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Type of Item
Manhattan Lying on the North River
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This 1639 pen-and-ink and watercolor ...
The North River in New Netherland
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Study for Woolworth Building, New York
On April 24, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button in Washington, DC, that first illuminated the more than 5,000 windows in the 60-story Woolworth Building, the tallest building in the world at that time. Located on Broadway in lower Manhattan, New York City, the building was a triumph of American construction technology and architectural prowess. Known as "the Cathedral of Commerce," it was clad in gleaming architectural terra-cotta, with a gilded roof ascending to 793 feet (233 meters). Shown here is a sketch elevation of the building by ...
New Records on the Travel Round the Globe
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, in 1876 the United States held a Centennial Exhibition in the same city. The Foreign Office of the late Qing court authorized the Commercial Tax Office for the Western Countries to arrange the Chinese display at the exposition. Li Gui (1842–1903), a secretary at the Customs Office, was dispatched to the United States with a delegation to assist in the arrangements. On his journey he also visited England, France, and other countries. After his ...
Map of the Atlantic Highway
The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles (some 80,500 kilometers) of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1915, shows the Atlantic Highway, proposed by the Atlantic Highway Association and endorsed by the NHA. The projected route runs from Calais, Maine to Miami, Florida, a distance ...
Suffrage Parade, New York City, May 6, 1912
The suffrage parade was a new development in the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States. It was a bold tactic, adopted by suffragists and the more militant suffragettes shortly after the turn of the century. Although some women chose to quit the movement rather than march in public, others embraced the parade as a way of publicizing their cause and combating the idea that women should be relegated to the home. Parades often united women of different social and economic backgrounds. Because they were carried out in ...
Lest Liberty Perish from the Face of the Earth - Buy Bonds
In 1917 the United States entered the Great War, as World War I was known at the time. A national propaganda campaign was started to convince Americans to support the war effort. Some of the images used in this campaign have become a permanent part of American cultural iconography, notably J.M. Flagg’s famed 1917 poster of Uncle Sam declaring, “I want YOU.” In addition to recruiting troops to fight, the U.S. government issued “Liberty Bonds” to help finance the war effort. Artists helped the cause by making ...
Mulberry Street, New York City
This photolithograph from the Detroit Publishing Company documents the busy street life of New York City’s Lower East Side at the start of the 20th century. Between 1870 and 1915, New York’s population more than tripled, from 1.5 million to 5 million. In 1900, when this photo was taken, foreign-born immigrants and their children constituted a staggering 76 percent of the city’s population. Often described as the Main Street of Little Italy, Mulberry Street was dominated from the 1890s by immigrants from Italy. These immigrants jostled ...
New York Police Parade, June 1st, 1899
The film shows members of "New York's Finest" parading at a crowded Union Square. Seen are members of the Bicycle Squad, mounted horses, and two regimental marching bands. At the time of filming, the New York City Police Department was still recovering from the corruption scandals of the early 1890's that had severely tarnished the reputation of the department. A State-Senate-appointed group known as the Lexow Committee investigated the department and issued a scathing report that detailed serious criminal activity within the department. In 1895, public opinion was ...
Bill of Rights
During the debates on the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, its opponents charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolutionary War, so they demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions, in their formal ratification of the Constitution, asked for such amendments. Others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would ...
Affidavit of Louie Young Stating that He is the Father of Louie Jock Sung, and Deposition of Non Chinese Witnesses (Documents Were Executed in New York City)
In the spring of 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. This act provided an absolute ten-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities. Passage of the act marked the culmination of several decades of growing hostility in the United States to Chinese immigrants, which was fostered by competition for jobs and racial animosity. These documents, from the records ...
The George Washington Bridge in Heavy Smog, View Toward the New Jersey Side of the Hudson River
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 at a time of rising public concern in the United States about pollution and its effects on human health. In 1972-77 the EPA sponsored the Documerica program to photographically document subjects of environmental concern in America. The images were made by approximately 70 well-known photographers contracted by the EPA for the project. Photographers included Denny Lyon, Gene Daniels, Marc St. Gill, Bill Strode, Charles O'Rear, Jack Corn, Tomas Sennett, Yoichi Okamote, and Ken Hayman. This view of the ...
