1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Plattsburg

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PLATTSBURG, a city, port of entry and the county-seat of Clinton county, New York, U.S.A., situated on the west shore of Lake Champlain, at the mouth of the Saranac river, 168 m. (by rail) N.N.E. of Albany. Pop. (1890), 7010; (1900), 8434, of whom 1053 were foreign-born; (1910, census), 11,138. It is served by the Delaware & Hudson railway, and has steamer connexions with lake ports. Its situation in the region of lakes and mountains and its delightful climate have made it a summer resort. Among its institutions are the Samuel F. Vilas Home (for aged and infirm women); the Home for the Friendless of Northern New York (1874), for the care of homeless children; the Plattsburg State Normal and Training School, the D'Youville Academy for girls (founded in 1860, chartered in 1871), under the direction of the Grey Nuns; the College St Pierre (Roman Catholic, 1903), and the Champlain Valley Hospital. The barracks, about a mile away, is an important military post. Cliff Haven, 2 m. south, is the seat of the Catholic summer school. Plattsburg has a fine harbour and is the port of entry of the Champlain customs district; in 1909 its exports were valued at $15,169,502 and its imports at $8,167,527. Among the city's manufactures are lumber, wood pulp, paper, shirts, sewing-machines and automobiles. The total value of the factory products in 1905 was $1,056,702.

Plattsburg was incorporated as a village in 1795, and derived its name from Zephaniah Platt (1740-1807), who had led a colony of settlers to this place from Long Island; it became a city in 1902. About Valcour Island (5 m. south-east of Plattsburg), on the 11th of October 1776, a British fleet under Captain Thomas Pringle and an American flotilla under Benedict Arnold engaged in the first conflict between American and British fleets, the British being victorious. On the outbreak of the War of 1812 the village became the headquarters of the American army on the northern frontier. On the 11th of September 1814, in Plattsburg (or Cumberland) Bay, Captain George Downie, commanding a British flotilla, was defeated by an American flotilla commanded by Commodore Thomas Macdonough, losing his life in the engagement (see Champlain, Lake).