The New York Colony When Richard Nicolls took control of the colony of New Netherland and the New Amsterdam settlement, he renamed both the colony and the settlement “New York” to honor Prince James, Duke of York. Nicolls became the first governor of New York. He made laws to protect the colonist’s rights. One right was a trial by jury. A jury is a group of citizens that decided whether or not a crime was committed. Under Stuyvesant, the government controlled the courts. New Yorkers had some rights other English colonies didn’t. Under Dutch rule, women and free Africans were allowed to own property. That right continued when the English took over. The First Assembly New Yorkers asked for more rights by calling for an assembly. James refused their request. To force him to listen, colonists stopped paying taxes. James agreed to an assembly. Members were elected in 1683. They wrote a “Charter of Liberties.” it described how the government would work and listed the people’s rights. In 1691 the Charter of Liberties became law. It protected freedom of religion. It said that the governor did not control the assembly. It was New York’s first plan of government. A Growing Colony When the English took over, there were about 9,000 people living in the New York colony, mostly on farms. New York City had a population of 1,500. By 1750, there were 27,000 people living in the New York colony, with 13,000 in New York City. A Diverse Colony Grows As the 13 English colonies grew and changed, so did New York. By 1750, New York City had more than 12,000 people. Twenty-five years later, its population reached 20,000. Dutch immigrants had been the first to come to New York. English settlers arrived in large numbers after their country took control of New York. Other settlers arrived from Sweden, Scotland and Germany. Jewish immigrants came from Brazil and the Netherlands. Daily Life New York's colonists found different ways to earn a living. In New York City, immigrants started businesses using skills they had learned in Europe. Some immigrants made goods such as furniture, tools, and even ships. Others opened shops to sell these goods. People also worked as traders. They brought goods from England and sold them in the colonies. Skilled workers, such as dentists and printers, provided valuable services to other colonists. In addition, they often took in young apprentices. Apprentices did not get paid but they received food, shelter, and clothes. Many New Yorkers worked on farms. Men plowed and planted crops. Women made most of the clothing. Children fed farm animals and milked the cows. Farm families often traded for things they could not make or grow. Some colonists worked as indentured servants. These people did not have enough money to come to the colonies, so they agreed to work for someone who would pay for their trip. After four to seven years, they were free to work for themselves. Some workers were not paid at all. Enslaved Africans did much of the hard work in New York City, such as loading ships with goods. Others worked as house servants or in shops. Colonial Rights Most colonists in New York had little saying how the colony was run. The governor was chosen by the king of England. The colony also had an elected assembly. Only white men who owned property and went to church could vote. However, women had fewer rights. They could own property but were not allowed to vote or hold office. Native Americans also had few rights. Colonists took so much land from the Munsee that many Munsee left the area. They traveled north and west looking for new places to live. Exercising Their Rights John Peter Zenger Mary Provoost Alexander Although the rights of some New Yorkers were limited, many found ways to exercise the rights they did have. Mary Provoost Alexander was a partner in her husband's trading business. She soon became a leading merchant in New York City. Another New Yorker, John Peter Zenger, published a newspaper. In 1735 he printed complaints about the governor. Zenger was put on trial for this and won. The court ruled that you can print bad things about the governor as long as they were true. Zenger's trial was one of the early victories for freedom of speech. As in the other colonies, people in New York treated enslaved Africans as property and denied them basic rights. Enslaved workers did not get paid and could not own property. Few were given an education. Enslaved people struggled against harsh slave laws that made life hard. Parents and children could be bought or sold at any time, forcing families apart. Many enslaved Africans also lived separately from each other, because mostly slave owners in New York had only a few workers. Even free blacks in New York few rights. Those who owned property were not allowed to vote. By the early 1700s, newly- freed Africans could not own land. At the same time, Native Americans were forced to leave New York City. Al mismo tiempo, los nativos americanos se vieron obligados a abandonar la ciudad de Nueva York.