New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Birth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York
Location: † Battery Place at Greenwich Street
Dutch Name: † Bever Straet
Here, on a sandyshore, Lenape Indians beached their canoes to trade beaver and otter pelts for Dutch cloth, kettles, and metal tools. To the Lenape, this was Manahatt, a word perhaps meaning “island of many hills.” Native peoples had lived in the region for some ten thousand years. Here they camped, hunted, fished, and farmed. Their footpaths crisscrossed the island, and some became Dutch roads and streets.
Following Hudsonís voyage, the Dutch West India Company placed settlers here in 1625-26 to exploit the regionís bounty of furs. Skins trapped by the Lenape and Iroquois were shipped to Europe for the market in expensive fur hats and garments.
Despite trade, Europeans and Indians fought a series of bloody wars between 1640 and 1663, and the Lenape lost control of their land. But the natives influenced the Europeans. Colonists used Indian sewant (carved seashell bits) as money, adopted their fod sappaen (cornmeal porridge), and used Indian place names. Today, from Canarsie and Gowanus to Rockaway and Maspeth, the words of the Lenape people, recorded by Dutch settlers, still mark the cityscape.
Erected 2009 by City Lore & NY 400
Location. 40° 42.286′ N, 74° 0.859′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Battery Place and State Street, on the right when traveling east on Battery Place. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Amsterdam (a few steps from this marker); Historic Battery Park & Castle Clinton (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House / National Museum of the American Indian (within shouting distance of this marker); Peter Caesar Alberti (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Fort Amsterdam (within shouting distance of this marker); Bowling Green Fence (within shouting distance of this marker); American Merchant Marine (within shouting distance of this marker); Netherlands Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. A picture of a Dutch settler and a Lenape Indian appear at the top of the marker. They have captions of “Dutch settlers may have resembled this musketeer when they fought Lenape Indians in the region surrounding Nieuw
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Learn about New York Cityís colonial Dutch heritage by taking a virtual tour of the Nieuw Amsterdam Trail though lower Manhattan.
Also see . . . City Lore website. City Lore's mission is to foster New York's - and America's - living cultural heritage. (Submitted on November 5, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 824 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.