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Painting of Captain Kidd's House and the New York City Wall, 1911

Captain Kidd's Residence
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_165
Document Description
A painting of Captain Kidd's house in New York City with the wall for which Wall Street was named in the background, 1911.
Why was this wall built?
How would the palisade protect the colonists?
Why do you think there are houses on both sides of the wall?
Why doesn't New York City have a wall to protect it today?
Historical Challenges
How old was the wall in this picture when Captain Kidd moved to New York City? Had it ever been tested in battle? Was Kidd's house on the "safe" side of the wall? Did the wall change over time? When and why was it taken down?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: If it takes 10 logs to make a 5-foot-wide by 8-foot-high section of fencing, how many logs would be necessary to build a fence 300 feet long?
English Language Arts: Design a broadside that summarizes the council meeting.

Historical Context
During the first Anglo-Dutch War (1652-1654), the Council of New Netherland, fearing an invasion from New England, decided to strengthen militia patrols in New Amsterdam and to construct a sturdy palisade of upright posts. The wall followed the line of what later was called Wall Street. The council's intention was for all residents of the surrounding villages to retreat to New Amsterdam for safety in time of danger.
Essential Question
How does geography influence the development of a community?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the painting and explain the role of geography in the development of this community.