Excerpt from New York, the Metropolis, Vol. 1: Its Noted Business and Professional Men; Historical-Illustrated
Eyv york, the Metropolis of the world of the future, the Metropolis of free America of the past, incomparable and cosmopolitan in its characteristics, of all cities is the one most worthy of study, not merely on its own account, but for the future of mankind, and especially that of self-governed people. No history will ever do justice to this phenomenon among all human settlements. NO forecast can adequately describe what its expansion will be.
It is one of the purposes of this work to outline by description, and to pictorially represent, the institutions that have marked the development of the chief city of the Western Hemisphere, and which indicate its hereafter. But men, more than the institutions they create or maintain, make a city, and it is necessary, in order to understand New York, to speak of the distinguished individualities that have marked the eras in its progress, and also of those now surviving who are shaping the destinies of the world's future greatest city. Their work will survive them, and this is particularly true of the leading merchants, manufacturers, financiers, and men of literature and of art who labor for posterity without heed of current record of what they do.
Nature marked out New York for a Metropolis When Manhattan Island was acquired from the Indians, the New World took position in competition with the Old World. When the time came for North American colonies to sever their relations with the British Crown, the possession of New York was the great prize of the contest. When the British troops evacuated New York, the struggle between the monarchy of England and the young Republic of the fest was definitely ended, and, appropriately to the colonial and revolutionary history of the union of States, it was in New York, the 'chief American city, that George \vashington was inaugurated as first President.
Certain to be the greatest commercial city of the world, as already it is by far the greatest in the Western Hemisphere, New York is now the largest manufacturing centre on the American side of the Atlantic. \vere its municipal area extended so as to cover its intertwined interests, as is that of London and that of Paris, it would be the largest of all the world's cities in the value of products of its industries, as well as in its population.
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