“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Wall

Birth of a City: Nieuw Amsterdam & Old New York

Wall Street
Dutch Name: Langs de Wal

Here, in 1653, Nieuw Amsterdam’s settlers built a wall running from the Hudson River to the East River to defend their town against attack. They feared invasion by England and her New England colonists. Later, they also worried about raids by Lenape Indians. Townsmen armed themselves and formed a militia to patrol the wall and guard their homes.

The wood-planked wall stood 9 feet high, and allowed soldiers to fire at invaders attacking from the northern countryside (today’s uptown). Two bastions were later topped with cannon to hold enemies at bay. Two gates, one here at De Heere Straet (Broadway) and one on the East River shore (Pearle Street), enabled settlers to enter and leave the town.

The street running along the wall’s south side was called Langs de Wal (Along the Wall). The wall stood until 1699, long after the English conquest of 1664. By its final years, the wall had fallen into disrepair, and townspeople had stripped it of many planks to use as firewood. Langs de Wal took a new name: Wall Street.
Erected 2009 by City Lore & NY 400.
Location. 40° 42.466′ N, 74° 0.706′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street, on the right when traveling south on Broadway. Touch for map. The marker is located in front of Trinity Church. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10006, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trinity Church (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Trinity Church (a few steps from this marker); Queen Elizabeth II (a few steps from this marker); Site of the Wall of New Amsterdam (a few steps from this marker); New York State Society of the Cincinnati (a few steps from this marker); Captain James Lawrence & Lieutenant Augustus C. Ludlow (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Wall (a few steps from this marker); The Honorable John Watts (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. A picture at the top of the marker shows the wall in Nieuw Amsterdam. It has a caption of “This view, created long after the Dutch colonial era, envisions the defensive wall with its gate next to the East River shoreline (today’s Pearl Street).” A map in the lower left of the marker shows lower Manhattan Island and the route of the Nieuw Amsterdam Trail.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Learn about New York City’s colonial Dutch heritage by taking a virtual tour of the Nieuw Amsterdam Trail though lower Manhattan.
Categories. Colonial Era
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 5 times since then. Last updated on November 4, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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