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Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reading the Daily News election results in 1941.

Parks Dept Donates Marker Honoring First Italian Immigrant to Italian American Museum

Contact: Joe Carella
Joseph J. Carella Associates Inc.

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has donated a granite marker honoring Peter Caesar Alberti, the first Italian American immigrant, to the Italian American Museum in New York’s Little Italy. The gift arrives in time for June 2nd, which marks the 380th anniversary of Alberti’s arrival in the New World. The date is also the 69th anniversary of the creation of the Italian Republic. Special programs honoring Alberti and the birth of the Italian Republic will take place at the Museum during the month.

The marker also bears the name of John LaCorte, a prominent Brooklyn Heights resident who founded the Italian Historical Society of America and who promoted Italian history and accomplishments until his death in 1991. LaCorte was instrumental in having the marker placed in Battery Park, until it was replaced by a bronze plaque.

"We are pleased to accept this donation of great historical significance,” said Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, president of the Italian American Museum. “It will ensure that more of our visitors are informed of Peter Alberti’s legacy.”

The granite marker has been placed outside the Museum’s windows at 155 Mulberry Street.
Pietro Cesare Alberti (1608–1655) was a Venetian immigrant to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, commonly regarded as the first Italian American. At 27, Pietro decided to seek a new life in the New World. He arrived in New Amsterdam on June 2, 1635. Before reaching the New World, his ship sailed to the West Coast of Africa past the mouth of the Congo, across the Atlantic to Brazil, to Cayenne, Guiana, to the West Indies and ultimately to Virginia. The captain had threatened to land Pietro in Guyana, but he remained aboard until the final port of New Amsterdam. He promptly left the ship, and is said to have sued the captain and finally reclaimed part of his unpaid wages.

In 1642 he married a Dutch Huguenot woman named Judith Manje and they went to live in a home on Broad Street, Manhattan. They had seven children between the years of 1643 and 1654. One died as an infant, but the other six were still alive when both Peter and his wife were killed in an Indian raid on November 9, 1655. At the time, the Alberti family farmed 100 acres in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

Founded in 2001, the Italian American Museum is dedicated to exploring the rich cultural heritage of Italy and Italian Americans by presenting the individual and collective struggles and achievements of Italians and their heirs to the American way of life. The Museum received its provisional charter from the New York State Board of Regents on June 12, 2001 and is a 501(c)(3) organization.



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