Category Archives: History

New York History

A New Biography of Dr. E. L. Trudeau


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a rare romance in medicine book coverHistoric Saranac Lake has announced the release of a major biography of Dr. E. L. Trudeau by Mary B. Hotaling. The book, entitled A Rare Romance in Medicine: The Life and Legacy of Edward Livingston Trudeau, is now available to purchase from Historic Saranac Lake, and will soon be for sale in local bookstores.

The new biography expands upon Dr. Trudeau’s autobiography, published posthumously in 1915. The doctor’s great-great-grandson, Doonesbury Cartoonist Garry Trudeau, wrote the Foreword. Dr. Andrea Cooper, former Francis B. Trudeau Chair in Tuberculosis and Related Research at the Trudeau Institute, and Dr. Ian Orme, professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University, contributed the closing chapter. The final chapter sets Dr. Trudeau’s work in the context of the continuing study of the cellular immune response to TB. Continue reading

Exhibit: Frederic Church’s Summer House at Olana


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olanas summer houseDavid McAlpin, a principal at Fradkin & McAlpin Architects, is among a group of 21 noted architects and landscape architects, including Steven Holl, Laurie D. Olin, Peter Pennoyer and Diana Balmori, who have been invited to solve a mystery that is more than 130 years old.

Each was asked to submit a design for “the Summer House” at Olana, the Hudson, New York, estate of the great American landscape artist Frederic Church. Continue reading

Irish Fenians In The North Country


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fenian meetingToday we would label them a “paramilitary organization.” In the years immediately following the American Civil War, life in the Adirondacks was briefly interrupted by the Fenians, also known as the Fenian Brotherhood.

The Fenian Brotherhood was an Irish Republican organization founded in New York in 1858 by John O’Mahoney. Their name is derived from legends about ancient Irish warriors called the Fianna.

Their goal was an Irish Republic free of British rule. Continue reading

Harvard University & Colonial North America


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ben_franklins_worldWhat can the collections of the Harvard University Libraries teach us about our early American past?

It turns out, quite a lot.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Taylor Stoermer, a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, takes us through the Harvard Libraries’ new digital and free-to-use history archive: the Colonial North American Project. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/093

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18th Century Fashion Show at Knox’s Headquarters


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Tiffanie Downs, from Pine Bush, portraying an upper class lady in her silk gown (provided).On Saturday, August 13th from 5 to 7 pm, Knox’s Headquarters presents a fashion show of 18th century civilian and military clothing.

Visitors will see elegant ladies gowns of silk, gentlemen officer wear and the patched and worn garments of the lesser sort. Learn who would have worn the clothing, why it is constructed in that manner, and what function it served. Accompanying the clothing display will be a power point demonstration and narrator describing the portraits and research behind the gowns. Staff members of the New Windsor Cantonment and Knox’s Headquarters State Historic Sites have painstakingly researched and constructed by hand reproductions of period clothing. Continue reading

Saratoga Battlefield To Eliminate Entrance Fees


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Saratoga Battlefield and Hudson RiverBeginning November 1, 2016, Saratoga National Historical Park will no longer charge entrance fees for visiting the park.

After analyzing the costs and benefits of the recreational fee program, park leadership determined that it is in the best interest of both Saratoga NHP and the public to eliminate entrance charges according to a press release sent to the media. The current entrance fees for vehicles ($5), pedestrians and cyclists ($3), and the park annual pass ($10) will remain in place until November 1. Continue reading

Annual Champlain Canalway Bike Tour Sunday


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canalway trailThe 5th annual Champlain Canalway Trail Bicycle Tour, a one-day exploration of historic sites along the Hudson River/ Champlain Canal corridor, will take place on Sunday, August 14.

In honor of the National Park Service Centennial and Canal Splash, this year’s tour will begin at Hudson Crossing Park near Lock 5 just north of Schuylerville. It will then proceed through villages and country-sides to Saratoga National Historical Park, with stops at selected significant historical landmarks related to the Revolutionary War campaign of 1777.

Expert historians at each stop will introduce cyclists to local historical events that led to the Battles of Saratoga and changed the course of the war. Continue reading

A New Phase For New York’s Historical Enterprise?


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Cultural Education Center State Museum ArchivesThere is encouraging evidence that we may be moving toward a turning point for New York’s historical enterprise.

During the last several months:

The Education Department made the State Historian an independent, full-time position. This is unlike the previous situation, where the State Historian, Bob Weible, also served as Chief History Curator of the State Museum. In effect, that was two jobs rolled into one. The curatorial work left little time for the state history work. Creating a new, dedicated position required approval of the Director of the State Museum, the Commissioner of Education and the Division of the Budget. Those are positive signs of interest and support. Continue reading