Bill Greer (a trustee of the New Netherland Institute) will talk about painting a portrait of New Netherland in a work of fiction, using his novel The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Novel of New Amsterdam and the life of Peter Stuyvesant, Director general of the New Netherland colony. The event will take place on November 19th at the Hagaman Historical Society, Pawling Hall, 86 Pawling Street, in Hagaman (Montgomery County), NY at 7 pm.
A book-release party for the reprint of the classic Adirondack history “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, 41 Lake St., in Tupper Lake. The party will feature brief comments from library officials, Tupper Lake Free Press Publisher Dan McClelland, index author Carol Payment Poole, and publisher Andy Flynn. Refreshments will be served, and historical exhibits will be on display throughout the library.
“We see this party as a celebration of Tupper Lake’s heritage,” said Goff-Nelson Memorial Library Manager Linda Auclair. “Louis Simmons gave this community a huge gift in 1976 with ‘Mostly Spruce and Hemlock’ and the library is proud to give the same gift to even more people with a reprinting of this classic volume of Adirondack history.”
In June 1976, Tupper Lake Free Press Editor Louis J. Simmons released the first comprehensive volume of Tupper Lake history in “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” at a book release party at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library. It was a fitting location; the research room – the Grace Simmons Memorial Room – was named in honor of Louis’ first wife, a longtime Tupper Lake librarian. Louis Simmons used a lot of photographs from the library’s collection for his book.
At 461 pages and more than 140 photos, “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” was an instant best-seller in the Tip Top Town and was sold out in less than two years. People have been searching for copies of the book for more than 30 years. Only 2,000 copies of the original were printed.
Simmons used more than four decades of experience at the editorial helm of the Tupper Lake Free Press to write “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock.” A 1926 graduate of the Tupper Lake High School and 1930 graduate of Syracuse University, he was hired as the Tupper Lake Free Press editor in 1932. He retired as full-time editor in 1979 and continued writing and editing until his death on April 4, 1995. He was also the Tupper Lake historian for many years.
“Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” details the early days of life in the village of Tupper Lake and the town of Altamont (the name of the town was changed to Tupper Lake in 2004). Histories are offered on the logging industry, railroading, churches, schools, hotels, Sunmount DDSO and businesses such as the Oval Wood Dish Corporation.
The new “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” includes all of the original text and photos, but there will be some major differences. It is a paperback book, instead of hardcover, and the cover was redesigned. The original book did not include an index; however, the 2009 version has an index, which was written by author and Tupper Lake native Carol Payment Poole. Tupper Lake Free Press Publisher Dan McClelland wrote a new foreword. And the book is dedicated to Simmons and “Tupper Lakers everywhere.”
The reprinting is a joint project between Hungry Bear Publishing and the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, which received permission to reprint “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” as a fund-raiser. The library will receive all the author’s royalties plus a retail percentage for copies it sells directly to the public.
Presale orders for “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” were taken between March and October 2009; anyone who prepaid for a book may pick it up at the library at the book-release party on Nov. 19. Prepaid orders to be shipped will be sent out as soon as the books arrive. No more orders will be taken until Nov. 19; anyone may purchase a copy at the party or during library hours anytime afterward. The books will also be for sale at various locations throughout the Tri-Lakes beginning the week of Thanksgiving. A print run of 2,000 was ordered for the Second Edition.
Based in Saranac Lake, Hungry Bear Publishing is home of the five-volume “Adirondack Attic” book series (Adirondack history) and the Meet the Town Community guide series. The company is owned and operated by Tupper Lake native Andy Flynn, who personally produced and edited the Second Edition of “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock,” and his wife, Dawn, originally from Bloomingdale.
For more information about the new “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock,” call the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library at (518) 359-9421.
Stretching over four miles through the center of the West Bronx, the Grand Boulevard and Concourse, known simply as the Grand Concourse, has served as a silent witness to the changing face of the Bronx, and New York City, for a century. To coincide with the Concourse’s centennial, New York Times editor Constance Rosenblum has written a book, Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx that brings to life this historic street.
Designed by a French engineer in the late nineteenth century to echo the elegance and grandeur of the Champs Elysées in Paris, the Concourse was nearly twenty years in the making (it celebrated its centennial in November). Over that century it has truly been a boulevard of dreams for various upwardly mobile immigrant and ethnic groups, yet it has also seen the darker side of the American dream.
