The Schoharie Valley is one of New York’s three great colonial valleys, its history closely connected to, but overshadowed by, the more famed Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. When the Palatines arrived there in 1712, the world they stepped into was a century in the making. Until now, this formative period of the valley’s history has never been fully told, nor has the true impact these rebellious German refugees had on New York’s western frontier. [Read more…] about Schoharie Valley & New York’s Western Frontier, 1687-1702
The earliest European settlers in the Mohawk Valley came from what is now southwestern Germany. Under near constant threat of destruction, whether from multiple wars, invasions, or the plague, in the near hundred years leading up to the 18th century, the southwest German population experienced extreme hardship.
In some cases, entire towns and villages were wiped out. Commercial crops in the vineyards either failed or were destroyed. Invading French armies added to the hardship by burdening residents with housing and supporting soldiers, albeit with scant family resources, forcing many German homeowners to flee. [Read more…] about Palatines in the Mohawk Valley: 300 Years of History
During the turmoil of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), many Protestant Germans from the Middle Rhine region of the Holy Roman Empire fled to England, with the largest group of refugees – some 13,000 – arriving there in 1709.
The arrival of these “Poor Palatines” caused a rise in opposition to immigration in England. Most were quickly sent to Ireland, but nearly 3,000 were sent on 10 ships to the colonial Province of New York (a group about a third the size of the population of the city of New York at that time). [Read more…] about The Palatines Along Hoosick Road in Rensselaer County
Censorship is the official prohibition or restriction of any type of expression conceived as a threat to the sociopolitical or moral order. Attempts by the authorities to suppress freedom of the press in the American colonies were recurrent. These efforts would eventually lead to a confrontation at the Supreme Court in the case of New York v. John Peter Zenger in August 1735. [Read more…] about The Palatine Printer & Three Scots Behind The First Amendment
In the 1680s and 1690s the latest in a long string of European wars broke out. The War of the Grand Alliance, also known in New York State as King Williams War (1688-1697), pitted France against England, the Netherlands, and Austria.
It quickly spilled over to a bitter conflict of raids and counter-raids which took place between New France and frontier settlements of Eastern New York and Western Massachusetts. Each side employed their Indian allies to fight on their behalf and to guide their small armies to their respective enemies. [Read more…] about King William and Queen Anne Wars in NYS
In September 1755 the most famous Indigenous person in the world was killed in the Bloody Morning Scout that launched the Battle of Lake George. His name was Henderick Peters Theyanooguin, but he was widely known as King Hendrick.
In an unfortunate twist of linguistic and historical fate, he shared the same first name as another famous Mohawk leader, Hendrick Tejonihokarawa, who although about 30 years his senior, was also famous in his own right. He was one of the “Four Indian Kings” who became a sensation in London in 1710, met Queen Anne, and was wined and dined as an international celebrity. [Read more…] about The Two Hendricks: A Mohawk Indian Mystery