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I. ALBANY COUNTY.
Square Miles, 515. Population, 77,268.
Organized, 1683.

Valuation, 1845, $15,603,161.

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1. Albany, 1686.

6. Berne, 1795. 2. Watervliet, 1788.

7. Guilderland, 1803. 3. Rensselaerville. 1790.

8. Westerlo, 1815. 4. Coeymans, 1791.

9. Knox, 1822. 5. Bethlehem, 1793.

10. New Scotland, 1832. Mountains. g. Helderberg Hills. Rivers, &c. C. Hudson. F. Mohawk. h. Norman's kill. c. Co

eymans creek. d. Haivnakraus kill. e. Provost creek. f. Foxes

creek, Falls. b. Cohoes falls. 'ities and Villages. Albany, West Troy, Coeymans, Rensselaerville, Cohoes.

BOUNDARIES. North by Schenectady and Saratoga counties; East by the Hudson ; South by Greene ; and West by Scho harie county.

SURFACE. The surface is much varied. Along the Hudson, extends an alluvial valley, from a fourth of a mile to a mile in width. From this valley the land rises abruptly, 140 feet, and thence a table land gradually ascends, to the base of the Hel. derberg hills. Along the Mohawk, the surface is rugged and broken.

The Helderberg hills extend through the western part of the county, uniting, on the south, with the Catskill range.

They are from 400 to 500 feet in height, and very precipitous. Their elevation is quite uniform, displaying no isolated peaks.

RIVERS AND STREAMS. The county is well watered. Besides the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, which partially bound it, the Norman's kill, Coeymans creek, Haivnakraus kill, Provost creek, Foxes' creek, Boza kill, Vlamans kill, and the Patroon's creek, are the principal streams.

Most of these, as well as several smaller streams, have valuable waterfalls, affording great facilities for manufacturing.

The Cohoes, or Great Falls of the Mohawk, at the village of Cohoes, lie partly in this, and partly in Saratoga county.

The river here descends, at a single leap, 70 feet, and then pursues its way, over the rocks, in the channel, which its waters have cut through the solid rock, to the depth of more than 100 feet, to the Hudson. Few cataracts possess more picturesque beauty.

RAILROADS. The Troy and Schenectady, and the Mohawk and Hudson railroads, cross the northeastern section of the county, and the Catskill and Canajoharie, the southeastern.

CLIMATE. The climate is quite variable, being subject to great extremes of heat and cold. Though unfavorable to those affected with pulmonary diseases, it is considered as generally healthy.

GEOLOGY AND MINERALOGY. The geological formation of the county is transition; graywacke and slate are the prominent characteristics of the banks of the Hudson and Mohawk. In the Helderbergs, are fond lime and sandstone, both abounding in organic remains.

In the elevated table lands, lying between the Helderbergs and the Hudson river, are thick beds of blue and yellow marl, of clayey consistence, and destitute of fossils. They are covered with yellow sand.

Bog iron ore is found, in numerous localities, in the county. Marl, and water limestone, also abound. There are several mineral springs, some of which contain sulphuretted hydrogen, others carbonic acid gas, iron, and magnesia.

Epsom salts are found at Coeymans Landing, and petroleum in Guilderland. In the limestone cliffs of the Helderbergs, are several extensive caverns, containing quartz and other crystals, stalactites and stalagmites of great beauty ; calcareous spar, bitumen and alum also occur in the county.

SOIL AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. A portion of the soil is

fertile and productive, and most of that, which was naturally sterile, has, by the skill of the husbandman, been made to yield abundant returns. Considerable tracts, however, are not susceptible of cultivation.

The timber of the county is principally pine, hemlock, oak, hickory, elm, chestnut, and birch.

PURSUITS. Agriculture is the pursuit of a majority of the inhabitants. This may be reckoned as one of the grain growing counties, although not one of the most productive.

Oats, corn, rye, buckwheat, and barley, are the principal grains ; potatoes are raised in considerable quantities. The western part is favorable to grazing, and butter is there largely produced. The number of sheep in the county is large, and increasing annually.

Manufactures also occupy the attention of a large number of the citizens of the county. In 1845, these considerably exceeded two and a half millions of dollars, of which about two millions were produced in the city of Albany.

The principal articles manufactured were, iron ware, flour, malt liquors, coaches and sleighs, machinery, cotton and woollen goods, brick, cordage, oil and oil cloths.

Commerce. The navigation of the Hudson river, and the Erie and Champlain canals, furnishes employment to large numbers, and this commerce is increasing, in a rapid annual ratio.

Tolls were received, in 1845, in the county, upon produce valued at about twenty-seven millions of dollars. About thirty-five steamers, seventy tow boats, and 630 sloops and schooners, beside scows, &c., are employed in the Albany trade, on the Hudson. The total amount of shipping, belonging to the county, is about 60,000 tons.

STAPLE PRODUCTIONS. Oats, corn, rye, barley, buckwheat, butter and wool.

Schools. There are, in the county of Albany, 160 district school houses. In 1845, schools were taught, on an average, ten months. During that year, 14,600 children were instructed, at an expense of about $25,000, for tuition. The district libraries contained about 29,000 volumes.

There were also, in the county, the same year, 111 unincorporated private schools, with 3,856 pupils; three academies, and two female seminaries, with 637 pupils ; one state normal school, with 294 pupils; and one medical college, with 114 students.

RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. Methodists, Dutch Reformed, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Friends, Unitarians, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Universalists, and Jews.*

HISTORY. When Henry Hudson ascended the North river, in 1609, he despatched Hendrick Corstiaensen, with a small

The religious denominations are given, throughont this work, in the order of their numbers, beginning with the most numerous.

crew, in a boat, to ascertain the highest point to which that river was navigable. Corstiaensen penetrated as far as Troy, or Lansingburgh, but landed at the present site of the city of Albany.

In 1611, or 12, he returned and erected a trading house, on Boyd's island, a short distance below the Albany ferry. In the ensuing spring, this was so much injured by the ice and the freshet, that he was compelled to abandon it. He then erected a fort, on a hill, about two miles south of Albany.

In 1623 a fort was erected near the present Fort Orange Hotel, in the city of Albany, mounting eight large cannon.* It was named Fort Orange, in honor of the Prince of Orange, who, at that time, presided over the Netherlands.

This fort was intended to subserve the double purpose, of affording convenient accommodations for the traffic with the Indians, and also of serving as a protection against sudden attacks from them. It was only occupied during the autumn, and winter, by the traders, whose object was trade, not colonization.

In 1630, Kiliaen Van Re a wealthy pearl merchant, of Amsterdam, purchased, through his agents, a large tract of land, including most of this, as well as several of the adjacent, counties.

Over this extensive tract, he possessed all the authority of a sovereign, and, anxious to improve it to the best advantage, he sent a colony here, in 1631, well provided with whatever was necessary, to commence a new settlement. To his estate he gave the name of Rensselaerwyck.

It is believed that he never visited his colony. The administration of justice, and the management of its financial affairs, he committed to a commissary general. Fortunate in the selection of these, his colony prospered much more than that at New Amsterdam, and it was to the good offices of Van Curler, or Corlaer, the first commissary, that the colonists at New Amsterdam were indebted, more than once, for their preservation from destruction, at the hands of the savages. This excellent man cultivated the most friendly relations with the Indians, and so strong was their affection for him, that, ever after, they applied the name of Corlaer to the governors of New York, as the highest title of respect.

In 1642, Mr. Van Rensselaer sent over the Rev. Johannes Megapolensis, as minister of Rensselaerwyck, supporting him at his own expense. The first church was erected the succeeding year, and furnished with a bell and pulpit, by the Dutch West India Company. In 1646, the venerable patroon died, at Amsterdam. His son Johannes, then a minor, succeeded him.

During the administration of Governor Stuyvesant, serious difficulties occurred between him and the agent of the patroon, which were finally referred to the states general of Holland, for decision. After New York came into the possession of the English, the name of Beaverwyck, which had been bestowed upon the settlement, was changed to Albany, that being one of the titles of the Duke of York. The right of soil was confirmed to the patroon, by a new patent, but the government was retained in the hands of the governor of the colony.

* Stone pieces, they are called in the original Dutch records; meaning, according to Judge Vanderkemp, that they were loaded with stone, instead of iron balls. They were of very large caliber.

In 1686, Governor Dongan granted a charter to the city of Albany, and Peter Schuyler, the friend of the Indians, was elected the first mayor.

In 1689-90, the citizens of this county refused to submit to the administration of Leisler and Milborne, but were at length compelled, by the fears of an Indian invasion, to yield allegiance. No sooner, however, did Colonel 'Sloughter arrive, than he was welcomed by the people of this county, whose attachment to Leisler had never been ardent, or sincere.

In all the treaties with the Indian tribes, the citizens of Albany bore a conspicuous part, and so entirely had they won the confidence of the savages, that from the date of its settlement, the county was never invaded, by these sons of the forest. T'he Schuyler family, for several generations, exerted a powerful influence over the Indians.

During the revolution, the Albany committee nobly sustained their countrymen, in their opposition to British sway, and afforded aid, in troops and money, to the suffering inhabitants of Tryon county, to assist them in repelling the frequent attacks of the merciless horde of tories and Indians, who ravaged their settlements.

Burgoyne had boasted, at the commencement of his campaign, that his army should revel upon the spoils of Albany, but he only visited the city as a captive. Sir Henry Clinton twice attempted to invade it, but met with sufficient obstacles to prevent his success.

It became the capital of the state in 1907. Since the introduction of steamboats, and the completion of the canals, the growth of the city and county have been rapid, and the lines of railroads, which connect it with Boston and Buffalo, are giving it a still greater impulse.

The extensive manor of Rensselaerwyck, occupying a territory twenty-four by forty-eight miles in extent, descended, by entailment, to the eldest male descendant of Kiliaen Van Rensselaer. The last proprietor was the late patroon, Stephen Van Rensselaer, a man, whose munificent patronage of every object which could benefit his fellow citizens, or aid in diffusing happiness among men, has embalmed his memory

At his death, the manor was divided between his two sons, Stephen and William P. Van Rensselaer, the former receiving the portion west of the Hudson, and the latter, that lying east of the river.

The lands had usually been granted on permanent leases, the rental being payable in produce. Some personal services were usually required, by the terms of the lease, but seldom exacted by the patroon. The effort, on the part of the present proprietors, to enforce the collection of the rents, was met by strenuous opposition, on the part of the tenants, who formed themselves into armed organizations, and in their conflict with the officers of the law, several individuals were killed.

These organizations have, of late, assumed a political character. Both the

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