The most recent episode of Empire State Engagements features a conversation with Dr. Thomas J. Balcerski of Eastern Connecticut State University about his New York History journal article “‘The Little Spark of Manhood I Have Left’: Governor Thomas Melville and the Aged Seamen of Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” and his recent monograph Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). [Read more…] about Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island (Author Interview)
Archaeologists in Central London are involved in a massive undertaking excavating St James’s Gardens, a graveyard close to Euston Station, before a terminus for the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project is built on the site. Among the 45,000 skeletons due to be dug up it is hoped that the remains of Bill Richmond will be identified.
By the end of the eighteenth century boxing was England’s dominant sport. Confirmation of its repute occurred at the coronation of George IV on 19 July 1821 when eighteen pugilists were invited to guard the entrance to Westminster Abbey. One of the ushers selected for the grand occasion was Bill Richmond, a formerly enslaved man who descended from Richmondtown, a colonial outpost on Staten Island, New York. [Read more…] about Staten Island Boxer Bill Richmond Delivered the Punches
In 1824, the French aristocrat Lafayette (Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette), who had played a key role in securing victory over the British during the American Revolution, was invited by President James Monroe to visit the United States, then about to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
As an advocate for democracy in both the American colonies and in France, and a proponent of abolition, the Frenchman was warmly welcomed on a thirteen-month tour of the United States. His visit spanned a highly controversial 1824 presidential election season in which the House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams over the highest vote-getter, Andrew Jackson. Lafayette has been seen by historians as a uniting force, whose presence served to remind Americans of their mutual bonds. [Read more…] about Lafayette’s 1824-25 Farewell Tour Commemoration (A Virtual Talk)
Martin V. Melosi’s new book Fresh Kills: A History of Consuming and Discarding in New York City (Columbia University Press, 2020) tells the story of Fresh Kills ― a monumental 2,200-acre site on Staten Island ― that was once the world’s largest landfill.
From 1948 to 2001, it was the main receptacle for New York City’s refuse. [Read more…] about Fresh Kills: A History of Consuming and Discarding
Bill Miller, knwon as “Mr. Ocean Liner,” is set to give a talk, Floating Palaces: The Great Atlantic Liners, on Thursday, January 30th, from 6 to 8 pm, at the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island.
Ocean Liners were the mechanic marvels of their time, with their top deck suites and salons to lower-deck steerage, the race for speed, the lavish interiors and soldiers onboard during wartime. [Read more…] about Great Atlantic Liners Talk in Staten Island
This episode of the podcast Someone Lived Here explores Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island, for more than a century a charity operated retirement home for sailors.
It was established from the estate of Robert Richard Randall, a noted sea captain, on 160 acres on Staten Island. About 1,000 seafarers lived here at its peak. [Read more…] about Someone Lived Here: Sailors’ Snug Harbor, Staten Island
The National Lighthouse Museum’s Great Staten Island Lighthouse Boat Tour has been set for Sunday, September 15th, from 11 am to 2 pm. The tour will encircle Staten Island, looking at critical points of maritime interest and the historically rich Shooters, Prall, Hoffman and Swineburn Islands. [Read more…] about Great Staten Island Lighthouse History Boat Tour
The National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island has announced their yearly Lighthouse Week is set to begin on August 2nd, with the 9th Annual Light Keepers’ Gala.
Before the United States was a nation, individual colonies and municipalities constructed lighthouses on their shores to guide mariners into harbors. But since operation of these lighthouses was not governed by a centralized body, the lights lacked uniformity in their operation, impacting the safety of the mariners they were trying to protect.
Someone Lived Here is a non-fiction podcast that tells the stories of New York’s most interesting people, by touring through their homes. Host Kendra Gaylord walks listeners through homes, lighthouses, and mansions while telling of the complicated lives of the women and men who lived there. [Read more…] about New Podcast Tells Stories of New York’s Historic Houses
Twenty-five teenagers from United Community Centers youth groups in East New York, Brooklyn were amazed to learn that not only was there slavery in Brooklyn during the Revolutionary era, but that the New Lots African burial ground was now covered over by a park across the street from their community center, a park named after the Schenk slave holding family.
Inconvenient history had been erased, but it might be rewritten thanks to local community groups and the efforts of City Councilwoman Inez Barron and New York State Assemblyman Charles Barron. Community residents are discussing rebuilding the New Lots Library on part of the site and adding a museum honoring enslaved African people who helped build Kings County and then were written out of history. [Read more…] about 5 Boros to Freedom Educates On NY Slavery