New York City is NOT the Oldest City in New York
With all the history surrounding New York City, it has always been a common belief that NYC is the oldest settlement in the state. That's not true, however.
New York's oldest city is a lot closer to Central New York than you may have expected - It's just over 90 miles from the Utica area.
The oldest city in our state is Albany. Albany is actually one of the oldest cities in America. Its history can be traced back to an English explorer named Henry Hudson who sailed up what is now the Hudson River. A few years later Fort Nassau was built (but unfortunately it didn't survive), then shortly after that Fort Orange was founded. This area ended up becoming what is now the city of Albany.
But here's the really important details - The pieces that make the claim (that Albany is the oldest city in New York) true. According to the Albany Institute of History and Art,
Thomas Dongan, governor of the New York colony representing the British crown, granted a charter to the city of Albany on July 22, 1686. This charter still governs the city, making this the oldest charter still in force in the United States.
Here's where things get really good. New York City's charter was actually ratified three months early (which would have made it the oldest city in the state). BUT - New York City's charter was forfeited during Leisler's Rebellion. Albany's charter was granted and has stayed in place since 1686.
Not only that, but Albany is one of the first cities in the world to install public water mains, natural gas lines, electricity, and sewer lines throughout their city.
Our state capitol has so much more history, and so many more details it's hard to sum up all the events leading up to Albany becoming a city (then becoming the city it is today). It looks like a stop to the Albany Institute of History and Art or the New York State Museum is in order.