Politics of Tea During the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldHow did early Americans go from hosting social tea parties to hosting protests like the Boston Tea Party?

Tea played a central role in the economic, cultural, and political lives of early Americans. As such, tea came to serve as a powerful symbol of both early American culture and of the American Revolution.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Jane Merritt, Jennifer Anderson, and David Shields take us on an exploration of the politics of tea during the era of the American Revolution. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/160

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Dunmore’s War NYC Lecture Set For Dec 7th


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dunmore's war bookThe Fraunces Tavern Museum in New York City will host a lecture on Dunmore’s War, presented by Glenn Williams, in their Flag Gallery on Thursday, December 7th at 6:30 pm.

Glenn Williams will talk about the causes, course, and conduct of the last Native American war before the American War for Independence.

This presentation will challenge many of the misconceptions and myths surrounding the 1774 conflict in which Lord Dunmore, Virginia’s last royal governor, led the colony’s forces in a defensive war against a Native American coalition led by the Shawnee Nation.  Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Holiday At Silas Wright House Event


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christmas treeThe St. Lawrence County Historical Association will hold their annual Holiday Open House on December 1st from 4 to 8 pm.  Festive floral arrangements, refreshments, holiday music, and family history will fill the air at this holiday event which is open to the public. The Canton Garden Club provides fresh greens, floral arrangements, and early American Christmas tree decorations like gingerbread, dried apples, and lace.

The Holiday Open House will include live seasonal music provided by a variety of local musical talent: the Canton Central School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Kimberly Busch; R. Merrie Song & Friends, performing early American carols; local musician John Danis; and the Noteworthy Handbell Choir. Continue reading

State Museum Exhibits Capture the Spirit of New York


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The New York State Museum’s exhibits are always outstanding. But the three special exhibits at the Museum now – on the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, New York State in World War I, and the centennial of woman suffrage in our state – are unprecedented and exceptionally strong. It is worth a trip to Albany just to see them.

The storylines and captions are superb, with clear development and explanations, enough text to tell the stories, but not so much that visitors’ interest will wane. The artifacts, photos, and documents are engaging, even dramatic. For instance, the canal exhibit features a reconstruction of a “windlass” – a large apparatus for lifting cargo from canal boats into a warehouse. It is a restoration of a 19th century windlass located by Museum staff some years ago in Mohawk, New York, dismantled, moved to Albany, and carefully restored and reassembled. Continue reading

Knox’s Headquarters Christmas Event Set


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1754 John Ellison house, Knox’s Headquarters, viewed from the 18th century bridge over Silver StreamOn Saturday, December 9th from 5 to 8 pm the 1754 Ellison house at Knox’s Headquarters will be open and decorated for Christmas and staffed by Revolutionary War era costumed interpreters

For two Christmases, John and Catherine Ellison shared their home with the officers and soldiers of the Continental Army. Over the winter of 1780-81, General Henry Knox, his wife Lucy and their children Henry and Lucy were there, while two years later it was General Horatio Gates and his military family of aides de camp who shared in the season’s festivities. Continue reading

Adirondack Witchcraft? Sarah Bennett’s Babies in Hope, NY


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This story is about as bizarre as it gets. Locals in the Wells and Northville area were privy to the odd situation when it first came under public scrutiny a little over a century ago. At that time, a goal of regional counties seeking tourism dollars was providing easier public access to the Adirondacks, which was achieved in part by building new roads and improving old ones.

In southeastern Hamilton County, Northville marked the end of rail access in 1910. From there, stage lines carried visitors north through the hamlet of Hope to Wells and beyond. To accommodate automobiles, which were becoming increasingly common, the road to Wells was chosen for macadamization. The new, hard, flat surface would allow tourists to travel north independently, and then access stage lines from Wells into the mountains. The road would also drastically improve travel conditions for locals using horse-drawn transportation. Continue reading

State Parks ‘Empire Pass’ Card Sale Underway


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2018 empire passThe Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced it is offering a 4 ½-month sale on the 2018 annual Empire Pass Card. Currently available online only the 2018 Empire Pass Card is a better and more cost effective way to enjoy the more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, recreational trails, boat launches and more.

The Empire Pass Card is a wallet-sized plastic card that can be shared among family members including parents, grandparents, caregivers and more. It is presented upon vehicle entry and includes QR code and embedded chip technology to allow for easier park access at select facilities. Continue reading

Hudson Winter Walk 2017 Set For Dec 2nd


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Winter Walk 2016 On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 8 pm, Hudson Hall’s annual holiday celebration will kick off with the 21st anniversary of Winter Walk, one of Hudson’s largest, liveliest and most colorful events of the year.

Hudson’s mile-long historic main street will be decorated and will host music, performance, food, holiday shopping, and family fun. Voted “Best Community Winter Event of the Year,” in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Winter Walk attracts upwards of 20,000 visitors to the City to kick off the holiday season. Continue reading

New Book Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial


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votes for women bookJennifer A. Lemak and Ashley Hopkins-Benton’s new book Votes For Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial (Excelsior Editions, 2017) chronicles the history of the women’s rights and suffrage movements in New York State and examines the important role the state played in the national suffrage movement.

The work for women’s suffrage received a boost more than seventy years before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and one hundred supporters signed the Declaration of Sentiments asserting that “all men and women are created equal.”

This convention served as a catalyst for debates and action on both the national and state level, and on November 6, 1917, New York State passed the referendum for women’s suffrage. Its passing in New York signaled that the national passage of suffrage would soon follow. On August 18, 1920, “Votes for Women” were constitutionally granted. Continue reading