lee Road

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Fort Lee Road (Main Street) was the main roadway to General Washington’s Headquarters in Hackensack. Supplies and men were in constant movement on the road to re-supply Fort Washington in New York. The Continental Army began it’s "Retreat to Victory" on this road. Its link to the New Bridge Crossing on the Hackensack River saved the Continental Army from capture. This would have ended the War for Independence.

Fort Tryon

New York, NY, 10040

1776            1909
Hudson Fulton Celebration Commission

On this hill top stood
Fort Tryon
the northern out work of
Fort Washington.
Its gallant defence against
The Hessian Troops
The Maryland and Virginia
16 November 1776
was shared by
Margaret Corbin
the first American woman
to take a soldier’s part
in the War for Liberty

Erected under the auspices of
the American Scenic and Historic
Preservation Society
through the generosity of
C. K. G. Billings

Fort Washington

New York, NY, 10033

This memorial marks the site of Fort Washington, constructed by the Continental troops in the summer of 1776. Repossessed by the Americans upon their triumphal entry into the City of New York November 25, 1783.

Erected through the generosity of James Gordon Bennett by the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, November 16, 1901.

General George Washington

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

General Washington was in Fort Lee many times during the Battle of New York. His main headquarters was in Hackensack, but had a temporary headquarters in Fort Lee near Anderson Avenue and Elizabeth Street. His main objective in Fort Lee was to observe and see that Fort Washington, across the Hudson River, was well prepared for the coming battle with British forces. He also wanted to make sure that the British fleet did not sail up the Hudson River. By standing on the top of the palisades in Fort Lee, he had a good view of what was going on in the Battle of New York. General Washington was responsible for changing the name of the town from Fort Constitution to Fort Lee.

General Henry Knox

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

General Knox was the Commander of the Continental Army Artillery. He was in charge of the placement of the artillery cannons on the palisades in Fort Lee. His main objective was to stop the British fleet from sailing up the Hudson River. He was one of two generals to serve Washington throughout the Revolutionary War.

General Horatio Gates

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

General Gates was commissioned a Brigadier General and was appointed Adjutant General of the Continental Army in 1775 by orders of General Washington. He was in Fort Lee with General Washington in October 1776.

General Hugh Mercer

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Fort Lee was constructed by General Mercer on October 18, 1776 on orders from General George Washington. Originally called Fort Constitution, it was re-christened Fort Lee in honor of General Charles Lee, second in command of the Continental Army, by orders of General George Washington. Monument Park was the campgrounds for the Continental Army troops. General Mercer was killed at the Battle of Princeton on January 12, 1777.

General Nathaniel Greene

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

General Greene took command of Fort Lee on September 17, 1776 from General James Iwing. At that time there were around 2,667 troops stationed in Fort Lee. The encampment was the main quartermaster post for supplying men and equipment to Fort Washington on the New York side of the Hudson River during the Battle of New York. General Greene was a personal friend of George Washington and was one of the two generals to serve Washington throughout the war. He became a hero fighting the British in the Carolinas.

George Washington Memorial Monument

Leonia, NJ, 07605

On November 20th 1776, General George Washington and part of the Continental Army on their march from Fort Lee to Trenton passed this way.

Erected July 4th, 1915

Hamilton Grange

New York, NY, 10031

1757 * A.B., A.M., L.L.D. * 1804
Soldier * Administrator * Lawyer
Lt. Col. Staff of General Washington
Major General
Member of Congress
Member of New York Legislature
Delegate to the Constitutional Convention
First Secretary of the Treasury
Leader of the Federalist Party
* He Built This House in 1802 *

John G. Benson House

Englewood, NJ, 07631

Built c. 1800 by John G. Benson, a farmer, and from 1794 to 1797, a captain in the militia. This house, an example of post-Revolutionary War Dutch Colonial architecture, was built on property confiscated by New Jersey from the Reverend Garret Lydecker, a Tory during the American Revolution.

Sponsored by Englewood Environmental Commission 1974

Liberty Pole

Englewood, NJ, 07631

This area named for a Liberty Pole erected here before the Revolution. The strategic junction was the scene of many American and British troop movements, including the 1776 retreat of the Continental Army from Fort Lee, and British activity in 1776 and 1778. The American encampment and HQ of General Washington in 1780; also present were Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton and General Anthony Wayne. Site of the Liberty Pole Tavern.

