City of Hudson


A History of Hudson

The little city of Hudson has the distinction of being the first city in the United States—that is, it was the first city to be incorporated after the thirteen colonies became the United States.

The idea of Hudson started even before the Treaty of Paris was signed. A group of men from Nantucket and New Bedford—seafarers, owners of whaling ships—were convinced that King George would not be content to let the American colonies go, and the British would be back to recapture what they’d lost. Their location made them and their livelihood especially vulnerable, so early in 1783, two brothers, Thomas and Seth Jenkins, representing an association of men involved in maritime commerce, set out to find and purchase a safe harbor where they could relocate their families and their ships. Sailing up the Hudson, they found what they were looking for about a hundred miles north of New York Harbor: a high bluff on the east bank of the river with a natural harbor on either side. They bought the land on the bluff and along the river from Dutch families whose ancestors had purchased it from the Mohicans generations before, and they set about to create there a seaport far from the sea.

Please visit Historic Hudson, a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1996, to promote the preservation of the unique architectural heritage of the City of Hudson, New York. Comprising a remarkable collection of largely intact 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century buildings, Hudson is considered by many to be a veritable dictionary of American architectural style.

History Room at the Hudson Area Library : The library’s History Room houses a special collection that pertains to the history of the City of Hudson, Greenport and Stockport, as well as Columbia County and New York State. Among the holdings are sets of Hudson City Directories, Hudson High School’s Blue and Gold Year Books, early editions of poetry books by Edna St. Vincent Millay, compilations of St. Nicholas Literary Magazine, and historical periodicals and photographs.