Hempstead is one of the three towns in Nassau County, New York, United States, occupying the southwestern part of the county, in the western half of Long Island. Twenty-two incorporated villages are completely or partially within the town. Hempstead's combined population was 759,757 at the 2010 Census, the majority of the population of the county and by far the most of any town in New York. Also, a village named Hempstead is within the Town.
If the town were to be incorporated as a city, it would be the second-largest city in New York behind New York City. Hempstead is also the most populous municipality in the New York metropolitan area outside New York City. It would be the 18th-largest city in the country, behind Charlotte, North Carolina and ahead of Seattle, Washington. Hofstra University's primary campus is located in Hempstead.
The town was first settled around 1644 following the establishment of a treaty between English colonists, John Carman and Robert Fordham, and the Lenape Indians in 1643. Although the settlers were from the English colony of Connecticut, a patent was issued by the government of New Netherland after the settlers had purchased land from the local natives. This transaction is depicted in a mural in the Hempstead Village Hall, reproduced from a poster commemorating the 300th anniversary of Hempstead Village.
In local Dutch-language documents of the 1640s and later, the town was invariably called Heemstede, and several of Hempstead's original 50 patentees were Dutch, suggesting that Hempstead was named after the Dutch town and/or castle Heemstede, which are near the cities of Haarlem and Amsterdam. However, the authorities possibly had Dutchified a name given by co-founder John Carman, who was born in 1606 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, on land owned by his ancestors since the 13th century.
Learn more about Hempstead, NY