Fort Edward in Washington County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Hudson River at Fort Edward, NY
The European exploration of the Hudson River began in 1609 as Henry Hudson, an Englishman, sailed north to Albany and beyond. Working for the Dutch East India Company, Hudson sought a northern passage to India and while he was unsuccessful, the river still bears his name.
The Dutch were the first European settlers in this part of New York State, which was then known as New Netherland. However, their control was short-lived and in 1664, several British warships forced the surrender of New Netherland and of Fort Orange, known today as Albany. In 1709 Peter Schuyler constructed the first British fortification in what is today Fort Edward; this was much needed to protect storehouses and huts during Queen Anne’s War. This early fort was Fort Nicholson, named after Colonel Francis Nicholson housing about 450 “regulars in scarlet uniform from old England.”
In 1731 John Henry Lydius, a Dutch fur trader from Albany, arrived at the site of Fort Nicholson and established a trading post that engaged on a lively commerce with Native Americans throughout the Northeast and eastern Canada. Fort Edward was a superb location for Lydius’ ambitious undertaking because rapids and falls in the Hudson River just north of here made it extremely difficult to travel any further. In fact, long before Europeans navigated the river, Native Americans had named this spot Wahcoloosencoochaeva, which means The Great Carrying Place. Native Americans and Europeans alike needed to leave their boats at Fort Edward in order to portage by land to Lake George and points further north.
Fort Edward is preeminent among Hudson River towns for its strategic importance during the early years of European settlement and for helping the British forces to establish dominance over their colonies in the New World.
Just before long-standing hostilities between the English and the French led to the Battle of Lake George in September of 1755, General Phineas Lyman began to build yet another fort at The Great Carrying Place. This was briefly known as Fort Lyman, but a month later William Johnson arrived here and changed the name to Fort Edward, the name that the community has proudly borne ever since. Fort Edward was one of the very first bastioned forts to be constructed by the British , and the names honors Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany. Constructed of logs and containing barracks , a hospital, powder magazine, sheds , and a blacksmith shop, Fort Edward was the largest British fort in the American colonies during the most brutal fighting of the French and Indian War. It was later surpassed in size only by His Majesty’s Fort at Crown Point.
Erected by Glen Falls Foundation, Hudson River Improvement Fund, Sandy Hill Foundation.
Location. 43° 15.896′ N, 73° 35.256′ W. Marker is in Fort Edward, New York, in Washington County. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Edward NY 12828, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward, NY (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward, NY (within shouting distance of this marker); Jane McCrea (within shouting distance of this marker); Rogers Island - Fort Edward, NY (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Rogers Island - Fort Edward, NY (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Edward War Memorial (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Edward.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Exploration • Settlements & Settlers •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 5, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on May 31, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.