Category Archives: History

New York History

Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth Of The NYPD


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law and order book coverIn his new book Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth Of The NYPD (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) historian Bruce Chadwick argues that rampant violence led to the founding of the first professional police force in New York City.

Chadwick paints a picture of a bloody and violent city, where race relations and an influx of immigrants boiled over into riots, street gangs roved through town with abandon, and thousands of bars, prostitutes, and gambling emporiums clogged the streets.

Chadwick says that in the 19th century the crime rate was triple what it is today and the murder rate was five or six times as high. The drive to establish law and order involved some of New York’s biggest personalities, including mayor Fernando Wood and journalist Walt Whitman. Continue reading

Erie Canalway Water Trail Website Launched


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Paddler on the Erie Canal Mohawk River near UticaThe Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has announce the launch of a new online NYS Canalway Water Trail map to help paddlers enjoy the Mohawk River/Erie Canal. The interactive map covers 128-miles from Rome to Waterford and includes launch sites, canoe/kayak rental facilities, camp sites, amenities, and attractions. Plans are underway to expand to the entire NYS Canal System within two years.

The website also includes information on paddling safety and how to go through a lock. Continue reading

New York History Around The Web This Week


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A Visit To Marilla Civil War Days in Erie County


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Marilla Civil War DaysOn July 29 & 30, Marilla, New York (in Erie County) held its 14th Annual Civil War Days at Marilla Town Park.

The weekend was packed full of activities, including a ladies period tea party, artillery demonstrations, candlelight tours, a period dance and church service, and of course battle reenactments. At Sutlers Row, vendors sold Civil War memorabilia, flags, books, and uniforms.

Each year has something a little different to offer. Previously, the event featured barn burnings, ground charges, and falling trees and buildings. Saturday’s reenactment was more conventional. Continue reading

Hudson Heritage Conference Proposals Sought


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ghhn annual conferenceThe Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) Annual Conference will be held at Bard College/Montgomery Place in Annandale-on-Hudson on Tuesday, October 10.

The 2017 Annual Conference will feature break-out sessions, office hours with grant funding organizations,tours of Montgomery Place, a large group art activity, breakfast, networking luncheon, full-day exhibit hall, the Awards for Excellence ceremony, and more. Continue reading

Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldMercy Otis Warren wasn’t your typical early American woman. She was a woman with strong political viewpoints, which she wrote about and published for the world to see and consider.

Did anyone take her views seriously?

Did her writings sway public opinion in the direction of her political views?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Rosemarie Zagarri, author of A Woman’s Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution (Wiley-Blackwell 2015), helps us kick off a new, six-episode series about the people of the American Revolution by taking us through the life of Mercy Otis Warren. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/145

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Popular Deaf Storyteller Performing at Schoharie Crossing


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Peter Cook Internationally known deaf performance artist Peter Cook will be at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site on Sunday, August 13 at 6 pm.

His performance entitled, “A Feast for Your Eyes: ASL Storytelling” will take place outdoors in front of the Schoharie Crossing Visitor Center, or indoors in case of rain. The event is free.

Peter Cook is an artist whose work incorporates American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting and movement. He performs with his entire body using sign language as an interpreter translates into English. Continue reading