Pictured: Park Historian Steve Laise. Artwork: “Prototype View” of New Amsterdam date depicted: c1651 From Phelps Stokes Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1915, Courtesy New York Public Library.

Alexander Hamilton’s Unlikely Rise

In this episode of Ranger Stories, park historian Steve Laise recounts the rise of founding father Alexander Hamilton from humble beginnings on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean to Washington’s right-hand man and, ultimately, Secretary of the Treasury. Co-author of The Federalist Papers, which argued for adoption of the Constitution, Hamilton was instrumental in establishing a strong central government and sound financial footing for the new nation.

Nieuw Amsterdam to New York

Listen to the story of how the mighty metropolis of New York arose, as told by park historian Steve Laise. You’ll start your journey on the other side of the world with the Dutch East India Company, join Henry Hudson in his quest for a Northwest Passage and end up on the southern tip of Manhattan with Peter Minuit. Then, in Part 2, you’ll hear how the city’s residents prospered, rebelled against a tyrannical director-general, and won! The story concludes with the British takeover in Part 3, where you’ll learn that despite the change in name and rule, Dutch principles of tolerance and civil liberties survived to shape the city of New York even to this day.

New York: Revolution to Recovery

Occupied, nearly destroyed by fire and depopulated during the Revolutionary War, the once prosperous city of New York rises again after independence in this two-part story told by park historian Steve Laise. You’ll hear how the city rebuilds, the New York Stock Exchange is established and the controversial question of how to treat the remaining Tories is resolved. The story concludes with an appreciation of New York in 1800, after it has lost its position as America’s political capital but secured its status as the new nation’s financial capital.