Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
New York as the Seat of Government
Plan of the City of New York
A Plan of the City of New York (1775)
by John Montresor
(Courtesy of the New York Historical Society)

By 1789 New York City covered only the lower tip of Manhattan Island. On the east side of the island, Byard's Lane (present day Broome Street) was the northern boundary. The west side of the island was settled only as far north as present day Reade Street. The number of houses has been estimated at 4,200. During the late 1780s New York was still rebuilding after the great fires of 1776 and 1778 and recovering from the British occupation during much of the Revolutionary War.


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