Among the foreign issues America has dealt with many times is hostage taking. Kidnappers have claimed various motives, but it was frequently done to extort money in support of a cause. Extortion kidnappings have often involved seizing of American missionaries and threatening to kill them unless ransom was paid. More than a hundred years ago, there occurred what is referred to as “America’s First Modern Hostage Crisis,” which is actually the subtitle of a 2003 book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Teresa Carpenter.
“The Miss Stone Affair” is the title, referring to Protestant missionary Ellen Maria Stone. A North Country man was a key player in her story, which riveted the nation for half a year. Continue reading
Edward H. Rulloff was one of the most famous American criminals of the 19th century, believed responsible for multiple murders and sundry other crimes, and eventually being publicly hanged in Binghamton, New York. He was also a brilliant savant, obsessively seeking respectability and the approval of what he deemed “good society.”
And if not for this obsession, his crime spree would have without a doubt included the National Union Bank in Monticello, the County Seat of Sullivan County. Continue reading
Please welcome our newest contributor here at the online journal New York History, President of the Association of Public Historians of New York State Gerry Smith.
Smith has been Broome County Historian since 1988 and City of Binghamton Historian since 1984. A native of Broome County, he graduated from Broome Community College and Binghamton University where he received his Masters in History.
Gerry recently retired from his full-time job at the Broome County Public Library after 32 years and began HistorySmiths, a consulting and research company. He is the author of several books, including Partners All: A History of Broome Count, New York and The Valley of Opportunity: A Pictorial History of Greater Binghamton, New York. He is currently the curator of “The Civil War” at Roberson Museum. He serves on several boards, including WSKG, and the Broome County Historical Society.
The Association of Public Historians began in 1999 with the merger of the former Association of Municipal Historians of New York State and the County Historians Association of New York State. The organization is the officially recognized agency to serve the needs of the over 1600 local government historians in every town, village, city, county and borough in the state. Today, hundreds of historians attend the organization’s annual conference or network and learn at one of the meetings of the twelve statewide regions. The APHNYS website connects historians through online resources, newsletters and specialized training on historic issues. APHNYS is currently involved in a statewide initiative on historical markers, and operates its Registered Historians program to promote professionalism and education for all appointed historians.