One of the world’s first steamboats successfully completed a maiden voyage on the river Clyde in Scotland in 1798. That same year, Chancellor Robert R. Livingston proposed to the New York Legislature that he would develop a new form of public transportation, the steamboat ferry, in return for a monopoly on steam navigation in New York waters. Despite the Legislature’s skepticism that steamboat technology was viable, legislation granting Livingston the monopoly was enacted. [Read more…] about Hudson River Steamboats & Gibbons v. Ogden: 200 Years of the Commerce Clause
Pirates, Prostitution & The Livingston Family
From their early days on the North American continent, the Livingston family were a prominent sex-trade family. In a nutshell, they were landlords to brothel-operators from at least as early as the 1810s.
New York State Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, who reluctantly joined the patriot side of the American Revolution in 1776. Chancellor Robert was one of many Livingstons who profited from the sex trade in the aftermath of the unrest. [Read more…] about Pirates, Prostitution & The Livingston Family
US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
In 2023, the United States Military Academy will remove 13 Confederate symbols on its West Point campus. They include a portrait of Robert E. Lee dressed in a Confederate uniform, a stone bust of Lee, who was superintendent of West Point before the Civil War, and a bronze plaque with an image of a hooded figure and the words “Ku Klux Klan.”
Art displayed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC, still includes images of 141 enslavers and 13 Confederates who went to war against the country. A study by the Washington Post found that more than one-third of the statues and portraits in the Capitol building honor enslavers or Confederates and at least six more honor possible enslavers where evidence is disputed. [Read more…] about US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
Fulton’s Steamboat, The Black Ball Line & The Erie Canal
For thousands of years prior to the early 1800s maritime transportation was dependent on sailing ships. In the first few decades of the 19th century however, entrepreneurs in New York helped revolutionize the industry so that one hundred years later sailing ships were an anachronism that hardly existed, except for show.
In the latter part of the 1700s the development of the Boulton & Watt steam engine in England made it theoretically possible to power a boat. Before 1800 a number of inventors, including New Yorkers such as Nicholas Roosevelt, John Fitch, Robert R. Livingston, John Stevens III and others, experimented with boats that used such steam engines. Before Robert Fulton made his first run in the North River steamboat (later renamed Clermont) in 1807 more than a dozen steamboats had been constructed in the United States with varying degrees of success. There were difficulties in making such craft commercially viable. [Read more…] about Fulton’s Steamboat, The Black Ball Line & The Erie Canal
The Third Patroon & The English Take-Over of New York
The third patroon was Kiliaen Van Rensselaer II (1655-1687) son of Johannes, who was the first patroon to live at Rensselaerswyck, the van Rensselaer Patroonship in most of what is now Albany and Rensselaer Counties, along with parts of Columbia and Greene Counties.
Kiliaen II was only seven years old when his father died however, so his uncles continued to manage the colony. Jeremias was director in 1664 when the English seized New Netherland and renamed Beverwyck “Albany.”
Jeremias’ constant conflict with Stuyvesant and his possible establishment of overland fur trade with the English in Massachusetts, avoiding Peter Stuyvesant’s tax collections in New Amsterdam (New York City), may have facilitated the English take-over. [Read more…] about The Third Patroon & The English Take-Over of New York
Chancellor Livingston: Reexamining a Founding Father June 26
On Sunday, June 26, Clermont State Historic Site will host an opening for the exhibit “Chancellor Livingston: Reexamining a Founding Father,” which highlights Livingston’s contribution to both the Revolutionary War and the founding of America as a new nation.
At 3 pm, Clermont’s Curator of Collections Geoff Benton will give a free tour of the museum highlighting artifacts once belonging to the Chancellor. Afterward, stay to view this unique collection in the museum’s upstairs gallery. Colonial-style goodies and Liberty Punch will be served. [Read more…] about Chancellor Livingston: Reexamining a Founding Father June 26
Early Years Of Steamboating On The Hudson
In 1798, Robert R. Livingston, Jr. (1746-1813) requested and obtained a monopoly from the New York State Legislature granting him the exclusive right to operate passenger steamboats on the Hudson River.
The Livingston family was very wealthy and owned the large estate, Clermont, just south of Albany. They ran an iron foundry and machine shop for many years where they had installed a steam engine to power the equipment. [Read more…] about Early Years Of Steamboating On The Hudson
Newly Discovered Livingston Manuscript Being Exhibited
The New-York Historical Society is displaying an important, recently discovered handwritten document that sheds new light on the period leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the final break with Great Britain.
The manuscript was discovered last summer in the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York City, which served as George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and was recently acquired by Brian Hendelson, a noted New Jersey-based Americana collector. Hitherto unknown and unstudied, the manuscript is on view at New-York Historical in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library through November 7, 2014 and will remain on loan to New-York Historical for purposes of study and display for two years. [Read more…] about Newly Discovered Livingston Manuscript Being Exhibited