Jean Leon Gerome Ferris’s painting “The Fall of New Amsterdam, which shows New Amsterdam residents begging Peter Stuyvesant to surrender to the British. Via The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
On September 8th, 1664, Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, officially establishing New York City. To take part in the fur trade, settlers from the Dutch West India Company first established the colony of New Netherland in 1624, which would eventually grow to include all present-day boroughs, Long Island, and even parts of New Jersey. The following year, the island of Manhattan, then the capital, was named New Amsterdam. But when Stuyvesant’s 17-year run as Governor (from 1647 to 1664) turned unfavorable, he ceded the island to England’s Colonel Richard Nicolls, who had sent four ships with 450 men to seize the Dutch Colony. The name was promptly changed to honor the Duke of York and his mission.