Open main menu

Long Island, a part of the state of New York, lying between the Atlantic and Long Island Sound, is 115 miles in length and from 12 to 24 wide, covering 1,682 square miles. In the interior is a line of low hills and many small lakes, and on the south shore a series of lagoons. Game is still found there, and there are valuable fisheries and oyster beds, and large areas devoted to market-gardening; but much of the land is still waste, and Coney Island and other summer resorts are planted in deserts of sand. The principal city is Brooklyn, now a part of New York City. The island is separated by the sound from Connecticut. It was settled by the Dutch in 1632 and by the English in 1640. During the Revolutionary War the western end was fortified as a protection to New York, but, after a prolonged contest with British forces, Washington ordered the evacuation of the island, and it remained in the hands of the British until the close of the war. The battle of Long Island, fought on Brooklyn Heights, occurred on Aug. 27, 1776.