Did you know that Albany, in 1870, was the 20th largest city in the United States?
Check out this table from the US Census Bureau. Albany's status dropped quickly, and by 1910 it was the 50th largest city, even though Albany's population had grown substantially in that time.
Troy was in the top 50 back in the late 1800s as well.
Buffalo, #11 in 1870, is holding on to #50. It peaked in status at #8 in 1900.
Read more at this page from the Census Bureau about the largest cities.
In 1810, Albany had more than twice as many people as Brooklyn.
In 1800 Albany and Schenectady were tied, but then Schenectady disappears from the list for 1810 (did they put them together?)
Cohoes was #97 back in 1870
Albany seems to have peaked (in status) in 1840 at #9. You could argue it was really #8 since Brooklyn was counted separately from NYC.
Can you imagine Albany being the 9th largest city in the US? Chicago was #92 at the time.