Manhattan is the most prosperous borough in New York City, and the location of Times Square, Broadway, and numerous skyscrapers including the Empire State Building. It is an island connected by frequently congested bridges and tunnels with mainland New York (and Long Island) and New Jersey.
The Modern Borough
Manhattan encompasses just over one million people, making it a smaller contribution to the population of New York city, but is universally recognized as the heart of the city.
Peter Minuit, the Dutch Governor of the New Netherlands Province, purchased Manhattan Island from the Manhattan Indian tribe on May 6, 1626. The price was 60 guilders of brass buttons, scarlet cloth and trade goods.
Manhattan Island was named the Island New Amsterdam, and later taken over by the British and renamed New York City.
The colony's original Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, June 1, 1629, stated:
- Patroons and colonists shall in particular, and in the speediest manner, endeavor to find out ways and means whereby they may support a Minister and Schoolmaster, that thus the service of God and zeal for religion may not grow cool and be neglected among them, and they shall, for the first, procure a Comforter of the sick there.
In 1665, the Colonial Legislature of New York stated:
- Whereas, The public worship of God is much discredited for want of...able ministers to instruct the people in the true religion, it is ordered that a church shall be built in each parish capable of holding 200 persons; that ministers of every church shall preach every Sunday, and pray for the king, queen, the Duke of York, and the royal family .... Sunday is not to be profaned.
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- Jackson, Kenneth, ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City (1995), excerpt and text search