Revolutionary War Army Trades Weekend at Saratoga Battlefield


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ArtificersThe Saratoga National Historical Park (Saratoga Battlefield) will show Revolutionary War army trades at work, on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Armies had a lot more to do than fight in the Revolutionary War. They employed and contracted with a variety of professional tradesmen and women who worked to provide and repair supplies needed by the troops. Blacksmiths made and repaired ironwork; Tailors sewed and fixed clothing; Woodworkers built and fixed wheels and artillery carriages; Tinsmiths made artillery cartridge casings; and Cordwainers made shoes for the troops. Continue reading

Albany Times Union Covers State Historian Controversy


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NYS MapPaul Grondahl at the Albany Times Union has picked-up the story of the recent downgrading of the State Historian’s position, which we’ve been covering on The New York History Blog.

You can find the Times Union story here. We’ll have another essay by Devin Lander on his plans as State Historian later this week.

You can read all our reporting and commentaries about the State Historian’s position here.

Friends With Benefits: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation


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OPRHP-1How many historic sites does the NYSOPRHP maintain? That is not a trick question. At the NY Statewide Preservation Conference, May 5-7, in Albany and Troy, the question was an unintended running joke among several sessions. Generally the number was between 35 and 40 with a variation due to how to classify a site given a site can be recreational and historic. But this is not a post about the combination of recreation and historic sites in one bureaucracy (it wasn’t always that way). Rather it is a discussion about what it means to be a state historic site. Continue reading

Please Contribute To The NY History Blog For 2016


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2016 Funding New York History Blog Funding CampaignThe New York History Blog relies on contributions from readers to keep publishing important news relevant to the New York State History community. We’ve seen some successes in promoting the cause of New York State’s history, among them lending our voices to help revive New York State History Month, and toward the re-establishment of a full-time New York State Historian.  We’ve promoted thousands of exhibits, events, collections, historic sites, and new publications.

Now we need your help to keep going in 2016.  Giving is easy, and this year it’s even easier – you can simply send a check to The New York History Blog, 7269 State Route 9, Chestertown, NY 12817 – or  contribute via this year’s Rally.org campaign here: https://rally.org/f/5QOqoCY4K4U Continue reading

The Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum


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BabMus01In the northeast corner of New York State, the first weekend in June features Museum Days, during which 16 facilities in Clinton County offer free admission. We were among many who appeared as special guests on both days, offering our books for sale and visiting with attendees, which meant talking a lot about “the good old days.” From that experience, I can assure everyone that a trip to the Babbie Rural & Farm Learning Museum in Peru, where we spent Saturday, is a great idea from several perspectives.

As a museum, it’s a real pleasure, and for children and adults alike, it’s fun and entertaining. But it occurred to me that it’s also a priceless gift to people in their sixties or older, and to the offspring of those folks who have heard stories about childhood chores, tools of yesteryear, and appliances that preceded modern devices. Continue reading

The Recent Mohawk Valley Revolutionary War Conference


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast Bob Cudmore hosts the first of two episodes covering the 2016 American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley Conference. Edward Lengel is author of First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His and the Nation’s Prosperity (DaCapo Press, 2016). J. L. Bell is author of The Road to Concord, How Four Stolen Cannons Ignited the Revolutionary War (JAR Books, 2016). And editor Don Hagist explains the online Journal of the American Revolution. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading

Civil Rights: Resisting The New Jim Crow Rules


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President Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act 1964The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) will host the culminating event for its CHANGING AMERICA exhibit and programs: a Community Conversation on the subject of “Resisting the New Jim Crow” on Saturday, July 9, at 2 pm.

NAHOF invites the public to join in sharing thoughts about the ways to engage in the work of racial justice at this time. This conversation will aim to help each be active, in many small ways, in standing together to work toward an end to such things as the school-to-prison pipeline, police brutality, and the legacy of white supremacy that still perpetuates racism and de-values black lives. Continue reading

Little Falls’ Lock 17: Engineering Marvel, Opened 100 Years Ago


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lock 17 postcardThe Little Falls Journal and Courier proclaimed in a banner headline on their July 4th, 1916 edition that the celebration for the completion of Lock 17 “will go down in history.”

The paper stated that the pageantry and parades of the previous Friday and Saturday were a tremendous success. “Nothing so elaborate, so gorgeous, so successful from an historic, an artistic and idealistic point of view was ever before undertaken in this city… The crowd on Friday was conservatively estimated at four thousand and on Saturday it was as large or larger.”

Featured throughout the festivities were the recently arrived immigrant communities, the “New Americans” that Governor Whitman especially recognized in his remarks that Friday. Continue reading