Brooklyn is the most populous of New York
City’s 5 boroughs, with a population of over
2.5 million. Brooklyn was an independent city
until as recently as 1898 when it became part
of New York City.
Brooklyn’s official motto is Eendraght Maeckt Maght. Written in the (early modern spelling of the) Dutch language, and translated it says “Unity makes strength”. Brooklyn’s official colors are blue and gold.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area in 1624. The borough is named after the village of Breuckelen in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Over time, the name evolved from Breuckelen, to Brockland, to Brocklin, to Brookline, to Brookland and eventually, to Brooklyn.
The first half of the nineteenth century saw significant growth along the economically strategic East River waterfront across from New York City. Brooklyn’s population expanded more than threefold between 1800 and 1820, doubled again in the 1820s, and doubled yet again during the 1830s. The county encompassed two cities: the City of Brooklyn and the City of Williamsburg. Brooklyn annexed Williamsburgh in 1854.
The building of rail links, such as the Brighton Beach Line in 1878 heralded explosive growth. In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, easing the trip to Manhattan. In 1894, Brooklyn residents voted by a slight majority to join with Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Richmond (later Staten Island) to become the five boroughs of the modern New York City.