Genealogy Trails History Group

Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States

State, Territories, Counties, Cities, Towns & Post Offices


Transcribed by Jeana Gallagher and Sandy Stutzman
for the exclusive use of Genealogy Trails

PT is post town; PV is post village; PO is post office, PB is post borough, CH is court house, T is town

New York

One of the United States, the wealthiest and the most populous in the Union, is situated between 40°30' and 45° north latitude, and 71°56' and 79°56' west longitude from Greenwich,  and is bound on the north by Canada, which is separated in part by Lake Ontario and the river St Lawrence; east by Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut; south by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie and the Niagara river, the two latter separating it in part from Canada West.  It has a superficial area of about 46,000 square miles or 30,000,000 acres.

Physical Aspect-- The natural features of this state are greatly diversified, but in general may be regarded as an elevated tract, with numerous indentations and depressions, which form the basins of the lakes and the valleys of fertilizing streams.  The surface of the eastern division is more varied in its character than the western.  There are some level tracts, the principle of which embrace the prairies and larger plains of Long Island; but the greater portion is mountainous and hilly.  The central and western divisions are mostly level or moderately undulating, except near the Pennsylvania line, where it becomes broker and hilly.  The soil of this state is generally good, except on the more sterile parts of the Hudson highlands, and other mountainous tracts, and many parts are celebrated for their extraordinary fertility.  The valleys of the Mohawk and the Genesee, in particular, have long been proverbial for their productiveness, and are regarded as inexhaustible in their yield.  The extensive plains in the central part of Long Island, heretofore used as woodlands, producing large quantities of fuel for the New York market, are now being converted into farms and gardens, and the soil, with a moderate outlay for amendments, is found to produce, when properly cultivated, as well as any other land on the island.

Mountains-- There are several ridges of mountains in this state, which are generally considered as extensions of the Allegany or Appalachian chain.  Two of these cross the eastern division, one of which extends from New Jersey to West Point, forming the Hudson highlands; thence in a northerly direction to the Taghkannic mountains, constituting the dividing ridge between the Housatonic and Hudson rivers.  The same range continues to Vermont, and is there known as the Green mountains.  The other range, from New Jersey, terminates at the Shawnangunk mountains, on the west side of the Hudson.  Another range still more prominent also extends from New Jersey, as a continuation of the Kittatinny ridge, to the Kastsbergs (Catskill), near the Hudson, whence it continues in a northwesterly direction, through the counties of Albany and Schoharie, forming the Helderberg; thence to the Little Falls, through Herkimer, where it is known by the name of Sacondaga mountain; thence along to the westward of Lake Champlain to the river St Lawrence, forming the Adirondack mountains, Mount Marcy being the most Lefty pinnacle of the range.

Rivers, Creeks, Lakes and Bays--  The principal rivers are the St Lawrence, Niagara, Hudson, Delaware, Susquehannah, Genesee, Oswego, Oswegatchie, Black, St Regis, Mohawk, Saranac, Salmon, Chenango, Tioga, Seneca, Canisteo, Allegany, Croton, Harlem, and East.  The most noted creeks are, the Tonawanda, Ellicott, Eighteen-Mile, Oak-Orached, Oriskany, East and West Canada, Schoharie, Sacondaga, Rondout and the Wall Kill. Lakes Erie, Ontario and Champlain lie partly in this state.  The other chief lakes are George, Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida, Oswegatchie, Canandaigua, Chautauque, Skaneateles and Crooked.  The principal bays are, New York, Jamaica, Great South, Shinnecock, Gardiner's, Peconic, Oyster and Flushing.

Cataracts-- New York is noted for a number of magnificent waterfalls.  The falls of Niagara form the most stupendous cataract in the world.  The water accumulated from the great upper lakes, forming a river about three quarters of a mile wide, and from 40 to 60 feet deep, flows with a current of seven miles an hour.  As it proceeds the river widens, and embosoms Grand and Navy Islands, and again contracts to its former width.  Below the islands are rapids, which extend a mile, to the precipice, in which space the river descends 57 feet.  Here Goat Island divides the river into two channels.  Over the precipice the river falls perpendicularly about 160 feet.  Much the greater part of the water passes in the channel between Goat Island and the Canada shore, and this fall is called, from its shape, the Horseshoe.  Between Goat Island and the small island in the eastern channel the stream is only eight or ten yards wide, forming a beautiful cascade.  Between this small island and the American shore the sheet of water is broad, and the descent greater by a few feet than at the Horseshoe fall, but the stream is comparatively shallow.  The best single view of the falls is from Table Rock, on the Canada shore, and the best view of the rapids is from Goat Island.  Trenton falls, 12 miles north of Utica, are succession of magnificent cascades.  The Cohoes falls are formed by the passage of the Mohawk over a wall of rock, in one sheet, 62 feet high.  At Rochester, the Genesee has a fall of 96 feet.  At Ithaca Fall creek has a descent of 438 feet in the space of a mile.  The Cauterskill falls are a beautiful cascade, of great elevation, in the Highlands.

Mineral Springs-- The Saratoga and Ballston mineral springs are the resort of invalids at all seasons, and of the fashionable world during the summer.  The salt Springs, near Syracuse, annually yield four million bushels of salt.  The sulphur Springs, at Sharon, in Schoharie county, and at Avon, in Livingston county, are efficacious in the treatment of chronic complaints.

Islands-- The chief islands, surrounded by tide water, are Long, Staten, Manhattan, Blackwell's, Gardiner's, Shelter, and Plum.  Those of the inland waters are, Grand and Tonawanda islands, in the Niagara river, and several others in the St Lawrence.

