Street Named After First NYC Immigrant Juan Rodriguez

This one is going down in the history books! Researchers have discovered that the first immigrant to settle in New York back in 1613 was a Latino. Yesterday marked the 400th anniversary of Juan Rodriguez’s arrival. Hundreds of neighbors gathered the streets as city officials named a stretch of Broadway, between 159th and 218th streets in Upper Manhattan, after the Dominican immigrant.

Researchers from the City University of New York's Dominican Studies Institute say Rodriguez traveled from the colony of Hispaniola – now the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In 1613, he traveled with Dutch traders to what is now New York City. Written documents suggest that he was a black or mulatto immigrant from a Spanish colonial society. When he got to New York, he established a trading post with Native Americans, but other facts about Rodriguez remain a mystery.

 

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