A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 19, 2004
New Amsterdam
The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995) is terse on New Amsterdam. The following entry is credited to no one:

"The former name of New York City, first used in the mid-1620s. On 1 February 1633 the settlement was granted legal autonomy as a city district from the surrounding province. The name fell into disuse when the British defeated the Dutch in 1664."

New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw-Amsterdam) was the name of the 17th century fortified settlement in the New Netherland colony that would eventually become New York City. Founded in 1625 by the Dutch West India Company, the city was located on the strategic, fortifiable southern tip of the island of Manhattan and intended to defend river access to the company's fur trade operations in the Hudson Valley. New Amsterdam developed into the largest Dutch colonial settlement in North America and remained a Dutch possession until 1664, when it fell to the English. The Dutch regained it briefly in 1673, renaming it "New Orange", then ceded it permanently to the English in 1674. The 1625 date of the foundation of the city is commemorated in the Official Seal of the City of New York (formerly, the year on the seal was 1664, the year of English incorporation).

The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909
by I. N. Phelps Stokes
New York: Robert H. Dodd

Volume two
Pg. 71: As one of the first results of Block's explorations, we notice that Manhattan Island is represented here as an island, with the tribe of "Manhates" located on it. This is the first time that the island which bears this name occurs on any map known to us, unless it be that the large island shown on the map of Jean Cossin, dates 1570 (C P.s. 15 and 16) is intended for Manhattan Island, which is altogether unlikely. The map of Adriaen Block is, thus, the first map to give a representation of the island, as such.
The value of Adriaen Block's map (dated to 1614 - ed.), as a document of the catographical history of New Netherland, is very high. On it the name of New Netherland appears for the first time, and Fort Nassau, the first building erected in the interior, is here delineated and described, immediately, after it was finished.

Pg. 89: Hence the full name, and the indication of Nieu Amsterdam as a fort, appears for the first time, and this is the principal point of interest which the map possesses for us.
(The World Atlas of Willem Jansz Blaeu, "published in 1635, although it is quite possible that this map was published at an earlier date." - ed.)

Pg. 90: Summarising the progress made during this first period of map-making, in connection with the knowledge of Manhattan Island: we see the Island appearing without a name on Blaeu's First Paskaart, on his West Indische Paskaert, and on globes made by Blaeu and Van Langren; then with the name "Manbattes," on De Laet's map, and, finally, as "Manatthans," on the map of New Netherland in Blaeu's Atlas, where it is coupled with the name of the fort, "Nieu Amsterdam." The immediate vicinity of Manhattan was, by 1630, pretty well known, although very meagre information was available regarding the country inland.

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames/Slogans • Sunday, December 19, 2004 • Permalink

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