New York State Parks and Westchester County Parks have approved the renewal of the Jay Heritage Center’s (JHC) stewardship of the 21.5-acre Jay Property for another 10-year period. Westchester County Executive George Latimer personally sponsored Westchester County’s ACT 2023-312 in July to reaffirm the public-private partnership among the County, New York State Parks, and JHC. [Read more…] about Jay Heritage Center Property Management Agreement Renewed
Information about the 1836 kidnapping of Peter John Lee was related in a recent article on the New York Almanack, “NY-CT Border Disputes & The Kidnapping of Freedom-Seeker Peter John Lee.”
Lee, an African American, was lured out of Connecticut, where he resided, to Rye in Westchester County, New York. Additional aspects of this incident can be gleaned from historical documents. [Read more…] about Documents Reveal More About Peter John Lee Kidnapping Case
That was the date in 1777 when the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York, an ad hoc group elected the previous year to guide New York’s Revolutionary War efforts and develop its first constitution, completed its work. [Read more…] about We Should Celebrate New York State’s Birthday on April 20th
Bruce W. Dearstyne’s expanded new edition of The Spirit of New York (SUNY Press, 2022; first published 2016) explores nineteen dramatic events from New York State’s history that altered the course of U.S. history.
From the launch of the state government in April 1777 thru the tragedy of September 11th and through the debut of the musical play Hamilton in 2015, Dearstyne’s chapters describe great political changes, historical turning points, and struggles for social, racial, and environmental reform.
[Read more…] about Bruce Dearstyne’s ‘Spirit of New York’ Reissued In Expanded Edition
Lemmon v. New York, or Lemmon v. The People (1860) was a freedom suit begun in 1852 with a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The case brought up questions about the legality of slavery within the United States , especially challenging the slavery laws between the northern and southern states.
While relocating to Texas by way of New York State, Virginia enslavers Jonathan and Juliet Lemmon brought to the city of New York eight enslaved people. They made up two family groups, each headed by a young woman: the first was Emiline (age 23), Edward (age 13), brother of Emiline; and Amanda (age 2), daughter of Emiline. The second was Nancy (age 20); Lewis (age 16), brother of Nancy; Lewis and Edward (age 7), sons of Nancy; and Ann (age 5), daughter of Nancy.
Robb Haberman, Associate Editor of The Selected Papers of John Jay, will give a presentation at the historic Hopewell Reformed Church in Hopewell Junction, East Fishkill, Dutchess County, on July 4th.
Haberman will talk about John Jay’s travels through the Hudson Valley as he “rode the circuit”; his July 4th toasts; and other little known stories of this founding father, civilian spymaster for George Washington and Fishkill resident during the Revolution. [Read more…] about John Jay Returns to the Fishkills, July 4th
About seventeen years ago, inspired by the purchase of several volumes of a popular 19th century journal, John Adler had an idea – make the American narrative more accessible to the public. So upon his retirement, the former advertising executive launched a multi-year endeavor to create a database of articles, images and ads scanned from the iconic Harper’s Weekly Magazine.
Harper’s was the premiere chronicle of political events and literary commentary of its day, and Adler’s invention would help readers navigate thousands of stories from 1857 to 1916. One could find everything from headlines about Lincoln’s election to Thomas Nast’s cartoons denouncing slavery. This online trove christened “HarpWeek” was further complemented by academic essays and materials for educators. In 2003, Adler’s searchable scholarship “HarpWeek Presents Lincoln and the War” won recognition from the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute and an E-Lincoln Prize. [Read more…] about 1797 Fort Jay Letter Acquired By Jay Heritage Center
On May 14th, the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) held its second John Jay Medal Dinner and recognized two individuals whose efforts have helped elevate and strengthen the legacy of native New Yorker, John Jay.
JHC’s first honoree was Prof. Joseph J. Ellis, one of the nation’s leading historians and the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation. Ellis’ exhaustive and illuminating research for his newest book The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783-1789 restores John Jay to the pantheon of nation-builders alongside Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. [Read more…] about John Jay Medal Awarded Historian Joseph Ellis
On May 3, 2014, John Jay Homestead State Historic Site in Katonah, N.Y. will sponsor a walk through lower Manhattan titled John Jay’s Not-So-Big City. The walking tour will trace John Jay’s haunts in New York in the late 18th century.
Founding Father John Jay, New York’s second Governor and America’s first Chief Justice, was born and educated in New York City, and spent much of his life there. The walking tour will trace his haunts, visiting the locations of the places where he lived and worked as one of New York’s leading lawyers and politicians, as well as U.S. Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Chief Justice of the United States, and Governor of New York. The tour will recall the time when New York was the capitol city of a young republic, and present a reminder of how the geography and architecture of Manhattan Island have changed since the arrival of the first European settlers in the 17th century. [Read more…] about John Jay Manhattan Walking Tour May 3rd
Spying was a major component of the strategy and the tactics of the American Revolution. However it’s only recently that historians have focused on the intrigues, subterfuges and skullduggery that were used by all sides. Except for the spying of British Major John Andre, his collaboration with Benedict Arnold, and of the failed spying of Nathan Hale, undercover intelligence gathering operations during the Revolution is a mostly forgotten aspect of that conflict.
Nonetheless, spying was quite common in that era and George Washington was its chief proponent. Washington made full use of the 1700s tools of the spy trade including invisible ink, hiding messages in feather quills, and small silver balls for hiding messages that could be swallowed in the event of capture. He also encouraged forging documents and making sure they fell into British hands. [Read more…] about Elijah Hunter: Revolutionary War Spy