Prior to European settlement, western New York was home to the six nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Tuscarora) of the Iroquois Confederacy. The area now known as New York City was home to the Lenape, or Delaware Indians. The “state” was later settled by the Dutch in 1624 and called New Netherland. The English conquered the Dutch in 1664 and renamed it New York in honor of the Duke of York. For the next 110 years, New York remained a colony of England, until it declared its independence on July 9, 1776, becoming one of the original 13 states.
After the Revolutionary War, the first capital of the new nation was New York City and that is where George Washington was inaugurated in 1789.
The opening of the Erie Canal resulted in towns and cities springing up along its route.
In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints (the Mormons), was organized in Fayette, NY under the leadership of Joseph Smith (pictured below).
In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention held in the US, was held in Seneca Falls, NY. Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (pictured below with Anthony standing and Stanton seated) were very involved in advancing women's rights and were at the convention.
Prior to and during the Civil War, the Underground Railroad had several stops and “ports” throughout New York.
In 1968, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held in Bethel, NY. It is considered one of the greatest moments in popular music history.