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The French in New York

 The French were among the first Europeans to know of and to settle in New York State. In 1523 Giovanni da Verrazano, aboard La Dauphine, explored the Hudson River for the King of France, Francois I, and gave the region its first name Terre d'Angouleme in honor of the family of Francois I (Valois-Angouleme). Today, nearly 1,000,000 New York citizens claim French ancestry. During the intervening years, New York's history has been intertwined with French history, including:

  •  expeditions and settlements by explorers, traders, and missionaries.
  •  construction of military forts and posts
  •  state visits by dignitaries from France during the Revolution.
  •  migrations of people seeking:
  •  1- religious tolerance (the Hugenots)
  •  2- economic survival (the French-Canadians)

In 20th century New York, the largest group of people who has maintained the close connection to French culture has been the immigrants from French-Canada and their descendants. In Albany county alone there are 36,000 people whose ancestry is French-Canadian. Until the1960's, schools, churches, and social service organizations enabled Franco-Americans to maintain their culture, religion, and language.

The term Franco-American is used in this region to describe Americans of French-Canadian descent.

For many years the French transacted business, prayed, read newspapers, and conversed with their neighbors exclusively in French. Their past bears witness to the group's tremendous energy in maintaining its language, system of education, newspapers and Catholic religion. In the Capital District for instance, there were five French language schools in the city of Cohoes. Downtown Albany had a smaller but very active community in an area now occupied by highways leading to the Empire State Plaza.

Cohoes and Waterford, New York
http://waterfordimmigrants.org/immigrants/franco-american-immigrants
http://www.justtravelnewyork.com/articles/New-York-Cities_38078.html
http://waterfordimmigrants.org/religion/saint-josephs-roman-catholic-church-cohoes
http://waterfordimmigrants.org/religion/french-language-and-culture-in-northside
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/397917?sid=21106046132443&uid=4&uid=3739832&uid=2&uid=3739256

Coopersville, Clinton County, New York
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coopersville,_Clinton_County,_New_York

Plattsburgh, New York
The Plattsburgh area, under French rule before transition to British and American control, was an important fur trade route between Plattsburgh and Montreal.
http://medlibrary.org/medwiki/Plattsburgh_(city),_New_York
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plattsburgh_(city),_New_York

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