General View of Niagara Falls from Bridge
This Detroit Publishing Company photographic print from around 1901 shows Niagara Falls, the spectacular natural wonder on the Niagara River, which forms part of the border between Canada and the United States. The photograph is a cyanotype, a process that was invented in 1842 by the British astronomer and photography pioneer Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) and came into widespread use in the 1880s. Herschel discovered that water-soluble iron salts, when exposed to sunlight, form the compound known as Prussian Blue (a complex molecule that contains the compound cyanide, hence the ...
Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Posed and Ready to Swing
Jack Roosevelt Robinson, better known as Jackie Robinson, was the first African American major league baseball player. Previously, he had been a star athlete at the University of California at Los Angeles, served in the Army, and played with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League. Robinson officially broke the major league “color line” in April 1947 when he put on a uniform, number 42, of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball fans and players reacted to Robinson with everything from unbridled enthusiasm to wariness and open hostility, but he soon ...
Arrival of Emigrants [i.e. Immigrants], Ellis Island
This film, by Gottfried Wilhelm "Billy" Bitzer of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, was among the first films of this accomplished cameraman. It is reminiscent of contemporary films of Ellis Island shot by the Edison Manufacturing Company. It depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island. It appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at the island and being directed off of the dock and into the depot by a ...
Journal of New Netherland 1647. Written in the Years 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, and 1646
Willem Kieft (1597–1647) was a Dutch merchant who was appointed by the West India Company as director-general of New Netherland in 1638. Kieft instituted a harsh policy toward the Indians of the colony, whom he attempted to tax and drive from their land. In 1643, a contingent of soldiers under Kieft attacked a Raritan village on Staten Island in a dispute over pigs allegedly stolen from a Dutch farm. This led to the bloody, two-year conflict known as Kieft’s war, which raged in parts of what is now ...
Articles about the Transfer of New Netherland on the 27th of August, Old Style, Anno 1664
On August 27, 1664, a fleet of four British warships under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into the harbor of New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and demanded that Peter Stuyvesant, the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, surrender the colony to the British. The out-gunned Stuyvesant had no choice but to comply, and under English rule Nicolls became the first governor of the renamed Province of New York. This document lists the articles of capitulation by which the colony was surrendered and that established the ...
Remonstration of the Administrators of the Dutch West India Company to their Lords the State General about Several Examples of Tyranny and Violence by the English in New Netherland
In the 1660s, colonists from the English colonies of Connecticut and Massachusetts to the east and northeast and Maryland and Virginia to the south and southwest increasingly infringed on the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which was located in parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. This remonstrance, or complaint, published in Schiedam in 1663, was an appeal by the directors of the West India Company to the States-General, the ruling body of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, for increased protection against the incursions of the ...
Conditions as Created by their Lords Burgomasters of Amsterdam
This pamphlet, published in Amsterdam in 1656, contains information about the patroonships offered by the West India Company to settlers in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and in particular about the policies of the city of Amsterdam toward overseas colonization under the terms of the agreement between the city and the West India Company. Intended to help populate the colony, the patroonships were large grants of land made to Dutch investors who agreed to establish a colony of “fifty souls, upwards of fifteen years old.” The pamphlet was, in ...
Freedoms, as Given by the Council of the Nineteen of the Chartered West India Company to All those who Want to Establish a Colony in New Netherland
The Lords Nineteen, the governing body of the Dutch West India Company, established the patroon system as a way to encourage the settlement of New Netherland, the Dutch colony in North America that covered parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware. Patroons were wealthy Dutchmen who were given extensive tracts of land, powers of local government, and some participation in the fur trade in exchange for settling colonists in New Netherland. In June 1629, the West India Company issued the Charter of Liberties and Exemptions, which declared ...
Description of New Netherland (as it is Today)
This book, published in Amsterdam in 1655, is one of the most important sources for the study of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Adriaen van der Donck was trained as a lawyer at Leiden University. In 1641–43, he worked at the vast patroonship (estate) of Rensselaerswijck, surrounding present-day Albany, New York. He then applied for and received from the West India Company his own grant of land, a large tract located just north of Manhattan in present-day Westchester County, New York. (The city of Yonkers takes its name ...