Tag Archives: Massachusetts

The Whitehill Prize in Early American History


By on

0 Comments

Colonial Massachussesttes SocietyThe Colonial Society of Massachusetts has announced the 2014 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American History.

This prize of $2,500, established in memory of Walter Muir Whitehill, for many years Editor of Publications for the Colonial Society and the moving force behind the organization, will be awarded for a distinguished essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. The Society hopes that the prize may be awarded annually. Continue reading

Shaker Exhibition Opening At NYS Museum


By on

0 Comments

ModeofWorshipThe New York State Museum will open a new major exhibition about the history and culture of the Shakers on November 15, 2014. The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries will feature over 150 historic images and nearly 200 Shaker artifacts, including artifacts from three Shaker historical sites: the Shaker Heritage Society, Hancock Shaker Village and the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.

In the late 1700s, the Shakers sought religious freedom in America, but their unique culture and spiritual practices set them apart from society. Their devotional routines as well as their product innovations and views towards gender equality seemed revolutionary. Continue reading

American Revolution:
Trouble at Poughkeepsie and Peekskill


By on

2 Comments

American Revolution ShipsA loyalist is a man with his head in England, his body in America, and a neck that needs to be stretched.  – an anonymous patriot.

Late in June of 1776, the New York Provincial Convention (NYPC) received a troubling report from the Dutchess County Committee of Safety. It said that Poughkeepsie officials and patriot warships were being threatened by loyalists, so-called Tories. Continue reading

The Misnamed Columbia County ‘Battle of Egremont’


By on

3 Comments

MilitiamenA small, but important part of the American Revolutionary War took place during 1777 at Livingston Manor, Albany County (now Columbia County), New York. The few historical references about this event identify the event as the Battle of Egremont, implying that it happened in Massachusetts.

While it was customary to name a battle after its location, participants or some other feature, these conventions were overlooked in this case and the involvement of Egremont, Massachusetts militiamen seems to be the primary reason for the naming of the battle. However, many participants were from New York militia units, and the battle actually took place in New York. The battle was actually a series of four skirmishes that occurred over two-days. Continue reading

Schaghticoke: An American Revolution Militia Rendezvous


By on

1 Comment

sgtkesauthierAt the juncture of well worn roads and trails, Schaghticoke became a hub of activity during September and October 1777. Schaghticoke is located east of the Hudson River in what was at the time Albany (now Rensselaer) County, opposite the hamlet of Stillwater. It was a stopping place for hundreds of militiamen who came and went to battle stations in the area.

Like other nearby communities, Schaghticoke was all but abandoned during late summer and fall of 1777. An 8,000 man British Army, invading the Hudson River Valley, was reason enough for most residents to flee to safer places. Many of these refugees went to Albany to escape the threats of war. This article describes the activities of New England militiamen in and around Schaghticoke during the Saratoga Campaign. Continue reading

William Henry Burr: Gloversville’s ‘Great Literary Detective’


By on

0 Comments

DSC_0147Many people probably remember that at the end of the 19th century the city of Gloversville, in Fulton County, was recognized as the glove-making capital of the world. However, one of Gloversville’s famous sons, William Henry Burr, has been all but forgotten.

Referred to as “the great literary detective” by one of the 19th century’s foremost orators and political speechmakers, Robert G. Ingersoll, Burr was born in Gloversville on April 15, 1819. His father, James Burr, was one of the founders of the glove industry in the community, once known as Stump City. Continue reading

Whaling and Abolition: A Sample ‘Path Through History’


By on

4 Comments

whaleDiane Duprey, a retired social studies teacher now President Southeastern Council for the Social Studies, has created her own Path Through History. It includes many of the elements I’ve been advocating a path should include. It features multiple activities and sites including talks, walks, tours, and a cruise – a traditional favorite all combined in a multi-day program with lodging before the summer rates kick in.

Continue reading

Henry Knox’s "Noble Train" at Fort Ticonderoga


By on

0 Comments

Discover the story of Henry Knox’s noble train of artillery at Fort Ticonderoga’s upcoming living history event, Saturday, December 1, from 10 am – 4 pm. The event will feature a program highlighting Henry Knox’s arrival to Fort Ticonderoga and recreate the beginning of the epic feat that ultimately forced the British evacuation from Boston on March 17, 1776.