Sponsored by the Englewood Bicentennial Committee 1976

Liberty Pole

Englewood, NJ, 07631

The Liberty Pole erected here in 1766 to celebrate repeal of Stamp Act has been replaced several times. Present one, 1964.

Margaret Cochran Corbin

New York, NY, 10040

During the British-Hessian attack on Fort Washington 16 November 1776 Margaret Corbin was wounded when she filled the post of her husband John who was killed while loading artillery. The first woman to fight as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, she is buried at West Pont.

Military Magazine

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

The military magazine derives its name from the Arabic word, "Makhazin", meaning granary, or storehouse. Revolutionary War magazines were constructed with emphasis on fire and waterproofing, easy accessibility to the guns serviced and security from enemy fire.

A typical magazine had thick native stone walls filled with soil which protected a massive brick archway where the munitions were housed. A wooden door leading to the storage area provided ready access to the gun-powder stores while minimizing the hazard of an enemy round striking the explosive powder.

To safeguard the munitions from adverse weather, a sloping board or shingled roof was built atop the stone walls to furnish a secure gunpowder storage area.

Gunpowder is a mixture of saltpeter, sulphur and charcoal. When compressed and ignited this black powder explodes and can propel shot or cannon balls from muzzle-loaded rifles, mortars and artillery.

Morris-Jumel Mansion

New York, NY, 10032

This Georgian country seat was built by Colonel Roger Morris in 1765. Colonel Morris, a Loyalist, left the house when he returned to England at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. From September 14 through October 18, 1776, the house was used as General George Washington’s headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights. Stephen Jumel, a wealthy Frenchman, purchased it in 1810, and after his death in 1832, Madame Jumel became the wife of Aaron Burr. In 1903, the City of New York bought the mansion for restoration by the Washington Headquarters Association. It is now a museum.

Old Army Road

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Old Army Road, now called Palisade Road, was used by General Washington and his staff to reach the palisades for observing movement on the Hudson River crossings and New York. The road was also used to re-supply General Knox’s artillery positioned on the palisades, as well as sending troops to Fort Washington in New York.

Palisades Interstate Park

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

Palisades Interstate Park
has been designated a
Registered National
Historic Landmark
under the provisions of the
Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935
this site possesses exceptional value
in commemorating and illustrating
the History of the United States.

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service

Paulison - Christie House

Ridgefield Park, NJ, 07660

Built about 1775 by John Paulison who owned 150 acres in what was then known as "Old Hackensack". The farm was raided by the British during the Revolutionary War. In 1826 the house was inherited by his son Paul Paulison. Purchased in 1844 by David Christie for his son Albert Brinkerhoff Christie. The farmhouse remained in the Christie family for 140 years and has seen additions and alterations over the years.
Sponsored by the Village of Ridgefield Park
In National Register of Historic Places

Revolutionary War Encampment - 1780

Teaneck, NJ, 07666

Troops of the American army camped in this vicinity from August 22 to September 3, 1780, in order to forage for food and horses. The encampment extended to the north and east of Teaneck Road for about two miles. Situated near British-held New York City and mindful of enemy danger, General George Washington urged his men to display "that conduct, fortitude and bravery which ought to distinguish troops fighting for their country".

Sponsored by Holy Name Hospital 1975

Robert Magaw Defended this Position

New York, NY, 10033

To the memory of
a brave and unselfish patriot
Robert Magaw
Colonel Commandant of
Fort Washington
who in his own words
"Actuated by the most glorious cause
that mankind ever fought in"
and specially charged with the duty
by General Washington
defended this position
in the momentous assault
November 16, 1776

Born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.......1738
Member of the Committee of Safety......1774
Major of Thompson’s Battalion..............1775
Colonel 5th Pennsylvania Battalion........1776
Commandant of Fort Washington..........1776
Captured November 16..........................1776
Exchanged October 25..........................1780
Colonel 6th Pennsylvania Regiment.......1780
Died at Carlisle, Pa., January 7...............1790

The Society of American Wars, Commandery of the State of New York erected this, his only memorial on the field of battle where his services were rendered to the cause of liberty, April 30, 1923.