Constance Rosenblum unearths the history of the street and its neighborhoods through a series of life stories and historical vignettes. The story of the creation and transformation of the Grand Concourse is the story of New York—and America—writ large, and Rosenblum examines the Grand Concourse from its earliest days to the blighted 1960s and 1970s right up to the current period of renewal. Illustrated with historical photographs, the vivid world of the Grand Concourse comes alive—from Yankee Stadium to the unparalleled collection of Art Deco apartments to the palatial Loew’s Paradise movie theater.
The publishers call it “An enthralling story of the creation of an iconic street, an examination of the forces that transformed it, and a moving portrait of those who called it home, Boulevard of Dreams is a must read for anyone interested in the rich history of New York and the twentieth-century American city.”
Cultural historian and journalist David Freeland has published his latest book,Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of Leisure, a rediscovery of the historic remnants of New York City’s leisure culture, including bier gartens in the Bowery, music publishers on Tin Pan Alley, jazz clubs in Harlem, and other locations throughout the city that remain partially intact, but obscured by the city’s development.
From the lights that never go out on Broadway to its 24-hour subway system, New York City isn’t called “the city that never sleeps” for nothing. Both native New Yorkers and tourists have played hard in Gotham for centuries, lindy hopping in 1930s Harlem, voguing in 1980s Chelsea, and refueling at all-night diners and bars. The island is packed with places of leisure and entertainment, but Manhattan’s infamously fast pace of change means that many of these beautifully constructed and incredibly ornate buildings have disappeared, and with them a rich and ribald history.
David Freeland serves as a guide to uncover the skeletons of New York’s lost monuments to its nightlife. With an eye for architectural detail, Freeland opens doors, climbs onto rooftops, and gazes down alleyways to reveal several of the remaining hidden gems of Manhattan’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century entertainment industry.
From the lights that never go out on Broadway to its 24-hour subway system, New York City isn’t called “the city that never sleeps” for nothing. Both native New Yorkers and tourists have played hard in Gotham for centuries, lindy hopping in 1930s Harlem, voguing in 1980s Chelsea, and refueling at all-night diners and bars. The slim island at the mouth of the Hudson River is packed with places of leisure and entertainment, but Manhattan’s infamously fast pace of change means that many of these beautifully constructed and incredibly ornate buildings have disappeared, and with them a rich and ribald history.
Yet with David Freeland as a guide, it’s possible to uncover skeletons of New York’s lost monuments to its nightlife. With a keen eye for architectural detail, Freeland opens doors, climbs onto rooftops, and gazes down alleyways to reveal several of the remaining hidden gems of Manhattan’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century entertainment industry.
From the Atlantic Garden German beer hall in present-day Chinatown to the city’s first motion picture studio—Union Square’s American Mutoscope and Biograph Company—to the Lincoln Theater in Harlem, Freeland situates each building within its historical and social context, bringing to life an old New York that took its diversions seriously.
Freeland reminds us that the buildings that serve as architectural guideposts to yesteryear’s recreations cannot be re-created—once destroyed they are gone forever. With condominiums and big box stores spreading over city blocks like wildfires, more and more of the Big Apple’s legendary houses of mirth are being lost.
Cornell University Press has announced the publication of The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America in which Jaap Jacobs offers a comprehensive history of Holland’s colony along the Hudson River, from the first trading voyages in the 1610s to 1674, when the Dutch ceded the colony to the English. The book is available in paperback here.
About The Colony of New Netherland
The Dutch involvement in North America started after Henry Hudson, sailing under a Dutch flag in 1609, traveled up the river that would later bear his name. The Dutch control of the region was short-lived, but had profound effects on the Hudson Valley region. In The Colony of New Netherland, Jaap Jacobs offers a comprehensive history of the Dutch colony on the Hudson from the first trading voyages in the 1610s to 1674, when the Dutch ceded the colony to the English.
As Jacobs shows, New Netherland offers a distinctive example of economic colonization and in its social and religious profile represents a noteworthy divergence from the English colonization in North America. Centered around New Amsterdam on the island of Manhattan, the colony extended north to present-day Schenectady, New York, east to central Connecticut, and south to the border shared by Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, leaving an indelible imprint on the culture, political geography, and language of the early modern mid-Atlantic region. Dutch colonists’ vivid accounts of the land and people of the area shaped European perceptions of this bountiful land; their own activities had a lasting effect on land use and the flora and fauna of New York State, in particular, as well as on relations with the Native people with whom they traded.