Climate-- The climate is more varied, perhaps then any other state.  In the eastern section, below the Hudson highlands, the winters, are comparatively mild, but changeable, and frequently are rendered disagreeable by the ocean winds.  In the northeastern and central divisions they are more uniform, but severe.  In the western division they are also mild, and are subject to less variation than either of the other divisions, except near the lakes, where they are often rendered unpleasant by tempestuous winds.  The extremes of temperature near the city of New York vary from  4° below zero to 90° above; at Albany from 16° below to 93° above; at Canandaigua from 8° below to 87° above; and at Buffalo from 0° to 80° above.  The climate of the state is generally regarded as healthy, with the exception of a few months in summer and autumn, in the vicinity of the stagnant marshes and sluggish streams.  Here as in most other parts of the country, situated in similar circumstances, intermittent and bilious disorders more or less prevail.

Productive Resources-- The chief products are horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, beef, pork, fish, butter, cheese, silk, hay, wool,, sugar, wine, hops, tobacco, flax, hemp, lumber, pot, and pearl ashes, pitch, tar, turpentine, wheat, flour, rye, barley, oats, peas, beans, flax-seed, buckwheat, potatoes, Indian corn, apples, cider, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, and other fruits peculiar to the latitude.  Of the mineral and fossil resources, iron, salt, marble, hydraulic cement, gypsum, super-phosphate of lime, flagstone and lime are the most important, all of which are extensively and profitably wrought.

Manufactures-- The manufactures of New York are extensive.  Every section of the state abounds in excellent water power, which is generally improved for manufactories, flour mills, saw mills &c.  Cotton, woolens, iron, paper, leather, glass, oil, silk, cutlery, hardware, firearms, carriages &c are the most important articles of manufacture.

Railroads and Canals-- New York has about 2,000 miles of railroads in successful operation.  The most important are, the New York and Erie, extending from the Hudson river to Lake Erie, a distance of 450 miles; and the Hudson river, and the New York, Harlem and Albany railroads, extending from New York city to Albany.  From Albany railroads extend eastward to Boston, northward to Canada, and westward to Buffalo.  From all these roads branches extend to various important points in the state.  The New Haven connects New York city with the eastern states.  The principal canal in New York is the Erie, extending from Albany to Buffalo, 364 miles.  From the Erie lateral canals diverge north and south, traversing many important sections of country.  The canals are, with a single exception, the property of the state.  They have an aggregate length of about 1,000 miles, and have been principally built for the purpose of uniting the navigation of the lakes with the Hudson river.

Commerce-- The foreign commerce of New York is nearly equal to that of all the rest of the Union combined.  Her lake and interior commerce is equally immense.  In 1850, its imports and exports amounted to $163,836,313.  The shipping owned within the state is over one million of tons, of which about one half is employed in the coasting trade and on the lakes.

Education-- Among the literary institutions of New York are, Columbia, Union, Hamilton and Geneva colleges; and the New York, Madison and Rochester universities.  There are seven theological seminaries and five medical schools.  There are also, about 250 academics and 12,000 common schools in the state. The money appropriated for the support of common schools amounts to over a million dollars annually.

Government-- The executive power is vested in a governor, and lieutenant governor, who must be native born citizens of the United States, and have resided in the state five years, and who are elected biennially; and the legislative power in a senate, of 32 members, elected biennially, and a house of assembly, of 128 members, elected annually, on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday in November.  The secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, canal commissioners, attorney general, engineer and surveyor, are elected biennially by the people.  Judges are elected by the people, and hold office eight years.  Every white male citizen 21 years of age, who has resided in the state one year, and in the county where he offers his vote four months next preceding the election, enjoys the right of suffrage.  Persons of color who have resided three years in the state, and have possessed a freehold of $250, one year previous to the election, are allowed the right of suffrage.

Population-- In 1790 was 340,120; in 1800 was 586,756; in 1810 was 959,949; in 1820 was 1,372,812; in 1830 was 1,918,608; in 1840 was 2,428,957 and in 1850 was 3,097,394.  Number of slaves in 1790 was 21,324; in 1800 was 20,343; in 1810 was 15,017; in 1820 was 10,088; in 1830 was 75 and in 1840 there were 4.

