New York History Around The Web This Week


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American Revolution Tory Partisan William Caldwell


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Butlers Rangers in the American RevolutionThe name William Caldwell first caught my attention while researching the August 12, 1781, raid in Wawarsing, in Ulster County, NY. His name was mentioned again in Governor George Clinton’s public papers. It was also in connection to the August raid which, it was believed, was lead by Caldwell (then a Captain).  During this raid he led other Tories and Native American allies.

William Caldwell was born around 1750 in Northern Ireland. Prior to the American Revolution, Caldwell came to England’s North American Colonies first settling in Pennsylvania. Continue reading

WWI Centennial Themed Tour, Reenactor at Staatsburgh Saturday


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ww1 reenactorTo mark the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I in April 1917, Staatsburgh State Historic Site will offer a theme tour, “World War I & the End of the Gilded Age.” The 90-minute tour, led by an interpreter in period clothing, is offered on Saturday, April 8, at 1 pm.

The site also has on view an exhibit focusing on Ogden Livingston Mills, son of Staatsburgh’s residents, Ruth and Ogden Mills, who chose a life of public service, including service in the Great War. Focusing on his wartime activities and political career, the exhibit also features a silver tray given to his parents, Ruth and Ogden Mills, by General Pershing, to thank them for billeting American officers in their Paris home during the war. Continue reading

Historic Huguenot Street Hires New Executive Director


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Marybeth De Filippis Concluding a national search, Historic Huguenot Street has announced the hiring of its new Executive Director, Marybeth De Filippis.

De Filippis is an award-winning museum professional and scholar specializing in the material culture and history of early New York. She served for eight years at the New-York Historical Society, where she was most recently Associate Curator of American Art and former Manager of the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture. Continue reading

American Enlightenments


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ben_franklins_worldIn many ways, the Enlightenment gave birth to the United States. Enlightened ideas informed protests over imperial governance and taxation and over whether there should be an American bishop.

If we want to understand early America, we need to understand the Enlightenment.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Caroline Winterer, a Professor of History at Stanford University and author of American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale University Press, 2016), takes us through her ideas about the Enlightenment and how it influenced early America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/127

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Lecture: Metropolitan Hospital Goes to WWI


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Wounded Soldiers Arrive at Base Hospital 48The Roosevelt Island Historical Society will host a free lecture on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm, “Metropolitan Hospital Goes to the Great War” by Judith Berdy, President Roosevelt Island Historical Society, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island .

The wounded and dying soldiers on the battlefields of the Great War required a new level of medical care. Roosevelt Island’s Metropolitan Hospital played a role as one of a number of American hospitals that sent doctors, nurses and other staff members to run base hospitals in Europe during World War I. Continue reading

The Mysterious Death of the Angel of Sing Sing


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Warden & Mrs. LawesPerhaps you have never heard of Katherine Lawes. Katherine was the wife of Lewis Lawes, warden at Sing Sing Prison from 1920-1941.

Sing Sing had the reputation of destroying wardens. The average warden’s tenure before Lewis Lawes was two years. “The easiest way to get out of Sing Sing,” he once quipped, “is to go in as warden.” In his 21 years he instituted numerous reforms – and an important part of his success was due to his wife Katherine. Continue reading

Craft Beer Fundraiser Celebrates Erie Canal Bicentennial


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hudson valley hopsOn Saturday, April 8 from 4 to 7 pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host the sixth annual Hudson Valley Hops. This regional craft beer tasting event is a fundraiser for the museum and is sponsored by the Times UNions’ Table Hopping blog.

It’s an opportunity for the community to sample the flavors of Capital Region craft brewers, see brewing and distilling artifacts from the Albany Institute’s collection, meet industry experts, and receive a commemorative glass. This year, the fundraiser will toast the bicentennial of the groundbreaking of the original Erie Canal with an Irish Red Ale invitational, an IPA contest, music, and more. Continue reading

Historic Cherry Hill Re-Opens for 2017 Season


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Historic Cherry Hill has re-opened for the public season. For the month of April, the museum will offer the Behind-the-Scenes Restoration Tour, which explores the final stage of the multi-year restoration project at the historic house. Then, on Sunday May 7th at the History Fair, Historic Cherry Hill will unveil a focus tour on female suffrage, which will be offered throughout the rest of the 2017 tour season. Continue reading