On August 27, , was fought the Battle of Long Island also known as the 'Battle of Brooklyn' , the first major engagement fought in the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared, and the largest of the entire conflict. While Washington's defeat on the battlefield cast early doubts on his ability as the commander, the tactical withdrawal of all his troops and supplies across the East River in a single night is now seen by historians as one of his most brilliant triumphs.
The British generally enjoyed a dominant Loyalist sentiment from the residents in Kings County who did not evacuate, though the region was also the center of the fledgling—and largely successful— American intelligence network , headed by Washington himself.
The British set up a system of notorious prison ships off the coast of Brooklyn in Wallabout Bay , where more American patriots died of intentional neglect than died in combat on all the battlefields of the American Revolutionary War, combined. One result of the Treaty of Paris in was the evacuation of the British from New York City , celebrated by residents into the 20th century.
Urbanization[ edit ] A preindustrial Winter Scene in Brooklyn, c. The first half of the 19th century saw the beginning of the development of urban areas on the economically strategic East River shore of Kings County, facing the adolescent City of New York confined to Manhattan Island. The New York Navy Yard operated in Wallabout Bay border between Brooklyn and Williamsburgh for the entire 19th century and two-thirds of the 20th century.
The first center of urbanization sprang up in the Town of Brooklyn, directly across from Lower Manhattan , which saw the incorporation of the Village of Brooklyn in Town and Village were combined to form the first, kernel incarnation of the City of Brooklyn in In parallel development, the Town of Bushwick, a little farther up the river, saw the incorporation of the Village of Williamsburgh in , which separated as the Town of Williamsburgh in and formed the short-lived City of Williamsburgh in Industrial deconcentration in mid-century was bringing shipbuilding and other manufacturing to the northern part of the county.
Each of the two cities and six towns in Kings County remained independent municipalities, and purposely created non-aligning street grids with different naming systems. However, the East River shore was growing too fast for the three-year-old infant City of Williamsburgh; it, along with its Town of Bushwick hinterland, was subsumed within a greater City of Brooklyn in Stevens, the growing city across the East River from Manhattan was producing its own prominent newspaper. The publisher changed to L.
The borough's soon-to-be-famous National League baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers , also assisted with this. Both major institutions were lost in the s: Agitation against Southern slavery was stronger in Brooklyn than in New York[ citation needed ], and under Republican leadership the city was fervent in the Union cause in the Civil War.
After the war the Henry Ward Beecher Monument was built downtown to honor a famous local abolitionist. A great victory arch was built at what was then the south end of town to celebrate the armed forces; this place is now called Grand Army Plaza.
The city had a population of 25, in , but the police department comprised only 12 men on the day shift and another 12 at night. Every time a rash of burglaries broke out, officials blamed burglars coming in from New York City. Finally in , a modern police force was created, employing men. Voters complained of inadequate protection and excessive costs.
In , the state legislature merged the Brooklyn force with that of New York City. The most well-known regiment to be sent off to war from the city was the 14th Brooklyn "Red Legged Devils". They fought from to , wore red the entire war, and were the only regiment named after a city; President Lincoln called them into service personally, making them part of a handful of three-year enlisted soldiers in April Unlike other regiments during the American Civil War, the 14th wore a uniform inspired by that of the French Chasseurs , a light infantry used for quick assaults on the enemy.
As both a seaport and a manufacturing center, Brooklyn was well prepared to contribute to the Union's strengths in shipping and manufacturing. The two combined in shipbuilding; the ironclad Monitor was built in Brooklyn. The poem calls New York Harbor "the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame". As a twin city to New York, it played a role in national affairs that was later overshadowed by its century-old submergence into its old partner and rival.
Economic growth continued, propelled by immigration and industrialization , and Brooklyn established itself as the third-most populous American city for much of the 19th century.
The waterfront from Gowanus Bay to Greenpoint was developed with piers and factories. Industrial access to the waterfront was improved by the Gowanus Canal and the canalized Newtown Creek.
The USS Monitor was only the most famous product of the large and growing shipbuilding industry of Williamsburg. After the Civil War , trolley lines and other transport brought urban sprawl beyond Prospect Park and into the center of the county. Brooklyn Bridge in , by Currier and Ives The rapidly growing population needed more water, so the City built centralized waterworks including the Ridgewood Reservoir.
The municipal Police Department, however, was abolished in in favor of a Metropolitan force covering also New York and Westchester Counties. Throughout this period the peripheral towns of Kings County, far from Manhattan and even from urban Brooklyn, maintained their rustic independence. The only municipal change seen was the secession of the eastern section of the Town of Flatbush as the Town of New Lots in The building of rail links such as the Brighton Beach Line in heralded the end of this isolation.
Borough of Brooklyn wards, Sports became big business, and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms played professional baseball at Washington Park in the convenient suburb of Park Slope and elsewhere. Early in the next century, under their new name of Brooklyn Dodgers, they brought baseball to Ebbets Field , beyond Prospect Park.
Racetracks, amusement parks , and beach resorts opened in Brighton Beach , Coney Island , and elsewhere in the southern part of the county. Currier and Ives print of Brooklyn, Toward the end of the 19th century, the City of Brooklyn experienced its final, explosive growth spurt. Railroads and industrialization spread to Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. Brooklyn had reached its natural municipal boundaries at the ends of Kings County.
Mayors of the City of Brooklyn[ edit ] See also: List of mayors of New York City and Brooklyn borough presidents Brooklyn elected a mayor from until consolidation in into the City of Greater New York , whose own second mayor — , Seth Low , had been Mayor of Brooklyn from to Since , Brooklyn has, in place of a separate mayor, elected a Borough President. Mayors of the City of Brooklyn  Mayor.