Daniel Mazeau and Aaron Gore, archaeologists with Beverwyck Archaeology, recently completed field investigations and research for the Yates house and property in Glenville, Schenectady County, NY, once home to the family of Joseph Yates (1707-1748). Yates was the grandfather of Joseph Christopher Yates (1768-1837), a lawyer, politician, statesman, founding trustee of Union College and longtime Schenectady Mayor who also served as the 7th Governor of New York in 1823-1824. [Read more…] about Recent Archaeology at the Joseph Yates House in Schenectady County
Fulton’s Steamboat, The Black Ball Line & The Erie Canal
For thousands of years prior to the early 1800s maritime transportation was dependent on sailing ships. In the first few decades of the 19th century however, entrepreneurs in New York helped revolutionize the industry so that one hundred years later sailing ships were an anachronism that hardly existed, except for show.
In the latter part of the 1700s the development of the Boulton & Watt steam engine in England made it theoretically possible to power a boat. Before 1800 a number of inventors, including New Yorkers such as Nicholas Roosevelt, John Fitch, Robert R. Livingston, John Stevens III and others, experimented with boats that used such steam engines. Before Robert Fulton made his first run in the North River steamboat (later renamed Clermont) in 1807 more than a dozen steamboats had been constructed in the United States with varying degrees of success. There were difficulties in making such craft commercially viable. [Read more…] about Fulton’s Steamboat, The Black Ball Line & The Erie Canal
DeWitt Clinton, Erie Canal Presentations at Schoharie Crossing
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site is set to open the doors at their Visitor Center this off season on each first Monday of the month for Museum Monday Programs. [Read more…] about DeWitt Clinton, Erie Canal Presentations at Schoharie Crossing
A Visit To Schoharie Crossing (Liz Covart Podacst)
A “little short of madness.” That is how Thomas Jefferson responded when two delegates from New York approached him with the idea to build the Erie Canal in January 1809.
Jefferson’s comment did not discourage New Yorkers. On January 4, 1817, New York State began building a 363-mile long canal to link the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and the Midwest. [Read more…] about A Visit To Schoharie Crossing (Liz Covart Podacst)
The Erie Canal, New York City, and Democratic Government
On July 4, 1817, at Rome, New York on a site now occupied by the Worthington Industries Steel plant, there was a ceremony allegedly turning the first spade of earth on the construction of the Erie Canal, one of the most important public works projects in history.
As we approach the Bicentennial of the Canal’s construction, we would do well to better understand this history and its importance. On July 2, 2017 there will be a march through Lower Manhattan sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Historical Association celebrating this event. [Read more…] about The Erie Canal, New York City, and Democratic Government
The Erie Canal Marks A 200th Anniversary
On May 17, 1816, the State’s Canal Commissioners met in New York City. This was their first meeting since being reauthorized by the legislature on April 17th, just a few weeks earlier. Five commissioners were appointed by the legislature – Stephen Van Rensselaer, DeWitt Clinton, Samuel Young, Joseph Ellicott and Myron Holley. Several of them had been canal commissioners since 1810. During that period they had surveyed much of the route in person and had kept the dream of the waterway alive during the intervening dismal years of war on their frontier (War of 1812). At the May 17th meeting the commissioners initiated actions that ensured that construction of the Erie Canal would begin a year later. [Read more…] about The Erie Canal Marks A 200th Anniversary
Erie Canal Funding Challenged In Court
The State Canal Corporation has announced the 10th annual “Canal Splash” for August 7 – 15. It is mostly to promote the recreational possibilities of the canal system but some of the events along the canalways will focus on history and culture. “Celebrate the history, culture, recreational appeal, and beauty of the New York State Canal System and Erie Canalway Trail during the 10 days of Canal Splash!” says its website. The celebration is a high point in the ongoing work of promoting the canal. [Read more…] about Erie Canal Funding Challenged In Court
The Albany Connections of Burr, Hamilton, and Schuyler
During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton served as an artillery captain and later a colonel and trusted aid to General George Washington. Colonel Aaron Burr also served in the Colonial Army and accompanied Benedict Arnold on his march through the Maine wilderness and his failed attempt to capture Quebec. Burr had been with General Richard Montgomery when Montgomery was shot and killed in Quebec. Later in the war, Burr was placed in charge of a regiment and his troops were stationed in Westchester County, New York. [Read more…] about The Albany Connections of Burr, Hamilton, and Schuyler