About This Blog

We live in the midst of New York stories, and create new ones every day. They are all around us. The sum of these stories, some familiar, some virtually forgotten, make up the history of our state. As a center of innovation, enterprise, diversity, interconnections, conflicts and leadership, New York State both reflects the entire history of the United States and provides its own special flavor to the American narrative.

New Yorkers have been accused of neglecting their past to focus on the New York [map]future. Yet the college students who study Empire State history with me are not only excited to learn about the state in which they live, but frustrated when they realize how much they were never before taught. So, as I wrap up my research and begin writing a new college textbook on the history of New York State, I set out in this blog to share with a wider audience some of the discoveries I have made along the way as I’ve researched New York’s stories. It will feature snippets of history that I find intriguing — vignettes from the Big Apple and the boroughs, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Capital District, North Country, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, the Niagara Frontier – and anywhere in between. Although these stories may not be news to all of you, they will be surprising to some, and will jog the memories of others.

Read and enjoy. And, if you have any comments or corrections, please share them with me.

Susan Lewis, Associate Professor of History, SUNY New Paltz

 

12 thoughts on “About This Blog

  1. Helise Winters

    I so enjoyed reading the first installment. Interesting to learn about this man, a slave, and how much more than a slave he was. And the contributions he made. Looking for the next installment.

    Reply
    1. Susan Lewis

      Thank you, Helise. I was amazed to learn about someone so interesting whom I’d never heard of, much less taught about in a decade of teaching Empire State History.

      Reply
  2. Janine Hakim

    Good afternoon…..Is it possible to “join” a list of avid NY State lovers who hunger for the opportunity to coonect to this website and receive email notices when the next article appears?
    Please do add me to your avid readers list…Than you Janine E. Hakim, Southern Tier (Chenango County) {EMAIL REDACTED}

    Reply
    1. Joshua Simons

      While we currently do not have an email list (I redacted your email from your comment so you do not get bombarded with spam), it is Susan’s intention to update the blog every Thursday. You could also “Like” The Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/CRREO/99755053299). We announce new posts on it.

      If in the future we create email alerts, I’ll make sure you’re on the list.

      -Joshua Simons (the Web Guy)

      Reply
    2. Susan Lewis

      Hi Janine, you are the second person to ask this question in one day, and Josh is looking into it. Thank you for your enthusiasm, Susan

      Reply
  3. Dave Ruch

    Dear Susan,

    Great to see this, and thanks for sharing your research. My area of interest is researching and performing the traditional music from earlier times that was (and still is, in some cases) passed down through the generations in different regions of the state. There are fascinating stories about African-American fiddlers on Long Island and in the Catskills, old ballads and historical songs preserved in the minds and memories and journals of farmers and housewives and canallers and soldiers, rare square-dance pieces kept alive in a single North Country home, song collectors roaming the Adirondacks and even out to Western NY, etc. It would be great to compare notes sometime.

    Reply
  4. Herb Hallas

    I enjoy your writing and am pleased to see that the subject of New York State history survives at the college level. As you wrap up your research in preparation for a new college textbook on the history of the Empire State, please consider including something about William Almon Wheeler, the five-term congressman and 19th vice president of the U.S. from Malone, NY. My biography of him, William Almon Wheeler: Political Star of the North Country, will be released by SUNY Press on December 1. Like you, I too have recently begun publishing a blog that contains snippets of New York State history that interest me. You might enjoy taking a look at it here. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your next piece.

    Reply
    1. Susan Lewis

      Thank you, Herb. I will look at your blog and your book, though I’m not sure how much detailed political history I’ll be including. My textbook is designed for a course that is currently required for future school teachers so, although it will be a college text, it will focus on topics that they can integrate into the Social Studies curriculum. However, the North Country must be part of the story!

      Reply
      1. Herb Hallas

        I completely understand what you mean; however, I was merely suggesting that you avoid following the footsteps of other historians who have totally ignored Wheeler. For example, in their usual discussion of work done by the 1867 state constitutional convention to extend black voting rights, Wheeler’s name as president of the convention and supporter of said extension is left out. This happens again sometimes in the context of the 1876 presidential election when an author will mention New York’s Tilden and Indiana’s Hendricks running against Ohio’s Hayes—and inexplicably not use the name of New York’s Wheeler!

        Reply
  5. Antonia Petrash

    I am so very pleased to see that you are again working on this blog and helping to plan the celebration of the centennial of woman suffrage in NY State. We are (unfortunately) a small cadre of people who are actively working to keep this history alive, and I look forward to working with you on this in the future.
    Antonia Petrash

    Reply
    1. Susan Lewis

      Thank you, Antonia. We are hoping to gather more support and publicity for all of our efforts to celebrate the New York, and then the national, anniversaries. Forming networks of historians is clearly a key part of this effort and I love your website on Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement: http://longislandwomansuffrage.com/

      Reply

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