When Halley’s comet, that star with the quetzal’s tail, flared across Mexican skies in 1910, it heralded not only the centennial of Independence, but a deeply transformative episode, the Revolution launched by Francisco I. Madero on November 20, what Javier Garciadiego calls “the true beginning of a process, the birth of the modern Mexican state.” The great chorus of Mexican historians agree. And yet, almost unknown and curious as it may sound, a vital taproot of this revolution lies in the Burned-Over District of New York State. [Read more…] about The Burned-Over District and Mexican Revolution
Schenectady County Historian Bill Buell’s new book George Lunn: The 1912 Socialist Victory in Schenectady (The Troy Book Makers, 2019) looks back at Schenectady native George Lunn, and his life in politics.
An Iowa native, George Lunn came to Schenectady in 1904 to become senior pastor at the First Reformed Church in the city’s Stockade Neighborhood. He entered politics in 1911 and was elected mayor of Schenectady as a member of the Socialist Party of America. [Read more…] about George Lunn: The 1912 Socialist Victory in Schenectady
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 his new book Dagger John: Archbishop John Hughes and the Making of Irish America (Cornell University Press, 2019) biographer John Loughery tells the story of John Hughes, son of Ireland, friend of William Seward and James Buchanan, founder of St. John’s College (now Fordham University), builder of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, pioneer of parochial school education, and American diplomat. [Read more…] about Dagger John: Archbishop John Hughes and Irish America
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Catherine O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University and author of Elizabeth Seton: American Saint (Cornell University Press, 2018), helps us investigate answers to these questions by taking us through the life of the United States’ first saint: Elizabeth Ann Seton [Read more…] about Elizabeth Seton, An Early American Life
Brad Kolodny’s new book Seeking Sanctuary: 125 Years of Synagogues on Long Island (Segula Publishing, 2019) provides an history, inventory, and photo archive of every synagogue, past and present, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. [Read more…] about 125 Years of Synagogues on Long Island
Eben Muir Rice may not be familiar to anyone except descendants of Luther Rice and Ebenezer Muir, but he was familiar with Martinsburg, New York. He lived there in 1860, when James Buchanan was in his final days as President and Southern states were threatening to leave the Union.
Eben was twenty years old, working hard at a new job, writing to his “darling girl” Mary Ann, visiting his relatives, attending church. And he was keeping a diary of his ambitions, passions, tribulations-soul-searching accounts of things he thought no one would ever see. But the value of Eben’s diary extends beyond his own life, for he wrote of the people of Lewis County. [Read more…] about Lewis County: What Happened to Eben Rice in Martinsburg
A program highlighting Oneida County’s significance during the Second Great Awakening has been set for Thursday, June 14th at 5:30 pm, at the Oneida County History Center in Utica.
Oneida County’s significance during the Second Great Awakening as the “burned-over district” has long been long established; however, many histories of this period and place often only consider those revivalists who welcomed evangelicalism, and have neglected those who opposed the revivals with equal fervor.
Antirevivalists, whose myriad religious beliefs earned them colorful insults and even threats from revivalists, accused evangelicals of violating their fundamental right to religious freedom. [Read more…] about Burned Over District: Antirevivalist, Religous Liberty
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Douglas Winiarski, a Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of the Bancroft prize-winning book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England (OIEAHC, 2017), helps us explore the religious landscape of New England during the 18th century and how New Englanders answered these powerful questions during the extraordinary period known as the Great Awakening.You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/182
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Karoline Cook, author of Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), serves as our guide as we explore some of the political, cultural, and religious history of New Spain. Specifically, how Spaniards and Spanish Americans used ideas about Muslims and a group of “new Christian” converts called Moriscos to define who could and should be able to settle and help the Spanish colonies in North America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/178