Historical research using old newspapers fascinates but also frustrates me. Had you read the March 5th, 1936 edition of The Cazenovia Republican you would have learned that the historic Gerrit Smith mansion in Peterboro, New York, burned to the ground two days earlier. [Read more…] about The Destruction of Gerrit Smith’s Mansion
Florenz hit his stride with the Follies of 1907. A combination of European refinement, the signing of high quality performers (chorus girls), choreographers and lyricists, a relatively short show of forty minutes presented with lightning speed and precision, created an unprecedented sense of theatrical excitement. [Read more…] about Florenz Ziegfeld: The Incarnation of Broadway
Dr. Rosetta Sherwood Hall was born in Liberty in Sullivan County, NY on September 19th, 1865, grew up on the family farm and attended the Chestnut Ridge School and the Liberty Normal Institute.
After receiving her teaching degree from Oswego, she taught in local schools for a few years before entering the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1886, and becoming a missionary doctor in Korea in 1890.
Her pioneering work with deaf and blind Korean children and her founding of what eventually became the Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul. [Read more…] about Dr Rosetta Sherwood Hall: Catskills to Korea
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Woody Holton, a Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and the author of Liberty is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution (Simon Schuster, 2021), discusses with Liz how we can better see and understand the American Revolution as a whole event.
Holton’s widely acclaimed book describes the origins and crucial battles of the American Revolution from Lexington and Concord to the British surrender at Yorktown, always focusing on marginalized Americans — enslaved Africans and African Americans, Native Americans, women, and dissenters — and on overlooked factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease. [Read more…] about Everyday People of the American Revolution
On the latest episode of the New York Minute In History Podcast, Devin Lander and and Lauren Roberts highlight a historic roadside marker in Tioga County and tell the story of Corporal Margaret Hastings, a member of the Women’s Army Corps who survived 47 days in a New Guinea jungle during the Second World War.
Guests include Mitchell Zuckoff, author of Lost in Shangri-La (Harper, 2012); and Emma Sedore, Tioga County historian. [Read more…] about Margaret Hastings: A World War Two WAC Lost In New Guinea
On March 26, 2022,the city of New York officially co-named West 46th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, Frances Perkins Place. Perkins was U.S. Secretary of Labor under Franklin Delano Roosevelt from 1933 to 1945, the first woman to serve as a cabinet secretary.
The Frances Perkins Place block includes Hartley House, a nonprofit organization where France Perkins was a social worker. You can read more about Frances Perkins here. [Read more…] about NYC Street Co-Named For First Woman Cabinet Member Frances Perkins
To celebrate Women’s History Month (March 2022), Crossroads of Rockland History focused our attention on the women of South Mountain Road (Rockland County) who, like their male counterparts, were gifted artists and intellectuals.
Historical Society of Rockland County’s Executive Director Susan Deeks joined Clare Sheridan to discuss some of these notable women and why they deserve a prominent place in the history of American arts and letters. Lita Hornick, Martha Ryther, Lotte Lenya, Eva Zeisel, Bessie Breuer and Mary Mowbray-Clarke were discussed. [Read more…] about Artists & Intellectuals: The Women of South Mountain Road, Rockland County
In February 2022, the New York State Archives announced that archivists had uncovered court records detailing the 1828 legal battle by Sojourner Truth to secure her enslaved son Peter’s freedom. According to archivist Jim Folts, this case was the first time in United States history that a Black woman successfully sued a White man for a family member’s freedom.
After passage of the New York State Gradual Emancipation Act in 1799, some slaveholders illegally sold enslaved Africans to Southern planters for the expanding cotton industry. When Sojourner Truth, then known as Isabella Van Wagenen, escaped from enslavement in 1826, her former “owner,” John J. Dumont of New Paltz, Ulster County, NY, sold her five-year old son Peter to Eleazer Gedney who planned to take the boy with him to England.
When this plan fell through, Eleazer Gedney sold Peter to his brother, Solomon Gedney, who resold Peter to their sister’s husband, a man named Fowler, who was a wealthy Alabama planter. [Read more…] about Documents Reveal Sojourner Truth’s Battle to Free Her Son from Slavery
The ossuary under the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini at Via Veneto in Rome houses the skulls and bones of some 4,000 former Capuchin monks who were interred there between 1631 and 1870. The dead were buried without coffin and later exhumed to make room for newly deceased. Their remains were transformed into “decorative designs.”
In the summer of 1867 Mark Twain visited the Capuchin Convent and recorded his observations of the crypt’s “picturesque horrors” in The Innocents Abroad. What the novelist witnessed were arches built of thigh bones; pyramids constructed of “grinning” skulls; and other structures made of shin and arm bones. Walls were decorated with frescoes showing vines produced of knotted vertebrae; tendrils made of sinews and tendons; and flowers formed of knee-caps and toe-nails. [Read more…] about Macabre Mania From Charles Allan Gilbert to Andy Warhol
Governor Hochul has announced that a new State Park to open to the public later this spring in Kingston, Ulster County, NY will be named for 19th century African American abolitionist and suffragist Sojourner Truth.
Covering more than 500 acres and a mile of Hudson River shoreline, this park was once an industrial site for production of cement, quarry stone, and ice harvesting. Sojourner Truth State Park will be first new State Park since 2019. [Read more…] about New Sojourner Truth State Park in Kingston Opening This Spring