1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Long Island City

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LONG ISLAND CITY, formerly a city of Queens county, New York, U.S.A., and since the 1st of January 1898 the first ward of the Borough of Queens, New York City. Pop. (1880) 17,129, (1890) 30,506, (1900) 48,272, of whom 15,899 were foreign-born. It has a river front, on East river and Long Island Sound, of 10 m., and is the eastern terminal and the headquarters of the Long Island railway, having a large Y.M.C.A. building (the gift of Mrs Russell Sage) for employees of this railway. Among manufactures are chemicals, pottery, varnish, silk, &c., and there are oil-storage warehouses. Most of the borough offices of Queens borough are in Long Island City, which was formerly the county-seat of Queens county. The first settlement within the limits of what subsequently became Long Island City was made in 1640 by a Dutch blacksmith, Hendrick Harmensen, who soon afterward was murdered by an Indian. Other settlers, both Dutch and English, soon followed, and established detached villages, which became known as Hunter’s Point, Blissville, Astoria, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Middleton and Steinway. In 1853 this group of villages, by that time virtually one community, was called Long Island City, and it was formally incorporated under that name in 1870. In 1871–1872 the city was laid out by a commission of which General W. B. Franklin was president. Political convictions, economic considerations and fear combined to make the residents in this region largely loyalist in their attitude during the War of Independence. From 1776 to 1783 British troops occupied Newtown, a village to the S. E. In January 1776 the committee on the state of New York in Congress reported a resolution that “Whereas a majority of the inhabitants of Queens county, in the colony of New York, being incapable of resolving to live and die free men,... all such persons as voted against sending deputies to the present convention in New York ... be put out of the protection of the United Colonies,” &c., an action which led to the arrest and imprisonment of many of the accused persons.

See J. S. Kelsey, History of Long Island City (Long Island City, 1896).