Warm and durable, duffel fabric has a remarkable history, reaching back from Europe’s Age of Exploration to the sale of Staten Island (and possibly Manhattan) at the beginnings of America’s modern history. [Read more…] about Duffel Cloth, Beaver Hats and Native Americans
The vast majority of participants in the military events of the long 18th century left no written traces of themselves.
Fortunately for scholars, and the public, evidence of their presence survives in material form. From the arms they carried, to the archaeological evidence of their presence, the material experience of soldiering extensively survives if we look carefully. [Read more…] about Call for Papers: Fort Ticonderoga Material Culture Conference
We still have ships in Brooklyn. Take your kids to see the high-rise ocean liners tied up at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook. Visit the Shore Road park (immortalized in Saturday Night Fever) underneath the Verrazano at the end of 4th Avenue, and watch the freighters drowsing at anchor, or heading to and from the container ports in New Jersey.
Take an orange and black ferry (Portside Out, Starboard Home) from Battery Park to the St. George Terminal on Staten Island and see where the Brooklyn piers were. See The Flamingo Kid, whenever possible. Fleet Week. [Read more…] about Brooklyn Army Terminal & A Sea Cruise for Elvis
For many years, there has been great debate regarding the origins of the name of Lake Tonetta in the Town of Southeast in Putnam County, New York. Lake Tonetta, also known as Tone’s Pond or Waring’s Pond, has been associated with a great deal of folklore.
It was often suggested that the lake was named after Tone, an enslaved Black man who was promised his freedom by Southeast resident John Waring in exchange for his service in the Revolutionary War. [Read more…] about Lake Tonetta’s Black Revolutionary War Heritage
We often think about the Civil War in terms of two large armies facing off on the battlefield, but less seldom do we consider the clandestine efforts on behalf of the Confederate States of America to bring the war to United States territory and influence Great Britain and other European nations to join the attack on the United States. [Read more…] about Confederate Spies at the Canadian Border
We now have a more clear-eyed understanding of Founding Fathers such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton; even so, they are often considered American saints, revered for their wisdom and self-sacrificing service to the nation.
However, within the generation of founders of the United States there lurked many unscrupulous figures — men who violated the era’s expectation of public virtue and advanced their own interests at the expense of others.
They were turncoats and traitors, opportunists and con artists, spies, and foreign intriguers. [Read more…] about A Republic of Scoundrels: Schemers, Intriguers, and Adventurers
No one usually sheds a tear for the British Loyalists of Long Island, those inhabitants who remained loyal to the crown during the American Revolution. But genealogist Brendon Burns has spent a tremendous amount of effort tracking them down through libraries and archives across the world.
The result is his five-volume series The Loyal and Doubtful: Index to the Acts of British Loyalism in the Greater New York and Long Island Area 1775-1783 (Independently Published, 2023). It’s a meticulous record of people in the city of New York, Staten Island, and on Long Island, acting in support of King George and the efforts to defeat the revolutionaries. [Read more…] about Long Island Loyalists History & Genealogy
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) are seeking comments on plans to reinter the recently discovered remains of Revolutionary War era soldiers in Lake George Battlefield Park.
The remains were found in 2019-2020 during excavation on private land for the development of an apartment complex on Courtland Street within the Village of Lake George. You can read about the discovery, and the discovery of more remains last year, here. [Read more…] about Comments Sought On Plans To Rebury Revolutionary War Soldiers in Lake George
What follows is a letter to addressed to Secretary at War Hon. John H. Eaton at Washington, DC, from Brigadier General John E. Wool in the Inspector General’s office (although that position had been vacant for many years).
Conformably to your wishes, expressed when I met you at Buffalo, in July last, I have the honor to present my views on the expediency of fortifying the Northern Frontier, and particularly in the neighborhood of Rouses Point on Lake Champlain. [Read more…] about General John E. Wool & New York’s Northern Defenses, 1830
Among the rock-star personas of the Roaring Twenties were a number of aviators who captured the public’s imagination. Some were as popular and beloved as movie stars and famous athletes, and America followed their every move.
It was a time of “firsts” in the world of aviation, led by names like Charles Lindbergh, Richard Byrd, and Wiley Post. Among their number was an unusually humble man, Floyd Bennett. He may have been the best of the lot. [Read more…] about Floyd Bennett: New York Aviation Legend