When New York was officially named New Orange

How New York got its name can be summed up like this: In 1624, a Dutch ship arrived at the foot of lower Manhattan, where colonists set up a town they named after Holland’s largest city, New Amsterdam.

By 1664, New Amsterdam fell into the hands of the British (Peter Stuyvesant signed over the colony, now a city, without a fight), who renamed it New York in honor of the Duke of York.

[The city skyline, 1653]

Case closed? Not exactly. In 1673, the Dutch regained control of New York, sailing triumphantly into the harbor with a fleet of 21 ships.

Dutch leader Anthony Colve rechristened the colony New Orange, its official name for about a year—at which point it was permanently ceded to the British under the Treaty of Westminster.

As The New York Times’ Sam Roberts put it in a 2009 podcast, New York “was the Big Orange before it was the Big Apple.”

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5 Responses to “When New York was officially named New Orange”

  1. addie Says:

    New Orange?? Holy Smokes!! New Orange?? I guess it is better than, say, New Banana. lol

  2. NB Says:

    Named New Orange after William III of Orange. King William III is still celebrated today by Protestants in Ireland in memory of the “Glorious Revolution” and the Battle Of The Boyne in 1690 that kept Ireland in Protestant control. The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland was popular in New York City in the 1800’s. After the NYC Orange Riots in the early 1870’s it’s membership dwindled but there are still two Orange Lodges in New York City today.

  3. The controversial royal who Queens is named for | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] 1683, not long after England permanently took over New Netherlands from the Dutch, a round of renaming was in […]

  4. NYMM: Becoming a New Yorker Says:

    […] of the lives of people who called themselves a part of this land—whether it was New Amsterdam, New Orange, or New York—at the time. (Can you imagine calling yourself a New Oranger? I sure […]

  5. Clinton Burks (@soloncircus) Says:

    As far as “New York” being named after the Duke of York, is this unique? If not, name one other place name in the world, which is named “New Something,” and the “Something” is a person and not a place. This would mean the place is a new version of a person, which works in poetry as personification, but makes no sense in geo-nomenclature.

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