History-- In the year 1609, Henry Hudson, a navigator (who had previously made two voyages to the American continent, in the service of a company of London merchants), in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, while exploring the coasts of what are now Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey, in search of a passage to the Pacific ocean, passed through the Narrows, entered the magnificent bay of New York, and discovered the mouth of the Manhattan (now Hudson) river. For ten days he continued his voyage cautiously up this river, confidently hoping it would open through to the great ocean, and it was not until he reached the head of tide water, in fact until he was at the mouth of the Mohawk, that he relinquished this idea.  He reached England in the autumn of that year.  During the same year, Champlain, having fortified Quebec, passed through the lake which bears his name, and descended Lake George.  The two navigators came very near meeting each other from different points, in the interior of New York.  The Dutch commenced a regular trade with the Indians upon the Hudson in 1610, which was continued several years before a permanent settlement was commenced.  They began a settlement at Albany in 1615, built a fort, and called the country upon the river New Netherlands.  About the same time, a small settlement was made upon Manhattan Island, but actual colonization did not take place until after 1621, when the Dutch West India Company was formed.  In 1629, this company issued patron privileges, for the purpose of encouraging settlements and emigration rapidly increased.  In 1633, the Dutch erected a fort on the Connecticut river, upon the present sit of Hartford, but soon after abandoned the place.  The Dutch at this time claimed Long Island, yet the English commenced settlements upon the eastern end of it.  They also claimed jurisdiction over the whole country bordering the Delaware and its bay, but there a colony of Swedes, which had been projected by and planted under the auspices of Gustavus Adolphus, disputed their authority, and they built a fort upon the island of Tinicum, in the Delaware, a few miles below Philadelphia.  In 1643-44, the Dutch waged a war against the neighboring Indian tribes upon Long Island, and in New Jersey, who showed signs of disaffection, having been badly treated by whites.  The Indians were subdued and dispersed.  In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant, the most celebrated of the Dutch governors, arrived and by order of the home government, he set about reducing the Swedish colony to submission.  This was accomplished in 1655, and New Sweden upon the Delaware became a part of the New Netherlands.  In 1664, Charles II granted the country between the Connecticut and the Delaware to his brother, the Duke of York, who sent an armed force to take possession.  This they accomplished in the autumn of that year, and the name of the settlement and province was changed to New York.  When in 1689, Governor Andros was imprisoned, the people of New York under Leisler, took possession of the fort there. Leisler continued at the head of affairs until 1691, when he was arrested by Slaughter, a newly appointed royal governor, and executed on a charge of high treason.  From the year 1700 until 1744, the province of New York was quiet, except the excitement produced by a pretended negro plot.  It was then that the "five years" war with France took place, and northern New York became the theatre of hostilities.  Hoosick and Schenectady were burnt.  From 1755 to 1763 occurred the French and Indian wars, and New York was the chief field of operations within the English colonies.  Fort Oswego was captured by Montcalm, 13 Aug 1756, and the next year, on 09 Aug, he stormed and took Port William Henry, on Lake George.  The English also made conquests of fortresses in the possession of the French; Ticonderoga, Frontenac and Niagara.  The congress of the colonies, which the stamp act gave birth to, was held in the city of New York, in 1765, and about the same time the association called the Sons of Liberty was organized in this province.  In 1767, the powers of the colonial legislature were annulled by parliament, because the assembly refused to grant supplies to troops.  In 1773, the people of New York, like those of Boston, successfully resisted the landing of tea.  In 1775, after hearing of the battle of Lexington, a provincial congress was assembled, and thus the colony was governed until 1777, when a constitution was adopted.  On 27 Aug 1776, occurred the battle on Long Island between the Americans and British and Hessians.  The city was evacuated by the Americans on 23 Sep. From that time until the close of the Revolution, this state was the scene of some of the most exciting and important events for the war.  But our limits forbid a detail of them.  On 25 Nov 1783, the British evacuated New York.  It was there that Washington, the first president of the United States, was inaugurated on 30 Apr 1789.  New York ratified the Constitution of the United States 26 Jul 1788.

 1850 Counties of  New York

County Description Area in sq miles Courts held at Pop in 1850
Albany west side of Hudson river, Mohawk on the NE 462 Albany 93,279
Alleghany south west part, crossed by Alleghany river 1,120 Angelica 37,812
Broome south boundary, crossed by Susquehanna river 860 Binghamton 30,660
Cattaraugus south boundary 1232 Ellicottville 38,950
Cayuga western part, Cayuga lake on west, Skaneateles lake on east and Lake Ontario on north, water by Seneca river, Owasco lake & Erie canal 648 Auburn 55,460
Chautauque southwest corner, Lake Erie on NW, contains Chautauque lake 1017 Mayville 50,493
Chemung south boundary, water by Chemung river, Cayuta & Newtown creeks, Seneca lake inlet & Chemung canal 530 Elmira 28,795
Clinton northeastern part, west side of Lake Champlain 932 Plattsburgh 40,048
Columbia east boundary, with Hudson river on the west 624 Hudson 43,092
Cortland southwest of central part, crossed by Toughnioga river 500 Cortland 25,140
Delaware southeast part, Delaware river on southwest 460 Delhi 39,825
Dutchess eastern boundary, Hudson river on west 340 Poughkeepsie 58,992
Erie western boundary, Lake Erie & Niagara river on west 876 Buffalo 100,993
Essex northeastern part, west side on Lake Champlain 1779 Elizabethtown 30,993
Franklin northern boundary 1527 Malone 25,102
Fulton eastern part 500 Johnston 20,171
Genesee western part, crossed by Erie canal 473 Batavia 28,490
Greene southeast part, on west side of Hudson river 583 Catskill 33,126
Hamilton northeastern part 1064 Lake Pleasant 2,188
Herkimer central part, crossed by Mohawk river & Erie canal 1370 Herkimer 38,244
Jefferson northern part, Lake Ontario on west, St Lawrence river on northwest 1125 Watertown 68,153
King's southeast part, at west end of Long Island 76 Brooklyn 218,881
Lewis north part 1122 Martinsburgh 24,464
Livingston toward western part, crossed by Genesee river 509 Genesee 40,875
Madison central part 582 Morrisville 43,073
Monroe north boundary on Lake Ontario, crossed by Genesee river 607 Rochester 87,649
Montgomery toward the east part, crossed by Mohawk river & Erie canal 356 Fonda 31,992
New York southeast part between Hudson & East rivers, includes Manhattan, Blackwell's, Ward's & Randall's islands 20 New York City 515,507
Niagara northwest corner, Lake Ontario on north, Niagara river on west & Tonawanda creek of south 660 Lockport 42,260
Oneida in central part, Oneida lake on southwest, crossed by Mohawk river & Erie canal 1101 Rome, Utica & Whittlesborough 99,568
Onondaga central part, Oneida lake on northeast, Skeneateles lake on southwest, crossed by Oswego river & Erie canal. contains salt springs of New York, yield annual revenue of $171,000 711 Syracuse 85,891
Ontario west part, Seneca lake on east, Canandaigua like in the south 617 Canandaigua 43,925
Orange southeast part, Hudson river on east, crossed by Delaware & Hudson canal 760 Goshen & Newburgh 57,145
Orleans northern boundary, Lake Ontario on north, crossed by the Erie canal 372 Albion 28,501
Oswego northwest boundary, Lake Ontario on northwest, Oneida lake on south, crossed by Oswego river 923 Oswego & Pulaski 62,198
Otsego central part, Otsego & Canaderaga lakes in the north 892 Cooperstown 48,639
Putnam east boundary, Hudson river on west 216 Carmel 14,138
Queen's southeast part, on Long Island, Atlantic ocean on south, Long Island sound on north, East river on northwest 396 North Hempstead 36,853
Rensselaer east boundary, Hudson river on west 626 Troy 73,361
Richmond southeast part, consisting of Staten Island 63 Richmond 15,161
Rockland southeastern part, Hudson river its eastern boundary 172 Clarkstown 16,962
St Lawrence on northwest boundary, St Lawrence river on northwest 2717 Canton 68,617
Schenectady east part, crossed by Mohawk river & Erie Canal 200 Schenectady 20,054
Schoharie eastern part 621 Schoharie 33,548
Seneca toward west part, Cayuga lake on east, Seneca lake on west 380 Ovid & Waterloo 25,441
Steuben on south boundary, Crooked lake in northeast 1400 Bath 63,771
Suffolk southeast part, occupying the eastern part of Long Island, Atlantic ocean on south, Long Island sound on north 640 Riverhead 36,922
Sullivan on south western boundary, Delaware river on southwest 919 Monticello 25,088
Tioga on south boundary, crossed by Susquehanna river 490 Owego 24,880
Tomkins in south part, Cayuga & Seneca lakes at northwest 580 Ithaca 38,748
Ulster in southeast part, Hudson river on east 1096 Kingston 58,936
Warren in east part, Lake George on east, Schroon lake on north, crossed by Hudson river 912 Caldwell 12,425
Washington on east boundary, Hudson river on west, Lake George on northwest 807 Salem & Sandy Hill 44,750
Wayne on northern boundary, Lake Ontario on north 572 Lyons 44,953
Westchester southeast part, Long Island sound on southeast, Hudson river on west 470 White Plains & Bedford 57,263
Wyoming in west part 500 Warsaw 31,981
Yates toward western part, Seneca lake on east, Crooked lake on south 320 Penn Yan 20,599

