Working against Weed was the fact that the Republican convention was to be held in Chicago, Illinois, home state of Abraham Lincoln. Weed knew that his man, Seward, was far better known throughout the country. In addition to being New York’s Governor, Seward had been a U.S. Senator and as a leading anti-slavery proponent he had received extensive publicity. His biggest drawback was that he had been considered at one time to be the most radical anti-slavery member of the Senate. [Read more…] about Albany’s Thurlow Weed: Seward, Lincoln’s Election, & The Civil War Years
Following his political successes in the disputed Election of 1824, Thurlow Weed was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1825 and again in 1830.
In the 1820s, like many in Upstate New York with populist, anti-elite feelings, Weed strongly believed the Masons were trying to control government using secret means. He felt that political affairs should be conducted publicly and particularly opposed the fraternal secrecy of Freemasonry. An alleged conspiracy by Masons to murder William Morgan in Western New York in September, 1826 sparked the anti-Freemasonry movement. Weed began publishing the Anti-Masonic Enquirer in Rochester, NY in February, 1828.
Soon Weed was hired as editor of the newly formed Anti-Masonic Albany Evening Journal, which began publication on March 22, 1830. The move to Albany made him a statewide leader of the fledgling Anti-Masonic Party. [Read more…] about The End of the Whigs: Thurlow Weed & The Birth of the Republican Party
Thurlow Weed was born on November 15, 1797, the son of Joel and Mary (Elis) Weed, in Cairo, Greene County, NY where his grandfather settled after the Revolutionary War. His father was a farmer who was apparently hard working but never prosperous, occasionally spending time in jail for debt.
In 1799, the family moved to Catskill where young Weed received a small amount of schooling. His first job was pumping a blacksmith’s bellows while the blacksmith formed heated iron. He made six cents per day. At nine, he got a job as a cabin boy on a Hudson River sloop. [Read more…] about Thurlow Weed, Stephen Van Rensselaer III and the Disputed Election of 1824
Ira Harris was born at Charleston, Montgomery County, NY on May 31st, 1802 to Fredrick Waterman Harris and Lucy Hamilton. When he was six years old, his family moved to Preble, NY where his father became one of the largest landowners in Cortland County.
Harris attended Homer Academy and graduated from Union College in 1824. He studied law for one year in Homer, New York and then moved to Albany where he assisted one of that city’s most highly regarded jurists, Ambrose Spencer. [Read more…] about Albany’s Ira Harris: From Rights Advocate to Lincoln’s Assassination
John Jordan left Edinburgh, Scotland in 1755 arriving in White Plains, colony of New York, the same year. Edinburgh had been the family home since Jordan’s father and grandfather fled France for Scotland following the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Huguenots in the late 1600s. John struck out on his own and decided to immigrate to America.
John married Mary Ann Daniels, a young woman of Dutch descent, and in 1758 they had a son, John Jordan, Jr. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, John Jordan, Sr. and his wife left New York and helped found the loyalist colony of St. John, New Brunswick, just across the Maine border. Their 19-year-old son, John Jr., stayed behind. [Read more…] about Jermain Family Philanthropy Helped Shape The Capital District
Urban renewal was one of the most important — and controversial — domestic policies in our nation’s history. Between 1949 and 1974, the federal government spent over $7 billion to revitalize more than 1,200 cities struggling with economic and population decline.
The program’s goal was to provide local leaders with funds to demolish “blighted” areas and thereby to clear large tracts of land for redevelopment. Among the casualties were over 330,000 households, at least 90 square miles of urban cores, countless communities, and much of the nation’s architectural heritage. [Read more…] about Urban Renewal History Project Seeks Local Records
To the Editor of The Stationer
As the heated term of the year draws near I presume that any number of stationer clerks [stationary store clerks] are asking themselves as to how, when and where they shall spend their vacations. I want to give them a bit of advice regarding a summer outing. [Read more…] about 1890 Hikers: Albany to Lake George and Back
The Friends of the Albany Rural Cemetery will hold a ceremony on Saturday, August 21st to dedicate a military marker for Irish immigrant Civil War Medal of Honor recipient Terrence Begley.
Begley was born in Ireland and raised in Albany. He enlisted as a private in the 7th NY Heavy Artillery regiment, an Albany regiment, on February 11th, 1864.
Shoemaking was a common trade for centuries, but quickly became a casualty of the industrial revolution in the 19th century. The development of the sewing machine in the 1840s, by Elias Howe, Isaac Singer (from Pittstown, Rensselaer County, NY) and others revolutionized the textile industry.
Machines that could stitch leather for shoes soon also appeared and events like the Civil War spurred the technology on. The U.S. Army ordered thousands of machine-made boots for its soldiers. During this time, Russel Crego (1820-1892) was one New York shoemaker who made a very successful leap from making shoes by hand to selling sewing machines, not only to factories but to the home market. [Read more…] about Shoemaking to Sewing Machines: One Central NY Cobbler’s Path to Prosperity
The Saratoga Dreams B&B at 203 Union Avenue gives a modern day traveler, the opportunity to step back into the marvelous past of Saratoga Springs. Climbing the stairs starts the adventure, where you first see the statue of Seabiscuit at the National Museum of Racing next door, and across the street you may catch a glimpse of runners being “tacked-up” in the paddock at Saratoga Race Course.
The large covered porch, typical of so many of Saratoga Springs’ Queen Anne style homes, allows an elevated view of “Tex” Hughlette Wheeler’s fabulous sculpture. Charles S. Howard, Seabiscuit’s owner, commissioned cowboy sculptor Wheeler (who’s unique given name of Hughlette was the surname of the doctor who delivered him during his mother’s difficult pregnancy), to “capture the horse from life,” and had two castings made. Howard’s heirs graciously donated this casting, originally at the Howard’s Ridgewood Farm, to the National Museum of Racing. The other bronze which Howard had cast has always stood in the Santa Anita paddock. [Read more…] about Albany’s John McBain Davidson: Safes, Steamboats & Horse Racing