It is a little over 400 years since an English sailor Henry Hudson first explored the river that now bears his name and reported on the abundance of wildlife for the fur trade. The Dutch then settled in the area and bought Manhattan Island from the Native Americans for $24 worth of axes, kettles and cloth and called it New Amsterdam. The British seized the island in 1664 and renamed it New York and the birth of this great city begun. The following 250 years saw enormous growth, turmoil, revolution, destruction, remarkable triumphs and by 1900 New York was the world’s second largest city after London.