Albany, NY

Capital of New York State and the seat of justice of Albany Co, situated on the west side of the Hudson River, 147 miles north of New York City.  Rising by a bold ascent from the water and crowned with the glittering domes of the capital and city-hall, it presents as interesting appearance from the river, and creates anticipations which are rarely realized on entering the streets, many of these retain their earlier irregularity and narrowness, but the more modern avenues and buildings are generally spacious and elegant.  The capital, at the head of State street, a board avenue, ascending steeply from the river, stands on the east side of a beautiful public square.  In the north part of the square, which is divided by a street running from east to west, stands the city-hall and the state-hall, both of white marble, the former adorned with a beautiful gilded dome.  The other public buildings are: churches, over 30 in number; the Albany Academy and he Female Academy.  Few inland cities combine so many natural advantages for trade, improved by such extensive and costly public works, as Albany.  It is the terminus of the Erie canal and the great chain of railroads which connects the central counties of New York, the Great Lakes and their vast shores.  The Green Mountain state sends its productions to Albany through Lake Champlain and the Champlain canal.  Some of the products brought through these channels, pass through MA to Boston by railway; more are whirled in few hours to New York, by the gigantic Hudson River railroad, which now sweeps majestically through the solid mountains and rocky headlands which skirt that mighty stream.  Steamboats, schooners and sloops also convey large cargoes to and from the towns along the route.

Population: 1790 was 3,798.  In 1800 was 5,349. In 1810 was 9,356.  In 1820 was 12,530.  In 1830 was 24, 238.  In 1840 was 33,731.  In 1850 was 50,763.

Brooklyn City, NY

Seat of justice of King's Co, NY, second in population in the state, is situated at the west end of Long Island, on the easterly side of East river, opposite the city of New York.  Its surface was originally rough and broken, but has since been graded sufficiently low to be passed with ease.  From the top of the "Heights", the city spreads over a gentle, or undulating slope, for several miles, towards Gowanus bay on the south and Williamsburg on the northeast.  It is destined like each in the constellation of cities which cluster around New York, to attain inconceivable greatness.  Its ample limits, and fine situation close to the business part of the present commercial emporium, with which it is connected by six steam ferries--two of them, the Fulton and the South ferry, probably surpassed for elegance and dispatch by any in the world--render it a favorite residence for merchants and others who do business in New York, and to these causes it is indebted for its rapid growth in population and wealth.  Most of the streets are broad and pleasant, lined with handsome shade-trees, and substantial and often princely dwellings, which are lighted in the night with gas.  The new avenues toward the east part of the city, are arranged with great Regularity and taste; with open airy gardens attached to dwellings.  The city hall in a central situation at the union of several of the principle streets, is a fine edifice of white marble

The United States Naval hospital, on a gentle swell near Walkabout bay, seen with its white marble walls through groups of trees, makes an agreeable picture.  On this bay, at the north side of the city, appear also the large buildings of the nay-yard, which includes an area of 45 acres, enclosed by a substantial brick wall.  Here, too, is the US dry-dock, a structure of almost unequalled vastness.  The foundation is 406 feet long and 120 feet wide. The main chamber is 286 feet long and 30 feet wide at the bottom; at the top 307 feet long and 98 feet wide.  The iron folding gates weigh 150 tons.  Pumps discharge 40,000 gallons of water per minute.  Ships of war of the largest class, her enter and are repaired.  16 years were occupied in the construction of this dock.

The churches, which in proportion t the population of the place, are equaled in number and beauty by no other city, except , perhaps, by those of New York, are of all orders of architecture, from the chaste and simple Grecian, to the pure Gothic, with lofty walls, richly sculptured columns, and tinted windows.  The literary advantages of Brooklyn are also numerous and valuable.  Libraries, lectures, scientific, and literary societies; and schools of various grades, are flourishing and well supported.  The harbor of Brooklyn is deep, spacious and sufficient for any number of vessels.  Along the southwest front, opposite Governor's Island, extends the Atlantic dock, a deep and spacious basin of 42 acres, which is surrounded by piers and bulkheads, containing a large number of substantial warehouses, built of stone.  Other warehouses and factories of various kinds line the wharves along the East river, from the Atlantic dock to Walkabout bay.  A few miles south of the city, beyond Gowanus bay, lies the beautiful and enchanting Greenwood Cemetery, which for combination of romantic nature with splendid art, is probably surpassed by no necropolis in the world.  The Long Island railroad terminates in Brooklyn, at the South ferry

The population in 1800 was 3,298: in 1810 was 4,402; in 1820 was 7,175; in 1830 was 12,042; in 1840 was 36,233 and in 1850 was 96,850.

