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"If you got nothing, go to New York. That way, if you leave with nothing, people don't ask why. And if you leave with something, then you are one lucky son of a bitch."
―A man's advice for Desmond Miles.[src]

New York City is the capital city of the state of New York and is the most densely populated city in the United States of America. During the American Revolutionary War, New York was a stronghold of the British Army.

History

Pre Colonization

Indigenous people used the Wickquasgeck trail to cross Manhattan Island.[1]

New Amsterdam

During the beginning of the 17th century, the Dutch West India Company created settlements in the area, creating the colony of New Amsterdam in 1624 on Manhatten Island. The Wickquasgeck trail was turned into a street called "BreedeWeg", which later became Broadway.[1] The Fort Amsterdam was built near the city[2] and a wall palisade was built.[3]

Four decades later, the city surrender to the British Colonel Richard Nicholls. Passing under the British rule, New Amsterdam became New York City. During the Third Anglo-Dutch War and the Glorious Revolution, the British were challenged by the Dutch Republic in New York but they remained in the city. [4]

British America

Growing as a big city

In 1674, the Broad Canal was filled and a street was paved over it, becoming Broad Street.[5] In 1675, the Old Royal Exchange was built, becoming the first cover market of the city.[6]

At the turn of the 17th century, the city was the largest importer of slaves to the Thirteen colonies and a supply port for pirates.[4]

In 1698, the Trinity Church was built with the help of the privateer William Kidd who lent some of his ship's equipment to the construction.[7]

In 1699, with the expansion of the city, the British tore down the palisade wall around New York, becoming Wall Street.[3]

In 1702, the City Hall was built, also serving as a prison.[8]

In 1709, Trinity Church opened a charity school for the poor students in his bell tower.[9]

In 1710, Queen Anne's government sent almost 3000 Palatine German emigrants in the city. A group of Sephardic Jews expelled from Dutch Brazil took refuge in the city. These factors helped make New York a diverse and cosmopolitan city.[4]

In 1733, local landlords established Bowling Green as one of the first public parks of the city, so people living in the area would have a place to walk, bowl, and get away from the noise of the city.[10]

In 1752, the Old Royal Exchange was expanded, with the lowest floor used for the market, and the second floor containing rooms that could be used for concerts, public meetings and balls.[6] The same year, Jonas Smith and his son Elias built the Smith and Company Brewery which became the largest brewery in New York.[11]

During this period, Trinity Church became a great institution in the city. In 1749, Trinity School moved from the Church to having its own building.[7] In 1752, Trinity Church opened the St. George Chapel, the exterior being designed by Charles Otto Blesch and the interior by Leopold Eidlitz.[12] In 1754, the King's College opened on the first floor of the Trinity School before having its own building six years later.[13] In 1766, the St. Paul's Chapel opened as an extension of the Trinity Church.[14]

Seven Years' War

During the Seven Years' War, several gangs commanded by the Assassin Hope Jensen operated in the town harassing and extorting citizen, including Barry and Cassidy Finnegan, a couple of Irish immigrants who lived in the Greenwich district. In June 1756, the gang outpost in Greenwich was captured by the Assassin turn Templar Shay Cormac, who was then contacted by George Monro, a Templar who would be responsible for the initiation of Shay into the Templar Order.[15]

Later, Shay would rescue Christopher Gist, another Templar, at Fort Arsenal.[16] After killing Le Chasseur,[17] Shay talked to Benjamin Franklin, confirming his suspects his former comrade, Hope, was behind the gang. Shay destroyed a factory used by the gangs in order to create poison to use against the authorities with his new grenade launcher.[18]

Shay would return to New York in 1758 to be initiated into the Templar Order by the Grand Master Haytham Kenway after Monro's death in Albany.[19]

In 1759, the prison of New Gaol was built, holding criminals and debtors.[20]

American Revolution

New York poor district

New York in the late 18th century

In 1765, delegates from 9 of the colonies met at the City Hall to coordinate protests against the Stamp Act.[8] In 1770, to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act a statue of King George III was commissioned to be placed in Bowling Green. In 1771, a wrought iron fence was added around the park, to keep malcontents from vandalizing the statue.[10]

By 1773, as the prison population at the New Gaol increased, the Bridewell Prison was built in two years.[21]

With the beginning of the American Revolutionary War in 1775, as the New York State Assembly refused to send delegates for the Second Continental Congress, the Sons of Liberty brought a crowd to the Old Royal Exchange to choose the delegates.[6] In New York, the Continental Army turned the King's College into a hospital.[13]

The Assassin Connor came to New York with Benjamin Tallmadge in 1776, to investigate a plot to murder George Washington. Tallmadge learned the Templar and Continental soldier Thomas Hickey was involved: Connor tracked Hickey by following members of his counterfeiting racket. Unfortunately, Connor was arrested along with Hickey by soldiers who mistook him for a fellow counterfeiter, and was thrown into Bridewell Prison. The Templars framed Connor for the plot and planned to have him executed outside City Hall, with Washington attending. The Assassins - and Connor's father, Grand Master Haytham Kenway[22] - stopped the hanging, and Connor assassinated Hickey for trying to kill Washington.[23]

