On this weeks’ show we will look at New York’s history as a colony, first under the Dutch when we were New Amsterdam, and then under the British when we became New York in 1664, right through the end of American Revolution New York City remained under British control until two years after the Revolutionary War ended.
Jeff introduces his first guest Russel Short an author. Jeff asks what some of Russel’s earliest jobs were. After college, Russel got work writing travel articles, which landed him a job at GQ. Jeff asks about the process behind his first book, Gospel, which Russel wrote in 1995. Russel noticed the lack of books written about Dutch settlers’ history in New York, which started him on the path to writing his most recent book. Jeff asks Russel what made the Dutch settlers unique when they colonized New York. Russel talks about how the Dutch would adapt very easily to their new settlement and try to learn the ways of the locals. The settlement of New Amsterdam was most notable because it became a very cosmopolitan village for the settlers.
Jeff asks Russel about his upcoming book: A family in the mob. The book was inspired by his grandfather, who was a small-time mobster. Jeff asks Russel about the NY immigrant Adrian Vanderdonk who was essential in providing rights to the British colonies before the United States was even established. Vanderdonk was a lawyer and had a legalistic sensibility, and served as a sheriff for some settlements. Vanderdonk also had a municipal charter passed for New Amsterdam, which was a lengthy process considering New Amsterdam’s distance from the Netherlands.
Jeff introduces his next guest Jeremy Wilcox, founder, and owner of Custom NYC Tours. Jeremy founded his tour business because of his love of exploring NY neighborhoods. Jeff asks how the Dutch settlers treated the English representatives. It was not a smooth transition of power, but most Dutch settlers quickly went back to life as normal. After the English took over New York, the colonies were flooded with English and European immigrants. Jeff asks who John Peter Zengler, the founder of the New York Weekly Journal, was. As a journalist, he set the precedent of freedom of the press in America.
Jeff asks Jeremy how his tour business has adapted to the COVID-19 restrictions. Jeremy has developed new socially distanced and private tours that are available for everyone. Jeff asks Jeremy what New York was like right before the revolution. New York was interesting because it was the center of the British colonies, and the majority of the people living there were loyalists. Life was changed for the colonists when the British occupied New York; at first, patriots set fires in the city but were eventually driven out of the city. New York was also a hub for spies during the Revolutionary War.
00:00:31.950 --> 00:00:32.880 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone.
00:00:34.020 --> 00:00:41.250 Jeff Goodman: Welcome to our listeners and the Big Apple from around the US and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and this is rediscovering New York
00:00:41.940 --> 00:00:47.430 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens, and as my listeners know I love New York
00:00:48.090 --> 00:00:53.040 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city.
00:00:53.760 --> 00:01:03.630 Jeff Goodman: And we do with our interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations journalist preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official
00:01:04.560 --> 00:01:12.660 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current energy. What makes that particular New York neighborhood special
00:01:13.620 --> 00:01:22.230 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight's we focus on an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:23.100 --> 00:01:28.230 Jeff Goodman: Prior episodes. We've covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents were from New York.
00:01:28.950 --> 00:01:35.310 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of women activists and the women's suffrage movement in the city. We've looked at the history of African Americans.
00:01:35.820 --> 00:01:41.010 Jeff Goodman: The history of the city's LGBT rights movement, we've explored the history of bicycles and cycling.
00:01:41.610 --> 00:01:47.430 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of punch and Opera in New York, New York, the centers of punk and Opera, like many other things.
00:01:47.910 --> 00:01:56.010 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about our public library systems. We have three of them, not just one. We visited some of our greatest train stations and even some of our bridges.
00:01:56.880 --> 00:02:03.480 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcast. You can hear us on Apple Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.
00:02:04.410 --> 00:02:09.870 Jeff Goodman: The next one of the special shows where we're not going to focus on a neighborhood, but on a very special part of the city.
00:02:10.260 --> 00:02:18.960 Jeff Goodman: We're going to be looking at colonial New York what New York was like when two different colonial masters ran the place. Specifically, the Dutch when it was new Amsterdam.
00:02:19.440 --> 00:02:27.810 Jeff Goodman: And the British when it was New York until the time of the American Revolution. I'm very grateful as my first guest tonight is Russell shorter
00:02:28.530 --> 00:02:41.040 Jeff Goodman: Russell is a journalist and a best selling author. His books have been translated into Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese Hebrew Russian Chinese, Japanese, Korean Italian polish and cuddle on
00:02:42.060 --> 00:02:47.730 Jeff Goodman: The book that we're going to be talking about most tonight that Russell authored is the island at the center of the world.
00:02:48.450 --> 00:02:56.040 Jeff Goodman: It was a national bestseller. In the United States, and it and Descartes' bones were named among the top 100 books of the year by the New York Times
00:02:56.970 --> 00:03:02.340 Jeff Goodman: The island at the center of the world was recently option to be developed as an American TV series, which I want to ask him about
00:03:02.820 --> 00:03:13.440 Jeff Goodman: And the musical theatre production of it is in development in the Netherlands. His most recent book revolution song story of America's founding and six remarkable lives, was published in 2018
00:03:14.100 --> 00:03:25.170 Jeff Goodman: His next book small time story of my family in the mob will be published in February 2021 we might have to leave that for a future show Russell short. Oh, a very hearty welcome to rediscovering New York
00:03:25.590 --> 00:03:27.540 Russell Shorto: Thank you very much, Jeff, I'm happy to be with you.
00:03:28.350 --> 00:03:29.370 Jeff Goodman: Where are you from originally
00:03:29.760 --> 00:03:35.970 Russell Shorto: Johnstown, Pennsylvania. That's the town I write about in the book you in my book that's coming out that you just referenced.
00:03:36.240 --> 00:03:45.660 Jeff Goodman: Oh, the Java. The Johnstown jets, also known as the Charlestown chiefs from slapshot from the 70s. That was a very funny movie. Did you always want to be a journalist and author
00:03:46.740 --> 00:04:04.740 Russell Shorto: I always wanted to be a writer. I didn't know how to go about it. I mean, I didn't. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I also knew that I didn't want to study writing I had this notion that you you write, you learn to be a writer by simply reading and writing and experiencing life.
00:04:06.090 --> 00:04:15.420 Russell Shorto: So I was determined that I wasn't going to, you know, do a creative writing program or something like that. So it's probably that the hard way around. But that's eventually what I did.
00:04:16.230 --> 00:04:26.280 Jeff Goodman: I found it interesting that someone who is a journalist wrote Theology at the center of the world, which we're going to talk about in a minute. What was some of your earliest gigs as a writer. What was some of the first things that you did.
00:04:26.760 --> 00:04:36.660 Russell Shorto: I did a lot of travel writing early on I was, you know, in the years after college I I traveled a lot because I wanted to explore and I started
00:04:38.040 --> 00:04:47.310 Russell Shorto: Getting travel pieces published and then I got one published in GQ, and then I that was kind of a regular gig working for GQ for a good while.
00:04:48.540 --> 00:04:51.660 Russell Shorto: Not just about travel but I covered all kinds of things for them.
00:04:52.740 --> 00:04:56.850 Russell Shorto: And that actually led to my first book, which was called the gospel truth.
00:04:58.440 --> 00:05:06.810 Russell Shorto: Then editor at GQ art Cooper. He even though I mean, people have an idea of GQ is being you know about men's fashion and things like that, which it is, but
00:05:07.500 --> 00:05:18.150 Russell Shorto: There's a wide range of pretty deep subject matter in it and art. I said I wanted to write. I wanted to cover a group of biblical scholars and he let me do it. And that became my first book. Oh.