Buffalo, NY

City and seat of justice of Erie Co, NY, is situated at the confluence of Buffalo creek with the east end of Lake Erie, and at the western terminus of the Erie canal, by which route it is 363 miles distant from Albany.  It occupies a slope, chiefly on the north side of the creek, which is here deep enough for vessels drawing eight feet of water.  The streets are generally regular, the buildings substantial, and many of them imposing.  The longest and broadest is Main street, the Broadway of Buffalo, on each side of which, for more than two miles, extend lines of stores and other buildings.  From the top of the elevation above the city, appears a wide panorama of the lake, Black Rock basin, Niagara river, the Erie canal, and the surrounding country

Buffalo is the offspring of the Erie canal, and ever since the completion of that stupendous work, has continued to increase in population, wealth, and importance.  It is the gate through which the vast commerce of the great lakes and the western states passes on its way to New York and the east.   great chain of railroads binds Buffalo to New York, Boston, Albany, and the richest portion of the Empire state along the course of the Erie canal; and another, traversing the valleys of the Susquehanna and Delaware, links it with New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia.  By either of these routes, the passenger may reach Buffalo from New York, a distance of about 500 miles, in less than 20 hours.  The Lake-shore railroad connects it with the vast network of railroads in the western states.

The harbor of Buffalo was formerly impeded by sands with the winds and storms of Lake Erie deposited at its entrance.  By the construction of a mole and pier, 1,500 feet long, this obstacle is removed, and vessels drawing eight feet of water, now enter the creek.  Her, in the winter season, a large number of vessels, steamboats, ships, schooners and canal-boats, are congregated and protected from ice and storms.  Several hundred schooners, and a number of steamboats, navigate Lake Erie from Buffalo to the different ports on its shores.  A large amount of capital is invested in manufactures.

Population: in 1810 was 1,508; in 1820 was 2,095; in 1830 was 8,653; in 1840 was 18,213 and in 1850 was 42,261

New York City

City, the great commercial metropolis of the United States, and in population, commerce, and wealth, one of the first cities of the globe, it is situated between 40°42' 40" north, and in longitude 74°1' 8" west from Greenwich,  and 3°0' 22" east from Washington, 216 miles southwest of Boston, and 86 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

The city is located on Manhattan island, between Hudson and East rivers, which unite at its southern extremity, forming one of the most admirable harbors for beauty and convenience in the world.  The island is 13½ miles long, bounded on the north by Harlem river, formerly Spuytendevil creek, and embraces an area of about 20 square miles.  On the south part of this, the compact part of the city is built, extending northward about 4 miles from river to river, and spreading by a rate of progress which will soon cover the whole island.  Its admirable position for foreign commerce, with its noble bay, and its remarkable facilities of internal communication with every portion of the Union, have been the unfailing sources of its extraordinary growth and prosperity.  Here the noble Hudson, after a course of more than 200 miles, through a rich and populous region, sweeps majestically along, bearing on its bosom the vast commerce of the Erie canal and the west, expands into the upper bay and passes through the "Narrows" into the ocean.  Here too, on the opposite side, courses the strong tide of East river, which winding between Long Island and the main land, forms the rocky pass of "Hell Gate" and several islands.  This stream, which averages about three fourths of a mile in width and 30 feet in depth, affords a passage for vessels of a large class into Long Island sound and the Atlantic ocean; while those engaged in foreign commerce, as well as in southern coasting trade, usually enter and leave the harbor through the Narrows between Staten and Long islands.

The best anchorage for these is at the wharves along the East river, which is more secure from ice than the Hudson.  British packets, coasting vessels, and canal boats generally, lie along the former river; some at Brooklyn, and the Atlantic dock, on the opposite bank; while the Hudson is thickly lined with steamboats and ships from England, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Sweden and other foreign countries.  On this river also, at the foot of Canal street, is the wharf of the Collins' line of steamers, between Liverpool and New York.  The Cunard steamers land at Jersey city, on the opposite side of the river.  Other splendid lines run between the city and Southampton, Bremen and Havre, in Europe, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, Havana, Chargres, Nicaragua and Panama.  Steamboats of different grades, from the magnificent floating palaces of the Hudson, to the lesser propeller and steam ferry boats, are constantly leaving or approaching the city, and animate its waters with the most varied prospect of live and activity.  For pleasant, salubrious position, and beauty of surrounding country, New York is as conspicuous as it is for commercial advantages.  Entering the outer bay, from the Atlantic, the traveler sees on the left of the broad expanse of water, the blue hills of New Jersey, formerly known as the highlands of Vanesink. Toward the north, the romantic heights of Staten island rise to view, and on the east, the shores of Long island.  Following the Narrows, between the two islands, which are defended by strong fortifications, the upper or inner part of the bay opens an enchanting scene.  Staten island recedes, and the shores of New Jersey reappear.  Long island continues on the right, and after passing Governor's island, with its fortifications, the great city display's its forest of masts and spires; its domes, and its houses, relieved by the green foliage of the "Battery" set like an emerald, in some darker stone.  The ground rises from the Battery, and from both rivers, by a gradual ascent, of which Broadway is the ridge or summit.  This surface, with the outline of the city, which rapidly widens from its southern point to a breadth of two miles, at Corlear's Hook, on the East river, gives an imposing effect, unequally by almost any in the world.  

