Open main menu

NEW′BURGH. A city in Orange County, N. Y., 60 miles north of New York City; on the Hudson River, about five miles above the picturesque Highlands, and on the Erie and the West Shore railroads (Map: New York, F 4). It is built on a steep, terraced slope, rising about 300 feet above the river to an extended plateau. The city has a public library, a public park, Saint Luke's Home and Hospital, Home for the Friendless, and Home for Children. The river here expands into Newburgh Bay, giving the city a deep water front and exceptional facilities for traffic by water. There is a trade in agricultural and dairy products, and large quantities of coal from Pennsylvania are here transferred to barges and coasting vessels. Newburgh is of considerable importance as an industrial centre, having manufactories of cottons, woolens, silks, paper, powder, flour, felt hats, and carpet; shipyards; foundries and machine shops; tanneries and leatherette works; and plaster works. The government, as provided by the charter of 1898, is vested in a mayor, elected biennially; a common council; and administrative officials, the majority of whom are appointed by the executive, either absolutely or with the consent of the council. The city clerk, however, is elected by the council, and the water commissioners, board of education, and almshouse commissioners are chosen by popular vote. The water-works are owned and operated by the municipality. Population, in 1890, 23,087; in 1900, 24,943. The first settlement at Newburgh was made in 1709 by German Lutherans from the Rhenish Palatinate, who named it the ‘Palatine Parish by Quassaic.’ By 1750 most of the Germans had been replaced by people of English and Scotch descent, who in 1752 changed the name to the ‘Parish of Newburgh’ (after Newburgh, Scotland). Newburgh was the headquarters of the American Army from March, 1782, until the latter part of 1783, and it was here that the Newburgh Addresses were circulated, that the army was disbanded, and that Washington received the famous Nicola letter, proposing that he become King. The ‘Hasbrouck House,’ then occupied by Washington, is now owned by the State and used as a museum for Revolutionary relics. On the grounds is the ‘Tower of Victory,’ an imposing stone structure erected by the United States and State governments to commemorate the close of the war. Newburgh was incorporated as a village in 1800 and was chartered as a city in 1865. Consult: Ruttenber, History of the Town of Newburgh (Newburgh, 1859); Powell (editor), Historic Towns of the Middle States (New York, 1899); Nutt (comp.), Newburgh (Newburgh, 1891).