Update

To help support the city’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, New-York Historical is temporarily closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. More details on our Visit page.

How Did New York Get Its Famous Nickname: The Empire State?

Signs commonly point to George Washington. Although other, unsubstantiated stories crediting Washington exist, the best documented source is a 1785 thank-you letter to the New York Common Council for bestowing upon him the Freedom of the City. In addition to praising New York's resilience in the war he describes the State of New York as "the Seat of the Empire."

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Creative: Tronvig Group