Fishkill was a center of civil and military operations during the American Revolution. New York State's first governing body met in the village's churches during 1776-77 and drew up the first state constitution.
South of Fishkill, centered in the Van Wyck homestead was the largest American army supply depot in the north. Relatively safe from British attack, the Fishkill supply depot included dozens of buildings, shops and warehouses. Its strategic location at the hub of transportation made possible the provisioning of American forces operating over a wide region. The depot also served as a staging area and winter encampment. Washington, Horatio Gates, and other important military leaders were associated with the supply depot and Enoch Crosby, the alleged model for the hero of James Fenimore Cooper's novel, The Spy, was interrogated at the Van Wyck house and imprisoned in a hatter's shop in Fishkill.