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The design of this work is to gather and preserve materials for the history of Albany and its vicinity; it is therefore mainly documentary. One feature of the present volume is the Ancient City Records. No effort seems ever to have been made in the common council for the publication of these records, and there being no indexes to them, the acts of their predecessors have remained as a sealed book to the board for an indefinite time. I have printed them in this volume from the year 1758 to 1784, embracing the interesting period of the French and Indian war, as it is usually termed, and of the Revolution. They were begun in the Annals of Albany, with the year 1686, when the city charter went into operation, under Charles II, and were printed entire to 1753. There are masses of record&still earlier in date, which remain in Dutch, awaiting the attention of a translator.
Two books of Dutch church records have been found in private hands since the last volume of the Annals was published, embracing an earlier period than any before known. A synopsis of them is given in the first eighty pages of this volume. In order to show the state of the language at that period in this city, a portion of the original has been given, and an attempt made to render it into English. If it shall be found not to have been so well done as could be wished, it is offered as the best the translator could do under the circumstances, and will subserve the purpose of the student of local history until something better is produced. These records serve to verify many dates of events before uncertain and erroneously stated, by reason of the dim light shed upon them; also to fix the prices of various commodities, and to show the manners and customs of those early times, when the poor of the city were a charge upon the church. It will be 6een that the collections taken up ostensibly for the support of the poor were so abundant as to provide funds for building churches, parsonages, and poor houses as well.
The Notes from the Newspapers embrace the principal events of the years 1859 and 1860, in continuation from the last dates of the Annals of Albany. They were principally gathered from the Albany Evening Journal, and as will be seen are often inserted verbatim. I am indebted to Mr. William J. Gibson for assistance in gleaning the files of that paper, the only one convenient of access.
The history of the State Street Presbyterian Church was furnished by Prof. David Murray, who took an active part in its organization. To the Rev. S. F. Morrow I am indebted for the history of the United Presbyterian Church, which is now flourishing under his ministry.
Several interesting papers are in progress for another
volume, in which it is designed to bring down the events
gathered from the newspapers to the time of publication.
Much valuable material is awaiting opportunity to be worked
up, and while the horn yields ink, and the lamp holds out
to burn, it is proposed, Deo volente, to go on with the pleasant
story of the olden time and the new.