The following travelogue, taken from “Visit to the Falls of Niagara in 1800,” was originally published in London in 1826 by John Maude. It was transcribed by Hudson River Maritime Museum volunteer researcher George A. Thompson and additionally edited and annotated by John Warren. [Read more…] about From New York To Albany By Hudson River Sloop In 1800
In 1658, 17-year-old Jan Janse Bleecker set sail from Mappel, Overyssel in the Netherlands for Nieuw Amsterdam (now New York City) in the Dutch colony of New Netherland. He knew that Dutch traders had established a trading post there about 45 years earlier.
In 1629, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a partner in the Dutch West India Company, had obtained rights to establish a settlement and control the fur trade at Fort Orange located about 150 miles north of New Amsterdam. [Read more…] about Albany’s Harmanus Bleecker, 19th Century Ambassador to The Netherlands
Historic Cherry Hill in Albany‘s South End has announced that the museum has received two competitive federal planning grants for a large, multi-year reinterpretation project.
Entitled We Carry It Within Us: Reinterpretation at Historic Cherry Hill, the project was awarded $48,165 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and a $50,000 Inspire! Grant for Small Museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
With these grants, Historic Cherry Hill is now expected to complete plans for a new tour and orientation exhibit which incorporates new research and scholarship on underrepresented narratives at Cherry Hill. [Read more…] about Albany’s Historic Cherry Hill to Redesign Museum’s Core Tour
A recent article in the Albany Times Union, “The Enduring Mystery of a Mohawk Warrior Bust at the Capitol,” (online edition, July 22, 2022) noted that there is a sculpted face of Joseph Brant on the exterior of the State Capitol building in Albany, New York.
Researched and written by journalist Chris Carola, it questions why Brant, a Native American who supported the British during the American Revolution – and who wreaked havoc on a number of white settlements – was honored by having his visage on such a prominent edifice. [Read more…] about Joseph Brant’s Face: A State Capitol Mystery
Cholera can kill more people more quickly than any other disease. Thousands can die overnight. More people died from cholera in the 100-year period from 1817-1917 than from three centuries of Bubonic Plague (Black Death) during the Middle Ages.
The disease is contracted by the ingestion of water and food with fecal contamination by Vibrio cholerae bacteria, resulting in acute diarrhea, dehydration, and death. Poor sanitation contributes to its spread. [Read more…] about The 1832 Cholera Epidemic in the Capital District
During the pandemic, I watched every episode of the BBC reality archeology program, Time Team, which ran for twenty years. The show condenses three days of archaeological exploration of a site into a one hour episode. Not only did I watch every episode, it is fair to say that I became obsessed with archaeology in general.
About halfway into the pandemic, I discovered that my friend Amy had become similarly obsessed. So when I found out that the Underground Railroad Education Center in Albany, New York was offering an opportunity to volunteer to participate in a five day dig they had planned for August, I called Amy and said, “Wanna do it?” She replied, “Hell yeah!” [Read more…] about Amy & Enid Go To Archeology Camp in Albany
Stephen Myers was a Black activist in connection with the Underground Railroad and African American rights in general. He was born and enslaved in Hoosick, Rensselaer County, New York State and raised when it was a slave state working on progressive abolition. He was the principal agent and a key writer for the Northern Star and Freeman’s Advocate, he was also the editor of The Elevator and The Telegraph and Temperance Journal.
As early as 1831 he was assisting fugitives from enslavement making their way to Canada. He was also active in 1827 with a group of little-known significance called the Clarkson Anti-slavery Society. As time went on he was involved in organizing and serving as a delegate to many of the Colored Men’s Conventions of the 1830s to the 1860s, to secure African American rights. He was involved in voting rights campaigns through the NYS Suffrage Association, was involved in organizing a school, and sued Albany Schools over segregation. [Read more…] about Stephen Myers of Albany: Abolitionist Writer, Advocate & Underground Railroad Activist
Over the centuries, numerous American visitors to the Netherlands produced travel accounts, filled with their fresh insights and observations as they viewed the familiar from a foreigner’s perspective. John Romeyn Brodhead is no exception, but he was not a regular tourist. He was, or rather became, a man with a mission, hunting for American history in Dutch archives. [Read more…] about The 19th Century Hunt for New York’s Dutch History
Throughout the 1840s, members of the commercial and professional classes of New York’s Capital Region cities established “Young Men’s Associations,” loosely based upon the Young Men’s Christian Association recently founded in England. In Schenectady, ten prominent men formed their own Young Men’s Association in an attempt to bring culture to their growing city of 10,000.
Although the Association required an annual fee of $2, members and ladies were allowed to attend the lectures for free. The entrance fee for men who were not members was 25 cents. “The association is the only place in our city, aside from the pulpits, where you are able to find any discoursing,” announced its founders in the Schenectady Reflector. “It is the only place where an amusement of a miscellaneous nature is to be found…It is the only place where the clerk, the mechanic, or lawyer, can spend an hour (profitably) out of his store, workshop, or office.” [Read more…] about Ralph Waldo Emerson in the Capital District in 1852
In 1756 he led a column to supply the greatly weakened Fort Oswego and issued ignored warnings to his superiors before Oswego was captured and burned later that year. In the spring of 1757 he helped assemble supplies and transports at Boston for the abortive attack on Louisbourg.
That December he was appointed Lt. Colonel and in 1758 he participated in the attack on Fort Carillon (now Fort Ticonderoga), where he led the advance guard following the death of General George Howe. When the Battle ended in disaster, Bradstreet attempted to organize a retreat. [Read more…] about Bradstreet’s Raid: A 1758 Riverine Operation