00:05:18.450 --> 00:05:21.870 Jeff Goodman: How long after you started writing to do to direct gospel
00:05:25.050 --> 00:05:34.950 Russell Shorto: Well, I don't know cuz when did I start writing, you know, I mean, you're always scribbling and things. So yeah, but let me think I wrote that in 1995
00:05:35.970 --> 00:05:37.020 Russell Shorto: So a long time.
00:05:39.150 --> 00:05:43.260 Jeff Goodman: What was the background that had you decide that you would write
00:05:44.400 --> 00:05:52.590 Jeff Goodman: The island at the center of the world and have to tell our listeners. It's a fantastic book. It's the most exciting book I've ever read about New York and I highly recommend it.
00:05:53.520 --> 00:05:58.680 Jeff Goodman: What was going on that had you decide that this is this is going to be the project, you're going to work on next.
00:05:58.830 --> 00:06:13.800 Russell Shorto: You know, it was just, I was living in the East Village and I, my daughter was born, and she was a toddler and the nearest open space to take her to run around was the churchyard of St. Marks in the Bowery
00:06:14.430 --> 00:06:22.320 Russell Shorto: And if you are familiar with it. They're the tombs of a lot of the first families of New York or flush with the ground there.
00:06:23.520 --> 00:06:29.970 Russell Shorto: And she would run around. I thought it was kind of charming to see this little girl running around among the graves and she didn't care and
00:06:30.780 --> 00:06:41.220 Russell Shorto: And in the the foundation of the church is the tomb of Stuyvesant Peters time and i i was i guess impressed by my own ignorance of New York's beginnings
00:06:41.670 --> 00:06:56.790 Russell Shorto: But it started with that I tried to find out. I talked to a couple of people I knew who were historians of New York who who one after another said, oh, I don't, I don't really know much about the Dutch period and somebody eventually put me in touch with Charlie Gehring who
00:06:58.140 --> 00:07:08.040 Russell Shorto: Is still at it translating the records of the colony of New Netherland he's been added. Since 1974. This is 12,000 pages of material.
00:07:09.300 --> 00:07:19.410 Russell Shorto: And I periodically completes the volume and it's translated published and annotated and it opened up this whole world to me.
00:07:20.550 --> 00:07:24.930 Jeff Goodman: And let that is a New York State archive. Now try Charlie during his work.
00:07:25.320 --> 00:07:27.120 Russell Shorto: Has been always at the
00:07:27.570 --> 00:07:37.590 Russell Shorto: In the New York State Library and archive building in Albany and that's the reason for that is that's where the actual records were in the history of that is
00:07:38.730 --> 00:07:41.310 Russell Shorto: The as you alluded to the Dutch
00:07:42.480 --> 00:08:01.710 Russell Shorto: Were in control until 1664 the English took over and named the place, New York. They took those Dutch records and they became the basis for the, the English records and eventually all of those state records wound up in the state library and those actual
00:08:02.850 --> 00:08:06.930 Russell Shorto: Documents from the 1600s, are what the translators work from
00:08:07.920 --> 00:08:09.030 Jeff Goodman: Do you speak any Dutch
00:08:09.390 --> 00:08:11.430 Russell Shorto: Yeah, I do. I first started
00:08:13.260 --> 00:08:28.860 Russell Shorto: Learning Dutch when I decided I was I really wanted to work on this book. And while I was learning modern Dutch Charlie and Yani Veda my who is she just recently retired. She worked with him since 1984 she's a Dutch historian
00:08:29.940 --> 00:08:36.780 Russell Shorto: They would. I would. They invited me into their, their corner of the state library and
00:08:37.290 --> 00:08:44.340 Russell Shorto: Would put like a facsimile of a record down in front of me and because I I also wanted to be able to make my way around
00:08:44.790 --> 00:08:58.050 Russell Shorto: In a document and the the handwriting is, as you can imagine, very different. The, the language has changed a lot and and you know it's all very loopy in the scribe scribes script so it's it's tricky.
00:08:59.700 --> 00:08:59.880 Russell Shorto: But
00:08:59.910 --> 00:09:00.270 Jeff Goodman: When
00:09:00.300 --> 00:09:06.330 Russell Shorto: You finish that I then I ended up living in Amsterdam for about six and a half years. So yeah, I spoke Dutch
00:09:06.600 --> 00:09:09.990 Jeff Goodman: Oh, wow. Wow, I didn't know that. That's great. It's a great place. It's a great city.
00:09:11.520 --> 00:09:26.580 Jeff Goodman: A little before we talk about New Amsterdam, a little colonial geography for our listeners New Netherland was the Dutch colony and what would become most of the mid Atlantic part of the United States. And it's been it's administrative capital was New Amsterdam at the tip of Manhattan.
00:09:27.990 --> 00:09:34.890 Jeff Goodman: Before we talk about some of the details of the book and the people, let's talk a bit about how the Dutch established their colonies and how they different from the way
00:09:35.370 --> 00:09:41.760 Jeff Goodman: The Spanish, the Portuguese, the French, and even the English set up their colonies at the time. What was unique about the way the Dutch did it.
00:09:42.600 --> 00:09:56.070 Russell Shorto: Well, for one thing, they were. And I would say still are good at sort of learning the local ways, you know, the English would just kind of put down a grid wherever they were the Dutch
00:09:57.240 --> 00:10:12.030 Russell Shorto: Learned they went, they either fought with or or traded with the locals. And They learn their language and learn their way around and they established these outposts. So these kind of military slash trading posts.
00:10:13.380 --> 00:10:20.850 Russell Shorto: The English were very big on settlement colonies, which is one reason that English is so wide spoken today.
00:10:21.540 --> 00:10:35.610 Russell Shorto: And why Dutch is not because they were more or less content to blend in as much as possible and do this trading and then son send all the goods home and and that turns out to be a very good
00:10:37.860 --> 00:10:52.890 Russell Shorto: Method for building up an empire in a short time, you know, the Dutch Golden Age was a very brief period, whereas the English, the British Empire started around that time, but it lasted for centuries.
00:10:53.310 --> 00:10:55.230 Jeff Goodman: Son didn't set on part of it until
00:10:56.340 --> 00:11:06.150 Jeff Goodman: Later to the last century, you know, one thing that was unique about the Dutch is that they also use a modern term job doubt the administration of their colonies, including New Netherland
00:11:06.510 --> 00:11:16.770 Jeff Goodman: To private companies, even though those companies had a monopoly. They were they sort of subcontracted how they ran some colonies to to a private company. And of course, here was the Dutch West Indian company.
00:11:18.450 --> 00:11:23.100 Jeff Goodman: Why did the Dutch choose to tip in Hatton Island to be the capital of New Netherland
00:11:24.810 --> 00:11:39.270 Russell Shorto: They originally were spread out all over there, they had, you know, a few families in on the Connecticut River, a few families in different locations up the Hudson River, which they called the North River.
00:11:40.410 --> 00:11:49.350 Russell Shorto: Small settlements on what they call the South River. That is the Delaware. And then there was a very early in the life of the colony.
00:11:50.370 --> 00:11:57.510 Russell Shorto: There was a problem around what's now Albany, where there were some Dutch soldiers who
00:11:58.380 --> 00:12:05.640 Russell Shorto: They, they, in Star Trek terms they violated the prime directive, the prime directive was don't interfere with the locals.
