Gravesend was founded in 1645 (not 1643) by Lady Deborah Moody, an Englishwoman. According to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission:
The Gravesend town charter was the first in the New World to list a woman patentee, and one of the first to expressly allow freedom of religious beliefs for its inhabitants. . . . It was also the first land document in the New York area to be written in the English language, as the surrounding areas were primarily settled by the Dutch.The original layout of the Gravesend town center, a 16-acre square bisected by two perpendicular roads (map), has survived to this day as a little two-by-two square turned at an angle to the street grid that has emerged around it (map). We're just passing by one corner of that square today; we'll be back another time to walk the streets of the old village and see what's there.
(At the bottom left corner of the monument above, an inscription reads: "OCT. 4, 1987 — GRAVESEND TIME CAPSULE CONTAINING THE HISTORY OF THE GRAVESEND COMMUNITY IS LOCATED 270° AND 27 FT. DUE WEST OF THIS MEMORIAL".)