About The History of Poughkeepsie, New York
The site of Poughkeepsie was purchased from Native Americans in 1686 by Robert Sanders, an Englishman, and Myndert Harmense Van Den Bogaerdt, a New Netherland-born Dutchman. The first settlers were the families of Barent Baltus Van Kleeck and Hendrick Jans van Oosterom. The settlement grew quickly, and the Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie was established by 1720. The community was set off from the Town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village in 1799. The City of Poughkeepsie was chartered in 1854. Outside of municipal designations, the City and Town of Poughkeepsie are generally viewed as a single place and are commonly referred to collectively as Poughkeepsie, with a current combined population of approximately 75,000.
Spared from battle during the American Revolution, Poughkeepsie became the second capital of New York. In 1788, the Ratification Convention for New York State, which included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and George Clinton, assembled at the courthouse on Market Street, debated, and ratified the United States Constitution. With its ratification, New York entered the new union as the eleventh of the original thirteen colonies to join together as the United States of America. In 1799, a new seal was created for #Poughkeepsie.
Early on, Poughkeepsie was also a major center for whale rendering, and during the 19th century industry flourished through shipping, hatteries, paper mills, and several breweries along the Hudson River, including some owned by Matthew Vassar, founder of Vassar College. Due to the area’s natural beauty and proximity to New York City, families such as the Astors, Rogers, and Vanderbilts built palatial weekend homes nearby. The Vanderbilt mansion, located several miles up the Hudson from Poughkeepsie, is registered as a National Historic Site; it is considered to be a sterling example of the mansions built by American industrialists during the late 19th century. The city is also home to the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House.