With an army of 20,000 men, George Washington could not hold New York City against an enemy force twice as large. The British drove him out of the city and across New Jersey into Pennsylvania. By December, he had 3,000 men left and was admitting to his brother, “I think the game is pretty near up.” [Read more…] about Valcour Island: Keeping The Cause of Liberty Alive
Although speculation about the end of the world has become a growth industry in recent decades, the first modern prediction of the Apocalypse was issued in Upstate New York during the 1830s by a mild-mannered farmer named William Miller.
Born in 1782, Miller grew up on a farm in the tiny hamlet of Low Hampton on the Vermont border east of Lake George. His mother’s family were devout Baptists, but young Bill followed his more skeptical father and became a Deist. While not rejecting religion, Deists discounted the notion that God interfered in earthly affairs. [Read more…] about The End Is Near: William Miller’s Apocalypse
The New York welcome is famous. Charles Lindbergh was paraded up Broadway under a deluge of ticker tape after flying the Atlantic solo in 1927. The Apollo 11 astronauts received an even grander reception 42 years later when they returned from the moon.
But no one was ever given a welcome like the one that Lafayette received in 1824. He was returning, one last time, to see the country whose independence he had fought for almost a half century earlier. His tour was a sensation. Echoes of it can be seen across New York to this day. [Read more…] about Lafayette In New York: A Hero and Aging General Returns
Baseball is our innocent pastime. Marked by stateliness and decorum, the game largely excludes the messiness and cruelty of the outside world. Saturday, July 25, 1959, was one of those rare occasions when history intruded on the grassy diamond. That evening, the simple game of pitching, hitting, and fielding became entangled with revolution, gunfire, and cold war politics.
The game took place in the sweltering atmosphere of Havana, Cuba. The Rochester Red Wings were playing the home team, known as the Sugar Kings. Along with the Syracuse Chiefs and Buffalo Bisons, Rochester was an upstate member of the triple-A International League, which included teams from Havana, Montreal and Toronto. [Read more…] about Rochester, Baseball and History
Terrorism has been a grim feature of our time, but the tactic is far from new. The Revolutionary War, like every war, was marked by wanton violence. One of the cruelest incidents came in October 1777 when the British attacked the city of Kingston, then the capital of New York State.
A massive enemy invasion in 1776 had driven patriot forces from New York City. The delegates who were in the process of writing a state constitution moved away from the fighting, first to White Plains, then to Fishkill. [Read more…] about Terror on the Hudson: The Burning of Kingston
Sixteen inches of snow in June. Killing frosts in August. The mystifying weather, known as eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death, swept the Northeast in 1816. Unbeknownst to those who suffered from it, the climactic quirk was the result of a volcanic eruption in the distant Dutch East Indies a year earlier.
That summer, Joseph Smith Sr. threw in the towel. The Vermont farmer joined the exodus of his neighbors who were determined to find a life with more promise than they could scratch from the rocky New England hill country. It was rumored that land was more fertile in the western New York State. Men there were already surveying for a canal to connect that country to East Coast markets. [Read more…] about The New York Origins of Mormonism