New York became the tenth of the original 13 Colonies when it was established by the Duke of York in 1664. New Jersey was originally part of New York, but was gifted away by the Duke. The New York Colony had previously belonged to the Dutch as "New Netherlands." Their claims went back to the 1609 explorations by Henry Hudson.
New York became the third State to ratify the Articles of Confederation in February of 1778.
New York became the eleventh State to ratify the Constitution in July of 1788.
New York's John Jay served as President of the Continental Congress in 1778-79, before the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. He later became the first Chief Justice of the United States (1789-1792) under the Constitution. He resigned because he did not have enough to do as Chief Justice: in those early years, the Court heard only four cases during his tenure, three in his third year and one in his fourth.
No New Yorkers served as President after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation.
There have been four Constitutional Presidents from New York: the eighth, Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), the thirteenth, Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), the twenty-sixth, Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), and the thirty-second, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), the only man to be elected to the office four times.
Currently, the population of New York State is over 19,000,000, and growing. It is the State with the largest rate of immigration. New York State was the most populous State for most the nation's history. It was overtaken by California in 1962, and has since been passed by Texas. It is expected to fall to fourth, after Florida, in 2014. New York City, with over eight million residents, is the nation's largest city, and is more populous than Los Angeles (# 2) and Chicago (# 3) combined.