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New York

New York is a state in the northeastern United States whose U.S. postal abbreviation is NY. It is sometimes called New York State when there is need to distinguish it from New York City. The areas of New York State north of Westchester County are collectively referred to as Upstate New York, though residents of New York City consider Westchester County to be "upstate" as well.

Capital Albany

Largest City New York
Governor (2005) George Pataki (R)
- Total
- Land
- Water
- % water

141,205 km² (27th)
122,409 km²
18,795 km²
- Total (2000)
- Density

19,190,115 (3rd)
155.18 /km² (6th)
Admittance into Union
- Date
- Order

July 26, 1788
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
40°29'40"N to 45°0'42"N
71°47'25"W to 79°45'54"W
- Highest
- Mean
- Lowest
455 km
530 km

1,629 m
305 m
0 m
ISO 3166-2 US-NY
Official languages None (English is de facto)
State nickname Empire State


New York State's borders touch (clockwise from the northwest) two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario, which are connected by the Niagara River), the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, three New England states (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut), the Atlantic Ocean, and two Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey and Pennsylvania). In addition, Rhode Island shares a water border with New York.

New York is also the site of the only extra-territorial enclave within the boundaries of the USA, the United Nations compound on Manhattan's East River.

The southern tip of New York StateNew York City, its suburbs, and the southern portion of the Hudson Valley—can be considered to form the central core of a "megalopolis," a super-city stretching from the northern suburbs of Boston to the southern suburbs of Washington and therefore occasionally called "BosWash". First described by Jean Gottmann in 1961 as a new phenomenon in the history of world urbanization, the megalopolis is characterized by a coalescence of previous already-large cities of the Eastern Seaboard, a heavy specialization on tertiary activity related to government, trade, law, education, finance, publishing and control of economic activity, plus a growth pattern not so much of more population and more area as more intensive use of already existing urbanized area and ever more sophisticated links from one specialty to another. Several other groups of megalopolis-type super-cities exist in the world, but that centered around New York City was the first described and still is the best example.

Castle Point in the ShawangunksThe megalopolis, however, is not the only aspect of New York State. While best known for New York City's urban atmosphere, especially Manhattan's skyscrapers, by contrast the rest of the state is dominated by farms, forests, rivers, mountains, and lakes. Few people know that New York's Adirondack State Park is larger than any National Park in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River as it flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is a popular attraction; the best view is from the Canadian side. The Hudson River flows south through the eastern part of the state without draining Lakes George or Champlain. Lake George empties at its north end into Lake Champlain, whose northern end extends into Canada, where it drains into the Richelieu and then the St Lawrence Rivers. Four of New York City's five boroughs are on the three islands at the mouth of the Hudson River: Manhattan Island, Staten Island, and Long Island.

The five New York City boroughs (and their counties) are: (1) The Bronx (Bronx), on the mainland, north of (2) Manhattan (New York) on Manhattan Island. The Hudson River is their western boundary. (3) Brooklyn (Kings) and (4) Queens (Queens) are across the East River from Manhattan on the western end of Long Island, and (5) Staten Island (Richmond) is south of Manhattan. The eastern end of Long Island includes suburban Nassau and Suffolk, but Long Island is not one of the boroughs.

"Upstate" is a common term for New York State north of the New York City metropolitan area; but many of those outside of the NYC metropolitan area find the term demeaning because it is emblematic of the cultural and demographic divide which separates the two areas, one rural and conservative, the other urban and liberal. Which of the suburban counties north of The Bronx along the Hudson River (Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam) count as "Upstate" depends on who is making the list. Upstate New York typically includes the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, the Shawangunk Ridge, the Finger and Great Lakes in the west and Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Oneida Lake in the northeast, and rivers such as the Delaware, Genesee, Hudson, Mohawk, and Susquehanna. The highest elevation in New York is Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks.

