Monday, November 24, 2008

New York: The Empire State (4)

Topic: Albany Pre 1940 (continue) #4

Capture of Albany was the objective of the British campaign of 1777. Mrs. Schuyler rode north in her carriage nd burned the grain on the family estate at Old Saratoga (Schuylerville) to prevent its falling into the hands of the British. After the surrender of his army at Old Saratoga, Burgoyne became a prisoner-guest in her home in Albany, Lafayette spent part of 1778 in the city, preparing to lead an expedition against Canada. St. Peter's and the Dutch Reformed Church were turned into hospitals. Second to General P hilip Schuyler as the city's hero was Colonel Peter Gansevoort, who commanded Fort Stanwix (now Rome), the western outpost, and with the aid of General herkimer blocked St. Leger's advance down the Mohawk Valley. In 1779 local residents of the Second New York Continentals, under Colonel Goose Van Schaick, cut into the central wilderness to destroy the villages of the Onondaga. George Washington was made a freeman (i.e. voter) of the city during a visit in 1782; the following year, with Governor Clinton, he made a second visit.

The war at an end and the Indian treaties voided, Albany found itself at the crossroad of a free Nation in the making. Lands in the central and western parts of the State were opened to settlement; and the principal route from the new England States lay down the Hoosick Valley to the Hudson, south to Albany, and across the pine plains to Schenectady and the Mohawk Valley. The main stream of emigration poured westward through Albany, in 1795, five hundred vehicles a day pushed up State Street hill.

In 1785 Captain Stewart Dean, sailing from Albany to Canton, China, was the second Yankee skipper to reach that port. A stagecoach line between Albany and New York was chartered in 1785. From 1783 to 1790 Duncan Phyfe, who later won fame as a furniture craftsman in New York City, served his apprenticeship with a local coachmaker. Sailmakers and chandlers opened shops along the city's three quays. Clothing, hat, and glass factories were established. Within a few years glass manufacturers developed an annual business of $380,000 in black bottles for the 'rum-to-slaves-to-sugar-to-rum' trade of New England shippers. Lumberyards at the northern end of the city absorbed the output of Adirondack forests. After wandering from New York City to White Plains, Kingston, and Poughkeepsie, the State legislature moved to Albany in 1797 and rented a home for Governor John Jay. (10)

Sources Utilized to Document Information


No comments: