Category Archives: History

New York History

The Early American History of Texas


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ben_franklins_worldLike many states in the south and west, Texas has an interesting early American past that begins with Native American settlement followed by Spanish colonization.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore Texas’ intriguing early American history with Andrew Torget, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Texas and author of Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (UNCPress, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/115

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NYC Community Center Archiving the LGBTQ Revolution


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lgbt achives and libraryTucked away on the 4th floor of a much-repurposed 1850s school building in Greenwich Village, the LGBT Community Center’s National History Archive is a cultural and historical refuge-within-a-sanctuary.

The Community Center has been operating at 208 W. 13th Street since 1983. The entire building is intended to be a safe and welcoming place “where everyone is celebrated for who they are.” Today, the Center is an effervescent hub, and sponsors a broad-range of activities and programs for the lesbian, gay and transgender community, including health and wellness, arts and entertainment, and counseling. Continue reading

The Silhouette Lady of Bedford Gardens


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01phoebehazlewoodA century ago, an emerging North Country artist made a name for herself in Jefferson County, but it was the many names she wore through seven decades that made her story so difficult to trace. She began life in North Dakota in 1883 as Phoebe Alice Weeks. During her marriage (around 1910) to Carl Warren, she was known as Phoebe W. Warren. During her second marriage, to Lewis Perry Hazlewood of Sackets Harbor in 1916, she was known as Phoebe Hazlewood (often misspelled as Hazelwood), but her middle name appeared variously as Alice, Weeks, and Warren, or the initials “A” or “W.” Decades later, there was a third marriage to Henry Morse, during which she again was described by various names, the most common of which were Phoebe Hazlewood Morse and Phoebe Weeks Morse.

What’s most important of course, is that she did in fact make a name for herself in the art world. From the time she was very young, Phoebe gravitated towards artwork created by cutting out paper shapes, which were then displayed over an offsetting background. For instance, a cutout from black paper was presented over a background of white paper. The method was known generally as silhouette. Continue reading

Sunday Rock: A Historic Adirondack Landmark (Conclusion)


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p2a1941inripleysIn January 1936, Dr. Charles Leete, a chief proponent of local history and a strong voice for protecting South Colton’s Sunday Rock from destruction, died. It was more than appropriate that he had been deeply involved in preserving the rock. Leete’s ancestors built much of the machinery used in area sawmills that processed the timber provided by the lumberjacks who were famously linked to Sunday Rock’s legend.

As famous as the big rock was regionally, it attained immortality of a sort in 1941 when Robert Ripley included it in his world-famous newspaper feature, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” A drawing of the landmark was accompanied by a full paragraph relating the legend of Sunday Rock. Continue reading

Sunday Rock: A Historic Adirondack Landmark


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p1a1926headlineAmong the unusual landmarks in the Adirondacks is a massive roadside boulder in central St. Lawrence County, just three tenths of a mile west of the South Colton post office. Widely known as Sunday Rock, it is part of the legend and lore of the northwestern Adirondacks. My first visit to South Colton came several decades ago during a long road trip aimed at scouting out new places to hike and canoe. I was led there by a passage in a book titled, “Rocks and Routes of the North Country, New York,” by Dr. Bradford B. VanDiver, Professor of Geology at SUNY Potsdam when the book was released in 1976. (His story was featured in this space a few weeks ago.) Continue reading

Historians Podcast: Stories from Amsterdam, NY


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The Historians LogoThis week on The Historians Podcast, Michael Cinquanti has stories from his book A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam N.Y. Birthdays: Second edition (Genium, 2016)  Cinquanti has tales about Amsterdam’s connections to the sinking of the Titanic, a priest who wrote best sellers and a federal official in the Civil War who pioneered in hiring women to work in government.  Listen to the podcast here.     Continue reading

New York History Around The Web This Week


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