00:12:06.300 --> 00:12:17.040 Russell Shorto: So they got involved in a war between the Mohawk and Mohican and some of these Dutchman died and that kind of sent shock waves and they realized oh you know it's dangerous, they're
00:12:17.490 --> 00:12:26.040 Russell Shorto: Out there in the wilderness, so they recalled everyone. And that's when Peterman we who was then the director of the colony.
00:12:26.310 --> 00:12:31.050 Russell Shorto: Said you know this southern tip of Manhattan Island is where we're going to put the base because it was
00:12:31.380 --> 00:12:43.350 Russell Shorto: Right there, sticking out into the harbor, they could, they knew perfectly well. But it was a world class harbor and they recommended that was and then the island was big enough to to as we know that to hold a lot of people
00:12:43.890 --> 00:12:50.820 Jeff Goodman: There was a fresh supply of oysters, they can take advantage of as well, which would for me would be a good would be a reason
00:12:51.960 --> 00:13:00.300 Jeff Goodman: Before we get to the part of the story that for me is really riveting. And that's the conflict between some notable people and the events that led up to New Amsterdam getting us charter was a city.
00:13:00.900 --> 00:13:08.130 Jeff Goodman: One of the things I love about your book is the depiction of New Amsterdam in the 1640 years now hearing the stories of the people.
00:13:08.550 --> 00:13:21.060 Jeff Goodman: If not for the years that had happened, and not for them. SPEAKING DUTCH. It was almost like additive in yet of what you would expect that New Yorkers today would be like, you know, ambitious enterprising maybe a little obnoxious and a little rough and tumble.
00:13:22.200 --> 00:13:29.760 Jeff Goodman: What was New Amsterdam, like in those decades the 1640s and 1650s right before New Netherland was taken over by the British
00:13:30.060 --> 00:13:40.890 Russell Shorto: Yeah. Well, it was all of those things. And in addition, which is also a precursor to New York. It was very mixed, you know, the in the in 1643 a visiting Jesuit
00:13:42.180 --> 00:13:54.990 Russell Shorto: Priest reported hearing 18 languages being spoken into Amsterdam and and at that time there were probably somewhere around 500 people so 18 languages. So I like to say New York was New York, even before it was New York
00:13:56.010 --> 00:14:05.880 Russell Shorto: So add that mix of languages and customs and all of that to the mix. And it was a it was a very cosmopolitan village.
00:14:07.170 --> 00:14:09.120 Russell Shorto: It was a place where
00:14:10.650 --> 00:14:17.610 Russell Shorto: Everybody was a trader. I mean, whether you were a baker or a brewer or or wheel, right, or whatever you were
00:14:18.030 --> 00:14:27.240 Russell Shorto: You also had a piece of whatever shipment was going out, you bought into a piece of it because, you know, at the same time, the Dutch are doing this world trip travel
00:14:27.750 --> 00:14:39.450 Russell Shorto: And very much related to it. They invented the building blocks of capitalism, they invested in the stock exchange and the concept of shares of stock and and the, the modern sense of a corporation.
00:14:39.750 --> 00:14:44.250 Jeff Goodman: And also amassing capital get taking profit and being able to invest in other things, I think,
00:14:45.480 --> 00:14:49.080 Russell Shorto: So even on a small scale there were people who were who were
00:14:51.090 --> 00:14:58.800 Russell Shorto: maids who bought shipments of furs had a piece of the shipment and and would make a profit.
00:14:59.400 --> 00:15:10.230 Russell Shorto: So all yeah all that was going on and you know you throw in that, that there were always relations with not just quote the Indians, but there were different tribes.
00:15:10.560 --> 00:15:25.890 Russell Shorto: Many different tribes that were the Muncie peoples around it around Manhattan and on Long Island that you had. And then all the way up to Hudson and they keep changing the customs changed the languages change. And there were people who could communicate with them, who could speak with
00:15:27.810 --> 00:15:36.060 Jeff Goodman: All right, well, we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with best selling author Russell shorter, who's the author of the island at the center of the world.
00:15:36.390 --> 00:15:41.160 Jeff Goodman: Which not coincidentally is about New York and about Manhattan. Specifically, we'll be back in a moment.
00:18:07.410 --> 00:18:18.510 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York and it's a show about New York in colonial times. My first guest is journalist and best selling author Russell shorter among in Brussels, many books.
00:18:18.990 --> 00:18:24.030 Jeff Goodman: He's written Island at the center of the world. The quintessential book about the founding of New York City.
00:18:25.200 --> 00:18:32.280 Jeff Goodman: Russell want to ask you a question about your newest book, my family in the mob that's going to be published in early next year.
00:18:33.900 --> 00:18:34.140 Russell Shorto: Yeah.
00:18:34.500 --> 00:18:41.850 Jeff Goodman: That's okay, what what what inspired you do. We're not going to talk too much about that. But I just want ask you what inspired you to to write that book.
00:18:42.810 --> 00:18:53.760 Russell Shorto: Well, yeah, you're right, it's a it's a departure for me. Most of the history that I write narrative history, but it's mostly centuries ago. And so you're just in archives working with old documents.
00:18:56.220 --> 00:19:11.820 Russell Shorto: I'd always known that my, my grandfather father and namesake was was a small town mobster and I knew him vaguely when I was little, but by that time, by the time I was aware of things he was kind of ostracized fam from the family.
00:19:13.560 --> 00:19:25.020 Russell Shorto: And and but the family didn't talk about it, there was kind of a, I don't know if you would say code of silence, but it wasn't something you talked about. But then one day an elderly relatives said to me, hey, you're a writer. This is history, you know, what about it.
00:19:25.410 --> 00:19:39.180 Russell Shorto: And I kind of realized okay whatever anxieties people had that generation is dead and gone. It's now history and that is what I do. And if I don't dig into it. Now it's going to be lost.
00:19:39.780 --> 00:19:53.370 Russell Shorto: So then I had I explored it with a sense of urgency and on the one hand, it's the brought the backdrop is the small town mob in America, which was everywhere from Fresno disconnected at
00:19:55.260 --> 00:20:08.460 Russell Shorto: It, but the the focus of it is this man who had my name. Why was named after who, with his brother in law rent basically ran the town they they did the numbers and they
00:20:09.510 --> 00:20:15.660 Russell Shorto: Made the payoffs to the cops into the mayor and you know they have the governor over for dinner, and just, you know, all that stuff.
00:20:17.220 --> 00:20:19.440 Jeff Goodman: Well, I'm looking forward to reading it when it comes out and maybe
00:20:20.370 --> 00:20:31.110 Russell Shorto: Since you asked. It's called small time and it the launch of it will be February 1 at the New York Historical Society. I daresay, it's going to be a virtual launch. Hmm.
00:20:31.890 --> 00:20:34.080 Jeff Goodman: Well, I will be there either online or
00:20:36.030 --> 00:20:43.920 Jeff Goodman: On premise. My office is around the corner from there. So, that will also be convenient. I'm moving back to New Amsterdam want to ask you about a couple of
00:20:44.430 --> 00:20:56.850 Jeff Goodman: People in the book, but I had a general question first. Um, was the depictions of some of the characters base where they all based on actual people or did you create some characters who sort of fit the bill of what people were like the New Amsterdam that time.
