The current New York State budget being negotiated by Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature contains significant new spending on a number of things, like $29 million for a new headquarters for the Adirondack Park Agency, and a new $30 million building for the Olympic Regional Development Authority at the North Creek Ski Bowl, yet funding for Forest Rangers in the Adirondack Park and across the state is flat. [Read more…] about No Major Changes for Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks
Trivia clue: Saratoga County Democrats barbecued an 800-pound ox to celebrate his election in 1884.
Correct response: Who is Grover Cleveland? A Glens Falls hotel keeper saved a piece of the rib bone as a souvenir. [Read more…] about Political Anecdotes from Northern New York Historic Newspapers
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Beginning in 1944 and lasting until 2002, the Liberal Party offered voters an ideological seal of approval and played the role of strategic kingmaker in the electoral politics of New York State. The party helped elect presidents, governors, senators, and mayors, and its platform reflected its founders’ social democratic principles.
In practical politics, the Liberal Party’s power resided in its capacity to steer votes to preferred Democrats or Republicans with a reasonable chance of victory. This uneasy balance between principle and pragmatism ultimately proved impossible to maintain. [Read more…] about New Book Considers New York’s Defunct Liberal Party
Trivia clue: This federal agency that started as an experiment of the Army Signals Corps and was transferred in 1887 from the War Department to the Department of Agriculture. [Read more…] about Anecdotes from Historic Newspapers
Working against Weed was the fact that the Republican convention was to be held in Chicago, Illinois, home state of Abraham Lincoln. Weed knew that his man, Seward, was far better known throughout the country. In addition to being New York’s Governor, Seward had been a U.S. Senator and as a leading anti-slavery proponent he had received extensive publicity. His biggest drawback was that he had been considered at one time to be the most radical anti-slavery member of the Senate. [Read more…] about Albany’s Thurlow Weed: Seward, Lincoln’s Election, & The Civil War Years
This week on The Historians Podcast, Tessa Bridal, a native of Uruguay, tells the stories of people who disappeared during South American political turmoil in the 1970s in her book The Dark Side of Memory (Rio de La Plata, 2021). [Read more…] about The Dark Side of Memory: South America’s Disappeared Children
Following his political successes in the disputed Election of 1824, Thurlow Weed was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1825 and again in 1830.
In the 1820s, like many in Upstate New York with populist, anti-elite feelings, Weed strongly believed the Masons were trying to control government using secret means. He felt that political affairs should be conducted publicly and particularly opposed the fraternal secrecy of Freemasonry. An alleged conspiracy by Masons to murder William Morgan in Western New York in September, 1826 sparked the anti-Freemasonry movement. Weed began publishing the Anti-Masonic Enquirer in Rochester, NY in February, 1828.
Soon Weed was hired as editor of the newly formed Anti-Masonic Albany Evening Journal, which began publication on March 22, 1830. The move to Albany made him a statewide leader of the fledgling Anti-Masonic Party. [Read more…] about The End of the Whigs: Thurlow Weed & The Birth of the Republican Party
Ira Harris was born at Charleston, Montgomery County, NY on May 31st, 1802 to Fredrick Waterman Harris and Lucy Hamilton. When he was six years old, his family moved to Preble, NY where his father became one of the largest landowners in Cortland County.
Harris attended Homer Academy and graduated from Union College in 1824. He studied law for one year in Homer, New York and then moved to Albany where he assisted one of that city’s most highly regarded jurists, Ambrose Spencer. [Read more…] about Albany’s Ira Harris: From Rights Advocate to Lincoln’s Assassination
On this episode of Empire State Engagements, a conversation with Dr. Marsha E. Barrett of the University of Illinois about her new article “‘Millionaires are more Democratic Now’: Nelson Rockefeller and the Politics of Wealth in New York,” which appears in vol. 102.1 of New York History (Summer, 2021). [Read more…] about Nelson Rockefeller and the Politics of Wealth: A Discussion
Correct response: Who is J & C Fischer of New York City? [Read more…] about NY Newspaper Anecdotes From Political History