At the lower and ancient part of the city, the streets are some what irregular, but not unpleasant, being lined with rows of warehouses and stores of the most splendid and solid construction.  Many of these are brick, some of free stone, and others of white marble.  This is the business part of the city, and embraces comparatively few residences.  Wall street is the principle theatre of financial and mercantile operations, and is a broad, straight avenue, leading from East river to Broadway.  On either side of this are numerous splendid banking houses, and other public buildings, among which is the Merchants' Exchange, of blue granite, or sienite, 200 feet long, 171 feet wide, and 124 feet high to the top of the dome, with a portico supported by massive solid pillars.  Within, the most remarkable apartment is the exchange, a rotunda, 80 feet in diameter, and 80 feet high, lighted from above by the dome, and resting upon eight Corinthian columns of Italian marble.  The whole building is of fire proof materials, and is a splendid ornament to the city.  The customhouse on the same street, is a beautiful structure of white marble, in Doric architecture, surrounded by rows of Corinthian columns, with a portico extending across the entire front on Wall street.  It is 200 feet long, 90 feet wide and 80 feet high, and contains numerous apartments of the different offices, the principle of which is of circular form, 80 feet in diameter, surrounded by columns, and lighted by a beautiful dome.  This structure occupies the site of where once stood Federal Hall, where Washington was inaugurated first president of the United States, 30 Apr 1789.  At the head of Wall street, fronting on Broadway, stands Trinity church, the most costly and magnificent structure of the kind in America.  It is of light brown freestone, in purely Gothic architecture, and is 192 feet deep, 84 feet wide, the walls 60 feet high, and the spire reaching 284 feet above the ground.  From the battlements, at the base of the spire, appears a magnificent panorama of New York bay, its islands, New Jersey, and Long island, with Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and other populous towns; while below the feet the giant city spreads east, west, north and south, on each side of Broadway, which for three miles bisects it in nearly a straight direction.  This splendid street, which is 80 feet wide, is lined with large and magnificent stores, warehouses, and hotels, built of white marble, freestone, and other durable materials.  Below Trinity church, besides a number of fine hotels, there is the United States bonded warehouse.  Proceeding northward, successively appear the American Museum, the Astor house, occupying an entire square, built of blue granite, the city hall, the Irving house, opposite to which is Stuart's dry goods palace, a massive structure of white marble, the Society library, City hospital, American institute, St Nicholas hotel, Academy of Design, Metropolitan hotel, and Grace church, f pure white marble, elaborately sculptured.  At Tenth street, Broadway makes a small angle and after passing Union and Madison squares, proceeds nearly northward to the upper end of the island.  Among the public buildings in the lower part of the city in the city hall, in the "Park," a pleasant triangular enclosure of ten acres.  This edifice is of white marble, except in back, which is of brown freestone.  Its architecture is a combination of the Ionic, Corinthian and Composite orders.  It is 216 feet long, 105 feet deep, and 65 feet high.  Upon the roof is a cupola, with a clock, illuminated at night, and an enormous bell, the powerful tones of which send the alarm of fire over an area of many miles.  Within are well furnished apartments for different offices of the city government; and in the second story the governor's room, which is decorated with portraits of the presidents, governors of the state, mayors of the city, and many American heroes and statesman.  In front of this edifice a splendid fountain rises, from the middle of a circular basin, surrounded by flowers and shrubs.  The park also contains the new city hall, the hall of records, and several other public buildings, for the accommodation of the courts, and city business.  The hall of justice, often called, from it architecture, the "Egyptian Tombs" is a massive and large building, on Centre street, of light colored granite, 253 feet long, and 200 feet wide.  It contains the city prison, and other departments of justice.  Columbia College is pleasantly situated westward of the park, fronting a beautiful green, the west side of which once overlooked the Hudson, but is now at a distance of about a fourth of a mile.  This institution was founded under George II, in 1754, and has educated some of the most distinguished men of the country.  The New York post office occupies the old Middle Dutch church on Nassau, Cedar and Liberty streets.  Other prominent buildings worthy of note are Clinton Hall, occupied by the Mercantile library; Odd Fellows hall, a imposing structure of freestone; the New York University, an elegant white marble Gothic structure; the university medical college, on 14th street;  the New York college of physicians and surgeons, on Crosby street; the New York medical college; the general theological seminary of the Protestant Episcopal church, Union theological seminary; the Free Academy; the Astor library, the in institution for the blind; the deaf and dumb asylum; the New York orphan asylum, upon an attractive slope overlooking the Hudson; the colored orphan asylum for friendless boys; the sailor's home; the colored home and many other noble, charitable institutions, which form a most enviable ornament of pride and honor for the metropolis of American.

New York is well furnished with educational and literary privileges, and manifests its high interest in mental culture, by the number and excellence of its libraries, schools, colleges, lectures, and journals, the latter of which are, in general, superior to those of any other city in the Union, for intrinsic merits, dispatch, and for every requisite of newspaper literature.

The public grounds of New York are numerous, but scarcely commensurate with its greatness and wealth.  The "Battery," at the south extremity, is an airy and delightful resort in summer, carpeted with greensward, shaded with large trees, and fanned by the breezes of the bay.  At the southwest side, built up from the water, is Castle Garden, once a fortification, but now used for public gatherings, and for the magnificent annual fairs of the American Institute.  Its vast amphitheatre will contain 10,000 persons.  Not far from the battery, at the foot of Broadway, is the "Bowling Green," a small elliptical enclosure, containing a fountain and lofty trees.  Here before the Revolution, stood a gilded leaden statute of George III, which was converted by the patriots into bullets, to be fired at the troops of the king, whom it represented.  The park has been already noticed.  Union square is a pleasant oval ground, adorned with flowers, grass, trees, and a fountain.  Washington square, formerly a potter's field, lies westward of Broadway, and affords a pleasant promenade.  Tompkins, Stuyvesant and Madison squares, are the other public grounds, none of which are sufficiently ample for the wants of the city.  St John's and Grammercy, are beautiful private parks.