00:20:57.810 --> 00:20:59.670 Russell Shorto: You're talking about the island center of the world.
00:20:59.730 --> 00:21:00.420 Jeff Goodman: Yeah. Yes. Yes.
00:21:00.450 --> 00:21:06.060 Russell Shorto: Yeah yeah I write nonfiction. This is not, there's no fiction in it. Yeah, these are all this is
00:21:06.630 --> 00:21:14.010 Russell Shorto: History and which and everything comes from. That's why I was working for so long with the the records and in which you
00:21:14.880 --> 00:21:24.720 Russell Shorto: You know, the court cases and council minutes and letters and if I say something about, you know, the sun was shining on them. It was because somewhere. Somebody mentioned it was sunny that day.
00:21:25.590 --> 00:21:35.340 Russell Shorto: So yeah, I don't make any of that up. These are all people from the historical record and all the interactions are from from letters and documents.
00:21:36.510 --> 00:21:43.050 Jeff Goodman: Well, before we get to talking about to me who perhaps was the most famous of the Dutch New Amsterdam is Peter Stuyvesant
00:21:43.470 --> 00:21:49.020 Jeff Goodman: I want to talk about Adrian Vanda dog for me. He's the more intriguing and fascinating person in the history
00:21:49.500 --> 00:21:58.230 Jeff Goodman: In some ways, he seems like the quintessential type of New Yorker first and immigrant to real go getter than a businessman, also a lawyer and then wanting to take some action.
00:21:59.070 --> 00:22:13.170 Jeff Goodman: To get although I don't think they would have called the politics. Maybe they did. But what we would call politics today to impact the future of the place that he that that he lived in. When did you, how did you first find a band landed on was it in the records from the state.
00:22:13.350 --> 00:22:21.330 Russell Shorto: Yeah, in the records and and yeah I spent a long time with, as I say, the help of Charlie Gehring in the vein of guiding me
00:22:22.890 --> 00:22:29.460 Russell Shorto: Kind of swimming or drowning in these records and anybody who's ever done any archival work knows that you
00:22:30.240 --> 00:22:44.790 Russell Shorto: I mean, it's just stuff you know there's nobody to say this is what's important, or whatever. I mean, it's just you know he stole my pig and he stole my wife and you know I like how do you, how do you organize this but slowly after several months.
00:22:45.780 --> 00:22:55.740 Russell Shorto: I realized there was there was this conflict at the center of it and the conflict was between these two men Peter stylists and Adrian Vander Donk and it was really a conflict over
00:22:56.340 --> 00:23:06.090 Russell Shorto: The future over what this colony meant what it should mean who was for Stuyvesant was running it for the West Indian company that was his job.
00:23:06.510 --> 00:23:17.310 Russell Shorto: And vendor Donk was appointed as president had they named him president of the commonality. So, so he was the kind of head of the opposition party.
00:23:19.020 --> 00:23:35.340 Russell Shorto: And the people in the colony wanted the full blanket of rights and laws and privileges from the home country to apply to them. And so with that kind of dynamic and he was the one of the reasons they appointed him was, he was the only lawyer in the colony and
00:23:36.810 --> 00:23:49.440 Russell Shorto: And and i think he would have seen did see himself very much as a politician, both in the colony and he then eventually goes to the home country to the Netherlands and argues the case and he's really working behind the scenes, they're
00:23:51.480 --> 00:23:55.170 Russell Shorto: Playing the the strings of power to try to to get his way.
00:23:56.010 --> 00:24:02.760 Jeff Goodman: What kind of the man was founded on. Did you get an insight into into things about his personality and to maybe what made him tick.
00:24:03.060 --> 00:24:08.730 Russell Shorto: He was a. He was a lawyer, so he was, he had a legalistic sensibility.
00:24:09.000 --> 00:24:15.630 Jeff Goodman: But, and by the way, I love the story about how he studied at the university. Well, that he studied the diversity of live and at the same time that the Pilgrims were there.
00:24:15.900 --> 00:24:22.260 Jeff Goodman: And his first stop into Netherland actually was in present day Albany and for Darren as the equivalent of the district attorney.
00:24:22.320 --> 00:24:28.560 Russell Shorto: You know, with a feather in his cap so his first job, but it may call it the if the judge title is a scout, which
00:24:29.280 --> 00:24:37.980 Russell Shorto: In English would translate to scout, but it's more like sheriff. So you were the law man in the sense you know he would have to go out and color the bad guys and bring them to justice. So he
00:24:39.030 --> 00:24:45.960 Russell Shorto: It was a more robust sense of what being a lawyer was than than most lawyers would be comfortable with today. So he Yeah he was a
00:24:46.380 --> 00:25:01.860 Russell Shorto: He could be a tough guy. And is that, you know, he would have a sword at his side and but at the same time he was arguing before Stuyvesant in his counsel for what he thought was the direction that the colonies should go in
00:25:02.820 --> 00:25:14.010 Jeff Goodman: And of course Stuyvesant didn't want it to happen or didn't agree with it so bad to doc went to The Hague to the States General and, you know, argue. Hello. Was he there for to try to convince them to to
00:25:14.280 --> 00:25:18.570 Russell Shorto: Their close to three years he they they finally
00:25:19.770 --> 00:25:36.330 Russell Shorto: Agreed to what he wanted. He wanted the colony to be fully administered, not by the Western new company, but by the Dutch Government and they finally agreed to it and within days all over Chrome world declared war and the Dutch Republic. The English leader and
00:25:37.590 --> 00:25:52.710 Russell Shorto: Suddenly they rescinded the order because war time is a very bad time to to experiment with political reform so they rescinded the order and instead of vented on going home a hero, they put him in prison because they were afraid that he was going to go back and and
00:25:53.880 --> 00:26:01.680 Russell Shorto: foment unrest. So it was a dramatic turn of events for him and for the colony and ultimately for New York
00:26:02.580 --> 00:26:10.410 Jeff Goodman: Did you discover things about Stuyvesant who he was in the way he ran a New Amsterdam, that wasn't widely known by other people who had research, the history
00:26:12.150 --> 00:26:17.220 Russell Shorto: Certainly, that wasn't that weren't widely known by most people. But
00:26:18.390 --> 00:26:27.960 Russell Shorto: The, the handful of scholars, I mean Charla gearing probably knows more about Peter Stuyvesant than anyone. And I don't think I uncovered anything that he wasn't aware of but
00:26:29.010 --> 00:26:39.390 Russell Shorto: Stuyvesant, you know Charlie for one thinks that I was, I think, a little harsh on Stuyvesant portraying him a little sort of one dimensionally in the book.
00:26:40.770 --> 00:26:48.150 Russell Shorto: And I have since done more research into Stuyvesant, I think I have a maybe a little bit more nuanced sense of him now.
00:26:48.660 --> 00:26:57.060 Russell Shorto: A scholar named Dennis mica has been doing a lot of research into him and and how he worked. He was in a difficult position because he was the head of
00:26:57.720 --> 00:27:05.010 Russell Shorto: He was the company representative in the colony. He was the head of the colony, but you had all these independent freelance merchants there.
