The town of Islip in Suffolk County is celebrating its 335th anniversary so The Long Island History Project is celebrating with this look back at a forgotten family of the area. William Handy Ludlow married Frances Louisa Nicoll, joining one of the oldest families in the region. Their share of the ancestral estate included today’s Oakdale and West Sayville as well as St. John’s Episcopal Church, built in the 1700s. [Read more…] about The Ludlows of Suffolk County
Much like the ‘information wanted’ ads that appeared in 19th Century Irish American newspapers I am posting this notice seeking information on an Irish American living in New York City in the late 19th Century. His name was Michael J. Kerwin, formerly of Philadelphia, and usually was identified either as Colonel or General Kerwin.
I am researching General Kerwin from my home in Sammamish, WA for an article about him for the New York Irish History Roundtable’s annual journal. I have access to digitized historical newspaper archives and have scoured the internet.
Kerwin was commented on frequently in the New York City newspapers from the mid-1880s until 1900, but I have found no collection of personal papers, there is no file on him at the National Records Administration archives in St Louis and I have found just two images of him. Given his higher visibility and notoriety in the papers of his day, I’m hoping materials exists about his time in New York from 1870 to 1912, tucked away somewhere in New York.
This year is the 185th anniversary of the founding of the Long Island Railroad. Despite service delays and fare increases it remains the spine of Long Island and the center of its transportation network. The LIRR serves over 300,000 passengers a week with about 90 million rides a year.
The origins of the LIRR, chartered by New York State in April 1834, have a little remembered dark side. Much of the railroads early funding came from profits from Caribbean sugar produced by enslaved African labor. The key link between the LIRR, sugar and slavery was William F. Havemeyer. [Read more…] about NYC Mayor Havemayer: Sugar, Slavery and the Long Island Railroad
The Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston, NY, is set to open for the 2019 season on Wednesday April 24. The site will be open to the public Wednesdays thru Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays 1 to 5 pm. The site is located at 296 Fair Street in historic uptown Kingston. [Read more…] about Kingston Senate House Opening Day April 24th
Bucking the odds is a common theme of Walter-Mitty-type fantasies — overcoming daunting obstacles to become a winner, or a hero at some level. Few of us actually live the dream, but sometimes it happens, and during Women’s History Month, an incredible North Country example comes to mind: Rhoda F. Graves of Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County.
The extreme unlikelihood of her becoming a historic figure in state politics makes her story all the more compelling. And the details are amazing. [Read more…] about Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer
The Office of State History, in partnership with the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College are set to facilitate three planning meetings to begin discussing plans for New York’s commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution. [Read more…] about 250th Anniv of American Revolution Plans Underway
Ogden Rogers “Brownie” Reid, the six-term former congressman, ambassador, and New York Herald Tribune editor who died recently, was a link to a bygone era.
Reid led an eventful and historic life. He grew up in a McKim, Mead & White-designed stone castle in Purchase, New York, built by his grandfather – himself a Republican powerbroker, ambassador, and 1892 vice presidential nominee. After service in the Army during the Second World War, at the age of 30 in 1955, Brownie assumed leadership of the “family” newspaper, the voice of moderate, internationalist Eastern wing of the GOP. And, like fellow New Yorkers Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits, and John Lindsay, Reid was forced to uncomfortably straddle a Republican party morphing rightward; like Lindsay, he eventually switched parties. [Read more…] about Ogden Reid: A Link to Another Era in New York Politics
Until the twentieth century, women were often overlooked by historians. Fortunately for those of us who live in Oneida and Herkimer Counties, a collaborative project, Women Belong In History Books, has captured many inspiring stories of notable women. [Read more…] about Women of the Mohawk Valley Program Planned
The new book Alan Brinkley: A Life in History (Columbia University Press, 2019), edited by David Greenberg, Moshik Temkin and Mason B. Williams, brings together essays on Brinkley’s major works and ideas, as well as personal reminiscences from leading historians and thinkers beyond the academy whom Brinkley collaborated with, befriended, and influenced.
The volume includes essays by critic Frank Rich, journalists Jonathan Alter and Nicholas Lemann, biographer A. Scott Berg, and historians Eric Foner and Lizabeth Cohen. Together, the seventeen essays that form the book chronicle the life and thought of a working historian, the development of historical scholarship in our time, and the role that history plays in our public life. [Read more…] about Historian Alan Brinkley: A Life in History
The title Speaker of the House of Representatives has received lots of attention during the past few years. It’s hard to believe that the nation’s fourth-most-populous state (New York — nearly always number one, and in the top five since 1790) has only one native who served in that position.
Well, technically, there are two, but one of them served 99.82 percent of the pair’s total time in office—to be explained later. If you’re from Northern New York and dislike the idea of people owning people, you’ll be pleased at his strong stance for freedom during one of our nation’s most turbulent times. [Read more…] about John W. Taylor: New York’s (Almost Only) Speaker of the House