East of New York City extends the appropriately named "Long Island," stretching approximately 120 miles (190 km) from Brooklyn and Queens Counties (part of NY City) on the western end to Orient and Montauk Points in the rural "East End" of the Island. The two counties that are encountered as one travels east from NY City are Nassau and Suffolk. Three of Suffolk County's ten towns—Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Southampton—are host to the 102,500 acre (415 km²) State designated and protected Central Pine Barrens region. This remarkably undeveloped region overlies part of Long Island's federally designated Sole Source Aquifer which provides drinking water to nearly three million residents, and it contains terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of statewide and national significance, interconnected surface and ground waters, recreational areas, historic locales, farmlands, and residential communities. This region is the largest remnant of a forest thought to have once encompassed over a quarter million acres (1,000 km²) on Long Island following the last glacial advance some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. Much of the region's ecosystem is similar to the larger New Jersey Pinelands (also called "pine barrens") to the south and southwest of NY City, along with Cape Cod's pine barrens. All three areas share geologic and ecological characteristics common along the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the U.S.

Trees have played a major role in the surrounding areas of New York. Very large trees can even grow in the New York metropolitan area (for example, the Queens Giant is the tallest tree in the NY metro area and the oldest living thing in the NY metro area.)


The Dutch were the first European settlers in the colony known as New Netherland (Nova Belgica in Latin). Fort Nassau was founded near Albany, New York in 1614 and abandoned in 1618. About thirty Walloon families settled on the shores of the Hudson River near what is present day New York City and on the Delaware River around 1624. The Dutch also established Fort Oranje near present-day Albany in 1624. New Amsterdam was established on the island of Manhattan a year later by Peter Minuit. After the English took over in 1664, the colony was renamed New York, after the Duke of York, the future King James II of England.

On November 1, 1683, the government was reorganized into a pattern still followed, and the state was divided into twelve counties, each of which was subdivided into towns. Ten of those counties still exist (see below), but two (Cornwall and Dukes) were in territory purchased by the Duke of York from the Earl of Sterling, and are no longer within the territory of the State of New York, having been transferred by treaty to Massachusetts, Dukes in 1686 and Cornwall in 1692. (Cornwall County became a large portion of the State of Maine when that state was detached from Massachusetts in 1819; Dukes County is still a county in Massachusetts.) While the number of counties has been increased to 62, the pattern still remains that a town in New York State is a subdivision of a county, rather than an incorporated municipality as in most (but not all) other States.

New York was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

Upstate New York

Upstate New York (as well as parts of present Ontario, Quebec, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) was occupied by the Five Nations (after 1720 becoming Six Nations, when joined by Tuscarora) of the Iroquois Confederacy for at least a half millennium before the Europeans came. At the onset of the Revolutionary War, there lay a vast tract of land from the upper Mohawk River to Lake Erie, that was thinly occupied by the Iroquois and virtually unknown to the colonists. Since the colonial charters of both Massachusetts and New York granted unlimited westward expansion, the claim to this tract was disputed. There were also many tensions between the original Dutch settlers in the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys and the English who were rapidly arriving in Eastern New York, and the Germans who were also establishing settlements in the Mohawk area.

Upstate New York was also the scene of fighting during the French and Indian War, with British and French forces contesting control of Lake Champlain in association with Native American allies.

During the period prior to the American Revolution, a territorial dispute developed between New York and the Republic of Vermont that continued until after the war. Ultimately, the colonial counties of Cumberland and Gloucester were lost from New York after 1777.

The Revolution began with the Six Nations officially neutral, but this quickly broke down as British and Tory agents courted them on the one hand, and the American rebels on the other. In fact the Revolution effectively broke the Iroquois confederacy forever, with the Oneida Nation and Tuscarora Nations supporting the American side, and the Mohawk Nation, Onondaga Nation, Cayuga Nation and Seneca Nations going with the British and Tories. It was a strategic error for the latter four nations, as they picked the eventual loser in the Revolution.

The Iroquois were thus a serious problem to the Americans fighting for independence. In July of 1778 a force of perhaps one thousand Iroquois and Tories led by the Tory Colonel John Butler and the Seneca war chief Cornplanter overwhelmed a few hundred Americans in the Wyoming Valley (along the Susquehanna River near present Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), which came to be known as the Wyoming Valley Massacre. Whether or not a massacre took place in the Wyoming Valley is a matter of historical debate. However, a massacre occurred at Cherry Valley in November, when about 33 civilians (including women and children) were murdered and scalped by the Iroquois who accompanied a British and Tory raid.

