Auburn is a city in Cayuga County, New York, United States, located at the north end of Owasco Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, in Central New York. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 27,687. As the largest city of Cayuga County, it is the county seat, and the site of the maximum-security Auburn Correctional Facility, as well as the William H. Seward House Museum and the house of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
The region around Auburn had been Haudenosaunee territory for centuries before European contact and historical records.
Auburn was founded in 1793, during the post-Revolutionary period of settlement of western New York. The founder, John L. Hardenbergh, was a veteran of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois during the American Revolution. Hardenbergh settled in the vicinity of the Owasco River with his infant daughter and two African-American indentured servants, Harry and Kate Freeman. After his death in 1806, Hardenbergh was buried in Auburn's North Street Cemetery, and was re-interred in 1852 in Fort Hill Cemetery – the first burial in the city's newly opened burial ground. The community grew up around Hardenbergh's gristmill and sawmill.
Originally known as Hardenbergh's Corners in the town of Aurelius, the settlement was renamed Auburn in 1805 when it became the county seat. It became an incorporated village in 1815, and was chartered as a city in 1848.