The first capital of New York State
The city of Kingston was first called Esopus after a local Esopus tribe, then Wiltwijck (sometimes anglicized to Wiltwyck).
Settled in 1651, it was one of the three large Hudson River settlements in New Netherland, the other two being Beverwyck,
now Albany, and New Amsterdam, now New York City. In 1777, Kingston became the first capital of New York.
During the summer of 1777, when the New York State constitution was written, New York City was occupied by British troops and Albany
(then the second largest settlement in New York) was under threat of attack. Ironically, the British never reached Albany,
being stopped at Saratoga, but they did reach Kingston. Shortly after the Battle of Saratoga,
the city was burned by British troops moving up the Hudson River from New York City,
disembarking at the mouth of the Rondout Creek on the formation the Dutch had named Ponck Hockie.
Contrary to popular belief there wasn't a large conflict between the townsfolk and the British invaders.
This is because the denizens of Kingston knew of the oncoming fleet. The city had been evacuated by the time the British arrived,
residents and the government having removed to Hurley, New York, which the British did not attack.
The Waterfront on the Rondout
Ride the Rondout