As the Americans gained control of more and more of Eastern New York in 1779, Congress decided to end the Iroquois threat and General George Washington sent Major General John Sullivan in June northward from Wilkes-Barre. Sullivan's troops only had one serious engagement at Newtown near present day Elmira, where they decisively routed a force led by Colonel Butler and the Mohawk captain Joseph Brant.

The Sullivan Expedition moved northward through the Finger Lakes and Genesee Country with a "scorched earth" policy. All Iroquois communities were burned, their crops destroyed, and their orchards hewn down. They found an incredibly beautiful territory. The area between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes was maintained by annual burning as a grassland prairie, and it abounded in wild game including grazing American Bison herds. Orchards contained apples and peaches. There were fields of corn and gardens with potatoes, turnips, onions, pumpkins, squashes and vegetables of various kinds. The Iroquois did not live in simple hovels as expected, but had handsome multi-family houses, often called castles. The community of Seneca Castle is derived from one such Iroquois village. Fish were abundant, and the natives also had herds of milk cows and hogs for meat. They were amazingly prosperous.

As Sullivan's army devastated the Iroquois homeland, refugees were forced to flee to Fort Niagara, where they spent the following winter in hunger and misery, sustained by gifts of salted meat given to them by British at the fort community. Hundreds died of exposure, hunger and disease.

Sullivan's men returned from the campaign to Pennsylvania and New England to tell of the enormous wealth of this new territory. Some carried huge ears of corn in their knapsacks as proof of the fertility of the land. Many of them returned to land grants later in western New York, given by the government in gratitude for their service in the Revolution.

Opening Western New York

Following the American Revolution, western New York was opened up for American development as soon as New York and Massachusetts compromised and settled their competing claims for the area in December 1786 by the Treaty of Hartford. The compromise was that, while New York would have sovereignty over the land, Massachusetts would have the "preemptive" right to obtain title from the Indians.

Following this treaty, there were various groups attempting to circumvent the treaty and directly obtain title from the Indians. For example, in 1787 John Livingston, Col. John Butler, Samuel Street, a Capt. Powell, and Lt. William Johnston attempted to circumvent the Treaty of Hartford by purporting to purchase a 999-year lease of about 8 million acres (32,000 from the Iroquois. This lease, however, was promptly declared void by both the New York and the Massachusetts legislatures.

On April 1, 1788, the entire Massachusetts preemptive right -- comprising some 6,000,000 acres (24,000 km²) -- was sold to Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham, both of Massachusetts. The sales price was $1,000,000, payable in three equal annual installments of certain Massachusetts securities then worth about 20 cents on the dollar. This sale was of the preemptive right for all land west of a line running from the mouth of Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario, due south to the 82nd milestone on the Pennsylvania border near Big Flats (the "Preemption Line") all the way to the Niagara River and Lake Erie. Phelps and Gorham would not, however, own the land outright until they extinguished all Indian titles.

Phelps and Gorham wasted no time in treating with the Indian tribes. On July 8, 1788, by the Treaty of Buffalo Creek, they extinguished Indian title to all land from the Preemption Line west to the Genesee River, as well as to lands west of the Genesee running south from Lake Ontario approximately 24 miles and extending west from the river 12 miles from "the westernmost bend of the Genesee," with this western boundary paralleling the course of the Genesee. This 184,300 acre (746 km²) tract west of the Genesee was known as The Mill Yard Tract, so named because Phelps and Gorham asked the Indians for land west of the Genesee at the Upper Falls so they could build a sawmill and gristmill. For this extinction of title, Phelps and Gorham paid the Indians $5,000, plus an annuity of $500. The area to which title was extinguished comprised some 2,250,000 acres (9,100 km²), including the Mill Yard Tract.

