Albany, New York
State: New York
Lat/Long: 42.6500, -73.7500
Albany, New York is the county seat of Albany County and capital of the state of New York. Located on the west bank of the Hudson River, 145 miles north of New York City, Albany is the second oldest permanent European settlement within the thirteen original colonies. In 1609, Henry Hudson reached a point near the present site of the city. In 1614, the Dutch established Fort Nassau on a point south of modern Albany. Flooding destroyed this post in 1617, and the Dutch replaced it with Fort Orange on the present location of modern Albany. Seven years later, the Dutch West India Company began bringing Dutch colonists to the area. In 1652, the patroon (owner) granted independence to the fort and settlement, and the settlers named the village Beverwyck. The English captured Fort Orange in 1644 and renamed the settlement Albany. In 1686, the village received a charter. During colonial times, the settlement became an important fur-trading center and the site for cultural and economic contact between the Europeans and Native Americans. In 1754, Albany was the scene of the Albany Congress, where delegates from the colonies negotiated with the Iroquois and voted favorably for Benjamin Franklin’s Albany Plan of Union--the first attempt by the colonists to create union of the colonies. During the American Revolution, British forces threatened Albany. It became the permanent capital of New York in 1797. In the three decades after the Revolution, Albany remained the center of trade in the western part of New York. It expanded further as a commercial center after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 and of the Albany-Schenectady Railroad in 1831.
Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary , 3rd ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997), 24; Courtlandt Canby, The Encyclopedia of Historic Places (New York: Facts on File, 1984), 1:17; Culver Reynolds, comp., Albany Chronicles: A History of the City Arranged Chronologically (Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon, 1906), 351; J. H. French, Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State (Syracuse, NY: R. Pearsall Smith, 1860), 26, 159, 162.