Category Archives: Books

With ‘Leaves Torn Asunder’ An Adirondack Historian Turns Novelist


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leaves torn asunder book coverAfter two award-winning Adirondack non-fiction histories, author Glenn L. Pearsall of Johnsburg has turned novelist.

Leaves Torn Asunder: A Novel of the Adirondacks and the American Civil War was published by Pyramid Press of Utica.

Inspired by true events, Leaves Torn Asunder portrays a time rarely covered in Adirondack literature. Pearsall’s research included soldier diaries and letters, town enlistment and cemetery records, regimental histories, and visits to the exact places on Civil War battle sites where local men fought and died. Continue reading

The Age of American Revolutions


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ben_franklins_worldThe American Revolution inspired revolutions in France, the Caribbean, and in Latin and South America between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries.

Naturally, Spanish and Portuguese American revolutionaries turned to the United States for assistance with their fights. How did Americans in the United States respond to these calls for assistance? What did they make of these other “American Revolutions?”

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Caitlin Fitz, an Assistant Professor of History at Northwestern University and the author of Our Sister Republics: The United States in an Age of American Revolutions (Liveright, 2016), helps us investigate answers to these questions. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/090

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Slavery and Freedom in Early Maryland


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ben_franklins_worldHow do you uncover the life of a slave who left no paper trail?

What can her everyday life tell us about slavery, how it was practiced, and how some slaves made the transition from slavery to freedom?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the life of Charity Folks, an enslaved woman from Maryland who gained her freedom in the late-18th century. Our guide through Charity’s life is Jessica Millward, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and author of Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland (University of Georgia Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/089

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Benjamin Franklin in London


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ben_franklins_worldOver the course of his long life, Benjamin Franklin traveled to and lived in London on two different occasions. The first time he went as a teenager. The second as a man and colonial agent. All told he spent nearly 18 years living in the heart of the British Empire.

How did Franklin’s experiences in London shape his opportunities and view of the world?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, George Goodwin, author of Benjamin Franklin in London: The British Life of America’s Founding Father (Yale University Press, 2016), leads us on an exploration of Franklin’s life in London. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/086

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Bruce Dearstyne Wins AASLH Leadership in History Award


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the spirit of new yorkThe American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) have announced that Bruce W. Dearstyne is the recipient of an Award of Merit for the book The Spirit of New York: Defining Events in the Empire State’s History, published by SUNY Press. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 71st year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Continue reading

Shirley Dunn’s New Book: Fort Crailo and the Van Rensselaers


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Fort Crailo and the Van Rensselaers (2)Although it played a highly significant role in the settling and development of the Capital Region, Fort Crailo, the birthplace of “Yankee Doodle” and the manorial seat for generations for one branch of the Van Rensselaer family, remains relatively little known, even within the Capital Region itself.

Shirley W. Dunn’s new book, Fort Crailo and the Van Rensselaers: The Dutch Colonial Origins of Greenbush & the City of Rensselaer (Black Dome Press, 2016) traces the history of Crailo and the Van Rensselaers from the years leading up to the building of Fort Crailo in 1663, through the war years and through the many additions and renovations over the centuries and generations of Van Rensselaers, to the present day in its role as the museum of Dutch history in the Hudson River Valley. Continue reading

Bruce Dearstyne’s Spirit of New York


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the spirit of new yorkIn his new book, Bruce W. Dearstyne presents New York State history by exploring sixteen dramatic events. From the launch of the state government in April 1777 to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, these events altered the course of state and US history.

Chapters describe great political changes, historical turning points, and struggles for social, racial, and environmental reform. Continue reading

Witherill Hotel Plattsburgh Presentation June 14th


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welcome to the witherill susan hamlinJoin the Clinton County Historical Association (CCHA) on Tuesday, June 14th at the Plattsburgh Public Library for a book signing and encore presentation of Welcome to the Witherill with Sue Howell Hamlin.

The presentation features rarely seen photographs of Plattsburgh’s Witherill Hotel and its owners, the Howell family, in addition to stories from Sue regarding her time spent as a child living at the hotel. Continue reading

Slavery in Colonial Boston


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ben_franklins_worldColonial Bostonians practiced slavery. But slavery in Boston looked very different than slavery in the American south or in the Caribbean.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Jared Hardesty, an Assistant Professor of History at Western Washington University and author of Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston (NYU Press, 2016), takes us on a tour of slavery, and the lives enslaved people lived, in colonial Boston. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/083

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