Soldier Hut

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

At Fort Lee, "hutting" - the building of permanent huts - was started at General Greene’s command to:

"Fix proper places for barracks, none to be nearer the fort than 50 rods…build timber huts…boards are to be had only for the roof. The huts were to be 12 feet long by 9 feet wide, to have stone chimneys and to be ranged in proper streets."

The huts, each housing 8 men, had earth flooring with sod, mud and clay used to chink the log timbers. Stone, used for the fireplace and chimney, was cemented with clay or possibly lime mortar.

As late as 1900, just about 50 rods (825 feet) from the bastion site at the edge of Fort Lee Borough, stone heaps lined in regular rows could still be seen marking the location of some of those huts.

The Barbette Battery

Fort Lee, NJ, 07024

This battery was believed to be the "Barbette Battery" as its location commanded a large field of fire of the river, stretching North to South from the Chevaux-De-Frise to the Bluff Rock’s southern edge.

A Barbette Battery’s guns fired over a low wall rather than through openings in the battery wall and was likened to "spitting over one’s beard". The word, "barbette", is derived from the French term for "beard".

Field Cannons
It is believed that this battery consisted of five heavy iron cannons capable of firing 24 pound balls. The wide area covered by this emplacement required its guns to be mobile and they were therefore mounted on traveling carriages enabling artillery fire to be aimed at several ships or to be concentrated on a single target.

The battery was constructed on a stone base and its cannon platform was covered with planking sloped upward in the rear to lessen cannon recoil. The parapet was built of fascines and was filled with earth. The battery wings were built higher to afford protection from enemy fire.

The First Line of Defence

New York, NY, 10031

This stone
marks the position of
the First Line of Defence
constructed across these
heights and bravely defended by
the American Army

The original plaque at this site was erected by
the Washington Heights Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
December 29, 1909
* * *
The replacement marker honors the 225th anniversary of The Battle of Harlem Heights
fought on September 16, 1776, during the Revolutionary War.

The Main Line of Defences

New York, NY, 10032

Upon this site and across these heights stood the main line of defences thrown up by Washington’s Army September 1776. It was held until Fort Washington fell on November 16th, when part of the fighting occurred at this point.

Vreeland House

Leonia, NJ, 07605

Located in old English Neighborhood on land purchased by Dirck Vreeland before the Revolution, the homestead stretched between the Hudson River and Overpeck Creek. The stone wing of this house was built about 1786 and later was remodeled. Son Michael D. Vreeland added the main Dutch style house about 1815 which is noted for its Federal decorative detail. It remained in the Vreeland family until 1928.

Sponsored by Walter and Jean Cronan 1985.
In National Register of Historic Places


Edgewater, NJ, 07020

Colony of David DeVries
The first known colony in present Bergen County was founded in 1640 by David Pietersz DeVries, a Dutch explorer, sea captain and patroon. Then part of New Netherland, the plantation included the Borough of Edgewater. Here, DeVries built his house and raised tobacco, corn and cattle. In 1643 the settlement was destroyed in a war with the Hackensack and Tappan Indians.

Community Histories

Fort Lee
New York


Native American people are known to have lived in the vicinity before the arrival of colonists in the 17th century. The Lenape were a local tribe associated with the neighboring borough of Fort Lee, and the first European settler bought 500 acres (202 ha) of land from the Tappan Indians. This colonist was David Pietersz Devries (also transliterated as David Pietersen de Vries), who established the settlement of Vriessendael in what is now Edgewater. A historical plaque placed in Veteran's Field by the Bergen County Historical Society names Vriessendael as the first known colony in Bergen County with a founding date of 1640. Vriessendael was destroyed in 1643 in Kieft's War by Indians reacting to foolish actions by the Director General of the Dutch West India Company, who lived across the river in New Amsterdam, as Manhattan was then known. In pioneer days, River Road was known as the Hackensack Turnpike, and Ox Hill Road was an important route to the top of the Palisades Cliff. While Oxen Hill Road still exists as a thoroughfare, another Colonial hallmark and major local industry has only recently disappeared: shad fishing. The Undercliff section in the northern section of Edgewater was originally a colony of fishermen. In the 1980s there were still about 100 commercial fishermen in New Jersey harvesting shad from their annual spring run from the Atlantic Ocean up the Hudson River to spawn. Now there are none.

