This week on The Historians podcast, David Fiske talks about a story he wrote for New York History Blog describing Charles Zimmy’s epic Hudson River swim from Albany to Manhattan in 1937. [Read more…] about David Fiske On The Historians Podcast
“Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave” a 68-page pamphlet self-published in the city of New York in 1825, begins with a note addressed “TO THE PUBLIC.” In the introductory note, Grimes explained:
“Those who are acquainted with the subscriber, he presumes will readily purchase his history. Those who are not, but wish to know who Grimes is, and what is his history, he would inform them, generally, that he is now living in Litchfield, Connecticut, that he is about 40 years of age, that he is married to a black woman, and passes for a negro, though three parts white; that he was born in a place in Virginia, has lived in several different States, and been owned by ten different masters; that about ten years since, he ran away, and came to Connecticut, where, after six years, he was recognized by some of his former master’s friends, taken up, and compelled to purchase his freedom with the sacrifice of all he had earned. That his history is an account of his fortune, or rather of his suffering, in all these various situations, in which he has seen, heard, and felt, not a little.” [Read more…] about Escape from Slavery: The Life of William Grimes
On October 28, 2018, the Lower Manhattan Historical Association (LMHA), the Sons of the Revolution of the State of New York, the New York Veteran Corps of Artillery, and various French civic and military groups will hold the Sixth Annual Saratoga/Yorktown celebration in the cemetery at St. Paul’s Chapel and at Trinity Churchyard.
This celebration is intended to honor the American victories in the two most important battles of the American Revolution — the Battles of Saratoga on October 17, 1777 and the Battle of Yorktown on October 19, 1781. It is also intended to honor three important Revolutionary War figures connected with those battles who are buried in Trinity Churchyard — General Horatio Gates, Alexander Hamilton, and Marinus Willett. [Read more…] about NYC Elections of 1800: Alexander Hamilton and Horatio Gates
In the latest episode of the “New Netherland Praatjes” podcast, author and museum curator Steve Jaffe chats with Steve McErleane and Russell Shorto about Jaffe’s work on the “New York at Its Core” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, a new installation that attempts to answer the question “What makes New York New York?”
Topics include the challenges of presenting history to the public, the role of technology in museums, and how museum professionals have dealt with the death of the so-called grand narrative. Listen to the podcast here. [Read more…] about Podcast Considers What Makes New York, New York
Once upon a time in the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan called Little Syria. The area was defined as west of Broadway to the Hudson River and from the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan north to Liberty Street.
Beginning in the 1880s, a variety of people from the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East began settling there. By the 1920s the population consisted of about 8,000 people, including 27 ethnicities. Their tenements were located near the docks where the residents worked. [Read more…] about Peter Feinman: Lower Manhattan’s Little Syria
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society has issued a call for action to oppose a proposed “RI” art-piece dubbed a “Welcome Monument” planned for placement outside the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitor Center Kiosk.
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is now soliciting public comments to gauge community support for the proposed 3-D, 10-foot-tall RI welcome-monument / sign. [Read more…] about Controversy Over Proposed Roosevelt Island Sign
New York City’s Historic Districts Council Public Review Committee is a group that reviews Certificate of Appropriateness applications submitted to New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).
The volunteer committee and professional staff examine each proposal and create testimony that is read to the Commission at public hearings. The following properties were some of the biggest projects that were reviewed this past year. [Read more…] about NYC Historic Districts Council 2017 Highlights
New York City’s identity as a cultural and artistic center, as a point of arrival for millions of immigrants sympathetic to anarchist ideas, and as a hub of capitalism made the city a unique and dynamic terrain for anarchist activity. For 150 years, Gotham’s cosmopolitan setting created a unique interplay between anarchism’s human actors and an urban space that invites constant reinvention.
A new book edited by Tom Goyens’, Radical Gotham: Anarchism in New York City From Schwab’s Saloon To Occupy Wall Street (UI Press, 2017) gathers essays that demonstrate anarchism’s endurance as a political and cultural ideology and movement in New York from the 1870s to 2011.
The authors cover the gamut of anarchy’s emergence in and connection to the city. Some offer important new insights on German, Italian, and Yiddish- and Spanish-speaking anarchists. Others explore anarchism’s influence on religion, politics, and the visual and performing arts. A concluding essay looks at Occupy Wall Street’s roots in New York City’s anarchist tradition. [Read more…] about Radical Gotham: Anarchism in NYC
Robert A. Slayton’s new book Beauty In The City: The Ashcan School (SUNY Press, 2017) takes a look back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when the Ashcan School of Art blazed onto the art scene, introducing a revolutionary vision of New York City.
In contrast to the elite artists who painted the upper class bedecked in finery, in front of magnificent structures, or the progressive reformers who photographed the city as a slum, hopeless and full of despair, the Ashcan School held the unique belief that the industrial working-class city was a fit subject for great art.
Beauty in the City illustrates how these artists portrayed the working classes with respect and gloried in the drama of the subways and excavation sites, the office towers, and immigrant housing. Their art captured the emerging metropolis in all its facets, with its potent machinery and its class, ethnic, and gender issues. [Read more…] about Beauty In The City: The Ashcan School
In Who Should Rule at Home? (Cornell University Press, 2017) Joyce D. Goodfriend argues that the high-ranking gentlemen who figure so prominently in most accounts of New York City’s evolution from 1664, when the English captured the small Dutch outpost of New Amsterdam, to the eve of American Independence in 1776, were far from invincible and that the degree of cultural power they held has been exaggerated.
Goodfriend explains how the urban elite experienced challenges to its cultural authority at different times, from different groups, and in a variety of settings. [Read more…] about New Book Explores Class Conflict in Eighteenth Century NYC