The genealogy website Findmypast and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) have announced that Findmypast will host the newly expanded Digital Library of the NYG&B. The partnership is expected to provide additional membership benefits for the one of the nation’s oldest genealogical organizations, and also add new content to Findmypast’s online collections. Continue reading
A compelling story about three murders in Brooklyn between 1872 and 1873 and the young women charged with the crimes is told in a new book by Robert E. Murphy, Three Graces Of Raymond Street: Murder, Madness, Sex, and Politics in 1870s Brooklyn (SUNY Press, 2015).
Between January 1872 and September 1873, the city of Brooklyn was gripped by accounts of three murders allegedly committed by young women: a factory girl shot her employer and seducer, an evidently peculiar woman shot a philandering member of a prominent Brooklyn family, and a former nun was arrested on suspicion of having hanged her best friend and onetime convent mate. Continue reading
The new book, Secret Lives of the Underground Railroad in New York City (McFarland, 2015), offers first person accounts of the clandestine efforts to help escaping slaves. Drawing on never-before-published Record of Fugitives kept by newspaper editor and abolitionist Sydney Howard Gay, the book provides vivid detail of the lives of Underground Railroad agents, and the harrowing journey that African-Americans undertook to free themselves from slavery.
The co-authors are steeped in this history. Don Papson was founding president of the North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm, responsible for much of the research that brought the Champlain Line of the freedom trail to light. Tom Calarco is author of three other books on the topic, including The Underground Railroad in the Adirondack Region. Continue reading
This week “The Historians” podcast features Norm Bollen of Fort Plain Museum discussing formation of the Mohawk Country Heritage Association. The association is promoting eight American Revolution-era historic sites in western Montgomery County. The initial start-up group includes the Fort Plain Museum, Fort Klock, Isaac Paris House, Nellis Tavern, Van Alstyne Homestead, Stone Arabia Church, Palatine Church and the Margaret Reaney Library, all within minutes of Thruway Exit 29 in Canajoharie. Listen at “The Historians” online archive at http://www.bobcudmore.com/thehistorians/
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The legislative bills creating a New York State history commission have been reintroduced in the State Legislature, but advocates of the law say that it is unlikely to be voted on in 2015.
The law would establish a state history commission with a range of powers and a mandate to produce a statewide cultural and historical resource heritage plan.The bill has the support of the Museum Association of New York (MANY); but outside a roundtable meeting last spring, no other organization has publicly expressed its support. Continue reading
Depending on where you are or who you talk to, the third Monday in February represents either Presidents’ Day or Washington’s Birthday. At three Revolutionary War historic sites in the Hudson Valley, the day is part of a three-day celebration of George Washington.
The Friends of the State Historic Sites of the Hudson Highlands (FSHSHH) have created an inclusive schedule to the array of activities taking place at Washington’s Headquarters, Knox’s Headquarters, and the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Sites on February 14th, 15th, and 16th. Each day offers something new. Continue reading
In the fourth installment of the Adirondack Museum’s Cabin Fever Sundays series, New York Council for the Humanities speaker Robert Arnold III will explore the legacy of Robert Fulton, the creator of the first commercially successful steamboat.
Arnold will address the ways Fulton’s steamboat helped to catalyze the expansion of steam power into the energy source that propelled America’s Industrial Revolution. Fulton was a talented artist and inventor who also devised canal locks used in Britain, and the first workable submarine (for Napoleon Bonaparte). Continue reading
The National Park Service has approved New York State’s 2015-2020 Historic Preservation Plan, which is a blueprint for identifying and guiding activities that further preservation efforts at the local, regional and state levels.
The plan provides information about programs and resources for municipalities and communities to support a variety of preservation and community development efforts. Continue reading
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue as part of the great European quest to find new routes and shortcuts to the spice islands and territories of Asia.
Spain and Portugal led this quest during the 15th and 16th centuries and their race to access the Asian spice trade caused Columbus to sail unwittingly into the Caribbean and North America.
AT&T has given a $20,000 contribution to support the conservation and digitization of documents burned in the 1911 New York Capitol Fire.
The documents are expected to be conserved and digitized are badly fire damaged and contain information about life in the Hudson Valley in the 1700s, primarily in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. They have been unavailable to the public since 1911; no timetable for online public access has been announced. Continue reading
The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) has taken a thematic approach to its 2015 List of Endangered Historic Places, focusing on Long Island’s endangered industrial heritage. The loss of industrial heritage erases the regional connection to Long Island as a center for maritime, aeronautical, and communications industries. Continue reading
Nearly 400 years ago, in 1626, a ship carrying eleven slaves was unloaded in New Amsterdam by the Dutch West Indies Company. Those eleven men are believed to be among the first African-Americans brought to what is today New York State.
Attempting to pinpoint when the first African-Americans arrived in Sullivan County, NY is considerably more difficult. There are a number of plausible scenarios, and the evidence supporting any one of them is sketchy at best. A stronger case can be made for the first man of African-American descent to own property there. It was almost certainly Phineas Booth of the town of Neversink. Continue reading
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has provided $102,000 to be distributed by the Museum Association of New York (MANY) between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015.
During this period MANY will offer “Mini-Grants” and “Travel Grants.” This program replaces Get Ready, Get Set, Go! the Grants for Museum Advancement. Continue reading
Historic Huguenot Street has announced that eleven historians have chosen to be part of its newly formed Scholarly Advisory Board. It’s expected that they will guide the interpretation of the National Historic Landmark District. The board is chaired by Dr. L.H. Roper, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz.
The eleven historians share a knowledge for American, French, Dutch, Native American, New York, Atlantic, and Huguenot history – all of which are a part of the Historic Huguenot Street’s story. Continue reading
A new website, the Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS), provides access to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s (State Parks) historic records. Continue reading
This post is the sixth in a series on the awards granted by the Regional Economic Development Councils. The series is intended to document what actually is being done, by following the money.
Empire State Development – Market New York (ESD MNY) is part of a new process applicants for state funding negotiate. ESD MNY has funded Path through History media projects, support for booze-related tourism, and some projects with “path” potential (although they weren’t identified as such). In this post, I’ll focus on another type of tourism touted by Governor Andrew Cuomo: recreation tourism. Continue reading
In late 1888, having served a full term of 11 years, Albany Jim Brady was finally released from prison. He quickly hooked up with Sophie Lyons, who had recently left her husband Ned after more than 20 years of marriage. Together Brady and Lyons traveled to Europe, where they were virtually anonymous. Putting their remarkable acting skills to work, they earned a small fortune from various scams, including a Paris heist of $200,000 in diamonds (equal to about $5 million in 2015). Continue reading
When William Aloysius Scully was bishop of Albany, six new Roman Catholic high schools were established in the diocese. The school that opened on a 62-acre lot on upper Church Street in Amsterdam in 1966, three years before Scully’s death, was named in his honor.
St. Mary’s Institute on Forbes Street, which dates back to 1881, had been the city’s previous Catholic high school. It was adjacent to St. Mary’s Church in the heart of the city. Bishop Scully High school was built near the city’s outer limits. Continue reading