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Blank Canvas

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S: New Amsterdam to New York

FC: From | New Amsterdam | to New York | Created by: Michelle McCloggan-Smith Illustrations by: Marta Osorio | Contributions by: Tatyana Margulis & Jeff Excell

1: Many years ago, before New York was known as New York, the Dutch people arrived by ship and called the land New Amsterdam. New Amsterdam was filled with many hills and trees and was home to the Native Americans. It looked like one big forest.

2: The Dutch people tried to clear away trees and level the hills, but they did not have enough strength to get the job done. So they brought African people to help with the work. | The African people were called indentured servants, which meant that they had to work for someone for a number of years. Africans worked long in hard and for free in hopes to eventually gain their freedom.

3: The Africans cleared away the trees and planted crops. They built buildings and roads. They hauled dirt and dug ditches. They worked from sun up, till sun down. They were the carpenters, the masons, the coopers, and other skilled craftsmen. The women who came, cooked and cleaned the homes of their masters and cared for their children.

4: After serving out their required years, some of the first Africans in New York were given land where they could live and planted crops. They built houses and walls around their land. They were free and built their own community. | But things changed when the English people came.

5: The English changed the name New Amsterdam to New York. They took the land from the Dutch. The English did not like the way the Africans lived, so they made them work harder and treated them as slaves. | They did not give them land and did not pay them for their hard work. This made the Africans very unhappy.

6: The English took away any freedom that the Africans had. They asked the slaves to carry passes when they were out on the road. They separated them from their friends and families. They could not meet in small or large groups.

7: The English kept all the money they received from the crops, and other things that were made by slaves. They also brought and sold slaves, and rented slaves out to other owners. The English called the slaves, their property. But the slaves fought for their rights and finally received their freedom.

8: In time, more and more people from other countries came to New York, looking for better life. Many of them settled in New York and some went on to other cities. All these groups brought their own cultures and contributed in their own way. | The more immigrants arrived, the more the city grew and more land was developed; there were more houses, more shops, more schools, and more churches. There were big buildings and small buildings. People continue to arrive from everywhere, every race and every place.

9: We are thankful to those who worked hard and worked for free, so that we can have a great city. | THE END

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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Blank Canvas
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  • Started: about 7 years ago
  • Updated: about 7 years ago