On Thursday, July 27 from 8 am to 2 pm, the Myers House in Albany will host an Archaeology Open House.
A six-week archaeological field school is now exploring the backyards of the Myers house, Thomas Elkins residence, and Ten Broeck Mansion in search of clues about the lives of African Americans who helped establish the Arbor Hill community during the early 19th century and the role of prominent community leaders in the struggle for justice and freedom.
Stephen and Harriet Myers were instrumental in the success of the Underground Railroad during the mid-nineteenth century. Today, their former residence is preserved as a significant historic site in Albany and a cornerstone of African American heritage in the Arbor Hill neighborhood. Continue reading
Most histories of American abolitionism begin just before the Civil War, during the Antebellum period. But the movement to end chattel slavery in America began long before the United States was a nation.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Manisha Sinha, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of the award-winning book The Slaves Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale University Press, 2016), takes us through the early American origins of the the abolition movement. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/142
The Brooklyn Museum, in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and Google, are presenting the exhibition The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America.
On view from July 26 through September 3, the exhibition presents EJI’s research on the history of racial violence in the United States and its continuing impact on our nation to this day.
The exhibition will include video stories featuring descendants of lynching victims, a short documentary, photographs, an interactive map presenting EJI’s research, and informational videos. Continue reading
This week on The Historians Podcast, Pulitzer Prize winning author David Garrow discusses his critical and massive book on the formative years of the 44th President of the United States, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama (Morrow, 2017). Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Historic Huguenot Street has curated a new exhibit entitled John Hasbrouck, “A Most Estimable Citizen,” now on display at the DuBois Visitor Center, 81 Huguenot Street, through June 27, 2017.
John Hasbrouck was born to an enslaved woman in New Paltz in 1806 and, later, as a freeman, was able to purchase land in the town. He is commonly believed to be the first African American eligible to vote in New Paltz. The exhibit features original records; two account books in John’s own hand, listing work he did for white farmers and how he was compensated; as well as personal notes, letters, and receipts. The exhibit is accompanied by a full-length, biographical essay written by Josephine Bloodgood, Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs. Continue reading
George Washington was an accomplished man. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, first President of the United States, and on top of all that he was also a savvy businessman who ran a successful plantation.
George Washington was also a slaveholder. In 1789, he and his wife Martha took 7 slaves to New York City to serve them in their new role as First Family. A 16 year-old girl named Ona Judge was one of the enslaved women who accompanied and served the Washingtons.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Erica Dunbar, a Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware and author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge (Atria Books, 2017), leads us through the early American life of Ona Judge. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/137 Continue reading
The institution of African slavery in North America began in late August 1619 and persisted until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in December 1865.
Over those 246 years, many slaves plotted and conspired to start rebellions, but most of the plotted rebellions never took place. Slaveholders and whites discovered them before they could begin. Therefore, North America witnessed only a handful of slave revolts between 1614 and 1865. Nat Turner’s Rebellion in August 1831 stands as the most deadly.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Patrick Breen, an Associate Professor of History at Providence College and author of The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt (Oxford University Press, 2016), joins us to investigate the ins and outs of this bloodiest of North American slave revolts. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/133
An 1881 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine contained an article entitled “A Glimpse of an Old Dutch Town.” The Old Dutch Town was Albany. Albany was already 200 years old.
The article mentioned the principal Albany holidays of Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter and Pinksterfeest (now known as Pinksterfest). Continue reading
On April 22, 2017 from 11 am to 4 pm, Crailo State Historic Site will host a Pinkster celebration featuring the performance and education group, The Children of Dahomey.
Once a Dutch holiday commemorating Pentecost, Pinkster became a distinctly African American holiday in the Hudson River Valley during the colonial era. During the 17th and 18th centuries, enslaved and free African Americans transformed Pinkster from a Dutch religious observance into a spring festival and a celebration of African cultural traditions. All along the Hudson River and on Albany’s “Pinkster Hill” (the current site of the NYS Capitol), enslaved African Americans reunited with family and friends and celebrated Pinkster with storytelling, food, music, and dance. Other Pinkster traditions, like the selection of the Pinkster King, created opportunities for enslaved African Americans to honor respected members of the community and to subtly mock their white enslavers. Continue reading
The three-century-long ownership chain of the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro is a many-tiered, richly-textured layer cake of personal stories.
Specific historic periods lend unique flavoring to each personal history.
But in the case of the recently-rediscovered activist Martha Gruening (1889-1937), her early-20th dreams of a better, more just world have a distinctly modern resonance. Continue reading