1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Newburgh (New York)

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NEWBURGH, or Newburg, a city of Orange county, New York, U.S.A., on the W. bank of the Hudson river, about 57 m. N. of New York City. Pop. (1890) 23,087, (1900) 24,943, of whom 4346 were foreign-born and 558 negroes; (1910, census) 27,805. It is served by the Erie, the West Shore, and—by ferries across the Hudson—the Central New England and the New York Central & Hudson River railways. Across Newburgh Bay, as the expansion of the Hudson at this point is called, is the village of Fishkill, and an electric line connects with the village of Walden (pop. in 1910, 4004), about 12 m. N.W., which has various manufactures, the most important being pocket-knives. The city occupies a commanding position on terraces rising abruptly from the river, and on the flat plateau above, whence a view may be obtained of the Catskill Mountains to the N.W., of the Highlands of the Hudson to the S. and of the Hudson river for many miles in both directions. Orange Lake, between Newburgh and Walden, is known for its ice yachting and skating races. Washington Park is in the central part of the city. Downing Park, named in honour of the horticulturist and landscape gardener Andrew Jackson Downing, (1815–1852), a native of Newburgh, lies on a high plateau overlooking the city and the surrounding country. Among Newburgh’s institutions are a public library, St Luke’s Hospital, a Children’s Home, Mount St Mary’s Academy (Roman Catholic) and a business college. In Colden Square there is a statue of Governor George Clinton. Cotton, woollen and silk goods, laces, paper, plaster, plush, felt and felt hats, carpets, engines and boilers, and mill and farm machinery are manufactured, and there are ship and brick yards. In 1905 factory products were valued at $7,142,327, an increase of 33·3% over their value for 1900. Newburgh was first settled in 1709 by a colony of Germans from the Rhenish Palatinate under their minister, Joshua Kockethal (d. 1719), and was known as “the Palatine Parish of Quassaic.” Toward the middle of the century many of the Germans removed to Pennsylvania, and Scottish and English settlers took up their abandoned lands. In 1752 the place was renamed Newburgh, after the town of that name in Scotland, whence many of the new settlers had come. From the spring of 1782 until August 1783 Washington made his headquarters here, occupying the Hasbrouck House (built by Jonathan Hasbrouck between 1750 and 1770), which is still standing in Washington Park, and was bought by the state in 1849. It long contained a collection of historical relics, for which the state has erected a brick building in Washington Park. It was here on the 27th of May 1782 that he wrote his famous letter of rebuke to Colonel Lewis Nicola (1717–c. 1807), who had written to him on behalf of a coterie of army officers, it is said, suggesting that he assume the title of king. Here, also, Washington made his reply to the so-called “Newburgh Addresses,” written by John Armstrong, and calling for action. on the part of the army to force Congress to redress its grievances. Here the arrangements were completed for the disbandment of the Continental Army, and the centenary of the disbandment was celebrated here on the 18th of October 1883. In commemoration of the disbandment also a monument, known as the “Tower of Victory” (53 ft. high, with a life-sized statue of Washington), was erected in Washington Park by Federal and state authorities. Newburgh was incorporated as a village in 1800 and chartered as a city in 1865. The U.S. Geographic Board spells the name Newburg, but the spelling Newburgh is adopted locally and by the U.S. Post Office.

See E. M. Ruttenber, History of the Town of Newburgh (Newburgh, 1859) and History of Orange County (Newburgh, 1872).