Tag Archives: Political History

Why New York Fought the Civil War


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recruitsWe will celebrate Presidents’ Day next month, on February 20. But we don’t celebrate Governors’ Day or anything similar. If we did, we might note the contributions of New York’s three Civil War governors — Edwin Morgan (R, 1859-1863) Horatio Seymour (D, 1863-1865) and Reuben Fenton (R, 1865-1869). All three were nationally known leaders at the time. Seymour was a critic of the wartime draft and other Lincoln administration domestic policies. Morgan and Fenton both went on to become United States Senators from our state, where they also played leadership roles. Seymour ran for president in 1868, losing to Ulysses S. Grant. Continue reading

Celebrations of NY State’s 240th Birthday Planned


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1777 New York State ConstitutionOn April 22nd, 2017 at noon, New York State will be 240 years old. It was on that date back in 1777 that New York’s Constitution was signed in Kingston, New York.

What better way to celebrate that important document that gave life to our State than to organize and conduct brief, unified, community-wide bell ringing event in as many of the cities, towns and villages in the State of New York as possible at their houses of worship and other institutions. Continue reading

New Book Explores History of Suffrage Statue


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the-woman-suffrage-statue-bookSandra Weber’s new book, The Woman Suffrage Statue: A History of Adelaide Johnson’s Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at the United States Capitol (McFarland & Company, Inc., 2016), recounts the jubilation and condemnation surrounding the Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The 7-ton neoclassical work of art seemed destined to provoke controversy; it was an unconventional form with a strange unfinished appearance, composed of portraits of real women and a mysterious fourth hump, and inscribed with a provocative message. Continue reading

Ben Franklin’s World: The Tea Crisis of 1773


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ben_franklins_worldOn December 16, 1773, the colonists of Boston threw 342 chests of English East India Company tea into Boston Harbor, an act we remember as the “Boston Tea Party.”

Have you ever wondered what drove the Bostonians to destroy the tea? Or whether they considered any other less destructive options for their protest?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, takes us through the Tea Crisis of 1773. You can listen here: benfranklinsworld.com/112

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Update on Inez Milholland Recognition Project


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InezMilhollandWill the nomination of America’s suffrage martyr, Inez Milholland, for a Presidential Citizens Medal get lost in the shuffle from one administration to the next?

U.S. Representative Jackie Speier of California nominated Inez Milholland for the Presidential Citizens Medal in November 2015. For the past year, the National Womens History Project (NWHP) has sponsored the Inez Milholland Centennial Campaign to draw attention to this young woman who died in California 100 years ago working for Votes for Women. The medal has rarely been awarded recently, and never to a suffragist. Continue reading

The American Enlightenment & Cadwallader Colden


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ben_franklins_worldWe’ve heard that the American Revolution took place during a period called “the Enlightenment.” But what was the Enlightenment?

Was it an intellectual movement? A social movement? A scientific movement?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, John Dixon, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY-College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration of the Enlightenment by taking us through the life of Cadwallader Colden, the subject of his book The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden: Empire, Science, and Intellectual Culture in British New York (Cornell University Press, 2016). You can listen to this episode here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/109

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CFP: Making New Connections in Early America, 1750–1850


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usa-1850-mapProposals are invited for a two-day conference on entangled history in Early America from 1750 to 1850, which will be held at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia, PA during April 2018.

The organizers are looking for scholars who challenge traditional narratives of imperial or national history by applying a wider lens to Anglo-America. The goal is to foster a wide-ranging debate on relations across borders – geographic, political, legal, social, and ethnic – in the Americas. Continue reading

America’s Suffrage Martyr Comes Out of the Shadows


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inez millholland chairEssex County in upstate New York is Inez Milholland country.

Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916) considered among America’s suffrage martyrs and 2016 is the centennial of her death. The centennial of the death of England’s most prominent martyr for suffrage, Emily Davison, who died  for women’s right to vote in 1913, was observed nationally.

Inez Milholland, however, is little known, even in the region where she lived, and where there are today few women elected to office. As a result, there has been an outpouring of concern that has led to action on the national level. Continue reading