Category Archives: History

New York History

The Erie Canal, New York City, and Democratic Government


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Erie Canal

Along the Erie Canal, Buffalo, N.Y. (No. M 71, Buffalo News Co., Buffalo, N.Y.) courtesy ErieCanal.org

On July 4, 1817, at Rome, New York on a site now occupied by the Worthington Industries Steel plant, there was a ceremony allegedly turning the first spade of earth on the construction of the Erie Canal, one of the most important public works projects in history.

As we approach the Bicentennial of the Canal’s construction, we would do well to better understand this history and its importance. On July 2, 2017 there will be a march through Lower Manhattan sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Historical Association celebrating this event. Continue reading

Ham Radio Field Days at Chimney Point This Weekend


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amateur radio stationJune 24 and 25, 2017, is the annual Amateur Radio Service Field Days across the country. Members of the Addison County Amateur Radio Association will be at the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison on Saturday, from 1 to 5 pm, and Sunday, from 9:30 am to 2 pm. They will set up a simulated emergency station, and will invite visitors and talk about what they are doing.     Continue reading

New Book Explores Class Conflict in Eighteenth Century NYC


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Who Rules at HomeIn Who Should Rule at Home? (Cornell University Press, 2017) Joyce D. Goodfriend argues that the high-ranking gentlemen who figure so prominently in most accounts of New York City’s evolution from 1664, when the English captured the small Dutch outpost of New Amsterdam, to the eve of American Independence in 1776, were far from invincible and that the degree of cultural power they held has been exaggerated.

Goodfriend explains how the urban elite experienced challenges to its cultural authority at different times, from different groups, and in a variety of settings. Continue reading

A New History of the Fulton Chain


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A new history covering the Fulton Chain of Lakes region from Moose River Settlement to its boundary west of Raquette Lake is now available from North Country Books and selected regional bookstores.

Regular contributor to the Weekly Adirondack of Old Forge Charles E. Herr’s new book, The Fulton Chain: Early Settlement, Roads, Steamboats, Railroads and Hotels, documents the story of the stalwart folk whose lives shaped the Fulton Chain.

The book represents the first general history of the Fulton Chain region in almost seventy years.
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New York History Around The Web This Week


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Exhibit: Freed Slave, New Paltz Landowner John Hasbrouck


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John Hasbrouck Account BookHistoric 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

Kingston’s Part in World War I Noontime Conversation


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kingston in wwiPete Roberts, member of Friends of Historic Kingston (FHK), will host the last of three noontime conversations in the FHK gallery June 16.

The conversations will honor the centennial commemoration of World War I and Kingston’s part in it. Memorabilia from the FHK Archives, the William Anderson Carl Collection, and the Samuel Bernstein Collection are featured including photographs and related materials that depict Kingston’s role in 1917-1918. The American Legion (Post 150) made a special loan of the iconic artwork Columbia by Edwin Howland Blashfield (1919). Continue reading

Bruce Dearstyne: Dave McCullough and the Uses of History


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The American SpiritPulitzer-prize winning author David McCullough has published a new book, The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2017).

It is a bit of a disappointment in some ways — there is no overarching essay on the American spirit, and the book itself is actually a collection of commencement talks and other speeches by the author over the years rather than new work.

But like all of McCullough’s works, the book is stimulating and worth reading for its perspectives and insights, its eloquent writing, and particularly for the way it makes the case for the values of history. Continue reading