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
Martin Van Buren
US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
In 2023, the United States Military Academy will remove 13 Confederate symbols on its West Point campus. They include a portrait of Robert E. Lee dressed in a Confederate uniform, a stone bust of Lee, who was superintendent of West Point before the Civil War, and a bronze plaque with an image of a hooded figure and the words “Ku Klux Klan.”
Art displayed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC, still includes images of 141 enslavers and 13 Confederates who went to war against the country. A study by the Washington Post found that more than one-third of the statues and portraits in the Capitol building honor enslavers or Confederates and at least six more honor possible enslavers where evidence is disputed. [Read more…] about US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
Albany’s Harmanus Bleecker, 19th Century Ambassador to The Netherlands
In 1658, 17-year-old Jan Janse Bleecker set sail from Mappel, Overyssel in the Netherlands for Nieuw Amsterdam (now New York City) in the Dutch colony of New Netherland. He knew that Dutch traders had established a trading post there about 45 years earlier.
In 1629, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a partner in the Dutch West India Company, had obtained rights to establish a settlement and control the fur trade at Fort Orange located about 150 miles north of New Amsterdam. [Read more…] about Albany’s Harmanus Bleecker, 19th Century Ambassador to The Netherlands
Slave-holding New York State Congressional Representatives: A Complete List
According to a Washington Post report in the early years of the American republic over 1,700 Congressional representatives, Senators and Congressmen owned enslaved people. Despite a very clear conflict of interest they voted on the laws governing the country and the enslaved population. Some Representatives served in Congress long after slavery was finally abolished in New York State.
Five of the first seven U.S. Presidents were definitely slaveholders and at least five other later Presidents had family connections to slavery. Five of the Supreme Court Justices who ruled that African Americans had no citizenship rights under the Constitution in the 1857 Dred Scott decision were slaveholders. [Read more…] about Slave-holding New York State Congressional Representatives: A Complete List
Wall Street History: The Bank War & The Shift of Financial Power to New York
At the time construction of the Erie Canal was begun in 1817, Philadelphia (the second largest city in the United States) was the nation’s financial center. Although there were successful banks in New York, Philadelphia, one of America’s leading seaports, had been the capital during the American Revolution and of the nation (1790 to 1800), and so was considered the financial center of the country.
This is not to say there was not some rivalry between financial institutions located on Wall Street in New York and Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, but the latter was the site of the first bank established in the nation in 1781, the Bank of North America, and more importantly became the site of the First Bank of the United States, which Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton had promoted. [Read more…] about Wall Street History: The Bank War & The Shift of Financial Power to New York
Thurlow Weed, Stephen Van Rensselaer III and the Disputed Election of 1824
Thurlow Weed was born on November 15, 1797, the son of Joel and Mary (Elis) Weed, in Cairo, Greene County, NY where his grandfather settled after the Revolutionary War. His father was a farmer who was apparently hard working but never prosperous, occasionally spending time in jail for debt.
In 1799, the family moved to Catskill where young Weed received a small amount of schooling. His first job was pumping a blacksmith’s bellows while the blacksmith formed heated iron. He made six cents per day. At nine, he got a job as a cabin boy on a Hudson River sloop. [Read more…] about Thurlow Weed, Stephen Van Rensselaer III and the Disputed Election of 1824
Martin Van Buren and New York’s Irish Community
Martin Van Buren’s relationship with the Irish community in New York was rather incidental, developing in parallel to the rise of his career.
The root of what became a favorable association between the two seems to be an inadvertent outcome grounded in political events that shook Ireland and America beginning in 1798 and continued throughout Van Buren’s career/life. [Read more…] about Martin Van Buren and New York’s Irish Community
When Did New York Stop Speaking Dutch?
In the late summer of 1664, four English frigates arrived off shore New Amsterdam. Rather than resisting, the Director-General of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, surrendered the city and colony to the English.
Although the Dutch briefly regained control of the colony in 1673, it was restored to English rule in the Treaty of Westminster the following year, marking the end of Dutch New York.
Despite the English conquest, the Dutch language continued to thrive in New York and northern New Jersey for generations, persisting into the twentieth century in certain areas. [Read more…] about When Did New York Stop Speaking Dutch?
New Book Of Kinderhook History
Inhabited by the Mohicans before Europeans arrived (before 1651), Kinderhook, in Columbia County, NY, has an intriguing historical past.
Lisa LaMonica’s new book Kinderhook: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing, 2019), which is set to publish in August 2019, looks at one of the oldest towns in New York State and its significance to our nation’s history and culture. [Read more…] about New Book Of Kinderhook History
The Forgotten War Between the United States and Canada
William Lyon MacKenzie strode into a packed theater in Buffalo, NY on the night of Dec. 12, 1837, his blue eyes blazing beneath his high, broad forehead, his sandy whiskers a chinstrap beard. The short, wiry 42-year-old native of Scotland had arrived in the booming border city a day earlier, a fugitive with a price on his head, after launching an ill-fated rebellion against the oligarchy that ruled colonial Canada.
More than 2,000 Buffalo residents waited anxiously to hear him speak, quite a crowd for a city of not even 18,000 souls. [Read more…] about The Forgotten War Between the United States and Canada