This article on the history of Brooklyn is brought to you by the workers’ compensation attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman, P.C., also known as “The Disability Guys”.
If you’re a Brooklyn resident or if you’re about to visit Brooklyn, consider reading more about the amazing history of this former city turned borough!
Brooklyn Or Breukelen?
In 1636, a group of Dutch farmers founded the first European settlement along the shores of the Gowanus Bay, which was the first settlement in the area that is now called Brooklyn. These settlers named the area “Breuckelen” after a town in Holland. This name also translates to “marshland”.
In 1664, the English took this area from the Dutch and created “Kings County” out of the six towns the Dutch had created, including Breukelen. This allowed the area to be given political recognition and plans were drawn up to for future growth.
As for the modern-day spelling – the truth is simply that there were MANY different ways that settlers wrote Breuckelen, one of which was Brooklyn. As for why this particular spelling was chosen, it’s likely that it was simply the most popular and easiest for people to remember.
Brooklyn During The Revolutionary War
Since New York was a major port and a center of trade, it’s not surprising that the British and the newly formed American government fought for control. After declaring independence, the first major battle of the war was fought in Brooklyn and is now known as the Battle of Brooklyn (also the Battle of Long Island by some historians). Washington and his troops were forced from the area by the British and New York became both the political and military base for the rest of the Revolutionary War.
Brooklyn Grows Into A City
After the American Revolution, the Village of Brooklyn was established in 1817. Government buildings, a school, businesses, and homes were built, and a ferry service was created. By 1854, Brooklyn was officially declared a city.
Then the Civil War began.
Brooklyn residents were generally against slavery and Brooklyn became an important supplier of the Union troops, providing both troops and needed materials. One regiment, the “Red Legged Devils”, was well known for fighting for the Union and wearing red during the war. President Lincoln even called on these “Devils” to serve him throughout the war.
After the end of the Civil War, Brooklyn grew until it became the third most populous city in the United States! Piers and factories were built, the shipbuilding industry flourished, and railroads were built.
Brooklyn Becomes Part of New York City
In 1898, Brooklyn was consolidated and became one of the boroughs of New York City. Today, Brooklyn is the most populous county in the state of New York, with over 2.5 million residents!
Visiting Brooklyn: What You Should Know
If you’ve never been to Brooklyn add this borough to your travel list! With lots of things to do and places to eat, there will be something everyone can enjoy on your trip. If you’re a resident, there’s always something new for you to discover and enjoy with your friends and loved ones!