Albany, capital of the state of New York, and seat of justice of Albany county, stands on the west bank of Hudson River, 142 miles N. of the city of New York. The river is an important channel of commerce, which is further facilitated by the Erie and Chainplain canals; and six important railway lines centre here. The city has a copious water-supply, and excellent drainage and sewerage systems, and is lighted by electricity and gas. Albany has a fine city hall, a high school, one large and several small public parks, a theatre, an opera-house and a music-hall, a celebrated county prison; Roman Catholic and Episcopalian cathedrals; a noted state normal school, a law school, a medical college; an observatory, a large United States government building, and a very costly and splendid state capitol, considered the finest building of its class in the whole republic. Three bridges and several ferries cross the river to the suburban towns of East Albany, Greenbush, and Bath. Albany has a large trade in timber, grain (especially barley), and cattle. Leading articles of manufacture are cast-iron stoves and heating apparatus, farming implements, boots and shoes, bricks, wagons, clothing, flour, stoves, castings and hollow-ware, furniture, ales and beer, malt, tobacco, cigars, musical instruments, and stationers' goods. The winter climate of Albany is severe for its latitude. The extensive cattle-markets are situated at West Albany. Near the site of Albany the Dutch founded a fur-trading station in 1614. The Dutch colony was ceded to Great Britain in 1664, and the town took its present name in honour of the Duke of York and Albany, afterwards James II. of England, who received a grant of the colony. In 1686 a city charter was granted to Albany, which is thus the oldest chartered city in the United States. In 1807 Albany became the capital of the state. Till the 19th-century period the city had many of the quaint characteristics of a Dutch town. Pop. (1800) 5349; (1830)24,209; (1860) 62,367; (1890) 94,923; (1900) 94,151.