4th of July

The “Missing” Common Council Records of the Revolutionary War

The New York City Municipal Archives has an almost unbroken[1] set of records depicting City governance from 1653, when the city of New Amsterdam first received its charter, until 2013 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg left office. The one notable gap is from May 24, 1776 until February 10, 1784. These eight years, of course, cover an important time period because, on July 2nd, 1776 the Continental Congress declared independence from the British and the British fleet arrived in New York shortly thereafter. Researchers often wonder: “Where are the records of New York City government during the Revolutionary War? Were they destroyed?” Well the short answer is, there was no city government.