Queens, NY History

The Timeline of Queens History

  • 1636-39 Dutch authorities begin awarding grants of land in Queens, the first settlers residing in the Dutch Kills area of Long Island City
  • 1657 The people of Flushing issue the Flushing Remonstrance to protest Governor Stuyvesant's persecution of the Quakers; one of the first public statements on freedom of religion issued in the North American colonies, it argues that Stuyvesant violated rights granted to the colonists in their town charter
  • 1664 The Dutch surrender New Netherland to the English
  • 1683 The British colony of New York is divided into ten counties, one of which is Queens which included all of current Nassau County
  • 1790 First U.S. Census taken: Queens County has 5,393 total population, including 1,095 slaves
  • 1827 Slavery becomes illegal in New York State on July 4th, although most slaves have been manumitted by this time
  • 1854 Conrad Poppenhusen opens a hard-rubber factory in College Point, one of the first large-scale manufacturing plants in Queens, employing hundreds of workers
  • 1861 The first hospital in Queens is opened in Long Island City by a group of Catholic nuns
  • 1862 Construction of Fort Totten in Bayside begun by the U.S. government and throughout the Civil War many local volunteers are trained on the grounds
  • 1865 Frederick Douglass delivers a speech at the Flushing Town Hall on the role of African Americans in antebellum America; Manhattanites begin the trend of day trips to Rockaway Beach
  • 1870 A free kindergarten for the children of College Point opened at the Poppenhusen Institute, the first of its kind in America
  • 1870-1872 The Steinway Company builds a piano factory and factory village in northern Long Island City
  • 1874 Queens County Courthouse holds its first session in Long Island City
  • 1875 Flushing High School opens as the first state-chartered public school in New York
  • 1887 Reporter Jacob Riis moves to Richmond Hill, where he writes How the Other Half Lives