It remains to notice a work which, in grandeur of design and magnificent execution, is truly worthy of the commercial metropolis of America; the Croton water works, the most extensive and costly structure of the kind in the country and probably in the world, if we except those at Marseilles, in France. A dam across Croton river, 40 miles north of the city hall, creates an exhaustless and beautiful lake of about 400 acres in area, five miles in circumference, and capable of containing, 550,000,000 gallons of water.  The aqueduct extends from this point to Harlem river, without interruption, conveying the water through a conduit of mason work, which has a descent of about one foot to a mile, is six feet three inches wide at the bottom, seven feet eight inches at the top, and eight feet five inches high.  It passes Harlem river upon the "High Bridge" which has been pronounced equal to the most magnificent structures, of a similar kind in ancient Rome.  Fourteen piers of solid masonry support arches, upon which rests the bridge, 1,450 feet long, and 114 feet above tidewater.  After crossing the river, the aqueduct conveys the water to the receiving reservoir, 836 feet wide, 1,825 feet long, and containing 150,000,000 gallons.  The water is separated by a partition of masonry, forming two divisions, which may be alternately full and empty, or both full at the same time.  The whole area of the surface of the water is equal to 35 acres.  From this basin the water is conveyed through iron pipes to the distributing reservoir, two miles southward, whence it is distributed through iron pipes under ground, enters the houses, and cleanses the streets, administering comfort, beauty, and health, to the city, and its citizens.  The area of the latter reservoir is equal to four acres; its capacity is 20,000,000 gallons.  The water works can supply 60,000,000 gallons daily; the average quantity is 30,000,000.  The cost of the aqueduct and reservoirs was over $12,000,000.

The manufacturers of New York, like its commerce, are more extensive than those of any other American city.  Ship building and machinery are among the branches most largely carried on.  Here are built the magnificent ocean steamers, packets, and steamboats, that are the glory of New York.

The principal streets are traversed in various directions by omnibus lines, connecting the important points.  Ferries communicate with Hoboken, Jersey City, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Astoria.  The railroads diverging from New York are, the Harlem; Hudson River to Albany; the New York & New Haven; the Camden and Amboy; the Philadelphia; the New Jersey Central; the Morris & Essex; the Paterson & Ramapo; the Erie: and the Long Island.  Not all of these enter the city; many communicate by steamboats from different distances.

The population in 1653 was 1,120; in 1661 was 1,743; in 1675 was 2,580; in 1696 was 4,455; in 1730 was 8,256; in 1756 was 10,530; in 1774 was 22,861; in 1786 was 23,688; in 1790 was 33,131; in 1800 was 60,489; in 1810 was 96,373; in 1820 was 123,706; in 1825 was 166,136; in 1830 was 202,589; in 1835 was 270,089; in 1840 was 312,710; in 1845 was 371,280 and in 1850 was 515,507.

Poughkeepsie, NY

Seat of justice of Dutchess Co, NY, situated on the Hudson, at the head of ship navigation.  It lies on the east side of the river, 75 miles north of New York, 71 miles south of Albany; from Washington 301 miles.  Wappinger's creek bounds the town on the east side, the Hudson on the west.  From the latter river the village is concealed, being delightfully seated on an elevated plain, one mile eastward.  AT the landing there are a number f wharves, where steamboats and other vessels stop on their way between Albany and New York.  Ascending by the road the steep bank, the village bursts upon the sight, presenting an interesting spectacle of industry and prosperity.  It has the appearance of a city, with its compact buildings, regular streets, stores, churches, banks and manufactures.  Upon a neighboring elevation stands the Poughkeepsie collegiate school, a fine building in Grecian architecture; besides this there are an academy and other schools.  Formerly whaling vessels were owned in Poughkeepsie, and returned hither from their voyages.  An expensive aqueduct supplies the village with water from neighboring springs.  The Hudson river railroad passes through the place.

Population in 1810 was 4,670; in 1820 was 5,726; in 1830 was 7,222; in 1840 was 10,006 and in 1850 was 13,944

Rochester, NY

A city, seat of justice of Monroe Co, NY, situated on both sides of Genesee river, 7 miles from its entrance into Lake Ontario, 73 miles northeasterly from Buffalo, and 220 miles northwest of Albany. Three bridges, and the magnificent aqueduct of the Erie canal, span the river from the west to the east part of the city.  The public buildings are generally substantial and imposing; but the most interesting structures are the flour mills along the rapids and falls of Genesee river, where here it descends 270 feet.  Here the vast stores of wheat produced in the Genesee valley and the surrounding country, as well as the western states, are ground and prepared for market.  To its vast water power and the Erie canal, Rochester owes its prosperity and surprising growth.  Thirty years ago, the site of the city was a marshy, unhealthy wilderness; now, it is populous with men, and active with industry.

The population in 1820 was 1,502; in 1830 was 9,269; in 1840 was 20,191; and in 1850 was 36,403.

Schenectady, NY

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

Syracuse, NY

City in Salina twp, seat of justice of Onondaga Co, NY, 131 miles west of Albany; from Washington 348 miles.  Few inland towns have a more advantageous position; in the midst of a region rich in exhaustless salt springs, it communicates with Lake Ontario by the Oswego canal, and the Oswego and Syracuse railroad, which here join respectively the Erie canal and the great central railroad of New York.  The buildings of Syracuse are chiefly of brick; it also contains an elegant hotel and several churches.  A branch canal connects the place with Salina, about a mile distant, and between the two places, are extensive manufactories, yielding a vast quantity of salt, and a large annual revenue to the state.

The population in 1830 was 2,565; in 1840 was 6,502 and in 1850 was 25,251.

