The extreme southern end of Manhattan Island is both popularly and officially known as "Battery Park" because it was fortified in the seventeenth century for the protection of the town. In the picture the round building is the Aquarium, which is abundantly supplied with sea and river fishes. The picture was taken from a platform of the Elevated Railway, the trains of which run from this point to practically the northern extremity of the island, making stops en route at stations situated at approximately every eighth street.

Manhattan Island was first visited in 1609 by Henry Hudson. The first settlement was located three years afterward on the present site of Battery Park. The Dutch settlement here formed gradually grew into a town called New Amsterdam, which in 1648 had 1,000 inhabitants. In 1664 it surrendered to the British and took its new name from the Duke of York, into whose hands it came. It was the capital of the State of New York from 1784 to 1797, and from 1785 to 1790 it was the seat of the Federal Government. Washington was inaugurated to the presidency at New York in 1789. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 gave the city command of internal commerce and since that date its progress has been rapid, almost beyond example.