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Albany is known for its rich history, commerce, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. The Mohawk were one of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenosaunee, and became strong trading partners with the Dutch and English.
It is likely the Albany area was visited by European fur traders, perhaps as early as 1540, but the extent and duration of those visits has not been determined.
During and after the Revolutionary War, Albany County saw a great increase in real estate transactions.
Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States.In 1754, representatives of seven British North American colonies met in the Stadt Huys, Albany's city hall, for the Albany Congress; Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania presented the Albany Plan of Union there, which was the first formal proposal to unite the colonies.The same year, the French and Indian War, the fourth in a series of wars dating back to 1689, began; it ended in 1763 with French defeat, resolving a situation that had been a constant threat to Albany and held back its growth.In 1618, a flood ruined the fort on Castle Island, but it was rebuilt in 1624 as Fort Orange.On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York was split into counties, with Albany County being the largest.