As the British Army led by General William Howe marched on New York, Washington prepared the defense of the city. On 26 August, during the battle of Long Island, the Continental Army was defeated. Pinned against the East River, the Assassin Brotherhood helped the troops retreat to Brooklyn Heights. On 15 September, the British Navy landed at Kip's Bay, weakening Washington's leadership as the troops called for Charles Lee's ascension. The Assassins prevented the Templar from becoming the new commander. On 16 September, the Assassins motivated the Patriots in Harlem Heights, telling them about the mockery said by the British troops leading them to victory. Later, the Assassins discreetly protected Rufus Putnam during a reconnaissance mission into Harlem Heights.[24]

As the British took over New York, Washington planned to set fire to the city but the Continental Congress voted against it.[25] On 21 September, a fire began at the Fighting Cocks Tavern, spreading through the poorer districts and destroying a quarter of the city.[26] Among the casualties, Trinity Church burned[27]while St. Paul's Chapel was saved by local bucket brigades.[14] The British believed the fire was caused by the Patriots but without any proof. The destruction led to a housing crisis that lasted as long as the British occupation of the city.[25]

During the war, the British took to using sugar houses, and pro-rebel churches in the city as prisons.[28] Bridewell prison was used to hold American War POW's.[21] In the harbour, decommissioned war ships were put to use as prison ships, the most well-known being the HMS Jersey, nicknamed the 'Hell'. The ones who died on the ships were buried in a mass grave near the harbour.[28]

In the meantime, Connor recruited Deborah Carter, Jacob Zenger, and Jamie Colley to the Assassins after they helped him stop Templars taking advantage of these events. In 1778, Connor met with Haytham to find Benjamin Church, who had betrayed the Templar Order and the Continental Army,[29] but discovered he had left New York for Martinique. Later, they worked together to find out British troop movements, learning the British planned to march on Monmouth.[30]

In 1781, the disgraced American general Charles Lee was living in Fort George. Connor planned to infiltrate the fort while the French Navy bombarded the fort, so he could find and assassinate Lee during the chaos. However, Connor found that Haytham had sent Lee away, and the Templar, no longer willing to reconcile with his son, attempted to kill him. Connor assassinated his father.[31] A year later, Connor found Lee presiding over Haytham's funeral. Lee escaped, but by eavesdropping on an accomplice on the HMS Jersey, learned he had left for Boston.[32]

On 25 November 1783, as the Continental Army won the war, British troops and the Loyalists left the city, St. Paul's Chapel's congregation among them.[14] Before they left, troops nailed a Union Jack to a flagpole on the Bowling Green and then greased the pole. The Americans nailed up spikes to help them climb, managing to raise Stars-and-Stripes before the British fleet had sailed out of sight. While the British Navy left the city harbor, a ship fired a cannonball at the crowds on Staten Island, who were jeering at the departing flotilla but the ball fell short of the land.[33] Connor watched the British depart and met with Washington to discuss the country's future.[34] This day was remembered as the Evacuation Day, commemorated by festivities, such as climbing a greased flag pole to tear down a Union Jack.[33]

United States of America

Unofficial Capital

After the war, many buildings and symbols of the British monarchy were erased from the city. Fort George was torn down.[2] and King's College reopened, becoming the Columbia College. As the city funded the secular schools over church schools, Trinity School became a private preparatory school.[9]

In 1788, the City Hall was expanded and the Trinity Church was rebuilt.[27]

After the US Constitution was ratified in 1789, the City Hall was used by the Congress, becoming the Federal Hall. On 30 April George Washington was inaugurated as president on the balcony.[8] A service was also held at St. Paul's Chapel.[14]

Between 1790 and 1791, the Supreme Court was housed in the Old Royal Exchange before moving to Philadelphia.[6]

In 1792, 24 local merchants signed the Button Wood Agreement in Wall Street, agreeing to only trade with one another, and taking a 0.25% commission on whatever they traded, becoming a precursor of the New York Stock Exchange.[35]

In 1812, the Federal was torn down.[8]

Industrial Revolution

In 1838, Bridewell Prison was torn down and the stones were used to build a new prison known as The Tombs.[21]

In 1846, the third Trinity Church was finished, becoming the tallest building in the city.[27]

In 1863, the Evacuation Day's festivities fell out in favor of Thanksgiving.[33]

During the 19th century, as Columbia College moved to Midtown, the building's cornerstone was moved to the new location, but the rest was torn down and the land underneath it was sold at a tidy profit.[13]

Modern times

During the 20th century, the Charging Bull statue of Wall Street was placed just outside the fence of Bowling Green.[10]

