Many reasons are offered for covering bridges such as providing shelter during inclement weather or so horses wouldn’t be afraid to cross the water. However, the true reason is much more practical – to protect the structure supporting the bridge. Without protection from the weather, the wooden timbers supporting the bridge would decay more rapidly and eventually collapse. [Read more…] about Covered Bridges: Common Questions Answered
To Distress the French and Their Allies: Rogers’ Rangers, 1755-1763 (Black Dome Press, 2023) is the first volume in a new “Rangers of the French and Indian, Cherokee, and Pontiac’s War” series by Black Dome Press, that is expected to document for the first time the histories of all ranger units, from each of the colonies, that served in the French & Indian War and after.
Volume I begins with the most famous ranger unit of all ― Robert Rogers’ Rangers, which served in the major campaigns in New York and Canada, and then in the Caribbean, and continued to fight in the Cherokee and Pontiac’s Wars. [Read more…] about To Distress the French and Their Allies: Rogers’ Rangers, 1755-1763
On July 23, 1788, a colorful “Federal Procession” of nearly 5,000 citizens marched through Lower Manhattan in celebration of the ratification of the Constitution. The Order of the Procession was divided in ten divisions representing various trades and professions. One of those involved in the manifestation was a young Federalist and lexicographer by the name of Noah Webster.
Noah was a member of the Philological Society of New York. Founded in March 1788 for the purpose of “improving the American Tongue,” the Society was eager to take part in the event. Solemnly dressed in black, the philologists paraded in the Ninth Division with lawyers, college students and merchants. [Read more…] about Noah Webster’s Dictionary for Independence
In a recent article in the Washington Post, author Sydney Trent narrates the story of Stephanie Gilbert, a descendant of Oliver C. Gilbert, and her quest to learn of her ancestor and visit his place of birth and enslavement. The article briefly discusses O.C. Gilbert’s life in Saratoga Springs, NY, from about 1860 to 1876, when he moved to Pennsylvania.
Saratoga Springs offered many opportunities for employment, and it was said that while many of the Southern gentleman brought their slaves with them as they took in the season at The Spa, many of the Black men and women serving them were probably former enslaved people who had run for their freedom. Moreover, while Gilbert’s primary legacy is as a lecturer and musician, his political activism both before and while living in Saratoga Springs places him in the company of many prominent abolitionists, businessmen and politicians who continued the fight for racial equality as Jim Crow laws were becoming commonplace in America. [Read more…] about O.C. Gilbert: Speaker, Musician, Black Community Organizer in Saratoga
The road was to run across what is now Vermont between Crown Point and The Fort at No. 4 on the Connecticut River in what is now Charlestown, New Hampshire. [Read more…] about Crown Point Road: Opening Northern New England & Lake Champlain
The book Indivisible: Daniel Webster & the Birth of American Nationalism (Riverhead Books, 2022) by Joel Richard Paul tells the story of how Webster, a young New Hampshire attorney turned politician, rose to national prominence through his powerful oratory and unwavering belief in the United States. [Read more…] about Indivisible: Daniel Webster & the Birth of a Nation
One of the earliest written accounts of Jock’s Lake in the Adirondacks (about twenty-five miles east of Boonville) was given by Jeptha Simms in his 1850 book Trappers of New York: A Biography of Nicholas Stoner & Nathaniel Foster:
“Jock’s Lake, so-called after Jock (Jonathan) Wright, an early trapper upon its shores, is a very pretty lake, five or six miles long, though not very wide; and is situated in the north-eastern or wilderness portion of Herkimer County, some ten miles from a place called Noblesborough. Its outlet is one of the sources of the west branch of West Canada Creek.” [Read more…] about Jock Wright & Dut Barber: Honondaga Lake History
Between 1749 and 1764 colonial governor of the Province of New Hampshire Benning Wenworth made about 135 land grants (now known as the New Hampshire Grants), including 131 towns, on land claimed by New Hampshire west of the Connecticut River. This area was also claimed by the colonial Province of New York.
From the 1760s until 1779 the Green Mountain Boys, led by Ethan Allen and his brother Ira, controlled the area. Based at a tavern in Bennington, they evaded arrest warrants from New York State and harassed settlers from New York, surveyors, and other officials, often with severe beatings and destruction of their belongings. [Read more…] about Albany Posse! The Capture of Remember Baker, Captain of the Green Mountain Boys
The invention of the wheel has been celebrated as a hallmark of man’s drive for innovation. By the 1890s, Europe and America were obsessed with the bicycle. The new two-wheel technology had a profound effect on social interactions. It supplied the pedal power to freedom for (mainly white) women and created an opportunity for one of the first black sporting heroes.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, bicycle racing as a sporting event reached feverish popularity both amongst the public and within artistic circles. In the early twentieth century racing developed as a distinct facet of modernity. The bicycle was the pre-eminent vehicle of the avant-garde. [Read more…] about The Black Cyclone & The Unbearable Whiteness of Cycling
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