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

The Washingtons’ Runaway Slave, Ona Judge


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ben_franklins_worldGeorge Washington was an accomplished man. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, first President of the United States, and on top of all that he was also a savvy businessman who ran a successful plantation.

George Washington was also a slaveholder. In 1789, he and his wife Martha took 7 slaves to New York City to serve them in their new role as First Family. A 16 year-old girl named Ona Judge was one of the enslaved women who accompanied and served the Washingtons.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Erica Dunbar, a Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware and author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge (Atria Books, 2017), leads us through the early American life of Ona Judge.  You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/137 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

New Play ‘Seneca Falls’ Debuting In Delaware County


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open eye theatreThe Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, Delaware County, NY, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State with a new musical, Seneca Falls, to debut July 20th.

Written by Karen Howes, with music by Elliot Sokolov, the musical traces the beginnings of the Suffrage movement from 1848 to 1882.

Seneca Falls takes its name from the first Women’s Rights Convention which took place at that location, one hundred sixty-nine years ago, on July 18 and 19, 1848. Although New York State finally granted women the right to vote in 1917, women weren’t given voting status nationally until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. Continue reading

New York Academy of Medicine Library Launches Digital Collections


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William P.C. Barton's Vegetable Materia MedicaThe New York Academy of Medicine Library announced the launch of its new digital collections and exhibits website, hosted on the open-source framework Islandora and accessible at http://digitalcollections.nyam.org/.

The new site makes it easy for the public to access and explore highlights of the Library’s historical collections in the history of medicine and public health. Continue reading

How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution


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unshackling americaWillard Sterne Randall’s new book, Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) challenges the notion that Americans fought two separate wars of independence.

Willard Sterne Randall documents a fifty-year-long struggle for economic independence from Britain overlapping two armed conflicts linked by an unacknowledged global struggle. Randall  argues that the struggle was all about free trade. Continue reading