Mostly hidden from public view, scores of putative locks of George Washington’s hair are held, more than two centuries after his death, in the collections of America’s historical societies, public and academic archives, and museums. Excavating the origins of these bodily artifacts, Keith Beutler looks at a forgotten strand of early American memory practices and emerging patriotic identity, as exemplified by the craze for collecting locks of Washington’s hair. [Read more…] about George Washington’s Hair: Early Americans Remember the Founders
Recent Books About New York State
Authors and publishers of new books related to New York State can have their books noticed on the New York Almanack by following the submission guidelines HERE.
The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) will welcome best-selling historian and two-time Pulitzer finalist H.W. Brands on Thursday, March 24th, for a free virtual conversation about his new book, Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution(Doubleday, 2021). [Read more…] about Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists (Virtual Program)
Brad Kolodny returns to The Long Island History Project podcast to update us on what he’s been doing during the intervening thirty episodes since he last appeared. Turns out he’s got a new book and a new historical society.
The Jews of Long Island (SUNY Press, 2020) is out now and in it Kolodny documents the personal and communal stories of Jews on Long Island from the l8th through the early 20th centuries, uncovering a cast of thousands from itinerant peddlers to early baseball players to vacationing vaudevillians. [Read more…] about The Jews of Long Island (A New Book)
In this episode, Michael Witgen, a Professor of History and a Professor at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University and a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, joins us to investigate the story of the Anishinaabeg and Anishinaabewaki, the homelands of the Anishinaabeg people, with details from his book, Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America (Omohundro Institute & Univ. of No. Carolina Press, 2022). [Read more…] about American Expansion and the Political Economy of Plunder
Upon his election to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln inherited a country in crisis, including a Treasury that had run out of money. Amid the unprecedented troubles of the Confederacy seceding from the Union, Lincoln saw opportunity — the chance to legislate in the centralizing spirit of the “more perfect Union” that had first drawn him to politics.
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will host a presentation by Roger Lowenstein on his book Ways and Means: Lincoln and His Cabinet on the Financing of the Civil War (Penguin, 2022), on Wednesday, March 9th. In this program, Lowenstein will look at, through a financial lens, the largely untold story of how Lincoln used the urgency of the Civil War to transform a union of states into a united nation. [Read more…] about Ways and Means: Lincoln, His Cabinet & Financing Civil War
The Adirondacks in Northern New York covers approximately 5,000 square miles. Widely known for its natural beauty, recreation opportunities and tourism, it may surprise many of those travelers to learn that the Adirondacks’ trails and amenities are intrinsically connected to New York’s carceral history.
In A Prison In the Woods: Environment and Incarceration in New York’s North Country (Univ. of Mass. Press, 2020), Clarence Jefferson Hall Jr. traces the planning, construction, and operation of penitentiaries in five Adirondack communities – Dannemora, Ray Brook, Gabriels, Lyon Mountain, and Tupper Lake – between 1840 and the early 2010s to show the intersections between the environment and mass incarceration.
Hall’s own personal history adds an interesting aspect to his narrative. His father worked for the New York prison system from 1973 to 1998, mostly at the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. He states that “the rhythms of the prison system became natural to our family, just as they did for so many other families in towns and villages across the Adirondacks.” [Read more…] about Prison In the Woods: Environment & Incarceration in Northern NY
Patrick and Bridget Kennedy arrived in the United States following the Great Famine — penniless and hungry. Less than a decade after their marriage in Boston, Patrick’s sudden death left Bridget to raise their children single-handedly.
Her rise from housemaid to shop owner in the face of rampant poverty and discrimination kept her family intact, allowing her only son P. J. to become the first American Kennedy elected to public office — the first of many. [Read more…] about The First Kennedys: Roots of an American Dynasty
William L. Kidder’s book The Revolutionary World of a Free Black Man: Jacob Francis, 1754-1836 (Self-Published, 2021) tells the story of Jacob Francis of Amwell township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey who was indentured out by his free Black mother to the age of 21.
Five different men “owned his time” during his indenture and each provided a different experience for him. The last man lived in Salem, Massachusetts and Jacob lived there between 1768 and 1775 during the buildup to fighting in the American Revolution. [Read more…] about A Free Black Man’s Revolutionary World: Jacob Francis, 1754-1836
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Karen Cook-Bell, an Associate Professor of History at Bowie State University and author of Running From Bondage: Enslaved Women and Their Remarkable Fight for Freedom in Revolutionary America (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2021), joins us to investigate the experiences of enslaved women who fled their bondage for the British Army’s promise of freedom. [Read more…] about Running From Bondage in Revolutionary America
The Fraunces Tavern Museum will host Bruce Ragsdale for a conversation on his book Washington at the Plow: Agriculture and Slavery in the New Nation (Belknap Press, 2021) on Thursday, February 17th. [Read more…] about Washington at the Plow: Agriculture and Slavery (Virtual Event)