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Albany History, New York

Albany, NY US - History: Major Transportation Hub of 19th Century

In 1609, Henry Hudson came up La Grande Riviera to look for trade. Later, the river was renamed as Hudson. In 1624, a colony was setup by the French Walloons which was known as Fort Orange. A trading post was established in 1629 by the Dutch West India Company. In 1652, Fort Orange became the village of Beverwyck by a declaration made by the governor of the New Netherlands. Albany became the center of military training between 1757 and 1763 during the French and Indian war. But,the  French never made an invasion to the city.

As political and economic tensions increased between England and the colonies, Albany supported the congress in Philadelphia. During the period between 1775 and 1783 when the war progressed, the city gradually became the center of military planning as well as a supply center. The Declaration of Independence had Philip Livingston as one of the signers, who was also a native of Albany.

The Schuyler Mansion was host to some of the most famous personalities, which include Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Aaron Burr and John Jay. When the state government was formed, Kingston became the first host to the New York Legislature. In 1797, it was decided that Albany should be established as its capital.

Albany and the 19th century progressed in parallel. In due course of time, the city became a major transportation hub. It was accessible by wagon and stagecoach. Steamboat arrived in 1807. The first travel by train began in 1831, when Albany got connected by Schenectady. In 1840, an extension was made to Boston and by 1851, it stretched further. New York City was connected to Greenbush. The population of the city continued to grow in the 19th century when ethnic groups from Germany, Ireland and Israel started migrating to the city. Albany was now a city of craftsmen.

The Mansion on the Eagle Street became very famous in the 20th century. It was mostly occupied by governors of different provinces, who later became national figures. The defeat of William Van Rensselaer by William S. Hackett in the 1921 mayor election marked the growth of Albany Democratic Machine, which was later headed by Dan O’Connell.

The city joins the entire Hudson valley in 2009 to observe the 400th anniversary of the famous voyage made by Henry Hudson on the Half Moon. With this, Albany would continue to create events and happenings that would add to its history.

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