Phelps and Gorham, however, ran into financial difficulties, and after making the first installment payment in 1789, they defaulted in 1790. After extensive negotiation, proposals and counter-proposals, all parties agreed that the preemptive right to lands of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase west of the Genesee River, comprising some 3,750,000 acres (15,200 km²), would revert back to Massachusetts, which occurred on March 10, 1791. On March 12, 1791, Massachusetts agreed to sell its reverted preemptive right to lands west of the Genesee to Robert Morris for $333,333,33. The land was conveyed to Morris in five deeds on May 11, 1791. At that time, Morris was the richest man in America, as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a financier of the American Revolution.

Morris then re-sold most of these lands in December 1792 and in February and July 1793 to the Holland Land Company (known as The Holland Purchase). Morris was obligated, however, to extinguish Indian title to these lands before the sale would be final and he would be paid in full. In September 1797, Morris extinguished the remaining Indian title for all the lands west of the Genesee at the "Treaty of Big Tree" (Geneseo). The Holland Land Company opened a land sales office in Batavia in 1802, and sales of the tract commenced. The phrase "doing a land office business," which denotes prosperity, dates from this era. The land office still exists and is a museum today.

The Holland Land Co. office in Batavia, New York, now a museum.Morris did not convey to the Holland Land Company all of the lands he received from Massachusetts. He reserved for himself 500,000 acres (2,000 km²) in a strip twelve miles wide along the east side of the lands acquired from Massachusetts. The strip ran from the Pennsylvania border to Lake Ontario, and was known as The Morris Reserve. At the north end of the Morris Reserve, a 87,000 acre (350 km²) triangular shaped tract ("The Triangle Tract") was sold by Morris to Herman Leroy, William Bayard and John McEvers, while a 100,000 acre (400 km²) tract due west of the Triangle Tract was sold to the State of Connecticut.

The Phelps and Gorham lands east of the Genesee River that had not already been sold were also acquired by Robert Morris in August 1790 -- some 1,200,000 acres (4,900 km²) -- who re-sold them to the Pulteney Association.

Some purchases of Iroquois lands, especially those negotiated by agents representing the State of New York after 1795, are the subject of numerous modern-day land claims by the individual nations of the Six Nations. These lawsuits are predicated on the argument that the 1794 federal Treaty of Canandaigua and the 1790 Trade and Intercourse Act forbade the state of New York from conducting land transactions with Indian nations.

Settlement of Northern New York

Macomb's Purchase: Laid out ten townships in 1791 of a purchase by Alexander Macomb from the state. One row of 5 townships along the St. Lawrence River, the second row back from that, included a large segment of northern NY.

Settlement of the Catskills

The development of the Catskills was delayed due to conflicting land claims and lack of surveys. Much of the higher land was never settled and cleared and is today part of the Catskill Mountain Forest Preserve.

The Erie Canal

Since navigation was primarily by water, there were limitations on the settlement of western New York. One could navigate up the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers to Central New York, but then had to pass overland to reach the west. Likewise one could come up the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario but had to move overland from its southern shore, and the way westward to the remaining Great Lakes was also blocked by Niagara Falls. From 1807 there was discussion of a canal, or series of canals, all of which came to naught, until Governor DeWitt Clinton put all his weight into the proposal, and in 1817 the first portion of a canal was begun, to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie (and thence to the rest of the Great Lakes). The easy part was built first, a series of bypasses of rapids on the Mohawk River.

Though there was opposition, and the canal was derisively called "Clinton's Ditch" or worse, "Clinton's Folly," the canal was finally completed in 1825. Officially the event was celebrated by cannon shots along the length, and by Governor Clinton ceremonially pouring Lake Erie water into the New York Harbor in the "Wedding of the Waters." The Erie Canal proved to be a stroke of genius, as settlers now poured from New England, Eastern New York and Europe into the central and western part of the state. Others went on to Ohio and Michigan. The Canal was the first serious route for settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, which had previously been a geographic barrier. Now upstate farms and industries could easily ship their products to the large and growing market of New York City and beyond. Had the Welland Canal, which bypassed Niagara Falls to connect Lakes Ontario and Erie, been built first, instead of in 1833, the history of North America could have been far different, with Montreal, Quebec becoming the main eastern port, instead of New York City.

