Long before the fictional and shocking “Peyton Place” of TV and film fame came along in the late 1950s, and early 1960s there was an actual suburban community where its residents were roiled by rampant scandal, moral and religious hypocrisy and a sensational a murder in their midst. [Read more…] about The Prophet Matthias and Elijah the Tishbite
Susan B. Anthony was charged for having cast a ballot in the presidential election of 1872, accused of violating federal law and the NYS Constitution. Suffragists had been stunned and angered at women’s exclusion from the 15th Amendment which had given black men the right to vote in 1870. [Read more…] about Susan B Anthony On Trial
There have been quite a number of witchcraft trials in what is now New York State, including in Westchester County, and on Long Island. In the midst of the American Revolution, in the town of Salem (now near the New York-Vermont border in Washington County, NY), there was another witch trial, of a sort.
Salem, NY, much like Salem, MA, has a very religious past. The community is said to be founded by Presbyterian Rev. Dr. Thomas Clark, who had emigrated from Ireland in the mid-1760s with his congregation, part of a Presbyterian schism. Clark’s congregation first settled in nearby Stillwater, on the Hudson River but eventually landed in what is now Salem, NY, where they purchased a 25,000 acres among the mostly New England settlers already established there. [Read more…] about Claims of Witchcraft In Salem, Washington County
In the United States, the first witch trial is believed to have occurred in Springfield, Mass., in 1645. A fervor for hunting witches led to an increase in prosecutions in New England, and New York, in the 1650s and 1666s. Women would be accused of witchcraft within New York’s colonial borders into the mid-1700s. Some of these trials would have a lasting impact on the colony and the country.
The 1650s was not an easy time to be a woman, especially if a neighbor held a personal grudge. In East Hampton, Long Island in 1657 Elizabeth “Goody” Garlick was accused of witchcraft, after 16-year-old Elizabeth Gardiner Howell became ill and suffered fevered dreams and delusions. [Read more…] about Witchcraft Claims In East Hampton, Long Island
Halloween is just around the corner, a time when representations of witches make their frequent appearance. The United States has a complicated history with witchcraft and the occult, due in part to its puritanical past and influx of diverse cultures.
Most Americans are familiar with the Salem Witch Trials (1692-1693) in Massachusetts, but trials for witchcraft have probably occurred as long as trials have existed, and still do in places where belief in magic is strong. In Europe people were tried for witchcraft throughout the 1700s. [Read more…] about Westchester County’s Katharine Harrison, Accused Witch
Roscoe Conkling (October 30, 1829 – April 18, 1888) was a lawyer and politician who served both as a member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
A leader of the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party, he was the first Republican senator from New York to be elected for three terms, and the last person to turn down a U.S. Supreme Court appointment after he had already been confirmed to the post. [Read more…] about Roscoe Conkling’s 190th Birthday Being Celebrated
The Society of American Archivists has joined with the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, and Software Preservation Network in a September 27 amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Allen v. Cooper case.
The case began when Frederick Allen, a videographer, sued North Carolina for copyright infringement. Allen also asked the court to declare a 2015 state law unconstitutional, claiming the law was passed in bad faith. [Read more…] about Archivists File Brief In State Archives Copyright Case
2019 marks the 400th anniversary of two important events in American history: The creation of the first representative assembly in English North America and the arrival of the first African people in English North America.
Why were these Virginia-based events significant and how have they impacted American history?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a scholar of African American and American History and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norfolk State University, helps us find answers. [Read more…] about Virginia In 1619 (Ben Franklin’s World Podcast)
Seventy years ago this month, a lower Manhattan courtroom provided the stage for a remarkable confrontation – much of which played out in New York – that symbolized the frustration of a nation that had recently won the Second World War but felt more insecure than ever.
The euphoria of victory had been quickly succeeded by a perception of global communism on the march. In Europe, the Soviet Union had only recently ended an 11-month blockade of Berlin and had, since 1945, rung down the Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe. In China, Mao’s communists were winning their civil war against Chiang Kai-Shek’s U.S.-backed Nationalists, who would soon flee the mainland for Taiwan. And the Soviets were about to end the U.S. monopoly on the atom bomb with a successful test explosion. [Read more…] about Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss in New York
George R. Dekle Sr.’s new book Six Capsules: The Gilded Age Murder of Helen Potts (Kent State University Press, 2019) takes a look at the Harris case of the 19th century, an important milestone in American legal history. [Read more…] about Six Capsules: The Gilded Age Murder of Helen Potts