00:27:06.330 --> 00:27:13.410 Russell Shorto: And he has to appease his bosses at home in the West Indian company, but he also has these
00:27:15.090 --> 00:27:33.720 Russell Shorto: local businessman who he wants to make happy and he very it's it's subtle stuff, but he's skillfully works things so that they can get their way and and yet the West Indian company isn't doesn't feel like they're paying for all this. But other people are are getting the benefits
00:27:34.350 --> 00:27:38.670 Jeff Goodman: And when did vendor Donk come back to Amsterdam with the charter. What year was that
00:27:39.060 --> 00:27:52.290 Russell Shorto: Well, he that they, they, you're right, he did get the Charter, they finally agreed to a charter a municipal charter for the City of New Amsterdam, but then he had to stay in the Netherlands, but
00:27:53.790 --> 00:27:59.430 Russell Shorto: But that was a unique thing that it was, you know, ever. If you think about it every Dutch city.
00:27:59.880 --> 00:28:12.150 Russell Shorto: In the world was in the Netherlands, but here is this one other city at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. That was chartered officially a Dutch city, and by the way of broken or Brooklyn got a charter as well.
00:28:16.650 --> 00:28:25.050 Jeff Goodman: One of the parts of the story that I found really fascinating is what happened. The morning when the people of New Amsterdam woke up to find for British warships in the harbor.
00:28:26.010 --> 00:28:36.270 Jeff Goodman: It's not a story that sort of had a heroic fight as in the people of New Amsterdam will link to fight to remain Dutch and fight the British what happened that morning and what what ensued that that
00:28:37.410 --> 00:28:42.930 Russell Shorto: When the English came, they sort of complicated story, but they they they
00:28:44.310 --> 00:28:49.860 Russell Shorto: Sent Stuyvesant on a wild goose chase first of all up river. So he wouldn't be there.
00:28:50.520 --> 00:29:03.120 Russell Shorto: Then he kind of realizes something's up so he turns around and comes back in, just in time to see this transpiring this and he's up on the wall on the parapets of the fort, looking at the ships in the harbor and
00:29:04.290 --> 00:29:18.720 Russell Shorto: He by that time he had been writing to the home country saying please send more soldiers, we don't we don't have enough gunpowder. You know, they knew that the English were were likely to do something like this, but by when they actually did.
00:29:19.800 --> 00:29:26.430 Russell Shorto: He wanted to fight the town's people didn't want to fight because they knew that they they were outgunned and
00:29:27.540 --> 00:29:39.900 Russell Shorto: They also knew that if you put up a fight, according to the rules of of warfare. At the time, if you begin to fight, then you open yourself up to rape and pillage and plunder and there were
00:29:40.740 --> 00:29:57.600 Russell Shorto: Hundreds of Englishman lining the the Brooklyn shore waiting to come across. If that were to happen, so they and they, there was this angry dispute between Stuyvesant, and his towns people and finally they talked literally talk him down from from the walls of the fort.
00:29:58.800 --> 00:30:06.630 Russell Shorto: And he agreed to. But then the very interesting things happens where he agreed to terms. And then he negotiated.
00:30:07.170 --> 00:30:21.510 Russell Shorto: A transfer of power that was incredibly liberal that basically allowed the place to stay, Dutch, the Dutch could keep their, their positions more Dutch people kept emigrating people kept their property.
00:30:22.560 --> 00:30:37.110 Russell Shorto: Every most everything stayed that way and and that is what I argue at the end of the book is what allowed New York, ultimately, to have a different character than Boston or anywhere else in in the colonies. Hmm.
00:30:37.620 --> 00:30:50.370 Jeff Goodman: Well, that was the last question, we're almost at a time. That was last question I wanted to ask you, in your view, you know, how did what New Amsterdam was not just in terms of the of the terms of the of the surrender of the handover
00:30:51.450 --> 00:31:03.780 Jeff Goodman: What was about it. What was something special about it that helped shape, not just the way, New York, develop, but also the way the United States was something about New Amsterdam that has carried over into into the country's national character.
00:31:03.930 --> 00:31:13.050 Russell Shorto: Well, the two things in particular that the Dutch brought that shaped New York a tolerance which they pioneered in the 17th century and
00:31:13.530 --> 00:31:28.020 Russell Shorto: The principles of treat free trade of capitalism. And if you think about those, you know that that that tolerance is why why there were 18 languages being spoken there. And that was just simply copied from the home country and this trading sensibility. And if you think of
00:31:29.040 --> 00:31:37.080 Russell Shorto: Of those two things as sort of ingredients. Those are ingredients for for New York City and and because New York
00:31:38.310 --> 00:31:52.320 Russell Shorto: became what it did at people it spread and by the 19th century when waves of immigrants come they they land in Manhattan and they see all these different people in different languages and religions and they're all struggling to get ahead.
00:31:52.830 --> 00:32:07.530 Russell Shorto: And they they stayed for a while and they maybe their children then moved westward to Ohio and further west and they kept going west and they kept bringing some of that sensibility with them so that I think is, is how its spread
00:32:08.670 --> 00:32:20.610 Jeff Goodman: Well, I've lived. I studied British history and lived in London for a while, but I'm a native New Yorker and as I love to say, I think the stars that the Dutch founded us and not the Brit. Is it led to the incredible place that New York is today.
00:32:21.390 --> 00:32:27.420 Jeff Goodman: Russell short. Oh, thank you so much for being a guest on rediscovering New York and this first part of our program about colonial New York
00:32:28.020 --> 00:32:28.680 Russell Shorto: Thank you Joe.
00:32:29.040 --> 00:32:40.890 Jeff Goodman: Our first guest has been Russell shorter Russell is a journalist and best selling author is fantastic book about New York is called the island at the center of the world. You can find it on Amazon and many other services Russell. Thank you so much.
00:32:41.130 --> 00:32:53.880 Jeff Goodman: Thanks again, we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we will speak with our second guest, who's a returning guest to the show about what New York was like, and the second part of our colonial history when the British were here. We'll be back in a moment.
00:32:55.740 --> 00:32:58.860 listening to radio and my scene.
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00:37:17.820 --> 00:37:27.690 Jeff Goodman: Well, our second guest is no stranger to rediscovering New York. THAT'S JEREMY Wilcox, he is a licensed New York City tour guide a New York native and the owner of custom and YC tours.
00:37:28.320 --> 00:37:33.660 Jeff Goodman: Is small group of private walking tours focuses on the cities, neighborhoods, its history, art and architecture.
00:37:34.620 --> 00:37:48.150 Jeff Goodman: Jeremy also serves on the board of the guides association in New York City. And one of the oldest and most active tour guide associations in the United States, just like New York City is Jeremy. Welcome back to rediscovering New York
00:37:48.720 --> 00:37:50.880 Jeremy Wilcox: Thank you for having me a long time no speak.
00:37:50.970 --> 00:38:02.760 Jeff Goodman: Indeed, attorney was on the show last week about Victorian Flappers. This is a little bit different time in New York, sister, one question before we get started, what the heck you decide that you would go into designing and leading towards Jeremy
00:38:04.050 --> 00:38:12.810 Jeremy Wilcox: Well, like you know a lot of New Yorkers. I just became very curious about my own city and, you know, discovering and I just started going out on my own walks and doing my own explorations and
00:38:13.560 --> 00:38:24.330 Jeremy Wilcox: Kurt at the same time I was having a sort of crisis of, you know what I was doing with my life. And then I realized I could take the sort of thing that I was passionate about and actually turn it into a career. So I took my solo walks
00:38:24.600 --> 00:38:28.380 Jeremy Wilcox: And I started charging people to come on and join me not to tell, I became a tour guide.
