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Manhattan, New York Island

Manhattan, New York Island (Buildings & City)

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Tags: new york (54 pics)

Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City, located primarily on Manhattan Island at the mouth of the Hudson River.

New York County, which has the same boundaries as the Borough of Manhattan (and which should not be confused with New York City), is the most densely populated county in the United States, with a 2008 (10 years ago) population of 1,634,795 living in a land area of 22.96 square miles (59.47 km²), or 71,201 residents per square mile (27,485/km²). It is also one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, with a 2005 (13 years ago) personal income per capita above $100,000. Manhattan is the third-largest of New York's five boroughs in population but the smallest in area. It consists of Manhattan Island and several small adjacent islands: Roosevelt Island, Randall's Island, Ward's Island, Governors Island, Liberty Island, part of Ellis Island, and U Thant Island; as well as Marble Hill, a small section on the mainland adjacent to the Bronx.

Manhattan is a major commercial, financial, and cultural center of both the United States and the world. Most major radio, TV, and telecommunications companies in the United States are based here, as well as many news, magazine, book, and other media publishers. Manhattan has many famous landmarks, tourist attractions, museums, and universities. It is also home to the headquarters of the United Nations. Manhattan has the largest central business district in the United States, is the site of both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, and is the home to the largest number of corporate headquarters in the nation. It is the center of New York City and the New York metropolitan region, hosting the seat of city government and a large portion of the area's employment, business, and entertainment activities.

The name Manhattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 (409 years ago) logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon). A 1610 (408 years ago) map depicts the name Manahata twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River (later named the Hudson River). The word "Manhattan" has been translated as "island of many hills" from the Lenape language. The Lenape Indians themselves gave a slightly different, inaccurate account of the name to Moravian missionary John Heckewelder. They called it Manahachtanienk, which in the Delaware language, means "the island where we all became intoxicated."

The area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape. In 1524 (494 years ago), Lenape in canoes met the florentine Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European explorer to pass New York Harbor, although he may not have entered the harbor past the Narrows. It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was mapped. Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the native people living there in 1609 (409 years ago), and continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present day Albany.

A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624 (394 years ago) with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625 (393 years ago) construction was started on a citadel and a Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam). Manhattan Island was chosen as the site of Fort Amsterdam, a citadel for the protection of the new arrivals; its 1625 (393 years ago) establishment is recognized as the birth date of New York City. According to the document by Pieter Janszoon Schagen our people (ons Volck) -- Peter Minuit is not mentioned explicitly there -- acquired Manhattan in 1626 (392 years ago) from native people in exchange for trade goods worth sixty guilders, often mistakenly said to be worth twenty-four dollars. It can be converted to modern currency by comparing bread prices etc. and amounts around $1000 nowadays (Calculation by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam). Using this estimate, one can jokingly state that it was enough money in 1626 (392 years ago) to buy 2,400 tankards of beer.

In 1647 (371 years ago), Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director General of the colony. New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on Feb. 2, 1653 (365 years ago). In 1664 (354 years ago), the British conquered New Netherland and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany, the future King James II. Stuyvesant and his council negotiated 24 articles of provisional transfer with the British which sought to guarantee New Netherlanders liberties, including freedom of religion, under British rule.


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