New York's Birth Date: Don’t Go by City's Seal

Breaking News

For decades, the proud seal of New York City, with its depiction of a sailor and a Manhattan Indian, of beavers and flour barrels and the sails of a windmill, has celebrated 1625 as the year the city was founded.

There’s just one problem: Most historians say the year has hardly any historical significance.

The first settlers arrived in what would become part of New York City on a Dutch ship as early as 1623; some say 1624. The Dutch “purchased” Manhattan in 1626. The first charter was granted in 1653.

And the most notable event of 1625? Dutch settlers moved their cattle to Lower Manhattan from Governors Island.

“It is simply wrong,” Michael Miscione, the Manhattan borough historian, said of 1625 as the city’s birth date. “The first founding settlers of New York City landed here in 1624.”

comments powered by Disqus