Poughkeepsie pəkĭp´sē [key], city (1990 pop. 28,844), seat of Dutchess co., SE N.Y., on the Hudson River; settled 1687 by the Dutch, inc. as a city 1854. It is a trade center and was once a major manufacturing center, but suffered severe economic decline in the early 1990s. It now has computer hardware and software research and development firms, and light manufacturing. It became the temporary state capital in 1777, and the U.S. Constitution was ratified (1788) there. Poughkeepsie is the seat of Vassar College and Marist College. An annual intercollegiate regatta is held on the river in June. Several historic 18th-century buildings still stand. The Mid-Hudson Bridge crosses the river at Poughkeepsie, as does a former rail bridge (1888) that was the first Hudson crossing to be built south of Albany. Hyde Park lies just north of the city.
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