Staten Island is located in Richmond County
in the Southern Region
of the state and constitutes New York City
's borough of Richmond. It is situated in New York Bay, approximately five miles southwest of the island of Manhattan
, to which it is joined by ferry. It is connected to Brooklyn
by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, while three other bridges join it to New Jersey.
Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, sailing under the French flag, espied the island in 1524. In 1661, the first settlement was founded. During the American Revolution, British forces captured Staten Island and held it until 1783. It was made a New York City borough in 1898.
Staten Island, population over 400,000, is the smallest of the city's boroughs in population and is primarily residential. However, the island is home to shipping, oil-refining and manufacturing activities. Of interest is a memorial to the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi, an 1850s resident of Staten Island.