Sure to become readers’ first reference to this crucial phase of American early colonial history, The Colony of New Netherland is a multifaceted and detailed depiction of life in the colony, from exploration and settlement through governance, trade, and agriculture. Jacobs gives a keen sense of the built environment and social relations of the Dutch colonists and closely examines the influence of the church and the social system adapted from that of the Dutch Republic. Although Jacobs focuses his narrative on the realities of quotidian existence in the colony, he considers that way of life in the broader context of the Dutch Atlantic and in comparison to other European settlements in North America.
About the Author
Jaap Jacobs (Ph.D. Leiden University), an independent scholar and writer, has been Visiting Professor of Early American History at Ohio University and Quinn Foundation Senior Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and Quinn Foundation Visiting Professor in the Department of History at Cornell University.
Praise for The Colony of New Netherland
“Jaap Jacobs’s The Colony of New Netherland is rich, deep, layered, and authoritative. It puts its subject in its proper place both in American and in Dutch history. For anyone with an interest in the Dutch presence in North America, it is essential.”–Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World
“The Colony of New Netherland is the definitive modern study of the early Dutch experience in North America. Jacobs offers many important new insights derived from scrupulous research in Dutch-language sources and situates the story of New Netherland in a truly Atlantic context. This book marks a crucial step in the process of diversifying our understanding of early North American history.”–Jon Parmenter, Cornell University, author of The Edge of the Woods: Iroquoia, 1534-1701
“Jaap Jacobs has read virtually everything about New Netherland, primary and secondary, in Dutch and English, and produced a model synthesis of social, political, and economic history for a colonial experience that has far too long been terra incognita. Jacobs is particularly strong in his ability to take a genuinely transatlantic perspective, detailing the many struggles within the Dutch West India Company over whether its North American interest was to be a colony of trade or a colony of settlement (or, indeed, a colony at all) as well as the efforts of the motley lot of a few thousand Europeans to recreate something resembling a society in New Amsterdam, Fort Orange, and points adjacent.”–Daniel K. Richter, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of History and the Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Coloni!
“The unique character of New Netherland has eluded many chroniclers of early America, but Jaap Jacob’s first-rate scholarship and thoughtful analysis demonstrate how well he understands the intricacies and intrigues that marked the Dutch settlement. His book is a captivating treasure hunt for lovers of New York history and an essential, illuminating guide to an oft-neglected corner of our shared American past.”–Elizabeth L. Bradley, author of Knickerbocker
“The Colony of New Netherland will convince specialists and students alike of the pivotal role played by the Dutch West India Company colony in seventeenth-century America.”–Joyce D. Goodfriend, author of Before the Melting Pot: Society and Culture in Colonial New York City, 1664-1730.
Shirley W. Dunn, who has published two books about the Mohicans (The Mohicans and Their Land 1609-1730 and The Mohican World, 1680-1750) and has one in press, will speak on October 22nd at the Smithsonian Institution’s Heye Museum in Manhattan (a branch of the Museum of the American Indian) beginning at 6:00 pm. Her topic will be the Mohicans and the Dutch, and the she will deal with contributions of the Mohican Indians to Dutch settlement and to the Colony of Rensselaerswijck. The talk is free and open to the public.
Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor of Law at New York Law School, Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University, has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, awarded for the best book written in English on slavery or abolition. Gordon-Reed won for her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton and Company). The prize is
awarded by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
The award is named for Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the slave who escaped bondage to emerge as one of the great American abolitionists, reformers, writers, and orators of the 19th century.
In addition to Gordon-Reed, the other finalists for the prize were Thavolia Glymph for Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge University Press) and Jacqueline Jones for Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War (Alfred A. Knopf Publishers). The $25,000 annual award is the most generous history prize in the field. The prize will be presented to Gordon-Reed at a dinner in New York City in February 2010.
This year’s finalists were selected from a field of over fifty entries by a jury of scholars that included Robert Bonner (Dartmouth College), Rita Roberts (Scripps College), and Pier Larson (Johns Hopkins University). The winner was selected by a review committee of representatives from the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Yale University.
“In Annette Gordon Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello, an enslaved Virginia family is delivered — but not disassociated — from Thomas Jefferson’s well-known sexual liaison with Sally Hemings,” says Bonner, the 2009 Douglass Prize Jury Chair and Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College. “The book judiciously blends the best of recent slavery scholarship with shrewd commentary on the legal structure of Chesapeake society before and after the American Revolution. Its meticulous account of the mid-eighteenth century intertwining of the black Hemingses and white Wayles families sheds new light on Jefferson’s subsequent conjoining with a young female slave who was already his kin by marriage. By exploring those dynamic commitments and evasions that shaped Monticello routines, the path-breaking book provides a testament to the complexity of human relationships within slave societies and to the haphazard possibilities for both intimacy and betrayal.”
