New York is the most European city in the United States. Founded by the Dutch, colonized by the British, we have long been the door between the U.S. and Europe.
A City of Immigrants
After the Indigenous Lenape Delaware, we are a city of immigrants. Manahatta’s first immigrant was African-Dominican Juan Rodríguez in 1613.
In 1624, the Dutch brought a focus on making money to New Amsterdam. In 1626 New Amsterdam became a slave town. In 1652, Africans were forced to build the wall on Wall Street. In 1654, a Portuguese-Jewish community fleeing the Inquisition in Brazil made New Amsterdam an open city. New York has welcomed immigrants ever since.
In 1664, Dutch New Amsterdam first became English New York. In 1711 New York put up a slave market at Wall St and Pearl St. After the Great Famine of 1845, Irish brought Roman Catholicism. Italians came in multiple waves before and after 1900.
The French gave us the Statue of Liberty. Jewish-American poet Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” in 1883 to raise money for Lady Liberty. She was dedicated in 1886.
The second verse of “The New Colossus” is the most famous. The original is in the American Jewish Historical Society near Union Square.
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries sheEmma Lazarus, The New Colossus,” 1883
with silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
So this is New York City. Immigration has moved to the Caribbean and South America, but our beginnings were European. Today we are All In NYC.
“There is no way I’m going back to Mexico. I can’t stand to be in a country that is more surrealist than my paintings”
Yes the great Spanish surrealist really said that. And that pretty much says it all. Welcome to America! We are glad you were here.