In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Andrew Porwancher, the Wick Cary Associate Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma and the Ernest May Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, joins Liz Covart to investigate the Jewish world and upbringing of Alexander Hamilton using details from his book, The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton (Princeton, 2021). [Read more…] about The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton
New York City
During the mid-1930s Mussolini dumped socialists and anti-fascists in the inaccessible and malaria-ridden southern areas of the country.
The use of islands as off-shore detention centers has a parallel history. The government of Charles I locked up its opponents at Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isles of Scilly. Having lost the English Civil War, Charles I himself was incarcerated in Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. Faced with continuing sedition and agitation, Charles II sent several former leaders of the Interregnum into island isolation. [Read more…] about Islands of Punishment and Exclusion
The next day Jay would start his solo adventure paddling the Hudson River toward New York City – he needed a Hudson River Water Trail Guide. [Read more…] about Kayaker Alan Jay Paddles From Buffalo to Manhattan in 31 Days
Plastered on walls in public spaces and civic buildings, scattered in hotels and restaurants, hidden in private mansions, a plenitude of murals form part of New York City’s infrastructure.
Although American interest in the medium originated in the 1893 World Fair which presented visitors with numerous large-scale murals, the vogue for this form of artistic expression dates back to the Great Depression. With the introduction of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933, federal funds were made available to support and promote public art. Muralism became fashionable. [Read more…] about New York: A Metropolis of Murals
I was awfully glad when a friend proposed a trip to Saratoga. I had been awfully jolly in New York, but New York had gone out of town, leaving nothing but its streets and its tram-cars behind it. In London we have such a perpetual flow of visitors — over one hundred thousand daily — that a fellow doesn’t so much miss the “big crowd” as here, consequently when Saratoga was decided upon I felt extremely pleased indeed. I had heard much of the palatial river steamers, and expected much. [Read more…] about Aboard the Hudson River Steamer Drew to Saratoga in 1878
The new book Vintage Babes of Broadway: Through the 20th Century Lens of Murray Korman (The One Big Name Publishing, 2022) by Clyde Adams and Maureen McCabe includes hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and short biographies about the many celebrities and other theatrical aspirants that 20th century publicity photographer Murray Korman took during his long and successful career. [Read more…] about New Book On 20th Century Broadway Photographer Murray Korman
Before the arrival of European settlers, the flatland area that would become Harlem (originally: Nieuw Haarlem after the Dutch city of that name) was inhabited by the indigenous Munsee speakers, the Lenape. The first settlers from the Low Countries arrived in the late 1630s.
Harlem was an agricultural center under British rule (attempts to change the name of the community to “Lancaster” failed and the authorities reluctantly adopted the Anglicised name of Harlem). During the American Revolutionary War in September 1776 it was the site of the Battle of Harlem Heights. Later, rich elites built country houses there in order to escape from the city’s dirt and epidemics (Alexander Hamilton built his Harlem estate in 1802). [Read more…] about Harlem on Fire: Langston Hughes & Wallace Henry Thurman
In the evening of February 25th, 1643, soldiers and settlers of the colony of New Netherland massacred a large number of Native American men, women, and children belonging to Munsee nations on and around Manhattan. The victims were surprised in their sleep. They had assumed they were safe because they had recently sought shelter near New Amsterdam from Indigenous enemies. Dutch sources indicate that at least eighty and perhaps up to one hundred and twenty Munsees were murdered. [Read more…] about Kieft’s War: Mass Murder on Manhattan
Banker and philanthropist Felix Moritz Warburg was born in January 1871 in Hamburg. In 1895 he married Frieda Schiff, the only daughter of the New York financier Jacob Schiff. In 1908 the couple had a six-story mansion built in a French Gothic Revival style on Fifth Avenue. Felix died in October 1937 and was buried in Salem Fields Cemetery, Brooklyn. Seven years later his widow donated their estate as a permanent home for New York’s Jewish Museum.
The source and context of the topographic Warburg surname throws light on complex historical patterns of migration. [Read more…] about Bankers and Brush Makers: What’s in a Name?
The recent New York Almanack post, “Kidnapped Into Slavery On The Hudson River” reprinted an early report of the crime by the New York Evening Post. The accused kidnappers were put on trial (and convicted).
This incident is one of the approximately 50 case studies included in my book Solomon Northup’s Kindred: The Kidnapping of Free Citizens before the Civil War (Praeger, 2016). The following is adapted from the account of the incident which appears there. [Read more…] about The 1817 Hudson River Kidnapping Case: Details & Outcome