On Christmas night, December 25, 1843, in a serene village on Staten Island, shocked neighbors discovered the burnt remains of twenty-four-year-old mother Emeline Houseman and her infant daughter, Ann Eliza. In a perverse nativity, someone bludgeoned to death a mother and child in their home — and then covered up the crime with hellfire. [Read more…] about The Witch of New York: The Trials of Polly Bodine
On a cold, snowy January evening in 1874, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson became one of the first women of national prominence to speak on women’s suffrage in Clinton County, NY. Those gathering to hear her at the Palmer Hall, located upstairs at 60 Margaret Street in downtown Plattsburgh, were described as the most intellectual and cultivated in the community.
The crowd that night would have known her reputation. [Read more…] about Anna Elizabeth Dickinson: ‘America’s Civil War Joan of Arc’
I recently came across copies of Adirondack Voices from the 1990s, published by the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks (RCPA). This organization was founded in 1990 by full-time residents of the Adirondack Park intent on trying to keep some peace in the Adirondacks.
RCPA believed that the integrity and economic viability of the Adirondack communities they lived and worked in could be enhanced while preserving their unique wilderness and wild forest landscape. [Read more…] about Adirondack Voices: Residents Speaking Out For Environmental Protection
Having spent three weeks in Boston where he enjoyed an enthusiastic reception, Charles Dickens arrived on February 12, 1842, in South Street, Lower Manhattan, on the packet New York from New Haven. The city depressed him.
In his travelogue American Notes, he contrasted sun-filled Broadway with the filth of The Five Points. In the district’s narrow alleys the visitor was confronted with all that is “loathsome, drooping, and decayed.” Dickens described New York as a city of sunshine and gloom. [Read more…] about Gaslight Foster: Old New York Storyteller & Social Geographer
My love for America started at an early age, when I pinched a book from my older brother: Pietje Bell in Amerika. I still remember the cover: a jolly Dutch newspaper boy with the skyline of New York City in the background. It pointed to the idea the book conveyed: the land of limitless opportunities, from paperboy to billionaire, a new start, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. [Read more…] about Lady Liberty as Muse: A Dutch Writer’s Love for the United States
Question: How dies a mine worker who lives in Port Henry arrive at work in Mineville at 7 am, works an eight hour-day, with a half-hour lunch break, and gets back to his home in Port Henry a little after 2:30 pm. [Read more…] about Political News From Historic Northern New York Newspapers
In 1955, my father traveled from New York City to Mississippi, where he was born and where his own father had been a newspaper publisher, to cover the trial of the two white men who had been indicted for the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy visiting from Chicago. [Read more…] about 1955: A New Yorker Covers The Emmett Till Murder Trial
Since its launch in 2014, New York State Historic Newspapers has provided free access to a wide range of newspapers chosen to reflect New York’s unique history. This now includes 920 titles from all 62 counties comprising over 11.7 million pages of historical content. In these years, the content has been hosted on servers located in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York. [Read more…] about NYS Historic Newspapers Training Webinar Set For August 16th
This week on the Historians Podcast Lorissa Rinehart talks about her biography of female photojournalist and war correspondent Dickey Chapelle, First to the Front: The Untold Story of Dickey Chapelle, Trailblazing Female War Correspondent (St. Martin’s Press, 2023). [Read more…] about First to the Front: The Life of Dickey Chapelle
New York Almanack friend Jerry Kuntz has been collecting and transcribing columns that appeared between 1880 and 1886 in the New York Sunday Mercury entitled “Thirty Years in Gotham.” The articles were published with the byline “by Harry Hill,” but were drafted by ghost writer Isaac George Reed.
Harry Hill, the proprietor of the most infamous dance hall in Manhattan from the 1850s through the 1880s, likely offered comments, notes, and suggestions on some of the articles. The columns covered topics dealing with the history of the city of New York: its institutions, characters, neighborhoods, social life, politics, disasters, sports, criminals, and more. [Read more…] about 1850-1880s New York City: ‘Thirty Years in Gotham’ Columns Going Online