“Visitors to the ‘The Noble Train Begins’ living history event will meet Henry Knox, the unassuming Boston book seller whose physical and mental might was first tested with the epic feat of moving more than 14 mortars, 43 cannon, and other artillery to Boston in the winter of 1776,” said Stuart Lilie, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Interpretation. “See man and horse power in action as the artillery is selected for the journey. Meet the soldiers left to guard this frontier outpost as the first winter of the Revolutionary War takes hold.” Continue reading

Dolly Sloan and The Lawrence Strike Children in NY


By on

2 Comments

Artist John Sloan is better known but his wife Dolly was a tireless campaigner for causes in the Village. Sloan’s diaries are full of vignettes describing her buzzing off to demonstrations for the Socialist Party, the International Workers of the World (IWW), and Suffrage. He seems to be following her, and soaking up the atmosphere, more than out there professing his beliefs.

However, Sloan supported votes for women and rights for workers, and drew illustrations for such left wing publications as The Call. Continue reading

Abby Kelley Foster Inducted into Halls of Fame


By on

0 Comments

Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Abby Kelley Foster will be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame on October 1st in Seneca Falls and into the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) on Saturday, October 22 at ceremonies to be held at Colgate University.

Born in Pelham, MA January 15, 1811 Kelley was raised a Quaker and became a teacher at the Friends School in Lynn MA in 1829. In 1832, when she lived in Worcester, she was influenced by a speech from radical abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. She joined the Lynn Female Anti-Slavery Society, and in 1837, she, and others, gathered over six thousand signatures on anti-slavery petitions.

The Lynn Female Society named her a delegate to the first national Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in New York City. The following year, at the second Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, Abby Kelley gave her first speech against slavery with a mob threatening to burn down Pennsylvania Hall.

Abby and fellow radical abolitionist Stephen Foster married in 1845 and bought a farm in Worcester MA. Abby gave birth to their daughter, Alla, in 1847. Kelley faced hostile audiences from within and from outside the abolition movement in her five decades of advocating for immediate abolition of slavery and for advocating leaving churches that did not condemn slavery.

At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, Stacey Robertson PhD. will present Abby Kelley Foster: A Radical Voice in the West, the first program in the annual afternoon Upstate Institute Inductee Symposia. Robertson states, “Abby Kelley Foster single handedly transformed the nature of the western antislavery movement in the 1840s. From her first visit in the summer of 1845 she inspired hundreds of abolitionists to reconsider their approach to the movement and embrace a more uncompromising position. Women found her irresistible and she helped to organize dozens of female anti-slavery societies in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. She also convinced several women to join her in the lecturing field, devoting themselves full-time to the movement. No other person impacted western antislavery more than Abby Kelley Foster.”

Dr. Robertson is the Oglesby Professor of American Heritage and the Director of the Women’s Studies Program at Bradley University (Peoria IL) where she has taught since 1994. She is the author of three books: Parker Pillsbury: Radical Abolitionist, Male Feminist (2000), Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest (2010), and Antebellum Women: Private, Public, Partisan (American Controversies), co-authored with Carol Lasser (2010). She is the recipient of many teaching awards and research fellowships and has lectured at more than one hundred different venues nationally and internationally.

The Worcester Women’s History Project (WWHP) in Worcester MA will partner with NAHOF for the evening induction ceremonies at 7 p.m. in Golden Auditorium at Colgate. Lynne McKenney Lydick will present a one woman play Yours for Humanity —Abby which the WWHP. Members of the WWHP will also participate in the induction ceremony for Foster in the evening.

The public is encouraged to attend the Foster sessions. Admission at the door for each of the lectures and the induction ceremony is five dollars. (Admission for all four symposia programs is eight dollars.) Information and registration forms for the day-long induction event are available at www.AbolitionHoF.org or at 315-366-8101.

Photo: Abby Kelley Foster portrait created by artist Joseph Flores of Rochester NY for the abolitionist’s induction into the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum at ceremonies on Saturday, October 22 at Colgate University, Hamilton NY.

