Inventing Gotham: New York City and the American Dream

Andrew Meyers

Document Based Question

Class, Ethnicity and Social Geography in Early New York


How do ethnic background and economic status organize the social geography of New Amsterdam and early New York?

Respond to the statement above using the following historical maps and views of New Amsterdam and New York from the 1640s to 1728. Thanks to David Bellel for scans of many of the maps below.

Document A

Nieuw Amsterdam Panorama, 1640s



Document B

Castello Plan, 1660

Source: Collection of the New York Historical Society



Document C

Reconstruction of the Spier map, 1660s


Document D

Growth of New York, 1661-1728

Document E

"Dutch and English Streets" from Eric Homberger, Historical Atlas of New York City. (Henry Holt and Company: New York, 1994) p.40

Document F

The Bradford Map of 1728 (reprinted 1887)




Document F

The Ratzer Planof 1767


Document F

The Ratzer Plan of 1787