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Definition: Albany from Philip's Encyclopedia

State capital of New York, on the Hudson River. Settled by the Dutch in 1614 and British from 1664, it replaced New York as state capital in 1797. It has many fine old buildings. Albany developed in the 1820s with the building of the Erie Canal, linking it to the Great Lakes, and it remains an important river port. Industries: paper, brewing, machine tools, metal products, textiles. Pop. (2000) 95,658.


Summary Article: Albany
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Capital of New York State, in Albany County situated on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 225 km/140 mi north of New York City; population (2000 est) 95,700. Albany is an important deep-water port and state administrative centre; its chief industries include clothing, brewing, and engineering. The city was incorporated as Albany in 1686 and became the state capital in 1797.

History The area was first reached by Henry Hudson during his 1609 voyage up the river and was since named after him. Fort Orange, a Dutch trading post, was established on the future site of the city in 1624. In 1652 Pieter Stuyvesant, Governor of New Netherland, proclaimed that Fort Orange should be called Beverwyck. The Dutch surrendered to the British in 1664 and the land was granted to James, Duke of York and Albany (later James II). New Amsterdam became New York and Beverwyck became Albany. In 1754 a general conference of the states known as the Albany Congress was held here, at which US statesman Benjamin Franklin's Plan of Union, a forerunner of the US Constitution, was adopted. Albany played an important part in the American Revolution and suffered heavy damage at the hands of the British. The completion of the Champlain Canal (1822) and the Erie Canal (1825), as well as the Hudson Railroad (1831), helped to foster its subsequent economic development.

Features Albany has 52 entries on the National Register of Historic Places, including historic districts, city hall (1831), and the State Capitol (1867). A government complex, the Empire State Plaza, was built in the 1960s. Albany is the birthplace of the writer Bret Harte and US Revolutionary patriot Philip Livingston, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. US president Chester Arthur is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery. Albany houses the New York State Archives, the New York State Library, the Albany Institute of History and Art (1791), and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The State University of New York (1844) has its headquarters, and a campus, at Albany.

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