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Kingston, New York

KINGSTON, NEW YORK, a city and the county-seat of Ulster county, New York, U.S.A., on the Hudson River, at the mouth of Rondout Creek, about 90 m. N. of New York and about 53 m. S. of Albany. Pop. (1900), 24,535 355 1 being foreign-born; (1910 census) 25,908. It is served by the West Shore (which here crosses Rondout Creek on a high bridge), the New York Ontario & Western, the Ulster & Delaware, and the Wallkill Valley railways, by a ferry across the river to Rhinecliff, where connexion is made with the New York Central & Hudson River railroad, and by steamboat lines to New York, Albany and other river points. The principal part of the city is built on a level plateau about 150 ft. above the river; other parts of the site vary from flatlands to rough highlands. To the N.W. is the mountain scenery of the Catskills, to the S.W. the Shawangunk Mountains and Lake Mohonk, and in the distance across the river are the Berkshire Hills. The most prominent public buildings are the post office and the city hall; in front of the latter is a Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The city has a Carnegie library. The " Senate House " now the property of the state, with a colonial museum was erected about 1676; it was the meeting place of the first State Senate in 1777, and was burned (except the walls) in October of that year. The court house (1818) stands on the site of the old court house, in which Governor George Clinton was inaugurated in July 1777, and in which Chief Justice John Jay held the first term of the New York Supreme Court in September 1777. The Elmendorf Tavern (1723) was the meeting-place of the New York Council of Safety in October 1777. Kingston Academy was organized in 1773, and in 1864 was transferred to the Kingston Board of Education and became part of the city's public school system; its present building dates from 1806. Kingston's principal manufactures are tobacco, cigars and cigarettes, street railway cars and boats; other manufactures are Rosendale cement, bricks, shirts, lace curtains, brushes, motor wheels, sash and blinds. The city ships large quantities of building and flag stones quarried in the vicinity. The total value of the factory product in 1905 was $5,000,922, an increase of 26-5 % since 1900.

In 1614 a small fort was built by the Dutch at the mouth of Rondout Creek, and in 1652 a settlement was established in the vicinity and named Esopus after the Esopus Indians, who were a subdivision of the Munsee branch of the Delawares, and whose name meant " small river," referring possibly to Rondout Creek. The settlement was deserted in 1655-56 on account of threatened Indian attacks. In 1658 a stockade was built by the order of Governor Peter Stuyvesant, and from this event the actual founding of the city is generally dated. In 1659 the massacre of several drunken Indians by the soldiers caused a general rising of the Indians, who unsuccessfully attacked the stockade, killing some of the soldiers and inhabitants, and capturing and torturing others. Hostilities continued into the following year. In 1661 the governor named the place Wiltwyck and gave it a municipal charter. In 1663 it suffered from another Indian attack, a number of the inhabitants being slain or taken prisoners. The English took possession KINGSTON KINGSTON-UPON-HULL, EARLS OF 821 in 1664, and in 1669 Wiltwyck was named Kingston, after Kingston Lisle, near Wantage, England, the family seat of Governor Francis Lovelace. In the same year the English garrison was removed. In 1673-1674 Kingston was again temporarily under the control of the Dutch, who called it Swanenburg. In 1777 the convention which drafted the new state constitution met in Kingston, and during part of the year Kingston was the seat of the new state government. On the 16th of October 1777 the British under General Sir John Vaughan (1748-95) sacked it and burned nearly all its buildings. In 1908 the body of George Clinton was removed from Washington, D.C., and reinterred in Kingston on the 2$oth anniversary of the building of the stockade. In 1787 Kingston was one of the places contemplated as a site for the national capital. In 1805 it was incorporated as a village, and in 1872 it absorbed the villages of Rondout and Wilbur and was made a city.

See M. Schoonmaker, History of Kingston (New York, 1888).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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