New York Past and Present: Its History and Landmarks 1524-1939; One Hundred Views Reproduced and Described from Old Prints, Etc., and Modern Photographs

New York Past and Present: Its History and Landmarks 1524-1939; One Hundred Views Reproduced and Described from Old Prints, Etc., and Modern Photographs

New York Past and Present: Its History and Landmarks 1524-1939; One Hundred Views Reproduced and Described from Old Prints, Etc., and Modern Photographs

New York Past and Present: Its History and Landmarks 1524-1939; One Hundred Views Reproduced and Described from Old Prints, Etc., and Modern Photographs

Excerpt

This little book is an attempt to summarize the history, and to illustrate the development, of New York City, as briefly as possible, and to make available, in convenient and attractive form, a well-printed and well-illustrated book, at the lowest possible price. It is primarily a picture book, with contemporary views and descriptions of the city itself, and of its streets, buildings, and other landmarks, during successive periods in its development. Few persons realize that the individuality of towns and cities is just as pronounced and interesting as that of people, and the study of the changes which have taken place during their development throughout the centuries, as illustrated by successive plans, views, and historical data, often quite as revealing and fascinating as the portraits and biographies of their distinguished citizens. Can there by anyone so callous, and so lacking in romance, as not to feel a thrill of emotion before such contemporary pictures as the crudely drawn Labadist views of New York in 1679 (pp. 8-9, 10), and Will Burgis' noble South Prospect of ye Flourishing City of New York, in 1716-8 (pp. 8-9), or by a comparison of the skyline of New Amsterdam (p. 4) with that of the modern City of New York (p. 54)?

The plates and descriptions are preceded by notes on a few of the better-known and more picturesque of the myths which have come down to us from very early times, and which describe imaginary voyages to mysterious islands in the seemingly limitless, and terrifying, "Mare tenebrosum," or "Western Sea," and by a brief examination of some of the more plausible of the—still admittedly partly egendary—tales emanating chiefly from Norse traditions of the tenth and eleventh centuries, and of the more important recorded explorations along the eastern coast of North America at the end of the fifteenth, during the sixteenth, and early in the seventeenth century, which resulted in the discovery of the Hudson River, and the establishment at its mouth of New Amsterdam, the present City of New York. The successive steps in connection with the founding of New Amsterdam, until recently, have been but imperfectly understood; an attempt is here made to present them in the light of recent research, and in some detail.

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