00:38:29.970 --> 00:38:35.850 Jeff Goodman: Moving on to New York from New Amsterdam, of course, the British renamed it New York when they took it over from the Dutch
00:38:36.720 --> 00:38:44.790 Jeff Goodman: We heard about how New Amsterdam surrendered to the English and negotiated favorable terms to continue life as much as they could in the way that they were
00:38:45.330 --> 00:38:54.240 Jeff Goodman: Living at first, I want to ask you a political question. Do we know how English Crown representatives were received on a personal level after the handover
00:38:56.580 --> 00:38:59.130 Jeremy Wilcox: In terms of by the sort of the people of the colony.
00:38:59.310 --> 00:39:00.000 Jeff Goodman: Yes, yeah.
00:39:00.300 --> 00:39:09.150 Jeremy Wilcox: I know you know there was obviously it wasn't the smoothest transition in terms of the sort of politics of it, but for your average day to day colonist
00:39:09.780 --> 00:39:17.970 Jeremy Wilcox: You know, just life went on, you know, in the New Amsterdam colony, you know, as Russell's talking about there obviously always waves of immigrants coming in the rewards new people coming in.
00:39:18.450 --> 00:39:22.260 Jeremy Wilcox: For a lot of the Dutch people who remain there as you mentioned, got to keep their land.
00:39:22.740 --> 00:39:28.620 Jeremy Wilcox: You know, based on a lot of my research. It seems like this was just more immigrants coming in. It was just more new people, you know, there was a
00:39:29.040 --> 00:39:37.800 Jeremy Wilcox: Continuity in terms of, I guess, the day to day life for your average person you know they were he was a working trade colony before and it remained a working trade colony afterwards.
00:39:38.970 --> 00:39:50.670 Jeff Goodman: Were there a lot of English people who all of a sudden flooded the colony. And while not flooded, but who came in greater numbers in the years right after the English took over New York
00:39:52.050 --> 00:39:58.440 Jeremy Wilcox: Certainly, obviously it but the same time that was still immigration coming from, you know, the Netherlands.
00:39:59.070 --> 00:40:05.190 Jeremy Wilcox: But there was a lot of people coming over from England, and as well as a big wave of immigration of people coming over from Europe.
00:40:06.150 --> 00:40:21.660 Jeremy Wilcox: So a lot of this stuff that was already happening in the New Netherlands colony continue to happen in the New York colony, just a sort of was just on steroids, you know, more immigration a greater mix, although obviously the English were a lot stricter about many things in
00:40:21.690 --> 00:40:29.760 Jeff Goodman: Life for former an Amsterdam New Amsterdam as a newly minted New Yorkers changed much in the years right after the handover
00:40:31.260 --> 00:40:35.550 Jeremy Wilcox: Not necessarily going if you are working day to day person in the colony your
00:40:35.910 --> 00:40:44.610 Jeremy Wilcox: Your life really didn't change, you know, just sort of who you were working for change some of the conditions change but you know if you owned land before you still own that land.
00:40:44.910 --> 00:40:57.600 Jeremy Wilcox: It's just you hadn't yet a lot of new neighbors and the population was starting to grow. But, you know, it just for your average person. It really wasn't that different. It's just sort of like, okay, who am I answering to now versus who was I answering to three years ago.
00:40:58.830 --> 00:41:05.790 Jeff Goodman: When I'm New Amsterdam was taken over a conquered. I don't know what the best word is scribe for
00:41:06.450 --> 00:41:07.050 Jeff Goodman: The first thing was
00:41:07.950 --> 00:41:09.780 Jeremy Wilcox: Sorry lightly surrendered.
00:41:09.870 --> 00:41:16.230 Jeff Goodman: Politely surrendered. Right, right. This is to not get the, the, the city blown to bits you know it. It kind of reminded me a little bit of
00:41:16.920 --> 00:41:21.390 Jeff Goodman: What happened in New Orleans in the Civil War. Most of the South fought to the death.
00:41:21.780 --> 00:41:32.940 Jeff Goodman: But as soon as Admiral Farragut sailed up in Mississippi and took over for to to the citizens of New Orleans surrendered said, Just don't burn us down. You know, you know, uncle, were you know you can come in and take us over
00:41:34.050 --> 00:41:43.890 Jeff Goodman: First, it was the English, they didn't become the British until 17 seven after the active Union when Scotland officially became part of the kingdom that had been England and Wales.
00:41:46.080 --> 00:41:55.230 Jeff Goodman: One thing that the British Empire has New York to thank for instead of the other way around, was a substantial milestone in the freedom of the press.
00:41:56.640 --> 00:41:58.680 Jeff Goodman: WHO WAS JOHN Peters anger.
00:42:00.180 --> 00:42:16.650 Jeremy Wilcox: So john Peters anger was basically a journalist. I guess by today's standards we would call them muckraking journalist and he founded a paper that was called the New York weekly journal and he became very famous as you know about, you know, nearly half a decade before the revolution.
00:42:18.210 --> 00:42:27.060 Jeremy Wilcox: Because sort of the cases around him really set the precedent for what would become freedom of the press in America. In particular, he became very well known.
00:42:27.360 --> 00:42:33.720 Jeremy Wilcox: Because he was very, very critical or his paper was very critical of the ruling colonial government at the time.
00:42:34.350 --> 00:42:45.390 Jeremy Wilcox: His paper, the New York weekly journal would regularly print editorials and articles that were critical of the royal governor of New York, whose name was William Cosby and so
00:42:45.840 --> 00:42:46.530 Jeff Goodman: Those Cosby.
00:42:47.400 --> 00:42:56.640 Jeremy Wilcox: Yeah, the not the first kind of house be in this country's history and, you know, this really obviously this really started to get the ire of Governor Cosby.
00:42:57.330 --> 00:43:01.860 Jeremy Wilcox: And eventually zig or find zingers that finds himself sued for libel.
00:43:02.280 --> 00:43:10.380 Jeremy Wilcox: And then this gets taken up in the court over there. And basically what his lawyers argued, was that if you have the truth behind you, even if you are
00:43:10.770 --> 00:43:19.590 Jeremy Wilcox: Critical and it's not it doesn't necessarily seem fair and balanced, you are kind of really ribbing. The government, but as long as you have the truth behind you, you can prove what you're saying.
00:43:20.190 --> 00:43:26.280 Jeremy Wilcox: It's not liable. And while obviously this really doesn't get codified in the way we think of it today until after the revolution.
00:43:26.640 --> 00:43:35.250 Jeremy Wilcox: With the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This really was the first time this kind of precedent that the press does have the right to publish whatever they want.
00:43:35.940 --> 00:43:46.290 Jeremy Wilcox: Even if they are critical of the government. The government doesn't have the right to come in and shut down a paper or arrest someone who's running a paper just because they're not printing the type of coverage that they would prefer
00:43:47.040 --> 00:43:55.080 Jeremy Wilcox: You know, and these presidents have to get set by these kinds of fights and this he was, you know, so influential in this regard that
00:43:55.440 --> 00:44:04.590 Jeremy Wilcox: Whenever I take people to federal Hall National Monument down on Wall Street as part of my downtown tours in one of the back rooms at federal Hall.
00:44:05.550 --> 00:44:18.660 Jeremy Wilcox: They actually have a whole section dedicated to Sanger, and the work that he did, and there's like a replica of his printing press and talking about how this, you know, early pre revolutionary paper kind of set these important standards.
