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Guide to the Ulster County Collection
1666-1893 (Bulk 1700-1800)
  MS 645

New-York Historical Society
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New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jan Hilley

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 28, 2022
Description is in English.

Historical Note

Ulster County, in southeastern New York State, is bordered by the Hudson River to the east and the Catskill Mountains to the northwest. Its early inhabitants were Algonquian-speaking Indians, such as the Delaware.

Missing Title
1614 Early adventurers came into the area to trade with the Indians for corn and pelts.
1615 Fur-trading post established on the future site of Kingston.
1652 Handful of settlers from Holland moved down from near Albany.
1653 Land purchased from the Esopus, a tribe of the Delaware Nation, for farming. Built village called Esopus, later Wiltwyck (Dutch for "wild woods"). After skirmishes with Indians, Peter Stuyvesant, Governor of the Dutch colony, brought soldiers up and built a stockade.
1669 Wiltwyck, now part of the English colony, was renamed Kingston.
1677 French Huguenots, under the leadership of Louis Dubois, founded settlement of New Paltz on 36,000 acres of land purchased from the Indians and patented to them by Governor Edmund Andros.
1683 Ulster, one of the original New York counties, was chartered to "contain the towns of Kingston, Hurley, and Marbletown, Foxhall and New Paltz, and all the villages, neighborhoods, and Christian inhabitations on the west side of the Hudson River, from the Murderers Creek, near the Highlands, to the Sawyers' Creek." Named for the traditional Irish province of Ulster, then under the control of James, Duke of York and Albany (later King James II).
1777 Kingston, the county seat, was the first capital of New York State. The state's first legislature, senate and supreme court convened in Kingston and George Clinton was inaugurated there as New York's first governor. In late 1777, British troops entered and burned Kingston, destroying much of the town.
1805 The community survived and Kingston incorporated as a village.
1828 Delaware and Hudson Canal completed. Kingston was the eastern terminus.

Source of Information: French, J.H. The Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State. Syracuse, N.Y.: R.P. Smith, 1860.