#MapMondays Dutch and British NYC Maps

For this week’s #MapMondays were looking at two early maps of New York City; a 1642 Dutch West India Company map of New Amsterdam (New York City), and a 1728 map of British New York City.

The Dutch West India Company was chartered by the Netherlands in 1621 to colonize and trade between the West Indies, Americas, and Africa. Competing with Portugal and Spain, the Dutch utilized their ports to trade slaves from Africa, Sugar from Brazil, Salt from the Caribean and Furs from the Netherlands. After raising the needed capital through trade they brought settlers across the Atlantic to establish the colony New Amsterdam, with its capital New Amsterdam. At the foot of Manhattan Island, DWI constructed Fort Amsterdam in 1626 (today the site of One Broadway) along with Fort Orange (1624) in Albany, Fort Nassau (1624) on the Delaware River, and Fort Good Hope in Hartford, which together protected New Netherlands from the British who were fighting wars with Spain and France.

By 1664 the DWI Company's resources had declined and Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who changed the city's name to New York after the Duke of York who planned the attack. The British removed the Dutch colony's wall along Wall Street and expanded the city north and into the harbor via landfill. While many of the Dutch street names remain the same today, the British did rename many streets with names like King, Prince and Crown Street.

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