Poughkeepsie ( /pəkɪpsiː/) is a city in the state of New York, United States, which serves as the county seat of Dutchess County. Poughkeepsie is located in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and Albany. The name derives from a word in the Wappinger language, roughly U-puku-ipi-sing, meaning "the reed covered lodge by the little-water place," referring to a spring or stream feeding into the Hudson River, south of the present downtown area. Poughkeepsie is known as "The Queen City of the Hudson." Poughkeepsie is the largest principal city of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown metropolitan area, which includes all of Dutchess and Orange counties. It was originally settled in the 17th century by the Dutch, and became New York's second capital shortly after the American Revolution. It was chartered as a city in 1854. Major bridges in the city include the Poughkeepsie Bridge, a former railroad bridge now serving as a public walkway, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge, a major thoroughfare built in 1930 that carries U.S. Route 44 (concurrent with State Route 55) over the Hudson.
The site of Poughkeepsie was first settled by a New Netherland Dutchman, Barent Baltus, before 1659. It was founded in 1687 by his son, Baltus Barent van Kleeck, who built the first house of record there in 1702. The community was set off from the Town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village in 1799. The City of Poughkeepsie was chartered in 1854. Outside of municipal designations, the City and Town of Poughkeepsie are generally viewed as a single place, and are commonly referred to as Poughkeepsie, with a current combined population of approximately 75,000.
Spared from battle during the American Revolution, Poughkeepsie became the second capital of New York. In 1788 the Ratification Convention for New York State, which included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and George Clinton, assembled at the courthouse on Market Street, debated and ratified the United States Constitution. With its ratification, New York entered the new union as the eleventh of the original thirteen colonies to join together as the United States of America. In 1799, a new seal was created for Poughkeepsie.