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(In the early 20th century, after the advent of railroads, the presence of the canal in the center city was an obstacle; it was re-routed south of Rochester.) By 1830, Rochester's population was 9,200 and in 1834, it was re-chartered as a city.

Rochester was first known as "the Young Lion of the West", and then as the "Flour City".

By 1950, the population had reached a high of 332,488.

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.

At the end of the 19th century, anarchist Emma Goldman lived and worked in Rochester for several years, where she championed the cause of labor in Rochester sweatshops.

Rochester was also home to significant unrest in labor, race, and antiwar protests.

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.

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