Queens History Timeline

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.

1870-72

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.