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In 1847, Frederick Douglass founded the abolitionist newspaper The North Star in Rochester.Douglass, a former slave and an antislavery speaker and writer, gained a circulation of over 4,000 readers in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean.By 1950, the population had reached a high of 332,488.In 1950, the Census Bureau reported Rochester's population as 97.6% white and 2.3% black.Rochester was founded shortly after the American Revolution by a wave of English-Puritan descended immigrants from New England who were looking for new agricultural land. They chose the site because its three cataracts on the Genesee offered great potential for water power.They would be the dominant cultural group in Rochester for over a century. Beginning in 1811, and with a population of 15, the three founders surveyed the land and laid out streets and tracts.

Rochester is the third most populous city in New York state with over 210,000 residents, and its metropolitan area has a population of nearly 1.1 million people.

The Rochester area has been the birthplace to such corporations as Kodak, Western Union, Bausch & Lomb, Gleason and Xerox that conduct extensive research and manufacturing in the fields of industrial and consumer products.

Until 2010, the Rochester metropolitan area was the second-largest regional economy in New York State, according to the U. Internal Revenue Service, after the New York City metropolitan area. Development of modern Rochester followed the American Revolution, and forced cession of their territory by the Iroquois after the defeat of Great Britain.

The North Star served as a forum for abolitionist views.

The Douglass home burnt down in 1872, but a marker for it can be found in Highland Park off South Avenue. Anthony, a national leader of the women's suffrage movement, was from Rochester.

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