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There followed a period of turmoil and disorder, marked by a curious party fight and revolution, or rather attempted revolution, which in its various phases well illustrated the peculiar characteristics of New York life.
The Usurpation of Leisler. 1689-1691

New York

A Sketch of the City’s Social, Political, and Commercial Progress from the First Dutch Settlement to Recent Times

Theodore Roosevelt

Bibliographic Record


Preface  Illustrations  Subject Index  Postscript

Discovery and First Settlement. 1609-1626.
Hendrik Hudson’s discoveries—Spirit of exploration—Conquests of Spain and Portugal—Sea-rovers of Holland and England—Settlements on the Atlantic Coast—Effect of battle of Lutzen on America—Hudson’s relations with the Indians—Exploration of the Hudson River—Adrian Block, the first shipbuilder of America—The fur trade—The New Netherland Company—The West India Company—Foundation of the city—Arrival of Peter Minuit
The Dutch Town under the First Three Directors. 1626-1647.
Purchase of Manhattan Island—New Amsterdam founded—Physical features of the island—Minuit’s administration—Old-world ideas of colonization—The fur trade—Patroons—Vassalage of early settlers—Early farming—Shipbuilding—Wouter Van Twiller’s administration—The first schoolmaster—Relations with Indians—Troubles between Dutch and English—Colonies on the Connecticut and the Delaware—Kieft’s administration—Improvements under Kieft—Immigration—Swedish settlements on the Delaware—Indian wars and massacres—Foundation of popular government—Removal of Kieft
Stuyvesant and the End of Dutch Rule. 1647-1664.
Stuyvesant’s character—Improvement of the colony—Ethnic features of early population—Incorporation of the city—The stockade on the site of Wall Street—The canal—Ravages by wolves—Early colonial architecture and costumes—New Year celebrations—Troubles with Indians—Revolt on Long Island—Religious persecution—Seizure of New Netherlands by the English
New Amsterdam becomes New YorkThe Beginning of English Rule. 1664-1674.
The city rechristened—English rule all along the coast—Dangers surrounding the settlements—Rule of Governor Nicolls—Religious liberty—Naturalization—Race prejudice—Aristocracy—Refusal of right to elect representatives—The peace of Breda—Administration of Governor Lovelace—The first social club—Troubles with Long Island Puritans—Prosperity—Whaling and fisheries—Early conception of the New York Exchange—English and Dutch war—Establishment of mails—Recapture of New York by the Dutch—Administration of Governor Colve—Cession of the city to the English—Appointment of Governor Andros
New York under the Stuarts. 1674-1688.
Administration of Governor Andros—Flour monopoly—Abolition of Indian slavery—Contemplated invasion of New England—Recall of Andros—Administration of Lieutenant-Governor Brockholls—Internal disturbances—Demand for a Provincial Assembly—Administration of Governor Dongan—Religious toleration—Establishment of the Provincial Assembly—Charter of liberties and privileges—Self-government secured—Naturalization—Increased prosperity—The Board of Aldermen—Sabbatarian laws—Tyranny of James II.—Downfall of Dongan—Reappointment of Andros—Accession of William III.—Fall of Andros—Union between English and Dutch elements—Race differences and fusion
The Usurpation of Leisler. 1689-1691.
Internal dissensions—Rise of the popular party—Leadership of Leisler and Milborne—Religious troubles—Seizure of the fort by Leisler—The popular party in control of the city—Machinations of the House of Stuart—Headstrong policy of Leisler—Animosity between Leisler and the Aristocracy—Leisler’s treason—Committee of safety—Election of the first mayor—Congress of the colonies—Expedition against Canada—Privateering—Waning power of Leisler—Appointment of Governor Sloughter—Skirmish between regulars and militia—Execution of Leisler and Milborne—Downfall of the popular party—Limited religious liberty
The Growth of the Colonial Seaport. 1691-1720.
Wars with France—Self-government—Shipping industries—Privateers and pirates—Slave trade—Foundations of large fortunes—Freebooters—Governor Fletcher’s connivance at piracy—Administration of Fletcher—Smuggling—Recall of Fletcher—Administration of Governor Bellomont—Active measures against pirates—Career of Captain Kidd—Reform of land system—Election frauds—Administration of Lord Cornbury—Demands for self-government—Administration of Governor Hunter—German immigration
