COLONIAL NEW YORK CITY
6. The building on the right in the image was City Hall during this period. The upper floor was occupied by the government; and the street-level floor was the popular and public pub. Major Andros was responsible for improving the infrastructure of the city and creating a successful wheat to flour monopoly. He was also accused of favoring the Dutch shippers and permitting New England residents to trade with the Indians. He was replaced by Colonel Thomas Dongan. Four geographical regions of New York were established in 1683. The fifth region, the Bronx, was established in the 20th century.
In an effort to consolidate the English territory in the New World, the English King brought together all of New England and New York into a Dominion of New England. The same man that was ousted as the overseer of New York, Edmund Andros, moved to Boston to head up this consolidation. Meanwhile, back in England, King James abdicated and William of Orange, a Dutchman, became King William III. During this time, the unfortunate Edmund Andros was jailed. Colonel Henry Sloughter was named the governor of New York in 1689. Upon his death, Mr. Fletcher became the governor. He was dealer in real estate; and a shrewd politician. He invited a Quaker, Mr. William Bradford, to set up the first printing press in the New World in 1693.
During this time, Captain Kidd lived in New York. New York was the center for pirates to unload their loot. For a while Captain Kidd, under an agreement with the English government, was to protect English merchant ships. And he contributed to the construction of the First Trinity Church. He eventually switched from this protective obligation to one of pirateering ships of all nations.
Mr. Fletcher was replaced with the Earl of Bellomont in 1698 who tried to reform the inequities of the former governor; the Earl perished in 1702. And he was replaced with Lord Cornbury, Edward Hyde, a cousin to the English Queen Anne. A yellow fever epidemic raced through New York in 1702. Many hundreds died; and many fled to New Jersey and Long Island, hoping to escape infection. The New York governor Earl Cornbury was jailed for his graft dealings. During this time a revolt of ill-treated slaves resulted in an horrendous massacre. The new governor, Robert Hunter, began an expansion of the city's infrastructure. The many hills were leveled to become streets lined with trees. The Bradford printing firm flourished; and he established the first New York newspaper, the Gazette, in 1725. Ben Franklin , a Bostonian, applied for employment with Bradford. Since the printing firm had adequate manpower, Bradford directed Franklin to a printing firm in Philadelphia where Franklin did get employment.
Until 1754, five colleges existed in the English colonies. During 1754, the sixth college, King's College (now Columbia) was established. Initial instruction was held in the vestry at Trinity Church.
The advisors to the English King George III decided to raise money from the colonists to support thousands of soldiers to be sent to the New World as a deterrent against French aggression. To this end, the English Parliament enacted the Stamp Act of 1765. Merchandise, such as certificates, playing cards, newspapers—all required a special stamp as a means of bringing in revenue. While many of the colonists did not object to this method of raising revenue for military protection, most objected to this tax without having any representation in this decision. After much dissent among the loyalists and those against the Stamp Act, the latter had a short life-span of one year.
An attempt to raise money for governors, judges, and the Parliament , in 1766, was the passage of the Townsend Act. British goods: lead, glass. paper, paint, tea—all were to be taxed. Many colonists, as before, were infuriated; sometimes resulting in fistic excursions. A boycott took place. British goods were smuggled into New York. English soldiers were put on alert and sporadic fighting occurred. Finally, the English withdrew all taxes except the tax on tea. The colonists boycotted the tea from England and resorted to enjoying the smuggled tea from Holland.It was rumored that a lead statue of King George III was destroyed , the metal being cast into bullets.
The first English shipment of tea ships was in 1773. Bostonians, in Indianndisguise, boarded the ships and dumped the tea crates into Boston harbor. A year later the colonists in New York dumped tea into the Hudson river. A declaration of grievances was drawn up by the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the colonist militia. George Washington led five regiments of poorly trained soldiers into New York city during April 1776. The English troops had evacuated from the city. The British moved 500 ships of all types into the harbor. Thousands of British troops and mercenaries were unloaded onto Staten Island. The morning of August 22, 1776 the soldiers left the island for Brooklyn. Almost 20,000 British troops engaged the poorly trained soldiers of Washington. The latter fled to Brooklyn fortifications for safety. Washington and his generals concluded that an evacuation to Manhattan would delay an English attack. All his men and equipment were moved to Manhattan under the protection of a very dense fog.
The British began their attack in Manhattan; the undisciplined troops of Washington buckled under the British troops and ran everywhere for a safe haven. Manhattan became the headquarters for the British. Washington had a minor victory in Harlem Heights. With more British ships unloading
soldiers, Washington retreated to New Jersey. The last stronghold of Washington troops, Fort Washington, was captured; and they were massacred. A huge fire of unknown origin decimated New York city. The city was rebuilt and the British culture was established in Manhattan. The surrender of Lord Charles Cornwall to the colonists' troops at Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781, ended the war.
Washington rode into Manhattan greeted by the colonists. He made his way to Fraunces Tavern to say farewll to his colleagues.
8. His final words to his officers—"I cannot come to each of you, but I shall be obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand."
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