The Erie Canal, though no longer so important a trade route (it is supplanted by railroads and highways) still defines the central commerce belt of New York State. The port city of Buffalo, Lockport, where the canal crossed a great limestone ridge, mill-town Rochester on the Genessee, and many smaller cities owe their growth, perhaps even their existence, to the Erie. Connecting canals were also built to Lake Ontario and the larger Finger Lakes.

Law and Government

As in all fifty states, the head of the executive branch of government is a Governor. The legislative branch is called the Legislature and consists of a Senate and an Assembly. Unlike most States, the New York electoral law permits electoral fusion, and New York ballots tend to have, in consequence, a larger number of parties on them, some being permanent minor parties that seek to influence the major parties and others being ephemeral parties formed to give major-party candidates an additional line on the ballot.

New York's legislature is notoriously dysfunctional. The Assembly has long been controlled by the Democrats, the Senate has long been controlled by the Republicans, and there is little change in membership election to election. From 1984 through 2004, no budget was passed on time, and for many years the legislature was unable to pass legislation for which there was supposed to be a consensus, such as reforming the so-called Rockefeller drug laws.

In presidential elections, New York tends to support Democratic candidates and has done so consistently beginning in 1988, mainly because of the weight of New York City, a Democratic and Liberal stronghold. In 2004, New York gave John Kerry a comfortable margin of 18 percentage points and 58.4% of the vote. Many counties of Upstate New York, especially in rural areas, voted for the Republican candidate. However, this is with the notable exception of those Upstate counties with large cities, such as Erie County (Buffalo), Monroe County (Rochester), Onondaga County (Syracuse), Tompkins County (Ithaca), and Albany County (Albany), as well as several others which voted blue in 2004.

In 2002, 16,892 bills were introduced in the New York legislature, more than twice as many as in the Illinois General Assembly, whose members are the second most prolific. Of those bills, only 4 percent, 693, actually became law, the lowest passing percentage in the country. In 2004 over 17,000 bills were introduced.

New York's legislature also has more paid staff, 3,428 than any other legislature in the nation. Pennsylvania, whose staff is the second largest, only had 2,947, and California only 2,359. New York's legislature also has more committees than any other legislature in the nation.

New York's subordinate political units are its 62 counties. Other officially incorporated governmental units are towns, cities, and villages.

For decades it has been the established practice for Albany to pass legislation for some meritorious project, but then mandate county and municipal government to actually pay for it. New York State has its counties pay a higher percentage of welfare costs than any other state and New York State is the only state which requires counties to pay a portion of Medicaid.

The court system in New York is notable for its "backwards" naming: the state's trial court is called the New York Supreme Court, while the highest court in the state is the New York Court of Appeals.


New York City dominates the economy of the state. It is the leading center of banking, finance and communication in the United States and is the location of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street, Manhattan. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that in 2003, the total gross state product was $822 billion, second only to California. Its 2003 Per Capita Personal Income was $36,112, placing it 6th in the nation. New York's agricultural outputs are dairy products, cattle and other livestock, vegetables, nursery stock, and apples. Its industrial outputs are printing and publishing, scientific instruments, electric equipment, machinery, chemical products, and tourism.

Unisphere From The 1964 World's Fair in NYCNew York is best known for its tertiary sector specializing in foreign trade, together with banking, port facilities, advertising, warehousing, and other activities needed to support large-scale commerce. In addition, many of the world's largest corporations locate their headquarters home offices in Manhattan or in nearby Westchester County, New York. The state also has a large manufacturing sector which includes printing, garments, furs, railroad rolling stock, and bus line vehicles. Some industries are concentrated in upstate locations also, such as ceramics (the southern tier of counties) and photographic equipment (Rochester).

There is a moderately large saltwater commercial fishery located along the Atlantic side of Long Island. The principal catches by value are clams, lobsters, squid, and flounder. There used to be a large oyster fishery in New York waters as well, but at present, oysters comprise only a small portion of the total value of seafood harvested. Perhaps the best known aspect of the fishing sector is the famous Fulton Fish Market in New York City, which distributes not only the New York catch, but imported seafood from all over the world. The famous Fulton Fish Market has been moved to the Bronx.

