Harlem is a district of Manhattan, within the City of New York. It is bounded on the south by 106th Street, on the west by Central Park, and on the north and east by the Harlem and East rivers.
The first settler on the site of present-day Harlem arrived from Holland around 1636. Others soon followed, but the little colony had difficult relations with the Indians. In 1658, it received the name Nieu Haarlem (after the city Haarlem in the Netherlands) and was provided military protection by Governor Stuyvesant of New Netherland. When the British took control, they attempted to rename it Lancaster, but the name didn`t catch on and the anglicized "Harlem" became popular.
During the Revolutionary War, George Washington fought British troops at the Battle of Harlem Heights on September 16, 1776. Harlem was annexed into New York City in 1873. After the turn of the 20th century, large numbers of black American moved to Harlem, making it the largest metropolitan concentration of blacks in North America.