Etienne Burdett began ferry service between north Edgewater and the island of Manhattan in 1758. His gambrel-roofed house in what is now the Edgewater Colony stood until 1899. The ferry service at Burdett's Landing, which was located at the southern base of the bluff of Fort Lee, proved valuable to the American cause during the Revolutionary War. The ferry functioned as the link for supplies, information and transportation between Fort Lee on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and Fort Washington on the New York side.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article ",_New_Jersey", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0


Englewood, like the rest of New Jersey, was populated by Lenape Native Americans prior to European colonization. The Lenape who lived in the Englewood region were of the "turtle clan" which used a stylized turtle as its symbol, but little else is known of those inhabitants.

When Henry Hudson sailed up what would become known as the Hudson River in 1607, he claimed the entirety of the watershed of the river, including Englewood, for the Netherlands, making the future region of Englewood a part of New Netherland. However, the region remained largely unsettled under Dutch rule as the Dutch did little to encourage settlement north of modern Hudson County, as the imposing New Jersey Palisades blocked expansion on the west bank of the Hudson.

In 1664, after the Dutch surrendered all of New Netherland to England, the rate of settlement picked up. The English were generous with land grants, and many families, not only English but also Dutch and Huguenot, settled the area, which during the colonial era was known as the English Neighborhood. Street names in Englewood still recall the relative diversity of its earliest settlers; Brinckerhoff, Van Brunt, Lydecker, Van Nostrand and Durie (Duryea), all Dutch; Demarest (de Marais), DeMott and Lozier (Le Sueur), French Huguenot; and Moore, Lawrence, Cole and Day, English.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article ",_New_Jersey", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

Fort Lee

Fort Lee is named for General Charles Lee after George Washington and his troops had camped at Mount Constitution overlooking Burdett's Landing, in defense of New York City. It was during Washington's retreat in November 1776 (beginning along a road which is now Main Street) that Thomas Paine composed his pamphlet, The American Crisis, which began with the recognized phrase, "These are the times that try men's souls". These events are recalled at Monument Park and Fort Lee Historic Park.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article ",_New_Jersey", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

New York

Archaeological excavations indicate that the first humans settled the area as early as 9,000 years ago. These early inhabitants left behind hunting implements and bone heaps. The area was abandoned, however, possibly because the warming climate of the region lead to the local extinction of many larger game species upon which the early inhabitants depended for food. A second wave of inhabitants entered the region approximately 3,000 years ago and left behind more advanced hunting implements such as bows and arrows. The remains of approximately 80 such early encampments have been found throughout the city. The region has probably remained continually inhabited from that time.

Giovanni da Verrazzano visited this place in 1524 and named it New Angoulême in honour of his employer the French king Francis I. Although Verrazzano sailed into the harbor, he is not thought to have traveled farther than the present site of the bridge that bears his name, and instead sailed back into the Atlantic. It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was more extensively mapped. He arrived at the island, which would later be known as Manhattan Island on September 12, 1609, continued up the river that bears his name, the Hudson River, and finally reached the site where New York State's capital city, Albany, now stands.

In 1613, the Dutch established a trading post on the western shore of Manhattan Island in the area of present Church Street where the WTC was located; this is the beginning of a global financial center, obtaining thus a commercial spirit from its very humble beginnings.

Among its first settlers were Christiaan Hendriksen (who could be considered as a founder of New York City) and Jan Rodrigues the first black man to live in the city.

In 1614 the New Netherland company was established and consequently they settled a second fur trading post in what is today Albany, called Fort Nassau. This is considered one of the oldest capital cities in the US. In 1616 they also settled a trading post in the Kingston area.

It was not until 1623, however, that the Dutch interests in the area were other than commercial and under the auspices of the newly formed Dutch West India Company they built Fort Amsterdam in 1624, a crude fortification that stood on the location of the present Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green. The fort was designed mainly to protect the company's trading operations further upriver from attack by other European powers. Within a year, a small settlement, called New Amsterdam had grown around the fort, with a population that included mostly the garrison of company troops, as well as a contingent of Walloon, French and Flemish huguenot families who were brought in primarily to farm the nearby land of lower Manhattan and supply the company operations with food. Sarah Rapalje (b.1625) was the first European born in the future New York City. Later in 1626, Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island and Staten Island from native people in exchange for trade goods.