New York's mining sector, which is larger than most people think, is concentrated in three areas. The first is near New York City. Primarily, this area specializes in construction materials for the many projects in the city, but its also contains the emery mines of Westchester County, one of two locations in the USA where that mineral is extracted. The second area is the Adirondack Mountains. This is an area of very specialized products, including talc, industrial garnets, and zinc. It should be noted that the Adirondacks are not part of the Appalachian system, despite their location, but are structurally part of the mineral-rich Canadian Shield. Finally in the inland southwestern part of the state in the Allegheny Plateau is a region of drilled wells. The only major liquid output at present is salt in the form of brine; however, there are also small to moderate petroleum reserves in this area.


Dairy Farm near Oxford, NYNew York State is an agricultural leader, ranking within the top five states for a number of products including dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many other products. The state has about a quarter of its land in farms and produced 3.4 billion dollars in agricultural products in 2001. The south shore of Lake Ontario provides the right mix of soils and microclimate for many apple, cherry, plum, pear and peach orchards. Apples are also grown in the Hudson Valley and near Lake Champlain. The south shore of Lake Erie and the southern Finger Lakes hillsides have many vineyards. New York State is the nation's third-largest wine-producing state, behind California and Washington State.

New York was heavily glaciated in the ice age leaving much of the state with deep, fertile, though somewhat rocky soils. Row crops, including hay, corn, wheat, oats, barley, and soybeans, are grown. Particularly in the western part of the state, sweet corn, peas, carrots, squash, cucumbers and other vegetables are grown. The Hudson and Mohawk valleys are known for pumpkins and blueberries. The glaciers also left numerous swampy areas, which have been drained for the rich humus soils called muckland which is mostly used for onions, potatoes, celery and other vegetables. Dairy farms are present throughout much of the state. Cheese is a major product, often produced by Amish or Mennonite farm cheeseries. New York is rich in nectar-producing plants and is a major honey-producing state. The honeybees are also used for pollination of fruits and vegetables. Most commercial beekeepers are migratory, taking their hives to southern states for the winter. Most cities have Farmers' markets which are well supplied by local truck farmers.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2004, New York was the third largest state in population after California and Texas, with a population of 19,227,088, a 0.2% increase over the 2003 population (19,190,115).

According to 2003 estimate, 20.4% of the population was foreign-born. The racial makeup of the state was:

62.0% White, not of Hispanic origin
15.9% Black
15.1% Hispanic
5.5% Asian
0.4% Native American
3.1% mixed race
The top 5 ancestry groups in New York are African American (15.9%), Italian (14.4%), Irish (12.9%), and German (11.2%).

New York contains the nation's largest Dominican population (concentrated in Upper Manhattan) and largest Puerto Rican population (concentrated in the Bronx). Brooklyn and the Bronx are home to many blacks and Queens has a large population of Latin American origin, as well as the state's largest Asian population.

The 2000 Census revealed which ancestries were in which counties. Italian-Americans make up the largest ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish-Americans. Manhattan's leading ancestry group is Irish-Americans, followed by Italian-Americans. Albany and southeast-central New York are heavily Irish-American. In Buffalo and western New York, German-Americans are the largest group; in the northern tip of the state, French-Canadians.

6.5% of New York's population were reported as under 5 years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.8% of the population.

The bulk of New York's population lives within two hours of the city. According to the July 1, 2004 Census Bureau Estimate, New York City and its six closest New York State satellite counties (Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange) have a combined population of 12,626,200 people, or 65.67% of the state's population.


In 2001, the five largest denominations in New York were: Roman Catholic (about 38% of total state population), Baptist (7%), Methodist (6%), Jewish (5%) and Lutheran (3%).

New York is home to more of America's Jews (25% of their national total), Muslims (24%), Taoists (26%), and Greek Orthodox (17%) than any other state.

The Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan contains the shrine and burial place of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini), the patron saint of immigrants and the first American citizen to be canonized.

