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John F. Gearing’s new book Schenectady Genesis, Volume II: The Creation of an American City from an Anglo-Dutch Town, ca. 1760-1800 (Colonial Schenectady Project, Ltd., 2020) looks back into Schenectady’s history: from the post French & Indian War period, into the War for Independence, and later Schenectady’s own fight for independence from Albany.
During this time the town was burgeoning into an economic powerhouse at the center of the international fur trade, while facing internal conflict over who owned the town’s Common Lands.
Schenectady Genesis covers the region’s struggles during the American Revolution, and the soldiers and militia from Schenectady, Albany, and Tryon counties that played significant roles in securing the borders from invasion and helped turn the tide at the Battle of Saratoga and skirmishes throughout the Mohawk Valley.
The book also features detailed explications and charts covering businesses and their owners, churches and religious figures, governmental leaders, the growth of education in the city, and everyday citizens’ roles.
Author John F. Gearing is a local historian with a peerless understanding of Schenectady’s Colonial period. Gearing received a BA from Bates College and an MS from Georgia Institute of Technology. Following a career in the aerospace industry in California, he earned his JD from the UConn School of Law. John is a trustee of the Schenectady County Historical Society and was a 2012 recipient of a New York State Archives Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Award.
The book is edited by Chris Leonard, who was appointed City Historian of Schenectady in 2018. He attended SUNY-Albany graduating with BAs in English and History. Chris returned to SUNYA where he received an MA in English with a writing concentration. He is the Owner/Principal of Wordsmith Promotions, a marketing firm that supports small businesses and nonprofits in the Capital District. His first book Schenectady’s General Electric Realty Plot was published in 2019.
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