Description: What was New York when the Europeans arrived? Who came? What was here and what did they do with it?

Manhattan became a base of operations because of a combination of features found nowhere else: a vast harbor, an ice-free port, hills and valleys offering both protection from enemies and access to the interior…. In the 1660’s a man wrote back to Europe, “It is as though God intends the trade of the world to locate here,” and in the 1780’s, when New York was home to a mere 25,000, George Washington said it was destined to become the great city of the world.

Remnants of these hills, streams and forests suggest the influence of pristine Manhattan on the city, the nation and the world.

And what of the founders? The Dutch left the area 350 years ago but their imprint remains an active influence, their worldview an indelible part of the city. Dutch use of the resources that made New York’s rise a certainty affects and even determines our actions to the present day.

This tour will be enjoyed by those who love American History.


Meeting Place: At the foot of Broadway on the steps of the Custom House.  Nearest subway – 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green.

Peter L.
FROM New York, NY

Who came and what did they find? What did they do with it and how does it matter?



Gift an Expedition
about Peter L.

Peter L.

New York, NY

Since 1987 I have indulged my passion for New York by giving classes, lectures and tours of its history. My focus is to go beyond the usual who-what-where-when and into the why and how – illustrated, for example, by a simple bend in a road, shape of a building or site of a church. Among those that have sponsored my tours are the Museum of Natural History and New York University, not to mention groups of all kinds around the world. I am a registered New York City tour guide, a member of the bar, and the author of a coming book on the ties between the history of New York and that of baseball.