350 years ago today, the hated British arrived to take New Amsterdam

new amsterdam

God it was much realer back then, you know?

In what would become a long-running theme throughout its history, today marks the anniversary of one of the first invasions of New York City by outsiders wearing funny clothes and not speaking in the same accents as the original inhabitants. We’re speaking of course, about the day in 1664 when the British first docked warships in Gravesend Bay and eventually sent troops to get a peaceful surrender out of the director-general of what was then known as New Amsterdam.The Times ran down the history of the brief, bloodless invasion, that started on August 26, 1664, in which the British sent ships to Brooklyn and then to the southern point in Manhattan and coaxed a peaceful surrender and handover of the land out of the Dutch. As it turned out, most of the Dutch inhabitants of New Amsterdam were perfectly happy to not fight a war over their home turf, except for Peter Stuyvesant, who had to be convinced to peacefully hand over the land.

You won’t read it in the Times story, but legend has it, that while signing the surrender treaty, Stuyvesant became the first transplant in New York City history to roll his eyes and mutter “Brooklyn is over.”