For more than 25 years, historian Russ Bellico and the leaders of the Lake George Battlefield Alliance, including the late archaeologist David Starbuck, argued that grounds as historically rich and as hallowed as the head of Lake George deserve a visitors’ interpretive center.
The Oneida Carrying Place, a four-mile overland route that connected the Mohawk River and Wood Creek, was vital to British military campaign strategies beginning with the French and Indian War. The Carry also saw significant action during St. Leger’s American Revolution Campaign (1777), which included the Siege of Fort Stanwix/Schuyler and the Battle of Oriskany. [Read more…] about Fort Bull – Oneida Carrying Place Archaeology Funded
In 1756 he led a column to supply the greatly weakened Fort Oswego and issued ignored warnings to his superiors before Oswego was captured and burned later that year. In the spring of 1757 he helped assemble supplies and transports at Boston for the abortive attack on Louisbourg.
That December he was appointed Lt. Colonel and in 1758 he participated in the attack on Fort Carillon (now Fort Ticonderoga), where he led the advance guard following the death of General George Howe. When the Battle ended in disaster, Bradstreet attempted to organize a retreat. [Read more…] about Bradstreet’s Raid: A 1758 Riverine Operation
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
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’
William Shirley was the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, appointed by the King of England. Shirley had been a British official in England serving on negotiating committees with French officials determining boundaries. This had led Shirley to a thorough dislike of the French.
He was very aggressive and had been a stalwart advocate of invading Canada and driving the French out of North America. Shirley had written a strong criticism of the New York Congress for its resistance to an invasion of Canada in 1748. He was upset when New Jersey and Rhode Island refused to cooperate in the invasion because they were not threatened. [Read more…] about The Albany Congress of 1754: Native People, Colonists & the Monarchy
From the time Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609, the area that is now Albany, NY was considered the focal point of trade with Indigenous People. For over a hundred years, Albany was the trading post furthest west and most remote in the colonies. Most of the other colonies were English; New Netherland was Dutch and settled for the purpose of trade.
With a moderate climate, abundant rainfall, a lake and river system for good transportation and plentiful natural resources, New Netherland was well-positioned. The fur trade significantly raised the standard of living of many European settlers and Native People. Arriving at Albany with a catch of furs, an native person could trade would usually trade with a representative of the Van Rensselaers, or one of his agents.
Thousands of pelts began to flow into Albany in return for Dutch, and later English, trade goods. News of the Dutch market spread and before long Native People from as far away as today’s Minnesota and Illinois were traveling across the Great Lakes and Mohawk River to Albany to obtain manufactured goods with animal pelts. [Read more…] about Albany’s Role In Three Little-Remembered Colonial Wars in the Northeast
In 1652, New Netherland Director General Peter Stuyvesant declared that Fort Orange and everything around it, including the village outside the fort, often called Oranje after the fort, was independent of the ownership of the Van Rensselaer family. He named the small mostly Dutch village “Beverwyck.”
Possibly at the urging of the Van Rensselaers, their earlier manager Arendt Van Curler (Corlear) began planning the construction of a new village. [Read more…] about Colonial Conflict, Native People, Anti-Catholicism & The Burning of Schenectady
Established in 1750 by the French, Ste. Geneviéve reveals much about what it was like to establish a colony in the heartland of North America and what it was like for colonists to live so far removed from seats of imperial power.
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Claire Casey, a National Park Service interpretative ranger at the Ste. Geneviéve National Historical Park, joins us to explore the early American history of Ste. Geneviéve. [Read more…] about New France: Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park (Podcast)
By 1642, the number of inhabitants of the van Rensselaer Manor Rensselaerswyck had grown and Patroon Kiliaen van Rensselaer willingly complied with a requirement of the Dutch West India Company to secure a clergyman for a Dutch Church to conduct services for the settlers.
The Reverend Doctor Johannis Megapolensis, Jr., the dominie (pastor) of the congregation of Schorel and Berg, belonging to the classis of Alkmaar in Holland, was selected and accepted the call. He was to serve for six years at a salary of one thousand guilders (about $400) per year. He was also to receive a yearly donation of thirty schepels (22 ½ bushels) of wheat and two firkins of butter. [Read more…] about Father Isaac Jogues, Pastor Johannes Megapolensis & Native People