598 SCHENECTADY COUNTY.
SCHENECTADY CITY—was patented, with certain
municipal rights, Nov. 4, 1684; chartered as a borough Oct. 23,
1765; incorp. as a district, March 24, 1772, as a town, March 7,
1788, and as a city, March 26, 1798. Princetown was set off in
1798, Rotterdam and Glenville in 1820, and parts of NiskayuJh
and Rotterdam in 1853.1 It is situated on the Mohawk, and on the
borders of one of the finest intervales in the State. A considera¬
ble amount of trade is carried on in the city by means of the canal
and the railroads that center here; but the people are more
largely engaged in manufactures.2 The engine houses and repair
shops of the N. Y. C. R. R. Co. are very extensive; and one of the
largest locomotive manufactories in the country is located here.3
This city is especially noted as the seat of Union College. This institution was incorp. by the regents,
Feb. 25, 1795, and received its name from the cooperation and union of several religious denomina¬
tions in its foundation.4 A fund was first raised by private subscription to erect the necessary build¬
ings and to defray the expenses of opening the school ;5 and this was increased by the avails of several
lotteries authorized by the legislature,6 by grants of land and money from the State, and by private
donations. The total amount received from the State, up to 1822, for permanent investment, was
$331,612 13. In a will dated Dec. 28,1855, Dr. Nott, the president of the college, bequeathed to the
trustees $555,000 for specific purposes and an additional fund for miscellaneous expenses.7 The
funds thus bequeathed were derived from the profits of certain investments of college funds, and
amounts from other sources, which had been employed for the purpose of creating a fund for the en¬
dowment of the institution. The first college building was erected in the city ;8 but in 1814 a tract
of land upon an eminence e. of the city was purchased, and the two principal buildings were erected.9
The site commands an extensive view of the city, the river, and the valley. The faculty of the college
now consists of a president, 12 professors, 1 lecturer, and 3 tutors. The total number of students is
420, and has not materially varied from this number for a great number of years, the junior and
senior classes being invariably larger than those that preceded them. A considerable number of
students derive aid from the State fund, which is extended to students of limited means without
reference to the profession they intend to follow. The college has received from E. C. Delavan, Esq.,
a magnificent donation of minerals and shells, known as the “ Wheatley Collection,” which was. pur¬
chased for this purpose at a cost of $10,000. Departments of Civil Engineering and Analytical
Chemistry have been organized, and the facilities which they afford are of the most ample kind.
The -Public Schools are under 8 commissioners, elected once in 2 years. There were, in 1857, 9
school districts, employing 3 male and 22 female teachers. The number of children between. 4 and
21, was 3065, of whom 1729, or 56 per cent., attended the public schools.10
The first settlement was made in 1661, as already noticed.11 As this was an advance frontier
settlement, the compact part, at an early period, was enclosed by palisades. In 1690 the enclosure
Schenectady, it is said, chiefly through the influence cf Gen.
Schuyler, and because of its then central location.
6 Lotteries were authorized in 1805,1814, and 1822.—Munsell’a
Ann. of Albany, VII, 126; Semi- Centen. Celebration of Union Coll.
t The items of this bequest are as follows
$225,000 for 9 professorships, with a salary of $1500 each.
$60,000 for 6 assistant professorships, at $600 each.
$60,000 for an astronomical observatory.
$20,000 for 60 auxiliary scholarships, of $10 and $12 per term.
$60,000 for 60 prize scholarships for undergraduates, of $15 and
$18 per term; in certain cases to be increased to $24.
$45,000 for 9 scholarships for graduates or fellows, of $300 each.
$20,000 for a cemetery.
$10,000 for apparatus.
$5,000 for textbooks.
$30,000 for an eclectic library.
$5,000 for a geological and mineralogical cabinet.
$5,000 for a historical cabinet.
$10,000 for a lecture fund.
The miscellaneous fund was left discretionary with the trustees •
to fill deficiencies and extend the operation of any of the foregoing
objects. At the time of this gift the greater part of the funds were
invested in real estate in Greenpoint village, opposite N.York City.
8 This building, formerly known as “West College,” was sold
to the city, and, with an adjoining building,, accommodates the
10 departments of the public schools of the city.
8 Other buildings have since been erected, for library, cabinet,
and lecture rooms. The corner stone of the Central Chapel was
laid July 28,1858. ,
io Total receipts, $14,423 06; total expenses, $14,423 06. Volumes
in district libraries, 3045.
u See page 596.
An Indian name signifying “beyond the plains.” Formerly
spelled Schenectada. The city, under its first charter, contained
an area of 128 sq.mi.; but the successive changes which have
been made have reduced it to a plat of 250 acres.
The manufacturing establishments of the city consist of the
e. E. machine shops, locomotive works, a cotton factory, 3 car¬
riage shops, an agricultural implement factory, 3 turning and
machine shops, shawl factory, 2 breweries, 1 brick yard, 2 cabinet
shops, 4 fpunderies a planing mill, pump factory, tannery, 2 tool
factories, a vice and spring factory, and a great variety of other
The Schenectady Locomotive Works Co. was incorp. June 4,
1851, with a capital of $150,000, all of which is actively em¬
ployed. When in full operation, they employ 600 hands, and
can turn out 1 locomotive every 5 days.
i Rev.Wrn. Andreas opened the first grammar school, in 1771;
and before the close of the year he proposed to change it to an
academy. The Consistory of the Ref. Prot. D. church erected a
small academy in 1785. The Schenectady Academy was incorp.
Jan. 29,1793, and was merged in the college in 1795. Rev. John
Blair Smith was the first President. He was succeeded in June,
1799, by Rev. Jonathan Edwards, who remained until his death in
Aug. 1801. Rev. Jonathan Maxcy was next elected president, and
continued till 1804, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Rev.
Eliphalet Nott, the present venerable president of the College.
In 1779, tho inhabitants of the northern part of the State
petitioned for the incorp. of a college, but without success. The
petition was renewed in 1791, but did not succeed. In 1794
another effort was made, and a subscription of $7935 was raised
from 99 persons in Albany, and of $3425 from 231 persons in
Schenectady, for an endowment. This sum was afterward