Enlisting in Colonel Burnett’s 1st Regiment of New York Volunteers, and was sent to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn to begin their military service. [Read more…] about A Mexican War Monument in Saratoga County
Following his political successes in the disputed Election of 1824, Thurlow Weed was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1825 and again in 1830.
In the 1820s, like many in Upstate New York with populist, anti-elite feelings, Weed strongly believed the Masons were trying to control government using secret means. He felt that political affairs should be conducted publicly and particularly opposed the fraternal secrecy of Freemasonry. An alleged conspiracy by Masons to murder William Morgan in Western New York in September, 1826 sparked the anti-Freemasonry movement. Weed began publishing the Anti-Masonic Enquirer in Rochester, NY in February, 1828.
Soon Weed was hired as editor of the newly formed Anti-Masonic Albany Evening Journal, which began publication on March 22, 1830. The move to Albany made him a statewide leader of the fledgling Anti-Masonic Party. [Read more…] about The End of the Whigs: Thurlow Weed & The Birth of the Republican Party
An island at the tip of Lower Manhattan provided a stage where a local military community participated in national and international events.
From its military beginnings as a colonial militia in 1755, Governors Island became a major headquarters for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard, making it one of the longest continually operated military installations in the country until its closure in 1996. [Read more…] about A Brief History of Governors Island
On The Historians Podcast with Bob Cudmore, Roger Higgins, author of Billy Gogan Gone Fer Soldier, tells about his historical novel concerning an Irish immigrant to America and his experiences in the Intervención estadounidense en México, the Mexican War, in the 1840s. [Read more…] about A Historical Novel of the Mexican War
Bruce Castleman’s new book, Knickerbocker Commodore: The Life and Times of John Drake Sloat 1781-1867 (SUNY Press, 2016) chronicles the life of Rear Admiral John Drake Sloat, an important but understudied naval figure in US history.
Born and raised by a slave-owning gentry family in New York’s Hudson Valley, Sloat moved to New York City at age nineteen.
Castleman explores Sloat’s forty-five-year career in the Navy, from his initial appointment as midshipman in the conflicts with revolutionary France to his service as commodore during the country’s war with Mexico. [Read more…] about Knickerbocker Commodore: Life and Times of John Drake Sloat
In a cemetery overlooking the Hudson River just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge, lies John C. Fremont, who’s contribution to the end of slavery and the United States victory in the Civil War was tremendous, though he is little-remembered today.
Most generally associate Fremont with the State of California. He is the namesake of Fremont, California, and in 1846 was court-martialed for leading a revolt of American settlers there against the Mexican government. He lived most of the latter part of his life in New York State however, in the city of New York, and Westchester and Rockland counties. He also played a critical role in shifting the focus of Abraham Lincoln’s efforts in the Civil War from a sectional constitutional conflict to a crusade to abolish slavery. [Read more…] about John C. Fremont: Rockland County’s Forgotten Hero
We’ve all heard of Woodstock at one time or another—that famous (or infamous) concert held in August 1969. It was scheduled at different venues, but the final location was actually in Bethel, New York, about 60 miles from Woodstock. For many who lived through three major homeland assassinations, the Vietnam War, and the racial riots of the turbulent 1960s, Woodstock was an event representing peace, love, and freedom. It’s considered a defining moment of that generation, and a great memory for those who attended (estimated at 400,000). [Read more…] about The Churubusco Live-In: Clinton County’s ‘Woodstock’