Victoria Johnson’s new book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garen of the Early Republic (Liveright, 2018) is the untold story of Alexander Hamilton’s ― and Aaron Burr’s ― personal physician, whose dream to build America’s first botanical garden inspired the young Republic.
When Dr. David Hosack tilled what is believed to one of the country’s first botanical gardens in the Manhattan soil more than two hundred years ago, he didn’t just dramatically alter the New York landscape; he left a legacy of advocacy for public health and wide-ranging support for the sciences. Continue reading
The Players Theatre in Manhattan has announced that they will host the performance, One Nation, One Mission, One Promise – An American Story, a unique off-Broadway play heading for a 5-week limited run, beginning January 12, 2018.
The play celebrates America’s diverse citizenship by bringing alive the heroes who strove to create “a more perfect union” for all its people. In the play Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Martin Luther King share the stage for the first time, while Frederick Douglas attends a Town Hall meeting with Ellen DeGeneres. Continue reading
The Lower Manhattan Historical Association (LMHA), in conjunction with the Sons of the Revolution of the State of New York, The Veteran Corps of Artillery-State of New York, the Sons of the American Revolution and Culture Now, have announced expanded historical activities in Lower Manhattan for the July 4, 2017 weekend. Continue reading
The Lower Manhattan Historical Society and the Veteran Corps of Artillery of the State of New York have announced the third annual celebatory commemoration of Evacuation Day, on Friday, November 25th, 2016.
On November 25, 1783, the British occupying garrison evacuated New York City at the conclusion of the Revolutionary war. On this day general George Washington, Commander-in-chief of the continental army, marched his troops into Lower Manhattan, thereby liberating New York City from British occupation. Continue reading
On November 25, 1783, George Washington marched down Broadway in New York City retaking the last British stronghold in the United States. By prearrangement, the British and their many Tory supporters were to leave the City by 12 pm. The American flag was to be raised at the flagpole at the north end of what is today Bowling Green park, officially ending the American Revolution. There was, however, one minor snag. When the American advance guard sought to put up the 13-star American flag, they discovered the British had greased the pole, so that the British flag could not be brought down. Washington said he would not enter the lower part of the City until the American flag was flying. A young sailor John Van Arsdale then bought cleats from a local hardware store and shimmied up the flagpole to raise the American flag, and Washington’s triumphant march to Lower Manhattan continued. Continue reading
National Park Service, Manhattan Sites and the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy (Harbor Conservancy) announced that Federal Hall National Memorial is available to rent for special events.
Federal Hall National Monument is one of 413 units of the National Park Service. From 1789 to 1790, the location of Federal Hall National Memorial was the seat of the United States federal government under the new Constitution. Congress passed many of the founding laws of the nation and approved the Bill of Rights for ratification by the states. The 1883 statue of George Washington commemorates where our first president took the oath of office on April 30, 1789. Continue reading
339 West 29th Street, aka the Hopper-Gibbons House in the Lamartine Place Historic District is a former Underground Railroad stop in Chelsea, Manhattan.
The house and the row was designated as an historic district for cultural reasons – the family of no. 339 was violently attacked in the 1863 Draft Riots for harboring runaway slaves. The abolitionists escaped via the rooftop, hopping house to house until ultimately making a safe exit through a neighboring home. Continue reading
In the latest episode of the “New Netherland Praatjes” podcast, the New Netherland Institute’s Senior Historian and Education Director Dennis Maika chats with Russell Shorto about Maika’s work on 17th-century New Amsterdam/Manhattan merchants and his work promoting the importance of the seventeenth-century Dutch colony to the New York State Education Department. Topics include the economic structure of the colony, including the role of the Dutch West India Company, and the role of state regulation in the economy. Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
She’s the woman who dueled with Aaron Burr and won. Move over Alexander Hamilton. The life of Eliza Jumel is a tale about a woman who pulled hard on her Yankee bootstraps to make good on the American dream.
Margaret Oppenheimer’s splendid book, The Remarkable Rise of Eliza Jumel: Marriage and Money in the Early Republic (Chicago Review Press, 2015), takes readers along on a tale of intrigue, scandal and innuendo. Far from a steamy beach read featuring men in white wigs, this meticulously-researched tale paints a detailed and scholarly portrait of New York City and the way in which the city’s growth provided fertile ground for the ambitions of its heroine. Continue reading
“The street has provided generation after generation with a mystical flash of belonging… experiences of mortal peril, dissipation and adventure…” writes Ada Calhoun in her new book St. Marks’s Is Dead. Her wry and witty journey through history notes that each generation plunged in the excitement and grunge of the Lower East Side street proclaims its own moment “the golden age,” while bemoaning subsequent events as the death of the place’s “true essence.” That heart might be an immigrant’s dream, revolution, creativity, dissent, fashion experiment or altered consciousness.
Her bedlam of voices making these claims is entertaining and illuminating, the voluble chatter of participants, residents, business folks and dissidents who gave the street its gritty allure. Calhoun conducted over 200 interviews to assemble this history, and they range from obscure rantings of yesteryear to tales of the poor and famous. You will hear from Leon Trotsky, W.H. Auden, Debbie Harry, Klaus Nomi, street people, skate-boarders, drag queens and theater operators. Emma Goldman, famed anarchist, ran the Modern School for a while, where ardent revolutionaries could learn from the works of Mikhail Bakunin and Karl Marx. Pamela Moore, a pulp novelist of the 1960s described the creative invasion of the 1950s as “their own brand-new Beatnikville where the artists had moved in on the Slavic factory hands and all lived together in glorious, outrageous, dedicated poverty!” Continue reading