In 1800, Newburgh incorporated as a village. The village seal shows the Hudson personified as a Roman river god — one hand holds a jar spilling water, while the other holds a mirror showing the sun rising over mountains.
The village doubled in population and doubled again in the first 40 years of the 1800s to nearly 6,000 residents — much larger than the average American village of that time.
Newburgh became a major hub of commerce in the mid-Hudson. Sailing sloops from Newburgh traded internationally, and steamboats stopped on the route between Albany and Manhattan. Turnpike roads, augmented by canals, brought more trade. Inventors thrived, and many new manufacturing businesses located in Newburgh to take advantage of the transportation network.
Financial institutions also took hold: Newburgh had four local banks before the Civil War. The National Bank of Newburgh was tapped by the federal government to help fund the War of 1812.
Shipping captains and the owners of wharves and warehouses prospered and built impressive homes, like Captain David Crawford's house on Montgomery Street, now the headquarters of the local Historical Society.
Other reminders of the early 19th century include the block of Federal-style houses on First Street known as "Quality Row," the modest row houses just west of Wahington's Headquarters, and the Dutch Reformed Church, designed in 1835 by Alexander Jackson Davis — now a National Historic Landmark and a World Monuments Fund site.
When the Marquis de Lafayette visited Newburgh in 1824, he was met by a crowd of 30,000. At the time, the population of Newburgh was only 4,000.