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These lots were settled primarily by Dutch families and became known as Nieuwe Dorp (meaning "New Village"), which later became anglicized as New Dorp.Captain Christopher Billopp, after years of distinguished service in the Royal Navy, came to America in 1674 in charge of a company of infantry.The area was part of the Lenape homeland known as Lenapehoking.The Lenape were later called the "Delaware" by the English colonists because they inhabited both shores of what the English named the Delaware River.Burial Ridge, a Lenape burial ground on a bluff overlooking Raritan Bay in what is today the Tottenville section of Staten Island, is the largest pre-European burial ground in New York City.Bodies have been reported unearthed at Burial Ridge from 1858 onward.The free Staten Island Ferry connects the borough to Manhattan and is a popular tourist attraction, providing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan.
They are named for the Rossville section of Staten Island, where they were first found near the old Rossville Post Office building.
At the time of European contact, the island was inhabited by the Raritan band of the Unami division of the Lenape.
In Lenape, one of the Algonquian languages, Staten Island was called Aquehonga Manacknong, meaning "as far as the place of the bad woods", or Eghquhous, meaning "the bad woods".
After conducting independent research, which included unearthing bodies interred at the site, ethnologist and archaeologist George H.
Pepper, was contracted in 1895 to conduct paid archaeological research at Burial Ridge by the American Museum of Natural History.