Peter Stuyvesant’s New York Legacy

Peter Stuyvesant statue at Stuyvesant Square Park in New York City (Tony/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3)
He was a far-seeing reformer, but cruel and narrow-minded as well.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE C ast in bronze, he towers amid the lilac sweetness, so pungent it overwhelms the cannabis smoke hovering in the steamy air above Stuyvesant Square Park. The arch of his back rises from the good leg. He lost the other to a Spanish cannonball in the siege of St. Martin — the stump in its place a grisly display of will to the wayward and irreligious newcomers, his walking stick less a crutch than an instrument of punishment.

He faces down Stuyvesant Street, which cuts aslant in defiance of Manhattan’s grid. Farther south, Stuyvesant High School, the most selective in the city, is


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