11 days ago
Flatbush Avenue Was Founded By Dutch Colonists In 1651. Midwood Was An Alternative Name For Flatbush Going Into The Early 20th Century. Flatbush And The Five Other Towns Of What Was To Become Kings County, Were Surrendered To The English In 1664. The Town Was The County Seat For Kings County And Was A Center Of Life For What Is Now Called Brooklyn. The Compact Center Of The Village Of Flatbush Was At The Intersection Of What Are Now Flatbush And Church Avenues, Where We Still Find An Old Dutch Reformed Church And Erasmus Hall, The oldest high school in New York City.
Flatbush Played A Key Role In The American Revolution. Flatbush was Where Significant Skirmishes And Battles Of The Battle of Long Island Took Place. As Kings County Was Settled Largely By The Dutch, And As The Dutch Were Prominent In The Slave Trade, The Area Was Somewhat Sympathetic To The British Side Of The American Revolutionary War At The Beginning Of The Conflict. Kings County At The Time Had The highest Concentration Of Slaves north of the Mason–Dixon Line – Almost One-third of The Total Population For The County Were Slaves. When a Loyalist Governor of Virginia Supported Freedom Cor Slaves Who Supported And Fought On The British Side, Landowners In Brooklyn Were Concerned That A Full Conflict Between The Colonies And The British Would Result In Loss Of Their Critical Source Of Labor. Loyalist residents of Flatbush included David Mathews, Mayor of New York City, who Lived At What Is Now The Intersection Of Flatbush and Parkside Avenues. Flatbush Residents Maintained Their Loyalist Sympathies: The King's Arms, For Example, Appeared In The Town's Inn For A Half-Century After The Conclusion Of The Conflict.
The Influence Of Dutch Merchant And Farming Families Remained Strong In The Area Until After Consolidation Into The City of Greater New York in 1898, After Which The Development Of Flatbush As A Suburb, And Then An Integral Part Of The Larger City, Proceeded Apace.