Paul Smith’s College students have completed construction of the Akwesasne Mobile Cultural Center. This new cultural center is a result of a partnership between Paul Smith’s College and the Nia’s Little Library – a nonprofit that promotes literacy and preserve the Mohawk language. [Read more…] about Paul Smith’s Students Create the Akwesasne Mohawk Mobile Cultural Center
The Mystery of Joseph Brant’s Watch
There was a story that had been passed down in the Minthorn family for generations. It told of how an ancestor had hidden her two infants under the roots of a tree to save them during the Revolutionary War attack on Cherry Valley, NY, in 1778. It was said that in her zeal to quiet her children, the youngsters were rendered unconscious, being revived only after the attackers had departed.
While this story is most likely fiction, there is some truth mixed in. [Read more…] about The Mystery of Joseph Brant’s Watch
Sam Hill: Folklore & History Of A Saratoga Resident
Though perhaps a dying proverb, “What in Sam Hill?!” used to be commonplace as an expression of exasperation. A quick internet search will point to several possible origin stories that explain where this phrase came from but the definitive truth remains elusive.
Could it be that a Saratoga County resident known by this common moniker contributed to this once-popular phrase? [Read more…] about Sam Hill: Folklore & History Of A Saratoga Resident
Paul Smith’s, Mohawk Partner to Create Mobile Cultural Center
Paul Smith’s College and the Akwesasne Mohawk are partnering to create a mobile Cultural Learning Lab. The Cultural Learning Lab will serve as a hub of historical and cultural information about the Akwesasne community, including serving as a mobile meeting space, for tutoring, and promoting the use of the Mohawk language. [Read more…] about Paul Smith’s, Mohawk Partner to Create Mobile Cultural Center
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
Historic Fort Hunter: From Queen Anne’s War to the Erie Canal
The hamlet of Fort Hunter in Montgomery County, NY, while small, has been historically significant even since before the American Revolution. It was home to people of the Mohawk Nation and was known as the Lower Castle being downstream or below Canajoharie on the Mohawk River. Being at the confluence of the Schoharie Creek and river it was always an important trade post for goods, food, and cultures. [Read more…] about Historic Fort Hunter: From Queen Anne’s War to the Erie Canal
Saratoga Area Ethnohistoric Survey Nears Completion
In 2018, Saratoga National Historical Park received funding to produce an ethnohistorical study of the Saratoga area. Professor Karim Tiro from Xavier University was chosen to conduct the research and compile the report.
Dr. Tiro specializes in North American history during the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods with a focus on the history of Native Americans, the War of 1812, and epidemics. [Read more…] about Saratoga Area Ethnohistoric Survey Nears Completion
Schenectady’s Relationship to Native America
For many people, “American” history begins with European exploration of the continent. From there, the narrative invariably centers on the colonial perspective and, after 1776, the perspective of the United States.
Consequently, the general public is generally uninformed about the history of Indigenous People that both predates New Netherland and the Pilgrims and persists to the present. And this article is by no means capable of addressing this broad historical issue. So let’s turn from this historical macrocosm to the microcosm of one city, Schenectady. [Read more…] about Schenectady’s Relationship to Native America
Revolutionary Albany: Supplying Ticonderoga, Dealing With Loyalists & Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Relations
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
Lake George Battlefield, More Than Just A Setting for Cooper’s ‘Last of the Mohicans’
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’