The New Amsterdam History Center invites you to
A talk by Sara Cedar Miller
Historian Emerita of the Central Park Conservancy
about her just-published book
BEFORE CENTRAL PARK
With an Introduction by Artist Len Tantillo
Moderated by Manhattan Borough Historian Robert Snyder
Wednesday May 18, 2022
6 to 7:30 PM (EST)
Q & A Will Follow
Visitors can hardly imagine Manhattan without Central Park, but the history of these 843 acres before it became the celebrated green space is a fascinating story told by Sara Cedar Miller, Historian Emerita of the Central Park Conservancy, in her new book, Before Central Park, published by Columbia University Press.
In 1637, Hendrick de Forest and his brother Isaac, with permission from the Dutch West India Company, arrived at what is today the northern end of Central Park and central Harlem to develop a tobacco bouwerie. When Henrick died soon after sowing his crop, his brother-in-law, Dr. Johannes de la Montagne, took over the 200-acre farm while also assuming the role of councilor to Director General Willem Kieft and his successor, Petrus Stuyvesant.
Inspired by this story, historian and painter Len Tantillo created a stunning depiction of the Montagne homestead set, most likely, in the northern part of today’s Central Park.
Join us for a fascinating program as Mr. Tantillo introduces Ms. Miller, and Manhattan Borough Historian Robert Snyder leads the Q&A after the presentation.
Note: Information about the de Forests (deFreests), Montagne, and the two Directors may be found in the NAHC Encyclopedia, Mapping Early New York, under Male Ancestors. https://nahc-mapping.org/mappingNY/encyclopedia