The capital of New York is the great city of Albany, New York. This is a city that is rich in history, as it is more than 400 years old. It is located west of the Hudson River, a river named after an original Albany settler Henry Hudson who arrived here in 1609. It is a lovely 3-hour drive from New York City, just 150 miles away.
The city became the official state capital in 1797, and is considered among the oldest colonies in the United States. Among its many accomplishments, it is home to the invention of the telegraph and the electric motor, as well as the first long distance aircraft flight and first railroad for passengers. Learn more about Albany, the capital of New York State here.
Why is Albany the State Capital?
When Henry Hudson arrived here in 1609, the region was the home of the Iroquois or Haudenosaunees. It was then a Dutch colony who used Albany as a trading center, due to its accessibility to other regions. It is this accessibility to other regions that would allow Albany to become a center for transportation and international trade. That is how Albany came to be the capital of New York State.
By 1614, the Dutch colonists had built Fort Nassau to trade fur, and would build Fort Orange in 1624. The English eventually overtook both of these properties, naming the city after the Duke of Albany.
In 1686, Albany became a chartered city, in which it was governed by its own law or charter and not the law of the land. There was no formal national law to govern Albany at the time. That would not happen until 1797 when Albany, and the state of New York, became part of a nation called the United States of America.
On April 19, 1775, the Revolutionary War began, and it would last until September 3, 1783. At the time, Albany served as a central spot to serve as a supply point and even a strategy point for the military. One of the first Albany natives, a man named Philip Livingston, would go on to become a signatory for the document known as the Declaration of Independence.
It is this collection of historical tales that has made Albany a successful capital of the state of New York.
Discover Albany Today
Today, Albany is still a significant economic center for New York state, and even the country. It is also still among the longest chartered cities in the United States, with a history felt by visitors every year from all over the world.