- About the Exhibit
- Empires and Revolutions: 1613–1825
- Trade with Spanish America: 1825-1900
- Cultural Encounters: 1825-1900
- Political Encounters: 1850-1930
- An Hispano Landscape: 1900–45
Spaniards and Latin Americans in New York
Spanish-speaking New Yorkers made a significant impact on life in New York City, and the city affected them in turn. The individuals featured here were leaders in sports, religion, and architecture, but Spaniards and Latin Americans also played prominent roles in business, engineering, and the arts.
During the latter half of the 19th century, the pre-Civil War Spanish “colonies” (as they were often called) continued to grow. Cubans constituted the largest portion of the 3,600 New Yorkers from Spain and Latin America who were counted by the U.S. Census in 1870.
The immigrants sought work, educational opportunity, and political refuge. They founded well over 100 Spanish language newspapers (mostly between 1850-1900), created benevolent societies and literary clubs, and opened enough small stores that a visiting Mexican poet could remark in 1877 that it was not uncommon to find signs reading Se habla español.