Abraham Van Santvoord, a descendent of one of the earliest Dutch settlers in Albany, was born in Schenectady on December 18, 1784. At the age of 14, he worked with his granduncle John Post who owned a shipping business in Utica. Since, at the time, there were few roadways, and the ones they had were snow covered in the winter and mud bogs in the spring, most shipping was done by water.
Van Santvoord successfully ran a shipping business on the Mohawk River. During the War of 1812, he contracted with agents of General Stephen Van Rensselaer of Albany to store and ship provisions westward on the Mohawk to support Van Rensselaer’s troops planning to invade Canada. Continue reading
Tjerck Claeszen DeWitt, the son of Nicholas DeWitt, immigrated to New Amsterdam (New York City) from Grootholt in Zunterlant in 1656.
Grootholt means Great Wood and Zunterland was probably located on the southern border of East Friesland, a German territory on the North Sea only ten miles from the most northerly province of the Netherlands. Continue reading
On Wednesday, November 9th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art will have a small reception, display a pop-up exhibition called “Dan Button: Victory!”, and host guests – including author William Kennedy – to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the election of Daniel Button. Continue reading
On Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, Historic Cherry Hill will present a dramatic tour reenacting the infamous 1827 murder that occurred at the Cherry Hill mansion.
The public is invited to relive the experiences of those who were at Cherry Hill on the evening of May 7, 1827, when a farmhand murdered a member of the household. The tour will investigate the scene of the crime and the differing perspectives of those who witnessed the events of that fateful night. Actor James Keil will appear as murderer Jesse Strang, bringing to life his violent act, and divulging his motives, including a romantic attachment to his victim’s wife. The murder resulted in two sensational trials and Albany’s last public hanging. Continue reading
The town of Williamstown, Massachusetts is currently restoring some artifacts from a pretty much forgotten celebration of two important events in New York State history.
In the fall of 1909, various activities took place from New York City up to Albany to commemorate Hendrick Hudson’s 1609 trip up the river that would come to bear his name, and also the 1809 steamboat trip on the river by Robert Fulton’s Clermont. Continue reading
On Friday, October 14th, Halve Maen, the replica of Henry Hudson’s famous ship will set sail for a two-week tour along The Netherlands. In 2015, citing financial hardships, the Board of Directors of the New Netherlands Museum moved the Half Moon to the City of Hoorn, The Netherlands.
Halve Maen will visit the six towns that organized, in the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company, including: Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Amsterdam, Middleburg, Delft, and Rotterdam. You can also follow the ships’ travels at www.halvemaenhoorn.nl.
The Albany Institute of History & Art continues celebrating its 225th anniversary with the new exhibition, Masterworks: Paper, on view through October 16.
This exhibition showcases more than 150 rarely seen items from the Albany Institute’s library and museum collections that span more than three centuries. Sharing in common the medium of paper and close ties to Albany and the Capital Region, the objects in Masterworks: Paper illustrate diverse and eclectic themes, and tell stories that represent the personal and intimate as well as the historical and panoramic. Continue reading
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), was a brilliant politician-lawyer who served as an indispensable aide to George Washington during and after the American Revolution.
Among his many achievements, Hamilton is credited with creating the financial system of the United States, and was the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. The current Broadway musical sensation Hamilton has sparked an interest in the man on the $10 bill.
The Albany Institute of History & Art’s new exhibition, Spotlight: Alexander Hamilton, highlights Hamilton’s connections to Albany, New York through personal papers, family heirlooms, historic preservation efforts, and a stunning portrait painted by Albany’s own Ezra Ames (1768—1836). Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast Albany Times Union reporter Paul Grondahl talks about his recent series of articles on the history of immigration in the Capital District. You can listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
Steve Berry, a writer of thrillers with a historic twist, will launch the national tour for his latest book, The 14th Colony (Minotaur Books 2016), at a History Happy Hour on Friday, April 1 from 5:30 – 8 pm at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany, 141 Washington Avenue. One need not be a member of the University Club to attend.