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In 1664, the city was named in honor of the Duke of York. In 1784, New York became the first capital of the United States after ratification by Congress and George Washington was inaugurated as President in Manhattan.In 1846, New York City became a single city occupying most of its present-day territory with an area that is now also within three surrounding counties: Kings (Brooklyn), Queens , and Richmond (Staten Island). It has been frequently called "New York City" or "the City" since about 1820; however it officially only took on this form at about this time for postal reasons because people had previously used different names to refer to different parts or areas such as:The name "New Amsterdam", coined by Dutch colonists based on earlier Native American words for local features such as Manhattan ("Mannahatta") meaning island or riverbed Source(s): https://en.wikipedia.