Exhibit: Black Patriots at the Battles of Saratoga


By on

0 Comments

In recognition of Black History Month, Saratoga National Historical Park will offer a temporary exhibit from February 1 through February 28 called “Agrippa Hull – Ordinary Soldier, Extraordinary Man” and on Sunday, February 13 at 1:30pm in the visitor center, Ranger Eric Schnitzer will present a special program about black soldiers at Saratoga.

In the American Revolution, about 5 percent of the Continental Soldiers were of African descent. They fought shoulder to shoulder with white soldiers—but an integrated army would not occur again until the Korean War. That’s just scratching the surface of the information to be presented by Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer as he discusses evidence from memoirs, journals, muster rolls, and pay lists that documents
the roles of free and enslaved African Americans who fought in “the most important battle of the last 1000 years.”

Agrippa Hull, a black Revolutionary War soldier who served in the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, is the focus of a special exhibit titled “Agrippa Hull: ordinary soldier, extraordinary man.” Copies of Hull’s 1777 company muster roll, pension claims, portrait, and photographs of him and his wife Peggy will be on display in the visitor center in February.

Saratoga National Historical Park is located between Rt. 4 and Rt. 32 in the Town of Stillwater, NY. For more information, please contact the visitor center by calling 518-664-9821 ext. 224 or check their website.

Illustration: Portrait of Agrippa Hull, a freeborn black man and Revolutionary War veteran who lived in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The portrait hangs in the historical room of the town library. Hull was 85 years old when his image was captured. Painted in oil in 1848 by an unknown artist, the portrait is a copy of a daguerreotype done by Anson Clark in 1844. Image courtesy Stockbridge Library Association Historical Collection.

The Boston Area Seminar in Early American History


By on

0 Comments

The Boston Area Seminar in Early American History invites proposals for sessions in its 2010-2011 series. Since 1989, the Seminar has been held at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Programs take place on the first Thursday evening of most months between September and May. The Seminar’s steering committee welcomes suggestions for papers dealing with all aspects of American history and culture from the era of first contact to the Civil War. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics, nor are they limited to the research of historians.

Each session focuses on the discussion of a pre-circulated paper. The essayist and an assigned commentator will each have an opportunity for remarks before the discussion is opened to the floor. Papers must be available for circulation electronically and by mail at least a month before the date of the seminar.

The seminar’s steering committee would like to fill two or three sessions through this call for papers. If you wish to be considered for a slot, send your CV and a one-page précis of your paper by March 15 to Conrad E. Wright, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215, or to cwright@masshist.org.

In your proposal, indicate when your paper will be available for distribution. If there are special scheduling conditions, such as a planned trip to Boston or an extended period when you cannot make a presentation, indicate in your proposal.

Massachusetts Historical Society Research Fellowships


By on

0 Comments

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will offer about 30 research fellowships for the academic year 2010-2011, including at least two long-term research fellowships made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to approximately 20 short-term fellowships, the Society will help to provide at least 11 New England Regional Fellowship Consortium grants for projects that draw on the resources of several participating institutions, and at least two long-term MHS-NEH fellowships for study at the MHS. Each summer the Society offers 2-3 fellowships for K-12 teachers. During 4 weeks of on-site research at the MHS, teachers prepare a curriculum or comparable project based on primary documents to enhance instruction in American history, language arts, or science.

An independent research library and manuscript repository, the MHS’s holdings encompass millions of rare and unique documents and artifacts vital to the study of American history, many of them irreplaceable national treasures. A few examples include correspondence between John and Abigail Adams, such as her famous “Remember the ladies”; several imprints of the Declaration of Independence; and Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings. The MHS was founded in 1791, and in the absence of other local and state historical society’s played a national role into the latter part of the 19th century.

For more information about the Society’s research fellowships visit their web site at
www.masshist.org/fellowships or contact Conrad E. Wright at fellowships@masshist.org or 617-646-0512.

Application deadlines:

MHS-NEH fellowships, January 15, 2010;

New England Regional Fellowships, February 1, 2010;

MHS Short-Term fellowships, March 1, 2010.