The Dutch took heavy advantage of the Native American reliance on wampum as a trading medium by exchanging cheap European-made metal tools for beaver pelts. By using such tools, the Natives greatly increased the rate of production of wampum, debasing its value for trade. Lenape men abandoned hunting and fishing for food in favor of beaver trapping. Moreover, the Dutch themselves began manufacturing their own wampum with superior tools in order to further dominate the trading network among themselves and the Natives (a practice undertaken by the settlers in New England as well). As a result of this increase, beavers were largely trapped out in the Five Boroughs within two decades, leaving the Lenape largely dependent on the Dutch. As a result, the Native population declined drastically throughout the 17th century through a combination of disease, starvation, and outward migration.

As the beaver trade increasingly shifted to Upstate New York, New Amsterdam became an increasingly important trading hub for the coast of North America. Since New Netherland was a trading operation, and not viewed as colonization enterprise for transplanting Dutch culture, the directors of New Netherland were largely unconcerned with the ethnic and racial balance of the community. The economic activity brought in a wide variety of ethnic groups to the fledging city during the 17th century, including Spanish, Jews, and Africans, some of them as slaves.

The Dutch origins can still be seen in many names in New York City, such as Coney Island (from "Konijnen Eiland" - Dutch for "Rabbit Island"), Bowery from Bouwerij, Brooklyn (from Breukelen), Harlem from Haarlem (formalized in 1658 as Nieuw Haarlem), Greenwich Village (from Greenwijck), Flushing (from Vlissingen) and Staten Island (from "Staaten Eylandt").

Willem Kieft became director general in 1638, but five years later was embroiled in Kieft's War against the Native Americans. The Pavonia Massacre, across the Hudson River in present day Jersey City resulted in the death of eighty natives in February 1643. Following the massacre, eleven Algonquian tribes joined forces and nearly defeated the Dutch. Holland sent additional forces to the aid of Kieft, which took part in the overwhelming defeat of the Native Americans, leading to a peace treaty on August 29, 1645 to end the war.

The island of Manhattan was in some measure self-selected as a future metropolis by its extraordinary natural harbor formed by New York Bay (actually the drowned lower river valley of the Hudson River, enclosed by glacial moraines), the East River (actually a tidal strait) and the Hudson River, all of which are confluent at the southern tip, from which all later development spread. Also of prime importance was the presence of deep fresh water aquifers near the southern tip, especially the Collect Pond, and an unusually varied geography ranging from marshland to large outcrops of Manhattan schist, an extremely hard metamorphic rock that is ideal as an anchor for the foundations of large buildings.

In 1664, English ships entered Gravesend Bay, in modern Brooklyn and troops marched to capture the ferry across the East River to the city, with minimal resistance: the governor at the time, Peter Stuyvesant, was unpopular with the residents of the city. Articles of Capitulation were drawn up, the Dutch West India Company's colors were struck on September 8, 1664, and the soldiers of the garrison marched to the East River for the trip home to the Netherlands. The date of 1664 appeared on New York City's corporate seal until 1975, when the date was changed to 1625 to reflect the year of Dutch incorporation as a city and to incidentally allow New York to celebrate its 350th anniversary just 11 years after its 300th.

The English renamed the colony New York, after the king's brother James, Duke of York and on June 12, 1665 appointed Thomas Willett the first of the mayors of New York. The city grew northward, remaining the largest and most important city in the colony of New York.

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The English had renamed the colony the Province of New York, after the king's brother James, Duke of York and on June 12, 1665 appointed Thomas Willett the first of the mayors of New York. The city grew northward, and remained the largest and most important city in the Province of New York. The Dutch regained the colony briefly in 1673, renaming it "New Orange", then ceded it permanently to the English in 1674 after the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

Leisler's Rebellion, an uprising in which militia captain Jacob Leisler seized control of lower New York from 1689 to 1691, occurred in the midst of England's "Glorious Revolution" and reflected colonial resentment against King James II, who in the 1680s decreed the formation of New York, New Jersey and the Dominion of New England as royal colonies, with New York City designated as the capital. This unilateral union was highly unpopular among the colonists. Royal authority was restored in 1691 by English troops sent by James' successor, William III. The event introduced the principle that the people could replace a ruler they deemed unsuitable; uprisings against royal governors sprouted throughout the colonies.