At Chautauqua Lake in the southwestern portion of the state is the Chautauqua Institution, co-founded by Methodist Rev. John Vincent and devoted to adult continuing education in a uplifting setting, as that ambiance was understood in the last half of the Nineteenth Century. The Institution, which still exists, offers to a predominately middle class and Mid-American clientele a very high standard of intellectual summer lectures, mixed with certain elements of folksy relgious camp meetings, such as outdoor recreation and musical events. While some aspects of this pedagogy may seem quaint today, the Institution helped assure that high intellectual achievement would be recognized as consistent with the value system of an emerging powerful Midwest, and was one of several ways that Upstate New York served between the Civil War and World War II as a transmitting intermediary between the standards of the East Coast and the interior agricultural regions of the central states.

Historical populations

Important Cities and Towns

New York City from the Empire State BuildingAlbany is the state capital, and New York City is the largest city.

Its major cities and towns are:

New York City
Niagara Falls
White Plains
New Rochelle
Mount Vernon

Colleges and Universities

Besides the many private colleges and universities in the state, New York, like many other states, operates its own system of institutions of higher learning known as the State University of New York System (SUNY). New York City operates the City University of New York (CUNY) in conjunction with the state.

New York's public land grant (agriculture) and forestry colleges are at private schools: Cornell and Syracuse Universities, respectively.

  • Adelphi University
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Alfred University
  • Bank Street College of Education
  • Bard College
  • Barnard College
  • Boricua College
  • Bryant and Stratton
  • Canisius College
  • Cazenovia College
  • City University of New York System
    • Baruch College
    • Brooklyn College
    • City College
    • College of Staten Island
    • CUNY Graduate Center
    • CUNY Law School
    • Hunter College
    • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    • Lehman College
    • Medgar Evers College
    • New York City College of Technology
    • Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education
    • Queens College
    • York College
  • CUNY Community Colleges
    • Borough of Manhattan Community College
    • Bronx Community College
    • Hostos Community College
    • Kingsborough Community College
    • LaGuardia Community College
    • Queensborough Community College
  • Clarkson University
  • Colgate University
  • College of Aeronautics
  • College of Mount St. Vincent
  • College of New Rochelle
  • College of Saint Rose
  • Columbia University
  • Concordia College
  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
  • Cornell University
  • Culinary Institute of America
  • Daemen College
  • Davis College
  • Dominican College
  • Dowling College
  • D'Youville College
  • Elmira College
  • Excelsior College
  • Five Towns College
  • Fordham University
  • General Theological Seminary
  • Hamilton College
  • Hartwick College
  • Hilbert College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Hofstra University
  • Houghton College
  • Iona College
  • Ithaca College
  • Jamestown Business College
  • The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
  • The Juilliard School
  • Keuka College
  • Kirkland College
  • Le Moyne College
  • Laboratory Institute of Merchandising
  • Long Island University
    • Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
    • Long Island University Brentwood Campus
    • Long Island University Brooklyn Campus
    • Long Island University C.W. Post Campus
    • Long Island University Rockland Graduate Campus
    • Southampton College
    • Long Island University Westchester Campus
  • Manhattan College
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Manhattanville College
  • Maria College of Albany
  • Marist College
  • Marymount College
  • Marymount Manhattan College
  • Medaille College
  • Mercy College
  • Metropolitan College of New York
  • Molloy College
  • Monroe College
  • Mount Saint Mary College
  • Nazareth College
  • New School University
  • New York College of Podiatric Medicine
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • New York Medical College
  • New York University
  • Niagara University
  • Olean Business Institute
  • Pace University
  • Parsons School of Design
  • Paul Smith's College
  • Polytechnic University of New York
  • Pratt Institute
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Roberts Wesleyan College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Rockefeller University
  • The Sage Colleges
    • Sage College
    • Russell Sage College
    • Sage Graduate School
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • St. Bonaventure University
  • Saint Francis College
  • St. John Fisher College
  • St. John's University
  • St. Joseph's College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Siena College
  • Skidmore College
  • State University of New York System (SUNY)
    • Alfred State College
    • State University of New York at Albany
    • State University of New York at Binghamton
    • State University of New York at Buffalo
    • State University of New York at Stony Brook
    • State University of New York at Brockport
    • Buffalo State College
    • State University of New York at Cortland
    • State University of New York at Delhi
    • State University of New York at Fredonia
    • State University of New York at Geneseo
    • State University of New York at New Paltz
    • State University of New York at Old Westbury
    • State University of New York at Oneonta
    • State University of New York at Oswego
    • State University of New York at Plattsburgh
    • State University of New York at Potsdam
    • State University of New York at Purchase
    • State University of New York at Cobleskill
    • State University of New York at Morrisville
    • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
    • State University of New York at Farmingdale
    • Empire State College
    • Health Science Center Brooklyn
    • Health Science Center Syracuse
    • State University of New York Institute of Technology
    • State University of New York Maritime College
  • SUNY Community Colleges
    • Adirondack Community College
    • Broome Community College
    • Cayuga County Community College
    • Clinton Community College
    • Columbia-Greene Community College
    • Corning Community College
    • Dutchess Community College
    • Erie Community College
    • Fashion Institute of Technology
    • Finger Lakes Community College
    • Fulton-Montgomery Community College
    • Genesee Community College
    • Herkimer County Community College
    • Hudson Valley Community College
    • Jamestown Community College
    • Jefferson Community College
    • Mohawk Valley Community College
    • Monroe Community College
    • Nassau Community College
    • Niagara County Community College
    • North Country Community College
    • Onondaga Community College
    • Orange County Community College
    • Rockland Community College
    • Schenectady County Community College
    • Suffolk County Community College
    • Sullivan County Community College
    • Tompkins Cortland Community College
    • Ulster County Community College
    • Westchester Community College
  • Syracuse University
  • Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Touro College
    • Touro University International
  • Trocaire College
  • Unification Theological Seminary
  • Union College
  • Union Theological Seminary
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • United States Military Academy (West Point)
  • University of Rochester
  • Utica College of Syracuse University
  • Utica School of Commerce
  • Vassar College
  • Villa Maria College
  • Wagner College
  • Webb Institute
  • Wells College
  • Yeshiva University


