This week on The Historians Podcast, New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan discusses the life of Marinus Willett. Willett is well known to Upstate New York historians because of the work he did during the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley. [Read more…] about The Downstate-Upstate Life of Marinus Willett
After a late-summer of preparations, too late in the fall of 1775, the Colonial Army mounted a two-pronged invasion of Canada. General Schuyler invaded Montreal from Fort Ticonderoga and General Benedict Arnold attacked Quebec.
Schuyler fell ill and was replaced by General Richard Montgomery. Montgomery took Montreal and then marched to assist Arnold at Quebec. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Albany: Setbacks As The War Presses Toward Albany
This week on The Historians Podcast Jim Coulthart, an amateur aviation historian, tells airplane tales based on a collection of aircraft incidents, and accidents dating back to the Second World War with ties to Central New York.
Coulthart spent a year and a half curating family accounts, newspaper clippings, online resources, and official reports to develop a program on local aviation history. Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY, was in use from 1942 until 1995 when the federal government closed the base. At one point B 52 bombers were assigned to Griffiss which is now the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. [Read more…] about B-52s Were Ready to Fly in Central New York
The New York State Library has recently acquired the complete works of Lincoln scholar and Archives Partnership Trust Board Member Harold Holzer. The collection covers his 49-year career as a writer, lecturer, and historian specializing in Abraham Lincoln and Civil War era. [Read more…] about NYS Library Acquires Lincoln Scholar Harold Holzer’s Papers
In early May, 1775 the Revolutionary War was underway on largely local scale. The attack on the British forces leaving Lexington and Concord had happened less than a month earlier, and 4,500 British troops had landed in Boston.
The lightly defended Fort Ticonderoga was taken on the morning of May 10, 1775, in a surprise attack by the Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, with the help of Benedict Arnold. The fort had been held by the British for 16 years, since it was taken from the French in 1759. [Read more…] about Revolutionary Albany: Supplying Ticonderoga, Dealing With Loyalists & Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Relations
This week’s guest on The Historians Podcast is Peter Betz of Fulton County who explains how he was able to help a family acquire a grave marker at no cost for a deceased family member who was a United States Army veteran.
Betz is a member of the Perth town council and president of the Perth Center Cemetery Association. He found that a veteran who died in recent years was buried next to his wife who had died in 2010. His wife had a headstone but the veteran, Howard Forgette, did not. [Read more…] about A Grave Marker for an American Veteran
The project focuses on improving accessibility and interpretation of the Saratoga Battlefield, where the series of battles that became the turning point of the American Revolution occurred. The work includes rehabilitating the parking areas and pathways at all tour stops to address deferred maintenance, improve accessibility, and replace aging waysides exhibits to enhance the interpretation experience of the battlefield. [Read more…] about Saratoga Battlefield Park Rehabilitation Project Begins
This week’s guest on The Historians Podcast is James Kirby Martin, executive producer of the documentary Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed.
The film is based on Martin’s 1997 book Benedict Arnold Revolutionary Hero. The documentary, streaming on several TV platforms, is narrated by Martin Sheen and stars Peter O’Meara. Three men from the Mohawk Valley area created the documentary: Niskayuna native Chris Stearns, Saratoga Springs native Tom Mercer and Fort Johnson native Anthony Vertucci. [Read more…] about Did the Nation Betray Benedict Arnold?
During the American Revolution, British loyalists frequently raided the farms and homes of their former friends and neighbors in what is now Herkimer County, NY, with the support of their Native allies.
Among the communities raided were Andrustown (July 18, 1778), Rheimensnyders Bush (April 3, 1780, also known as Yellow Church), Shells Bush (August 6, 1781) and Little Falls (June 1782). The Loyalists knew the landscape well, for many of them had lived there for a generation or two. Many were relatives and friends of the recently deceased Sir William Johnson who had been Commissioner of Indian Affairs for North America.
One of these raids resulted in what has become known as the Battle of West Canada Creek, which occurred in September 1781. [Read more…] about Herkimer County Loyalist Raids & The Battle of West Canada Creek
In February 1826 one of America’s seminal works of historical fiction, James Fenimore Cooper‘s The Last of the Mohicans, was first published. Last of the Mohicans has also been adapted to film at least eight times, most recently in 1992 starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. The novel is one of five Cooper wrote that make up the Leatherstocking Tales series, all of them set in Upstate New York between the years 1740 and 1804.
Warren County, NY is where many of the real-life actions of 1757 depicted in the novel occurred, including at what is now Lake George Battlefield Park, the location of several other important historical events. [Read more…] about Lake George Battlefield, More Than Just A Setting for Cooper’s ‘Last of the Mohicans’