For two days in November, 1872, a massive fire swept through Boston, leaving the downtown in ruins and the population traumatized. Coming barely a year after the infamous Chicago Fire, Boston’s inferno turned out to be one of the most expensive fires per acre in US history.
Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the American Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history. Adams amplified the Boston Massacre and helped to mastermind the Boston Tea Party.
He employed every tool available to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Samuel Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason. Despite his celebrated status among America’s founding fathers as a revolutionary leader however, Samuel Adams’ life and achievements have been largely overshadowed in history books. [Read more…] about The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams
In 1947 the citizens of Cazenovia in Madison County mounted a campaign to have the proposed hall of fame or shrine honoring American players of “football” located in their community.
Supporters at the village, town, county, and state levels joined in the effort to bring the hall of fame to Cazenovia. Assemblyman Wheeler Milmoe who represented Madison County introduced Resolution No. 154 in Albany in support of Cazenovia’s claim to fame. Gov. Thomas Dewey also voiced strong support for the idea. There were other places in the nation politicking for having the “football” hall of fame located in their communities. [Read more…] about Cazenovia, The Origins of Soccer & The National “Football” Hall of Fame
“The 29th Regimt on Duty. A Quarrell between the soldiers & Inhabitants—The Bells—Rung—A Great Number Assembled in Kingstreet A Party of the 29th under the Command of Capt Preston fird on the People they killed five—wounded Several Others—particularly Mr. Edw Payne in his Right Arm—Capt Preston Bears a good Character—he was taken in the night & Committed also Seven more of the 29th—the Inhabitants are greatly enraged and not without Reason.” – Diary of John Rowe, 5 March 1770
Unlike the quote above, penned by an eventual Loyalist, stating the facts, the poem “A Verse Occasioned by the Late Horrid Massacre in King-Street” propagandizes the events of March 5th, 1770 in Boston when soldiers fired into a crowd of rioting Bostonians. The event is now known as the Boston Massacre. [Read more…] about The Late Horrid Massacre in King-Street (A Boston Massacre Poem)
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
Housed in the Saratoga County Historian’s Office is the African American History Index, begun in the early 2000s by former county historian Kristina Saddlemire and continued by longtime volunteer Jane Meader Nye.
This collection includes documents related to people of African descent who were either residents of the county or famous visitors such as Frederick Douglass, and stories of Abolitionists who offered assistance to enslaved people seeking freedom. [Read more…] about Lydia Sherman’s Recollections of Saratoga County’s Abolitionist Movement
One of the iconic stories of the American Revolution is the laborious trek of a contingent of newly-minted patriots, led by Henry Knox, lugging cannon from the fort at Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga to Dorchester Heights, forcing the British to abandon Boston, an important early victory is our long fight for freedom.
Few may realize that important decisions while the expedition was in Saratoga County were key to the success of the mission. [Read more…] about Henry Knox, Phillip Schuyler and Lake Champlain’s Cannon in Boston
What can the letters of a wife and mother tell us about life in the Caribbean during the Age of Revolutions?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, we join Susan Clair Imbarrato, a Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead and author of Sarah Gray Cary from Boston to Grenada: Shifting Fortunes of an American Family, 1753-1825 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), to discover more about the letters of Sarah Gray Cart and what they reveal about how she and her family experienced the American Revolution on the island of Grenada. [Read more…] about Life and Revolution in Boston, Grenada
The new book The Majestic Nature of the North: Thomas Kelah Wharton’s Journeys in Antebellum America through the Hudson River Valley and New England (SUNY Press, 2019), edited by Steven A. Walton and Michael J. Armstrong, is the illustrated nineteenth-century travel diaries of artist, educator, and architect Thomas Kelah Wharton, documenting his trips in the lower Hudson River Valley and New Orleans to Boston and back. [Read more…] about An 1830s Hudson River Valley Travel Diary
Of these five victims, evidence points to Crispus Attucks falling first, and of all the victims, Crispus Attucks is the name we can recall. Why is that? [Read more…] about Crispus Attucks: The First Martyr of Liberty