Primary and Secondary Education
The New York State Board of Regents, the University of the State of New York and the State Education Department control all public primary and secondary education in the state.

Professional Sports Teams

  • National Football League
    • Buffalo Bills
    • The following teams play in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but are usually considered New York teams
      • New York Jets
      • New York Giants
  • New York Knicks, National Basketball Association
  • New York Liberty, Women's National Basketball Association
  • New York Power, Women's United Soccer Association
  • National Hockey League
    • Buffalo Sabres
    • New York Rangers
    • New York Islanders
  • Major League Baseball
    • New York Mets
    • New York Yankees
  • American Hockey League
    • Albany River Rats
    • Binghamton Senators
    • Rochester Americans
    • Syracuse Crunch
  • Major League Lacrosse
    • Long Island Lizards
    • Rochester Rattlers
  • Minor League Baseball teams
    • Brooklyn Cyclones
    • Staten Island Yankees
    • Binghamton Mets
    • Buffalo Bisons
    • Jamestown Jammers
    • Batavia Muckdogs
    • Rochester Red Wings
    • Auburn Doubledays
    • Syracuse SkyChiefs
    • Oneonta Tigers
    • Tri-City Valley Cats (Troy)
    • Hudson Valley Renegades (Wappingers Falls)
    • Long Island Ducks
  • Major League Soccer
  • USL First Division
    • Rochester Raging Rhinos
  • Arena Football League
    • New York Dragons
  • National Lacrosse League
    • Buffalo Bandits
    • Rochester Knighthawks



USS New York was named in honor of this state.
The state animal: Beaver (Castor canadensis)
The state bird: Eastern Bluebird, (Sialia sialis).
The state song: I Love New York.
The state flower: Rose.
The state tree: Sugar maple (Acer saccharum).
The state fruit: Apple.
The state gemstone: Garnet.
The state motto: Excelsior (ever upward).

Frank's Hot Sauce is the official condiment of New York State.


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