New York was cosmopolitan from the beginning, established and governed largely as a strategic trading post. One visitor during the early revolutionary period wrote that "the inhabitants are in general brisk and lively," the women were "handsome," he recorded—as did others new to the city—though, he added, "it rather hurts a European eye to see so many Negro slaves upon the streets." There were numerous ethnic groups but they generally stuck together and rarely intermarried. Freedom of worship was part of the city's foundation, and the trial for libel in 1735 of John Peter Zenger, editor of the New-York Weekly Journal established the principle of freedom of the press in the British colonies. Sephardic Jews expelled from Dutch Brazil were welcome in New York.

The New York Slave Insurrection of 1741 raised accusations of arson and conspiracy. Many slaves were executed on unclear charges. The Irish celebrated St. Patrick's Day at the Crown and Thistle Tavern as early as 1756. This holiday has since become a yearly city-wide celebration that is famous around the world as the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The city was the base for British operations in the French and Indian War (the North American theater of the Seven Years' War) from 1754-1763. That conflict united the colonies for the first time in common defense, and moreover eliminated the main military threat that the colonists had relied upon Britain to defend them from. When two years after the conclusion of that war in 1765, the British Parliament imposed a Stamp Act to help finance the cost of defending the colonies, delegates from nine colonies met to protest at what would later be known as Federal Hall on Manhattan for the Stamp Act Congress.

The Sons of Liberty, a secretive and sometimes violent revolutionary group, was founded in the city, and in Boston immediately thereafter. The Sons engaged in a running conflict with British authority in the City over the raising of liberty poles in prominent public locations (see Battle of Golden Hill), from the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766 until rebel control of the city in 1775. The poles, often when a signal device such as a red cap was placed atop the pole, served as rallying points for public assemblies to protest against the colonial government. The city was the main location of organized political resistance in the form of the Committee of Sixty and then later the New York Provincial Congress. Though the Sons of Liberty were active in the city and the lead statue of George III in Bowling Green was torn down and melted into musket balls in a celebration of the United States Declaration of Independence, the city probably held a larger proportion of Tories than any other place in the colonies before hostilities - though likely still short of a majority.

Washington and his men moved in to defend Manhattan in 1776, and their letters provide a rare behind the scenes look at the city during the revolution. Prior to roughly 1/3 of New York City's population fleeing the expected combat, the Continental soldiers came upon a grand city of wealth, a bustling center of commerce, shipbuilding and maritime trade. This was a city built for seafaring transit and trade, Manhattan's only connection to the mainland was the narrow, wooden King's bridge over the Harlem river, nearly 11 miles north of the city; most of its population of 20,000 was crowded into an area of less than a square mile near the East River wharves and the sprawling natural New York harbor.

The city's sharp-elbowed traders, stock brokers, and mariners brought with them great wealth. Henry Knox wrote his wife admiring New Yorkers' "magnificent" horse carriages and fine furniture, but condemning their "want of principle," "pride and conceit," "profaneness," and "insufferable" Toryism. Manhattan's free-wheeling ways did create an environment of loose tongues and loose women. A young Presbyterian chaplain "worried what the consequences might be to the American cause of so many of all ranks so habitually taking the name of the Lord in vain." "But alas, swearing abounds, all classes swear," he lamented.

The abundance of prostitutes in New York City—an estimated at 500 women plying "their trade" in 1776—was particularly distressing for many of the Continental soldiers of a puritan-bent, George Washington included. From Lieutenant Isaac Bangs of Massachusetts comes one of the most complete accounts of prostitution in revolutionary America; he had a medical degree from Harvard, and took it upon himself to tour the brothel district to inspect the health conditions of the neighborhood and investigate the seedy side of the city that so worried General Washington. He was absolutely appalled by the women of the bawdy houses, who, he thought, "nothing could exceed them in impudence and immodesty," but "the more I became acquainted with them, the more they excelled in their brutality."

