1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Flatbush
FLATBUSH, formerly a township of Kings county, Long Island, New York, U.S.A., annexed to Brooklyn in 1894, and after the 1st of January 1898 a part of the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. The first settlement was made here by the Dutch about 1651, and was variously called “Midwout,” “Midwoud” and “Medwoud” (from the Dutch words, med, “middle” and woud, “wood”) for about twenty years, when it became more commonly known as Vlachte Bos (vlachte, “wooded”; bos, “plain”) or Flackebos, whence, by further corruption, the present name. Farming was the chief occupation of the early settlers. On the 23rd of August 1776 the village was occupied by General Cornwallis’s division of the invading force under Lord Howe, and on the 27th, at the disastrous battle of Long Island (or “battle of Flatbush,” as it is sometimes called), “Flatbush Pass,” an important strategic point, was vigorously defended by General Sullivan’s troops.