Posts Tagged ‘New Orange to New York’

When New York was officially named New Orange

March 7, 2011

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.”