April 22, barely a week after the Continentals arrived in the city, two soldiers were found dead hidden in a bordello, one corpse "castrated in a barbarous manner," Bangs reported. Soldiers went on a rampage in the brothel district "in furious retaliation." General Washington condemned all such "riotous behavior" and ordered military patrols in the district, a strict curfew, and other restrictions. General Washington understood the crucial strategic importance of New York and its waterways to the war effort, but "...had seen enough of New York on prior visits to dislike and distrust the city as the most sinful place in America, a not uncommon view."

General Washington correctly surmised that after their defeat at the Siege of Boston the British strategy would be to divide the colonies by capturing the strategic port and waterways of New York City. He then began to fortify the city and took personal command of the Continental Army at New York in the summer of 1776.

Five battles comprising the New York Campaign were fought around the city's then limits in late 1776, beginning with the Battle of Long Island in Brooklyn on August 27—the largest battle of the entire war. A quarter of the city structures were destroyed in the Great Fire on September 21, a few days after the British Landing at Kip's Bay and the Battle of Harlem Heights. Following the highly suspicious fire, British authorities apprehended dozens of people for questioning, including Nathan Hale, who was executed a day later for unrelated charges of espionage. The British conquest of Manhattan was completed with the fall of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776, and thereafter they held the city without challenge until 1783. Major General James Robertson, commandant in charge of the city confiscated houses of rebels who had left and distributed them to British officers.

Early British military success resulted in military occupation of the city, and the exodus of any remaining Patriots combined with a large influx of Loyalist refugees from throughout the former colonies, making the city solidly Loyalist for the remainder of the British occupation. The city became the British political and military center of operations for the rest of the conflict. For this purpose the map now known as the British Headquarters Map was drawn in 1782, the best map of Manhattan Island's largely natural, unengineered condition.

The city's status as the British nexus made it the center of attention for Washington's intelligence network. American prisoners were held under deliberately inhumane conditions on rotting British prison ships in nearby Wallabout Bay for much of the war. The policy of making prison conditions unbearable was ostensibly to encourage the soldiers to volunteer to join the British navy as an alternative. More American soldiers and sailors died on these ships from deliberate neglect than in every battle of the Revolution, combined.

The anniversary of Evacuation Day, in which the last British troops and many Tory supporters and collaborators departed in November 1783, was long celebrated in New York.

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With the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the resulting withdrawal of British troops from the city in that year, led to the Congress of the Confederation moving to Federal Hall on Wall Street in 1785. The first government of the United States, operating under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union since its ratification in 1781, was soon found inadequate for the needs of the new nation. However, certain successes were achieved while in New York, including the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, which laid the framework for the addition of new states into the Union.

A call for revision to the Articles was led by New Yorker Alexander Hamilton, and the Annapolis Convention was convened with representatives from the states to discuss the necessary changes. Lacking representation from all of the states, the Convention made no suggestions for changing the Articles but instead drafted a report that led to the creation of a Constitutional Convention the following year to create an entirely new governing document.

The city's and state's status within the new union under the United States Constitution written in 1787 was under question when the Governor George Clinton proved reluctant to submit state power to a strong national government, and was opposed to ratification. Some New York City businessmen proposed New York City secession as an alternative to join the union separately, but Alexander Hamilton and others argued persuasively in the Federalist Papers published in city newspapers for state ratification, which after much dispute finally passed in 1788. George Washington was inaugurated as the first President on the balcony of Federal Hall in 1789, and the United States Bill of Rights drafted in the city. The Supreme Court of the United States sat for the first time in New York. After 1790, Congress left for Philadelphia.

In 1792, a group of merchants made the "Buttonwood Agreement" and began meeting under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street, beginning the New York Stock Exchange, while a yellow fever epidemic that summer sent New Yorkers fleeing (north) to nearby healthful Greenwich Village. In 1797, Hamilton's great rival, Aaron Burr, became head of Tammany Hall and turned it increasingly toward politics to support him in the 1800 presidential election.

In 1807, Robert Fulton initiated a steamboat line from New York City to Albany.

New York remained a cosmopolitan enclave within America. The new French consul gave a report in 1810 that remains perfectly familiar: "its inhabitants, who are for the most part foreigners and made up of every nation except Americans so to speak, have in general no mind for anything but business. New York might be described as a permanent fair in which two-thirds of the population is always being replaced; where huge business deals are being made, almost always with fictitious capital, and where luxury has reached alarming heights... It is in the countryside and in the inland towns that one must look for the American population of New York State." (quoted by Fernand Braudel, The Perspective of the World, 1984 p 406).

