City, PT, seat of justice of Schenectady Co, NY, 16 miles north west of Albany; from Washington 384 miles. Watered by Mohawk river, which forms its northern boundary. It is one of the oldest towns in the state, having been settled by the Dutch as a trading post in 1620, and was for a long period, important as a frontier position, nothing but wilderness being found between it and Canada. In the year 1769, while a mere village, garrisoned by a few troops, Schenectady was the victim of the jealousies and contentions of those sent for its protection' for the soldiers having deserted their posts, one of those secret predatory bands of savages, which were long the scourge of our frontier settlements, led on by the Frenchman from Canada, fell upon it in the dead of night, massacred almost every man, woman and child, and burnt their dwellings. A few fugitives escaped, and carried the shocking tale to Albany. Schenectady was chartered as a city in 1798. For a number of years it have been distinguished as the seat of one of the most flushing literary institutions in the state, Union College, the edifices of which occupy a pleasant and commanding position overlooking the extensive meadows of the Mohawk, surrounded by a succession of undulated and hilly country, and enlivened by the Erie canal and the lines of railroads which here meet by various routes from Albany, and proceed on in company with occasional separations to Rochester and finally terminate together at Buffalo.
Population in 1830 was 4,268; in 1840 was 6,784 and in 1850 was 8,921