PIETRO ALBERTI, Bowling Green Park

by Kevin Walsh

Bowling Green Park, at the foot of Broadway where it meets Battery Place, is home to NYC’s oldest fence (it’s the same one built in the 1700s; gilded crowns were cut off of the fenceposts by patriots during the Revolution, and you can still see the uneven fence tops where the crowns were) as well as several other little-known artifacts, such as this memorial to… Peter Alberti. Who?

Wikipedia: Pietro Cesare Alberti (1608-1655) was a Venetian immigrant to Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, commonly regarded as the first Italian American.

During the Thirty Years’ War troops from the Netherlands were stationed in Malamocco, a narrow inlet in the Venetian Lagoon. These troops carried with them a particularly virulent strain of Bubonic Plague. The plague spread rapidly, killing 46,000 of the city’s 140,000 residents. The immense decline in Venice’s population led to a similar decline in its commercial power. Because the Alberti’s power was derived from the success of Venetian traders, Pietro, at the age of 27 decided to seek a new life in the New World. He arrived in New Amsterdam aboard the Dutch ship the “King David” on June 2, 1635. Pietro acclimated well in New Amsterdam’s cosmopolitan environment. In 1642 he married a Dutch Huguenot woman named Judith Manje (also Magnee). The couple had 6 children from 1642 to 1655. The Albertis lived in a home on Broad Street until 1646 when Pietro applied for a land grant from the Dutch. The Albertis farmed 100 acres in Brooklyn until Pietro and Judith were killed in an Indian raid in 1655.

June 2nd commemorates “Pietro Alberti Day” in New York City.

10/30/13

6 comments

George Cassidy October 30, 2013 - 10:34 am

Is there a stone for the first Irishman someplace?

Reply
Nemo Noone March 28, 2020 - 10:17 pm

Most every Irishman is stoned every Saturday night!!!☘️Wouldn’t this just be redundant
–A Fellow Irishman (We laugh at ourselves so YOU don’t have to!)

Reply
Bowling Greener » Twelve Mile Circle » maps, geography, travel January 28, 2014 - 7:35 pm

[…] enjoyed over the years, Forgotten New York, also noted that Bowling Green Park was the home of the Pietro Alberti monument. He wasn’t exactly a household name although he did hold the distinction of becoming the very […]

Reply
Sue February 14, 2019 - 8:08 pm

My 11th Great Grandfather!

Reply
Anonymous June 13, 2020 - 11:42 am

Then we’re related I guess because I too am a descendant of Pietro Alberti!

Reply
Kay December 26, 2020 - 4:55 pm

My 12th great grandfather

Reply

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