History of the State of New York - The New-York Historical Society
The history of New York starts about 10,000 B.C when the native people first arrived. By 1101 A.D. the two main cultural groups had become dominant. The Iroquois, or Mohawk Indians, settled near the falls of New York City, and the Europeans, or European settlers, settled in what we know today as New York City. During the colonial period, the city of New York began to be referred to as New York City.
During the beginning of the seventeenth century, the French brought slaves from Africa to the new world's largest city. The slaves were used for the building of the French fortifications in New York City. This was due to New York's Geographic importance. This led to the opening up of a blacksmith shop on Manhattan's lower east side (Bronx), where African slaves were able to make bells and other objects used for musical and religious ceremonies among their own culture. This is the beginning of the first cultural education when European and American Indians together started a practice of free association among themselves. This practice of inter-generational wealth transfer spread across New York's many neighborhoods which became the fertile grounds for the creation of some of the most cherished American histories such as that of the early settlers in New York City.
In the years after the French and Indian wars ended the slave trade was flourishing and it was during this time that the beginning of the history of New York City began. The majority of New York's early immigrants were either escaping European or American slavery or were simply seeking a better life in a new country. One of the areas in New York that were a hotbed for antislavery activity was the district of Westchester County, located on the Five Towns' Island in what is now Rockland County in Connecticut. On Five Towns' Island, an area of marshy land south of the village of Greenport, a group of slaves had set up a granny cabin and created a secret network of safe passage into New York City. As the British invasion of America approached in 1775, the Underground Railroad was created as an escape route for those slaves who decided to defy British rule. This network, made up of men called red coats, helped hundreds of thousands of slaves to reach freedom.
New York became one of the most important hubs of trade during the height of the American revolution. It was also a major battleground for the war and which took place throughout the five boroughs. After the war New York was briefly made the capital city of the united states. It is where George Washington was inaugurated.
The Nineteenth century was where New York truly boomed. During this period the population grew from only 60,000 to over 3 million which is still only a fraction of the city's current population. New York's position made it ideal for trade into the new nation and this brought jobs as well as many immigrants. New York is well know as the main entrance for immigrants into the us during this period.
It wasn’t until 1898 that New York consolidated with Brooklyn into the city that we know today. This was also around the time when the famous NYC subway system started to be built. New York saw an even bigger boom in the post world war II industrial boom that the whole united states experienced. This caused the city to start expanding even more into the surrounding areas out onto long island and up into NY state. The US new political power in the world meant that New York was chosen as the headquarters for the United Nations.
The New York Historical Society is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the history of the state of New York. Among its many services is genealogical research, preparing a legal history of the state of New York and various cultures and communities throughout New York. Other services of the New-York Historical Society include researching an item for inclusion in a book, magazine, or other publication, or preparing an essay for publication as well as conducting field trips to various sites in New York and visiting historic sites throughout New York and the U.S. Other services provided by the New York Historical Society include consulting with individuals, families, and organizations to provide accurate archival research, prepare oral presentations and participate in discussions as a means of educating others.