In 1660, a group of French immigrants applied to Petrus Stuyvesant, director-general of New Netherland, for a patent to start a community. Stuyvesant granted them land between the villages of Breuckelen and Middleburgh. Unlike the first few villages in western Long Island, which grew very slowly, the new community of Boswijck, or Bushwick, quickly filled with residents. By 1663 the population had doubled, and records show that at that date the town counted forty men capable of bearing arms.
Those men needed to be ready to fight, for in that year events were moving to a climax on Long Island. The New Netherland colony was fighting a war with the Indians, and the English colonies to the north were moving close to an all-out takeover of the island. In a last-ditch effort, the residents of Boswijck met with delegates from the other Dutch towns of the area in the city hall in New Amsterdam, and drafted an appeal to the West India Company directors in the Netherlands to have the Dutch government settle, once and for all, permanent boundaries between the Dutch colony and its English neighbors. The appeal failed. A year later, with the English takeover of Long Island, Boswijck began life under its new name of Bushwick.
Bushwick, as described in the classic 1939 WPA Guide to New York City
A virtual tour of Bushwick's industrial side.