William Alexander was born on December 25, 1726 in the city of New York to well-known lawyer James Alexander and his wife Mary. Mary and James had emigrated from Scotland in 1716. When they married, Mary was already a widow with six children and she and James had seven more. William was the second son of Mary and James, but when his older brother died in 1731, William became the male heir to the Alexander clan. [Read more…] about Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling: A Short Biography
Not Until 1937 Could Women Serve On Juries in New York
Women’s inexorable march toward equality in politics and government in this country has been one of small steps, and there have been many obstacles to overcome. Sometimes in looking back, it is difficult to believe that certain milestones along the journey took so long to achieve. For example, it wasn’t until 1937 that women were eligible to serve on juries in New York State. [Read more…] about Not Until 1937 Could Women Serve On Juries in New York
Wealth and Slavery in New Netherland
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Nicole Maskiell, an associate professor of History at the University of South Carolina and the author of Bound By Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of the Northern Gentry (Cornell Univ. Press, 2022) joins Liz Covart to investigate the practice of slavery in Dutch New Netherland and how the colony’s elite families built their wealth and power on the labor, skills, and bodies of enslaved Africans and African Americans. [Read more…] about Wealth and Slavery in New Netherland
Pirates, Prostitution & The Livingston Family
From their early days on the North American continent, the Livingston family were a prominent sex-trade family. In a nutshell, they were landlords to brothel-operators from at least as early as the 1810s.
New York State Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, who reluctantly joined the patriot side of the American Revolution in 1776. Chancellor Robert was one of many Livingstons who profited from the sex trade in the aftermath of the unrest. [Read more…] about Pirates, Prostitution & The Livingston Family
Sullivan County’s ‘White Christmas’ Connection
The Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont did not bear much of a resemblance to a Catskills’ hotel of that era, and Dean Jagger’s General Tom Waverly was definitely not much like a Sullivan County hotel owner, but the movie “White Christmas” has a strong local flavor nonetheless. [Read more…] about Sullivan County’s ‘White Christmas’ Connection
1798 Quitman Parsonage Historic Sign Installed in Rhinebeck
The Town of Rhinebeck in Dutchess County, NY celebrated the installation of a historical marker at Quitman House on May 28th.
The building served as the Parsonage for the minister serving St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, better known as the Stone Church, located next door. The parsonage is known today as Quitman House and was built in 1798 to house the minister, Reverend Frederick H. Quitman, D. D.
[Read more…] about 1798 Quitman Parsonage Historic Sign Installed in Rhinebeck
Catskills Klan: The KKK in Sullivan County, New York
Many people – even those with more than a passing interest in Sullivan County history – are surprised to learn that the Ku Klux Klan was once fairly active in parts of the county. And yet, throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, there were several chapters in the Catskills, most set up by recruiters from the Binghamton area.
These Klan chapters, whether in Livingston Manor, Jeffersonville, Liberty, Woodbourne or some other hamlet, often started out as social organizations, and it was not unusual to see newspaper articles and even advertisements about their charitable activities or their clambakes, sometimes in conjunction with the Kamelias, the organization’s women’s auxiliary. [Read more…] about Catskills Klan: The KKK in Sullivan County, New York
The Third Patroon & The English Take-Over of New York
The third patroon was Kiliaen Van Rensselaer II (1655-1687) son of Johannes, who was the first patroon to live at Rensselaerswyck, the van Rensselaer Patroonship in most of what is now Albany and Rensselaer Counties, along with parts of Columbia and Greene Counties.
Kiliaen II was only seven years old when his father died however, so his uncles continued to manage the colony. Jeremias was director in 1664 when the English seized New Netherland and renamed Beverwyck “Albany.”
Jeremias’ constant conflict with Stuyvesant and his possible establishment of overland fur trade with the English in Massachusetts, avoiding Peter Stuyvesant’s tax collections in New Amsterdam (New York City), may have facilitated the English take-over. [Read more…] about The Third Patroon & The English Take-Over of New York
The Palatines Along Hoosick Road in Rensselaer County
During the turmoil of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), many Protestant Germans from the Middle Rhine region of the Holy Roman Empire fled to England, with the largest group of refugees – some 13,000 – arriving there in 1709.
The arrival of these “Poor Palatines” caused a rise in opposition to immigration in England. Most were quickly sent to Ireland, but nearly 3,000 were sent on 10 ships to the colonial Province of New York (a group about a third the size of the population of the city of New York at that time). [Read more…] about The Palatines Along Hoosick Road in Rensselaer County
NYS Covered Bridge Society Event In Livingston Manor
The New York State Covered Bridge Society is hosting an open house at the Van Tran Covered Bridge on Covered Bridge Road, in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County, NY, on Saturday, October 7th, from 9 am to 3 pm.
The New York State Covered Bridge Society’s mission is to educate the public on the preservation of the State’s authentic and historic covered bridges. The Society has over 200 members from all over the nation and is always open to new members. [Read more…] about NYS Covered Bridge Society Event In Livingston Manor