The Closing of the Colonial Period. 1720-1764.
Characteristics of population—Religious bodies—English the official language—King’s College—Social lines—Social customs—Sports—Armorial bearings—Dutch festivals—Education—Constituents of New York society—Labor—Negro slavery—Negro insurrection—Incendiary fires—The New York Gazette—The Weekly Fournal—Liberty of the press—Family factions
The Unrest before the Revolution. 1764-1774.
A new chapter in American history—Threatened disruption of colonial system—European theory of colonization—Attitude of colonies toward Mother Country in matters of defense—Verdict of history on revolt of the colonies—British operations—Position of the colonies contrasted with that of the Federal Union of States—Classes and parties—New York leaders of the Revolution—The Stamp Act—Sons of Liberty—Stamp-Act riots—Repeal of the Stamp Act—The Billeting Act—The Liberty-Pole riots—The Tea Act and its results—The First Continental Congress
The Revolutionary War. 1775-1783.
The Second Continental Congress—Lukewarmness about Revolution—The Loyalists—Mob violence—Closing of Episcopal Churches—The struggle for independence—Abolition of the Colonial Assembly—Washington assumes command in New York—Weakness of the city—British operations against New York—The Hessians—Tory plots—American defeat on Long Island—Washington’s evacuation of the city—Defeat at Kip’s Bay—Action at Haarlem Heights—Battle of White Plains—Washington’s retreat to New Jersey—Victory at Trenton—Terrors of the British occupation—Great fires—Execution of Nathan Hale—Horrors of the prisons—Washington’s difficulties—British evacuation
The Federalist City. 1783-1800.
Depression after the Revolution—Improvements and rebuilding—Columbia College—The New York Society Library—The State Constitution—Religious toleration—The New York Medical Society—The “Doctors’ Mob” riots—Enlargement of commerce—Suffrage, and appointment to office—Municipal government—State patronage—Foundation of the Federal Government—Leaders of the Federalist party—Governor Clinton—“The Federalist”—Procession in honor of the Federal Constitution—New York the Federal capital—The Jeffersonian Republicans—Federal patronage—Aaron Burr—Scurrility of the press—Political riots—Election of Burr to the Vice-Presidency—Downfall of the Federalist party
The beginning of Democratic Rule. 1801-1821.
Tie vote between Jefferson and Burr—Rise of democratic supremacy—The spoils system—Family influence in politics—Downfall of Burr—Hamilton killed by Burr—Fall of the Livingstons from power—Political bitterness—State banks—Social life and customs—Municipal regulations—Markets—Sanitary deficiencies—Charities—Foundation of free-school system—Scientific and literary societies—Literature—Beginning of steam navigation—The War of 1812—Right of search—Privateering—European immigration—Assimilation of the Dutch—Negro emancipation—The “New England invasion”
The Growth of the Commercial and Democratic City. 1821-1860.
Increased population—Constitutional amendments—Extension of suffrage—Negro suffrage—Constitutional provisions for election of officers—Material prosperity—The Erie Canal—Steam transportation and electricity—Commercial enterprise—Careers of John Jacob Astor and Cornelius Vanderbilt—The fur trade—The clipper ships of New York—Decay of shipping—Dangers of poverty—Increase of immigration—The German population—The Irish population—Americanization of immigrants—Growth of the Roman Catholic Church—The cholera epidemic—Riots—Political parties—Roman Catholic opposition to the public-school system—Power of Tammany Hall—Election frauds—Municipal bribery—State interference in municipal matters—Police riots—Architecture—Art and literature—European travel and its influence—Social features
Recent History. 1860-1890.
Increase of population and municipal territory—Outbreak of the Civil War—Secession influences—Reawakened loyalty—Active support of the Federal Government—Draft riots—Hibernian riots—Political corruption—Stock-swindling—The Tweed ring—Dangers of the political system, and their remedies—Change of character of immigration—Relative strength of the churches—Improvement in architecture—The East River Bridge—Central Park—Clubs—Public buildings—Charities—Cooper Union—Celebration of the Federal Constitution’s centennial—Science, art, and literature—Social life—Future prospects