The Frederick Douglass Book Prize was established in 1999 to stimulate scholarship in the field of slavery and abolition by honoring outstanding books. Previous winners were Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan in 1999; David Eltis, 2000; David Blight, 2001; Robert Harms and John Stauffer, 2002; James F. Brooks and Seymour Drescher, 2003; Jean Fagan Yellin, 2004; Laurent Dubois, 2005; Rebecca J. Scott, 2006; Christopher Leslie Brown, 2007; and Stephanie E. Smallwood, 2008.
A new book, Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, by Michelle and James Nevius offers 182 short chapters that tell the story of the city from Henry Hudson’s voyage of discovery in 1609 to the present-day rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. At the back, fourteen self-guided tours allow you to use the chapters to create your own explorations of the city.
This fast-paced narrative history unfolds in mini-chapters designed to guide you to obscure and prominent historic places throughout the city. The supplemental maps and step-by-step directions make using the book to explore the city in a new way easy and accessible. The book is broken down into several parts that include New Amsterdam, the Revolutionary Era, and the Birth of New Republic; The Great Port, 1805-1835; The Growth of the Immigrant City, 1836-1865; The City in Transition, 1866-1897; The New Beautiful City, 1898-1919; Boom and Bust, 1920-1945; and the City Since World War Two.
The layout makes reading the book as a traditional history possible and brings to life the city’s fascinating and dramatic past for locals, tourists, and anyone eager to better know the stories and places of New York City history. Also check out the authors’ blog.
Organized in 1849 as a non-sectarian cemetery Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn (it actually borders Brooklyn and Queens) and covers 225 acres and is the resting place of over a half million people. This remarkable cemetery of rolling hills and gently sloping meadows features several thousand trees and flowering shrubs in a park like setting and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also the subject of an outstanding new book, Green Oasis in Brooklyn: The Evergreens Cemetery 1849-2008 by noted historian John Rousmaniere.
This oversize book filled with unique and picturesque photographs by Ken Druse, traces the history of the Evergreens Cemetery beginning with the land on which the cemetery was founded, and it’s design by some of the most acclaimed architects of their time, Alexander Jackson Davis and Andrew Jackson Downing. It also shows how the forces that shaped the history of New York – population growth, immigration and growing wealth – also shaped the Evergreens. Among the monuments of fascinating characters buried there are those of Brooklyn’s Eastern District Fire Department (site of a statue memorializing a fireman who died in the Brooklyn Theatre Fire of 1876), Chinese American plots, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Memorial, Stranger’s mound (pauper’s graves), the graves of more then 500 entertainers, the 20th Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops plot, Yusef Hawkins (the 16-year-old African American youth who was shot to death in 1989 in Bensonhurst sparking racial tensions), Max Weber, Anthony Comstock, and literally thousands of other notable people.
Take a listen to NPR’s recent tour of The Evergreens here.
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“Penguin Classics On Air” is an online radio series devoted to the discussion and exploration of some of Penguin Classics’ more than 1400 titles from many eras, cultures and regions of the world. The program is hosted by Penguin Classics Editorial Director Elda Rotor and features in-depth conversations on new, timely and rediscovered classics between Elda Rotor or Classics editor John Siciliano and scholars, translators, or experts of a specific Penguin Classic.
The show wraps up with Associate Publisher Stephen Morrison offering a sampling of the Classic by reading the first pages from one of the works discussed. In addition, each episode of “Penguin Classics On Air” features a review by Alan Walker, Senior Director of Academic Marketing, on one of the Classics he’s recently read, as he fulfills his mission to read one Penguin Classic by an author per letter of the alphabet from A to Z.
As a sample of the goods, take a look at The Birth of Knickerbocker: Washington Irving’s A History of New York. Elda Rotor interviews Betsy Bradley, the introducer and editor of Washington Irving’s A History of New York , Irving’s popular first book is an early nineteenth century satirical novel of colonial New Amsterdam. It follows the fictional historian Diedrich Knickerbocker as he narrates the development of New York cultural life—from the creation of the doughnut to the creation of Wall Street. Alan Walker introduces listeners to The Emigrants by Gilbert Imlay and Stephen Morrison offers up the opening to Washington Irving’s beloved story “Rip Van Winkle.” in his segment, “First Pages.”