The land comprising what is now Jersey City was once wilderness inhabited by the Lenape, a collection of tribes later known as Delaware Indians. In 1609, Henry Hudson, seeking an alternate route to East Asia, anchored his small vessel and spent nine days surveying the area and meeting its inhabitants. The Dutch organized the United New Netherlands Company to manage this new territory and in June 1623, The New Netherlands became a Dutch province, with headquarters in New Amsterdam. From these roots came a vibrant city built on many ethnicities and cultures.
Jersey City, located along the Hudson River across from Manhattan in New York City, has an estimated population of 241,789 (2006), making it New Jersey's second largest city, after Newark. The city and surrounding area has evolved over the years to become a major commercial and industrial center with 11 miles of waterfront and significant rail connections. It has railroad shops, oil refineries, warehouses, and plants that manufacture a diverse assortment of products, including chemicals, petroleum, electronics, textiles, and cosmetics. Jersey City has benefited from its location near the island of Manhattan, as many of its companies are extensions of businesses headquartered there. Recent developments have included increased housing and shopping areas.
Jersey City is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the country, with nearly equal proportions of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Asians, and Latinos. It has one of the largest concentrations of Arab, Muslim and Asian residents in the United States. It also has one of the largest proportions of Hispanic residents outside of the Southwest. In addition, Jersey City has substantial communities of Jewish, Italian, Cuban, Filipino, Polish, Indian, and Irish descent.
Ellis Island is inside Jersey City's borders, and is managed jointly by the states of New Jersey and New York. About 10 years ago, the State of New York went to the Supreme Court to sue the State of New Jersey over the ownership of the property, but New York lost, and the US Government weighed in on New Jersey's side. Other points of interest in Jersey City are The Katyń Memorial, 101 Hudson Street, the Newport Tower, the Exchange Place Centre, and the Goldman Sachs Tower.