Troy, NY

Seat of justice of Rensselaer Co, NY, is situated on the east side of Hudson river, 6 miles north of Albany, and 151 miles north of New York.  Formerly, this point was the head of sloop navigation; but a dam across the river above, 1,100 feet long and 9 feet high, with a lock enables sloops to ascend to Lansinburgh, four miles higher up.  The city is built on level ground, at the foot of steep hills, the two chief of which have classic names "Mount Ida" and "Mount Olympus."  From both of these eminences spreads a wide prospect of the Hudson and the towns along its valley.  It is laid out with broad and pleasant streets, and the houses are neat and substantial.  South of the city, the Poestenkill comes tumbling and foaming through a wild ravine, affording a fine water power for several mills, which lie buried in the deep, dark gorge.  A railroad bridge spans the Hudson to West Troy, a flourishing village in Albany county, where there is a United States arsenal, an extensive bell foundry, cotton factories, and other establishments. Among the public buildings of Troy, besides churches, the Troy Female Institute and the Troy academy deserve notice from the reputation which they enjoy.  Water is conveyed to the city from a basin in Lansinburgh, elevated 72 feet above the level of the streets, through which it is distributed by iron pipes buried under ground.  One and a half million of gallons are thus supplied for daily consumption or to extinguish fires.

Troy is united to Lake Champlain by railroad, via Saratoga and Whitehall, to Greenbush, opposite Albany; and to Schenectady, on the great central line, by one of two branch railroads, the other proceeding from Schenectady to Albany.  There has been considerable rivalry in enterprise between Albany and Troy, which has probably injured neither city.  The Erie canal passes through West Troy, and steamboats and numerous vessels communicate with New York and the other towns on the river.

The population in 1810 was 3,885; in 1820 was 5,264; in 1830 was 11,401; in 1840 was 19,334 and in 1850 was 28,785.

Utica, NY

Seat of justice of Oneida Co, NY, situated south of Mohawk river, 92 miles northwest of Albany, 233 miles east of Buffalo, and 388 miles from Washington.  The city is built on a pleasant slope, facing the river; its streets are generally broad and regular, and its aspect exhibits the signs of prosperity, business activity, and successful industry.  The Erie canal and the great central chain of railroads pass through Utica, and the former is here joined by the Chenango canal, which extends to Binghamton, on the Erie railroad, and furnishing an outlet for the agricultural products of the surrounding country.  Manufactures of various kinds are extensively carried on.

The population in 1820 was 2,972; in 1830 was 8,323; in 1840 was 12,782 and in 1850 was 17,565.


City in Kings Co, NY, 147 miles south of Albany; from Washington 227 miles.  Water by Bushwick creek and East river, the latter of which separates it from the city of New York.  It is built on a slope, gently rising from the water for about a third of a mile, and then descending toward the east a distant of about a mile more.  From the pleasant heights of North Brooklyn; at the south of this city, appears an interesting panorama of the towns which thickly cluster around this part of Long Island.  Brooklyn, resting on somewhat elevated ground, and bending a wide circuit, is every day blending more closely with Williamsburgh.  Far toward the east and north spreads the latter city, and north of this the pleasant villas of Greenpoint, Ravenswood, and Astoria; while the East river separates these from the great forest of masts and spires on the opposite shores.  From the river, Williamsburgh presents a fine effect; it tall steeples, and a number of imposing manufactories along its water front, add much to the picturesqueness of the place. Its streets are regular, generally well paved, lighted with gas, and ornamented with trees.  Here a large number of persons who do business in New York reside, crossing daily by the four steam ferries, the boats of which ply constantly between the two cities; other citizens are extensively engaged in ship building, and in the manufacture of blocks, cordage, marble, glue, glass, chemicals, oil, casting, buttons and lamps.

The progress of Williamsburgh is one of the phenomena of the age.  Thirty years ago, a few insignificant buildings stood on the ground now covered by its northern part.  After slowly increasing for about twenty years, it received a new impetus, and arose, in ten years, from a village of 5,000 souls, to the sixth city of the Empire state.  It is destined to a still higher rank. Williamsburgh was formerly a part of the town of Bushwick, and was incorporated as a village in 1827; with extended powers in 1835, and as a city in 1851.

The population of Bushwick in 1820 was 930; of Williamsburgh in 1830 was 1,620; in 1840 was 5,680 and in 1850 was 30,780

Hudson River

& Hudson River Railroad

The Hudson river proper rises by two branches, in the mountainous regions of Hamilton and Essex counties, New York.  The eastern branch is composed of two streams, which unite in Warren county.  15 miles below this, the Sacandagua unites with the Hudson at Jessup's falls; 18 miles below this, it passes Hadley's falls; and 20 further is Glen's falls.  The only considerable tributary below this, is the Mohawk, ten miles above Albany.  Its whole course, from its source to its entrance into New York bay, is 320 miles.  The tide flows as far as Albany.  The city of New York owes much of its prosperity to this river, connected as it is with the Erie and Champlain canals.  The Hudson River railroad, which connects Albany with New York, together with the river travel, are greater thoroughfares than any other highway on this continent.  (**note the railroad runs along the east bank of the Hudson river)

West Bank

Hudson River mile markers

East Bank




Mohawk River



RR into W Troy






Albany & RR to Urica


















New Baltimore



Coxackie (a bit west of river)


Kinderhook Landing & south is Stuyvesant



Columbia Village

4 Mile Point









Catstill & RR





German Town












Barry Town



Lower Redhook

Kingston (a bit west) & Rondout Landing


Rhinebeck Landing









Hyde Park



























Fishkill Landing






Cold Spring

West Point





Anthony's Nose ( a mountain/hill)




Stoney Point



Haverstraw or Warren

Haverstraw Bar





Rockland lake


Croton river enters



Sing Sing





Tappan Sea

Greensburg or Tarry Town




Piermont & Erie RR


Dobbs Ferry




Palisades (mile 20-10)





Kings Bridge

Fort Lee


Harlem (a bit south)

Bulls Ferry





Begin New York City




Jersey City


End of Manhattan & NYC

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