By 1989, Egyptian immigrant Layla Hassan and her family had settled in Queens where she grew up and later became a US citizen.[36] In 1994, rather than playing with toys, Layla dismantled them to learn about their inner workings.[37]

In 2003, after having fled from the Farm and the Assassin Brotherhood, Desmond Miles ended up living in New York City, working as a bartender at a successful nightclub named Bad Weather.[38][39] Joining the Assassin, he would later revisit New York in 2012, specifically a Manhattan office, to recover a power source for the Grand Temple, though he came across opposition in the form of Daniel Cross.[40]

Behind the scenes

It was intended for Connor be present in New York during the Great Fire of 1776, but it was too difficult to program civilians to react to the burning part of the city, so the event was left out of Assassin's Creed III.[41] The linearity of sequence 8 means the player avoids seeing the burned areas of the map until the game moves forward to 1777.

New York's sewers in Assassin's Creed III are anachronistic. In reality, an open canal known as Canal Street was used for transporting sewage during the 18th century. Canal Street was covered in the early 19th century (1812[42] or 1819[43]) and the sewer system was expanded after that.

New York is depicted quite differently between Assassin's Creed III and Rogue despite relatively short past time. Entire buildings are different structurally or are made of different materials or are missing completely, stone walls are replaced with wooden palisades, different pavements are being used in the same place and a particular church is missing due to Rogue having its unique version of the city rather than reusing the ACIII version.[44] Also the Rogue version of the city has a more colorful and vivid atmosphere compared to the somewhat gloomy incarnation seen in Assassin's Creed III. According to Eddie Bennun:

ACRG New York Streets - Concept Art

New York concept Art showcasing the vibrant art direction in Rogue

A richer color palette, predominant crystal, and bright and positive weather conditions. Big cities always have been the stars of the franchise, so our goal was to represent mid-18th century New York as a flourishing, vibrant and colorful place—the true New World’s business and industrial center.[45]

New York is one of three cities that were completely modeled twice for different periods in the series, with the other two being Paris and London. The first model is New York for the third numbered instalment set in the 1770s and early '80s, the second one is New York for Rogue set in the 1750s.

Surprisingly enough, in modern-day New York, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building or any of the iconic skyscrapers are nowhere to be seen.

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Broadway
  2. 2.0 2.1 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Fort George
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Wall Street
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Assassin's Creed: RogueDatabase: New York
  5. Assassin's Creed III - Database: Broad Street
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Old Royal Exchange
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed Rogue - Database: Trinity Church
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Assassin's Creed III - Database: City Hall
  9. 9.0 9.1 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Trinity School
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Bowling Green
  11. Assassin's Creed III - Database: Smith and Company Brewery
  12. Assassin's Creed: Rogue - Database: St. George's Chapel
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Assassin's Creed III - Database: King's College
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Assassin's Creed III - Database: St. Paul's Chapel
  15. Assassin's Creed: RogueThe Color of Right
  16. Assassin's Creed: RogueA Long Walk and a Short Drop
  17. Assassin's Creed: RogueCircumstances
  18. Assassin's Creed: RogueKeep Your Friends Close
  19. Assassin's Creed: RogueScars
  20. Assassin's Creed III - Database: The New Gaol
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Bridewell Prison
  22. Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
  23. Assassin's Creed III - Public Execution
  24. Assassin's Creed III - Contracts
  25. 25.0 25.1 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Great Fire of New York
  26. Assassin's Creed: Rogue - Database: Fighting Cocks Tavern
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Trinity Church
  28. 28.0 28.1 Assassin's Creed III - Database: HMS Jersey
  29. Assassin's Creed III - Father and Son
  30. Assassin's Creed III - The Foam and the Flames
  31. Assassin's Creed III - Lee's Last Stand
  32. Assassin's Creed III - Laid to Rest
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Assassin's Creed III - Database: Evacuation Day
  34. Assassin's Creed III - Evacuation Day
  35. Assassin's Creed III - Database: Buttonwood Agreement
  36. Assassin's Creed: OriginsPictures: "New York City, 1989"
  37. Assassin's Creed: OriginsPictures: "New York City, 1994"
  38. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsEscape
  39. Assassin's Creed: RevelationsMetropolis
  40. Assassin's Creed IIIModern Tower
  41. YouTube Assassin's Creed III Preview - Alex Hutchinson Interview - EG Expo 2012 on the outsidexbox YouTube channel
  42. The Secret Underground World Of New York City. wired.com. Accessed 27 July 2020.
  43. Canal Street (Manhattan). wired.com. Accessed 27 July 2020.
  44. YouTube Assassin's Creed New York Comparison (AC III VS Rogue) on the Kaine852 YouTube channel
  45. Jeff Cork (29 August 2014). Exploring The Concept Art In Assassin's Creed Rogue. gameinformer.com. Retrieved on 25 September 2023.

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