The French consul's "fictitious capital" betokens the world of credit, on which New Yorkers' confidence has been based. The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 imposed a surveyed grid upon all of Manhattan's varied terrain, in a far-reaching though perhaps topographically insensitive vision. On September 3, 1821 the Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane caused a storm surge of 13 ft in one hour, leading to widespread flooding south of Canal Street, but few deaths were reported. The hurricane is estimated to have been a Category 3 event and to have made landfall at Jamaica Bay, making it the only hurricane in recorded history to directly strike what is now New York City.

In 1824, a riot occurred in Greenwich Village between Irish Anglicans and Catholics, after a parade by members of the Orange Order. This was a precursor of the Orange Riots of the 1870s. On October 26, 1825 the Erie Canal was completed, forming a continuous water route from the western Great Lakes to the Atlantic and north to Lake Champlain; it helped the city grow further by increasing river traffic upstate and to the Midwest.

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At the time of European colonization, the area was home to the Hackensack tribe of the Lenape, who maintained a large settlement to the north on Overpeck Creek. Their name is an exonym taken from the territory and is translated as place of stony ground which describes the diminishing Hudson Palisades as they descend into the Meadowlands becoming the ridgefield that is part of Hackensack River flood plain.

In 1642, Myndert Myndertsen received a patroonship as part of the New Netherland colony for much the land in the Hackensack and Passaic valleys. He called his settlement Achter Kol, or rear mountain pass, which refers to its accessibility to the interior behind the Palisades. Originally spared in the conflicts that begin with the Pavonia Massacre, the nascent colony was later abandoned. In 1655, Oratam, sachem of the Hackensack, deeded a large tract nearby to Sara Kiersted, who had learned the native language and was instrumental in negotiations between Native Americans and the settlers. In 1668, much of the land between Overpeck Creek and the Hudson River was purchased by Samuel Edsall, and soon became known as the English Neighborhood, despite the fact most of the settlers were of Dutch and Huguenot origin.

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The origin and meaning of the name "Teaneck" is not known, but speculation is that it could come from various Dutch or English words, or it could be Native American in origin, meaning "the woods". An alternative is from the Dutch "Tiene Neck" meaning "neck where there are willows" (from the Dutch "tene" meaning willow).

When Europeans first entered the area, "Teaneck" referred to the north-south ridge that runs along present-day Queen Anne Road, with Lenni Lenape Native Americans having established camps on either side of the ridge. The Lenape in the area were led by a chief named Oratam, who led a group that lived in a village called Achikinhesacky, on the banks of the Tantaqua (Overpeck Creek), on the eastern slope of Teaneck Ridge near today's Fycke Lane. Conflicts between Europeans and Native Americans continued into the mid-17th century.

The first mention of permanent structures within the boundaries of present-day Teaneck dates to 1704. In subsequent years, houses and farm buildings were built on the west bank of the Hackensack River, along the route of a Native American trail. The neighborhood that grew here came to be known as East Hackensack or New Hackensack. Another small group of Dutch farm houses was constructed along the eastern slope of the Teaneck ridge along modern Teaneck Road. There are several of these early stone houses still standing that date back to Teaneck's 17th and 18th century Dutch farm heritage.

During November 1776, General George Washington passed through Teaneck during the withdrawal of Colonial forces from nearby Fort Lee on the Hudson River. Early on the morning of November 20, 1776, Washington rode by horseback from his headquarters in Hackensack through Teaneck and across Overpeck Creek to Fort Lee. There he watched as 6,000 British troops made their way by boats up the Hudson River. He had his troops abandon their position on the Palisades. They hastily made their way from their encampment, leaving behind their camp and most of their supplies, traveling across Overpeck Creek and through Teaneck to New Bridge Landing (today's Brett Park). They crossed the bridge, marching barefoot, two abreast, their garments so worn that they were exposed to the cold rain that fell that day. Throughout the war, both British and American forces occupied local homesteads at various times, and Teaneck citizens played key roles on both sides of the conflict.

After the war, Teaneck returned to being a quiet farm community. Fruits and vegetables grown locally were taken by wagon to busy markets in nearby Paterson and New York City.

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