00:44:19.800 --> 00:44:32.700 Jeff Goodman: The zinger case was in the early 70s 30s and that was in the middle of the time between the pipes between the surrender in 1664 and and the revolution, the British
00:44:34.080 --> 00:44:37.530 Jeff Goodman: Controlled New York for three times longer than the Dutch did
00:44:38.580 --> 00:44:44.040 Jeff Goodman: How did the your change and the time that the that the British were here from the time that took it over until the revolution.
00:44:45.870 --> 00:44:52.980 Jeremy Wilcox: I mean, the first and foremost is the city just was growing and famously, the northern limits of the New Amsterdam colony was Wall Street.
00:44:53.220 --> 00:45:01.710 Jeremy Wilcox: And it was so named because there was a literal walls that wouldn't wall that mark the northern end of the territory. Well that starts to come down and they start pushing northward.
00:45:02.730 --> 00:45:07.590 Jeremy Wilcox: City starts growing you have again more waves of immigrants coming in the city is becoming a little bit more
00:45:08.160 --> 00:45:13.830 Jeremy Wilcox: Rigid in a lot of ways, certainly was more orderly from the British perspective than when Stuyvesant was running things
00:45:14.640 --> 00:45:25.230 Jeremy Wilcox: So it's just it's it's growing and the British are starting to gain more, you know, can put down more control and that sort of leads you up into the second half of the 1700s, where
00:45:25.740 --> 00:45:36.120 Jeremy Wilcox: The colonists are starting to get a little bit discontent with the British rule versus half a century before. So it's growing and getting more contentious is the way to sum it up.
00:45:37.320 --> 00:45:43.680 Jeff Goodman: Well, we're going to take a short break and when we come back, we're going to talk about New York right before the revolution. But I do want to make one other note that, despite the
00:45:44.520 --> 00:45:57.390 Jeff Goodman: The freedoms that were sort of establishing the zinger case there was another side to New York history that was not about freedom, but about enslavement, there were a good number of slave peoples who were living in in and around New York at the time.
00:45:58.500 --> 00:46:10.530 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Jeremy Wilcox of custom NYC tours about what New York was like when the British were here as colonial masters will be back in a moment.
00:46:13.980 --> 00:46:15.180 Jeremy Wilcox: talk radio and my
00:46:16.320 --> 00:46:18.270 left edge case and
00:48:27.150 --> 00:48:27.630 Jeff Goodman: We're back.
00:48:28.380 --> 00:48:30.450 Jeff Goodman: You're back to rediscovering New York
00:48:30.540 --> 00:48:46.530 Jeff Goodman: And our special program about what New York was like in colonial times my guest to talk about the British is Jeremy Wilcox, who's the founder and owner of custom NYC tours, Jeremy. It's kind of a tough time for the tour business right now, especially
00:48:47.640 --> 00:49:00.420 Jeff Goodman: Not having lots of people together. What are some of the recent offerings that you've been offering in these times that people can still take advantage of exploring new york and finding out about its history and about some of its special features.
00:49:01.320 --> 00:49:07.800 Jeremy Wilcox: Well, many guys like myself are still operating. Obviously we've got new health and safety guidelines in place. So I've been trying to more push
00:49:08.130 --> 00:49:12.690 Jeremy Wilcox: Towards that I believe would appeal to locals, such as Mike Victorian Flatbush tour.
00:49:13.260 --> 00:49:19.380 Jeremy Wilcox: I've also developed a new tour called billionaires row about all these new super tall skyscrapers going up on 57th Street.
00:49:19.920 --> 00:49:30.660 Jeremy Wilcox: And then I do kind of fun tours for families like street art tours and things like that. It's just trying to encourage locals however safely. They feel to keep exploring their own city and supporting local businesses.
00:49:31.230 --> 00:49:33.180 Jeff Goodman: And how can people find out about your tour offerings.
00:49:33.780 --> 00:49:48.270 Jeremy Wilcox: So if you go to my website, which is WW dot custom NYC tours com all of my main tours are listed there as well as some you can contact me. I do custom tours private tours. Happy to arrange whatever kind of Tours people. People want
00:49:48.720 --> 00:49:51.390 Jeremy Wilcox: You can also find my health and safety guidelines on the site as well.
00:49:51.900 --> 00:49:54.180 Jeff Goodman: I'm looking forward to doing your tour of Victorian flappers
00:49:55.740 --> 00:50:10.860 Jeff Goodman: Around for Saturday and when and when you're doing it, um, speaking of Victorian times moving back even further Georgian times in New York. Let's talk about New York right before the American Revolution. What was New York like before the war started before the revolution.
00:50:12.270 --> 00:50:27.240 Jeremy Wilcox: So right before the revolution. Things are really starting to, you know, heat up there. Obviously, when we think of the American Revolution, we think of Philadelphia and Boston. But New York kind of being the centerpiece of the British colonial
00:50:28.320 --> 00:50:35.310 Jeremy Wilcox: Era, there really was an era where both sides of the conflict were looking towards although what a lot of people don't realize is that
00:50:35.730 --> 00:50:50.880 Jeremy Wilcox: Being the sort of center of the British colony. It really was a hotbed of loyalism toward the British Crown, while there was a lot of revolutionary fever in the air with the Sons of Liberty and other organizations that really was considered a center of loyalists to King George
00:50:53.550 --> 00:51:00.120 Jeff Goodman: Also, one thing I found really fascinating was that around this time, New York was the third largest city in the British Empire.
00:51:00.480 --> 00:51:09.810 Jeff Goodman: After London in Philadelphia. So it certainly was the center of commerce and, of course, these, these were pre Industrial Revolution days before the industrial centers in England, like Manchester and Birmingham.
00:51:10.230 --> 00:51:17.730 Jeff Goodman: Were transformed from sleepy towns to industrial ones with factories. But New York was the third largest city in the British Empire.
00:51:18.480 --> 00:51:20.220 Jeremy Wilcox: And they considered very, very
00:51:20.370 --> 00:51:21.330 Jeremy Wilcox: Crucial to holding
00:51:22.830 --> 00:51:27.030 Jeff Goodman: And that brings us to the revolution bit of history for our listeners who may not know the timeline.
00:51:27.780 --> 00:51:38.910 Jeff Goodman: The Revolutionary War started in 1775 after the battles of Lexington and Concord and the colonists fought for 13 months before independence was actually declared in Philadelphia.
00:51:39.540 --> 00:51:46.410 Jeff Goodman: And New York was one of the few cities that remained under British control from most of the war from September of 1776
00:51:46.890 --> 00:52:03.060 Jeff Goodman: Until the evacuation of 1783 the last battle of the war Battle of Yorktown was fought in 1781 but it was two years before our independence was recognized and British forces with true. What role did New York play during the revolution.
00:52:04.500 --> 00:52:12.480 Jeremy Wilcox: So New York actually held the site of the largest single battle that was ever fought in the revolution we really weren't taught this very well in school because it ultimately was
00:52:13.020 --> 00:52:18.840 Jeremy Wilcox: Somewhat inconsequential, which was the Battle of Long Island or the Battle of Brooklyn in late August of 1776
00:52:19.560 --> 00:52:28.410 Jeremy Wilcox: And even prior to that, you know, George Washington had set up headquarters in New York sort of anticipating this conflict of both uptown as well as a downtown
00:52:28.770 --> 00:52:34.080 Jeremy Wilcox: And you also had a sort of mass exodus. You know, there was a read that, you know, nearly a third
00:52:34.410 --> 00:52:40.410 Jeremy Wilcox: Of the city's population sort of fled the expected you know conflict before the Continental Army arrived with George Washington
00:52:40.740 --> 00:52:48.000 Jeremy Wilcox: So, the city was prepping for war. Long before the war even happened. One of my favorite incidents that sort of prove this contention.
