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General New York State History

Less than a week after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the people of New York met in convention in Kingston to vote their support and form their own state government. Although their state was the scene of nearly a third of the battles fought in the American Revolution, and their major port and city was occupied, New Yorkers still managed to supply large quantities of food, clothing, lead and iron to General Washington, as well as to serve valiantly in the Continental Army. New Yorkers saw the christening of the American flag when the Stars and Stripes was first flown in battle at the defense of Ft. Stanwix in Rome.

The Colony of New York became a state on July 26, 1788 with the adoption of its first constitution - 12 years before the Federal Constitution. After the adoption of the Federal Constitution, New York City was chosen to be the nation's first capital and was the site of the inauguration of George Washington as President on April 30, 1789.

Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian-born navigator sailing for France, discovered New York Bay in 1524. Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch, reached the bay and sailed up the river now bearing his name in 1609, the same year that northern New York was explored and claimed for France by Samuel de Champlain.

In 1624 the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Fort Orange (now Albany); one year later Peter Minuit is said to have purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for trinkets worth about $24 and founded the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City), which was surrendered to the English in.

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