1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Poughkeepsie

POUGHKEEPSIE, a city and the county-seat of Dutchess county, New York, U.S.A., and on the east bank of the Hudson river, 73 m. N. of New York City. Pop. (1910 census), 27,936. It is served by the New York Central & Hudson River, the New York, New Haven & Hartford, the West Shore, the Central New England, and the Poughkeepsie & Eastern (merged in the Central New England) railways, and by river steamboat lines on the Hudson. A cantilever railway bridge, 2260 ft. long (6767 ft., including approaches) and 200 ft. above the water, spans the Hudson at this point. The city is built partly on terraces rising 200 ft. above the river and partly on a level plateau above. On the Hudson here is the course for the intercollegiate boat-races in which the American college crews (save those of Yale and Harvard, which row on the Thames at New London) have rowed annually, beginning in 1895, except in 1896, when the race was rowed at Saratoga. In the north-eastern part of the city is College Hill Park, and in the centre is Eastman Park (11 acres, originally the home of Harvey Gridley Eastman). Vassar College (q.v.), one of the most famous women's colleges in America, occupies extensive grounds a short distance east of the city. Other educational institutions are the Lyndon Hall School (1848) for girls, Putnam Hall (for girls), St Faith's School (Protestant Episcopal; removed in 1904 from Saratoga Springs, where it was founded in 1890), Riverview Military Academy (1836), and Eastman Business College, one of the largest commercial schools in the country, founded in 1859 by Harvey Gridley Eastman (1832–1878). Immediately north of Poughkeepsie is the Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane (1871); in the city are the Vassar Brothers' Hospital (1878), with which a nurses' training school is connected; the Vassar Brothers' Home (1881) for aged and infirm men; the Poughkeepsie Orphan House and Home for the Friendless (1847); the Old Ladies' Home (1870); the Pringle Memorial Home (1899), for aged and indigent men, and the Adriance Memorial Library (45,000 volumes in 1909). The city is a manufacturing centre of considerable importance; the factory products in 1905 were valued at $7,206,914, an increase of 29.2% over 1900.

Poughkeepsie was settled by the Dutch about 1698, taking its name from an Indian word “Apokeepsing,” or “Pooghkepesingh,” which seems to have been the name of a waterfall on the river front. The New York legislature met in Poughkeepsie in 1778, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1788 and 1795, and here in 1788 met the convention which ratified for New York the Federal constitution (July 28). Poughkeepsie was incorporated as a village in 1799 and was chartered as a city in 1854.