00:52:48.360 --> 00:52:56.850 Jeremy Wilcox: Occurred, you know, just a few days after the declaration of agreement signed when George Washington brings a copy of it to New York, you have this bowling green Riot where
00:52:57.120 --> 00:53:11.430 Jeremy Wilcox: People marched down Broadway to Bowling Green and lower Manhattan and basically tear down the statue of King George the Third and eventually it gets torn apart and they melt it down and it's turned into musket balls, which the Continental Army uses in their battles against the British
00:53:12.420 --> 00:53:29.220 Jeff Goodman: And then the British occupy the city in 1776 and as you mentioned, a good number of city residents fled before the British came. What was New York like when the British were here did did life change in this in the seven years that they occupied the city.
00:53:30.660 --> 00:53:36.300 Jeremy Wilcox: Life changed in a lot of ways. I mean, well, first and foremost, when they, you know, formally TOOK CONTROL THE CITY IN SEPTEMBER 7076
00:53:36.540 --> 00:53:42.630 Jeremy Wilcox: There was a major fire that was started. So a lot of sort of colonial New York actually burned down right at the start to the occupation.
00:53:43.380 --> 00:53:52.650 Jeremy Wilcox: But then quietly, you know, New York settled into being a loyalist town. It was the loyalists city in the colony. Many patriots fled.
00:53:53.190 --> 00:54:01.290 Jeremy Wilcox: Those who remain were subject to harsh conditions, including being held prisoner on these prison ships that were out in the harbor near where the Brooklyn Navy artists today.
00:54:01.530 --> 00:54:08.610 Jeremy Wilcox: More people actually died aboard those prison ships and died in any of the actual conflicts throughout the revolution.
00:54:09.090 --> 00:54:19.020 Jeremy Wilcox: And you also had a growing network of spies who were working for the Continental Army there because being the hotbed of loyalism. That was the place to get the prime information.
00:54:20.460 --> 00:54:25.440 Jeff Goodman: Did New York change much in the years immediately following the British evacuation.
00:54:27.540 --> 00:54:38.910 Jeremy Wilcox: In certain ways, yes. Obviously, once the British evacuated in 1783 life obviously started to normalize and then New York became started to evolve into the capital. So you had the center
00:54:39.390 --> 00:54:55.320 Jeremy Wilcox: Of the loyalism toward the British Crown eventually evolves with in less than a decade to being the capital of this new independent nation. It's kind of amazing how quickly that sort of turned around and how much the pride came and having New York be the capital of the new United States.
00:54:55.980 --> 00:55:04.830 Jeff Goodman: Well, it was only the capital Jeremy for a year from 1789 when Washington took his first oath of office was actually right on Broad Street and Wall Street where federal Hall is right now.
00:55:05.250 --> 00:55:13.020 Jeff Goodman: And the compromise the SEC 1790 move the capital out of New York. Much has been said about how New York evolved from a political capital.
00:55:13.380 --> 00:55:19.380 Jeff Goodman: To a financial one. But I'm wondering, was there something about New York and its ethos, the way life in the city was
00:55:19.830 --> 00:55:32.550 Jeff Goodman: That may be heading New York be destined not to be the nation's capital. And was it because it was the center of of commerce that had the it'd be the city's destiny that it would no longer be the new nation's capital.
00:55:33.570 --> 00:55:43.620 Jeremy Wilcox: Yes. I mean, I think. So if even if you go back to New Amsterdam this colony was first founded by the Dutch to be a center of trade and commerce. It was literally founded on capitalism.
00:55:44.010 --> 00:55:53.280 Jeremy Wilcox: And so, as it evolved a thing. You know, it was just, it was a trade city. And so, you know, certainly, Alexander Hamilton solved that way and it continued to grow in terms of its finance.
00:55:53.700 --> 00:55:59.730 Jeremy Wilcox: And it was also a very established city. This was a country that was looking to start over. I imagine many of the founders.
00:56:00.090 --> 00:56:03.960 Jeremy Wilcox: Were kind of looking elsewhere and eventually look toward the Potomac, because
00:56:04.380 --> 00:56:11.700 Jeremy Wilcox: It was a place where you literally could start from scratch and didn't have all the baggage that New York didn't have kind of the rowdiness, that New York did was a little cleaner.
00:56:12.060 --> 00:56:20.520 Jeremy Wilcox: A little closer to the center where a lot of the founders actually were from, you know, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, they were all you know Southerners by today's standards and
00:56:21.000 --> 00:56:29.100 Jeremy Wilcox: So New York kind of faded away as the National Capital, but it remained it still remains today is not only the global, you know, the financial capital of America.
00:56:29.310 --> 00:56:35.610 Jeremy Wilcox: But it's really considered by many to be the global financial capital. And that goes back from the Dutch through the post Revolutionary era.
00:56:36.480 --> 00:56:48.720 Jeff Goodman: New York being routing and not the cleanest I can't imagine. But I want to ask you one more question. And the minute we have left. Is there anything that remains in New York from the British period and lower New York. Is there anything that we can see.
00:56:48.720 --> 00:56:56.250 Jeremy Wilcox: Here that might a lot that remains. I mean, you can go and you can find Bowling Green Park is still there. The oldest public park in New York City, founded in 1733
00:56:56.640 --> 00:57:02.940 Jeremy Wilcox: And if you know where to look. Or you hire the right tour guide. There's plaques, they're marking the site of the comments liberty polls.
00:57:03.600 --> 00:57:14.430 Jeremy Wilcox: The fence that's around the Bowling Green, which is original you can find markers showing where Thomas Jefferson lived as Secretary of State and was the site of the room where it happened from Hamilton.
00:57:15.060 --> 00:57:24.450 Jeremy Wilcox: So, you know, Francis tavern, you know, some I recreated. There's a lot that remains there. You just have to know where to look and you know how to be willing to read a lot of plaques.
00:57:24.930 --> 00:57:29.160 Jeff Goodman: Oh, and people can take advantage of that with your tours.
00:57:30.510 --> 00:57:45.750 Jeff Goodman: Jeremy's website is www custom NYC tours com Jeremy has been our second guest on this program about colonial woolcock about colonial New York. Sorry, Jeremy. Jeremy Wilcox, thank you so much for being a guest on the show again.
00:57:46.260 --> 00:57:47.130 Jeremy Wilcox: Thank you again for having me.
00:57:47.760 --> 00:57:54.510 Jeff Goodman: Well, if you have comments or questions about the show. If you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York cut NYC.
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00:58:03.780 --> 00:58:08.880 Jeff Goodman: Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors the mark moment team mortgage strategist at freedom mortgage
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00:58:14.850 --> 00:58:21.810 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent at homestead in New York City actually brown Harris Stevens in New York. We've just consolidate
00:58:22.380 --> 00:58:36.870 Jeff Goodman: And whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting my team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producers Ralph story or
00:58:37.440 --> 00:58:39.060 Jeff Goodman: Our engineer is Sam Leibowitz
00:58:39.690 --> 00:58:48.300 Jeff Goodman: Our production assistant is Brendan Leticia and our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.