Miriam Medina is a New Yorker and a geneologist. She has put together a fascinating website about the history of the Empire State, as well as of Gotham itself:
The history of the State of New York illustrates the history of the Nation in all of its stages. In some aspects the history of the State is coextensive with that of the Nation. The mingling of the peoples of the world; development from wilderness to metropolis; conflicts of politics; growth of corporations and the multiplication of new industries; achievement of cultural and self-expression.
In addition we must also include the internal improvements and revolutions in transportation and communication and the domination of finance and the spread of foreign commerce. In summary it is the Nation’s greatest financial, mercantile and cultural center fully justified by its title: The Empire State.
It is worth checking out, here. Thanks to Laura Claridge for bringing it to my attention.