Africans were brought to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam from different regions with diverse cultures, religions, and languages. In 1664 the British captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York. Before the American Revolution, New York had more enslaved Africans - its most valuable commodity - than any other colony in the North. There were also free Africans, some descended from those freed by the Dutch West India Company. Men cleared farmland, felled swamps, and built structures and roads like Broadway and The Wall (today's Wall Street). Women sewed, cooked, harvested, and cared for owners' children as well as their own. From an early age, children carried water and firewood. The work was hard and death rates for Africans were disproportionately high.