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1743
The first botanical survey of the NYC area was done by Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776). The Scotsman later served two terms as the colonial governor of the province of New York.
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1754 Jun 19
The Albany Congress opened. New York colonial Gov. George Clinton called for the meeting to discuss better relations with Indian tribes and common defensive measures against the French. The attendees included Indians and representatives from Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Benjamin Franklin attended and presented his Plan of Union, which was adopted by the conference. The meeting ended on July 11.
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1755 Sep 8
British forces under William Johnson and 250 Indians defeated the French and their allied Indians at the Battle of Lake George, NY.
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1776 Jul 1
The British fleet anchored off Sandy Hook in New York Bay.
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1776 Oct 13
Benedict Arnold was defeated at Lake Champlain by the British, who then retreated to Canada for the winter. Arnold’s efforts bought the colonists 9 months to consolidate their hold in northern New York. In 2006 James L. Nelson authored “Benedict Arnold’s Navy.”
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1777 Jan 15
The people of New Connecticut, a chunk of upstate New York, declared their independence. The tiny republic became the state of Vermont in 1791.
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1777 Jul 1
British troops departed from their base at the Bouquet river to head toward Ticonderoga, New York.
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1777 Sep 19
During the Revolutionary War, American soldiers won the first Battle of Saratoga, aka Battle of Freeman's Farm (Bemis Heights). American forces under Gen. Horatio Gates met British troops led by Gen. John Burgoyne at Saratoga Springs, NY.
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1779 Jul 16
American troops under General Anthony Wayne, aka Mad Anthony Wayne, captured Stony Point, NY, with a loss to the British of more than 600 killed or captured.
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1782 Mar 24
Loyalist militiamen captured a fort on the New Jersey coast. Revolutionary commander Captain Joshua Huddy was captured and taken to New York. A few days later loyalist soldier Philip White was killed in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
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1784
The British gave their Indian allies from New York a large parcel of land southwest of Toronto after they fled to Canada following the American war of independence. In 2006 the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy claimed that part of this land had been sold without their proper consent for a new housing development in Caledonia.
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1787
Alexander Hamilton sponsored a New York law that recognized adultery as the only ground for divorce. It remained in force until 1967.
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1791
Aaron Burr (1756-1836), later US vice president (1801-1805), was elected as US Senator from New York (1791-1797).
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1794 Nov 11
The Treaty of Canandaigua was signed at Canandaigua, New York, by fifty sachems and war chiefs representing the Grand Council of the Six Nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy (including the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes), and by Timothy Pickering, official agent of President George Washington. The Canandaigua Treaty, a Treaty Between the United States of America and the Tribes of Indians Called the Six Nations, was signed.
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1802 Feb 23
Dewitt Clinton (1769-1828) began serving as US Senator from New York and continued to 1803.
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1803
The Pinkster Ode was Dedicated To Carolus Africanus, Rex: Thus Rendered in English: King Charles, Capital-General and Commander in Chief of the Pinkster Boys in Albany, NY. Despite Pinkster’s Dutch origins, Africans in New York and New Jersey were so successful at incorporating their own cultures into the celebration that by the early 1800s Pinkster was actually considered an African-American holiday.
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1804 Jul 11
Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton (47), former first Treasury Secretary, in a pistol duel near Weehawken, N.J. A warrant for Burr’s arrest was soon issued in New Jersey and New York, where Hamilton died. In 1999 Richard Brookhiser wrote "Alexander Hamilton: American." In 2001 Joanne B. Freeman edited his writings and published: Alexander Hamilton: Writings."
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1804 Jul 12
Alexander Hamilton (47), US Sec. of Treasury, died in New York of wounds from a pistol duel in New Jersey with VP Aaron Burr. In 1920 Frederick Scott Oliver authored a Hamilton biography. In 2002 Stephen Knott authored "Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth." In 2004 Ron Chernow authored the biography "Alexander Hamilton." Lawyer Ambrose Spencer (1765-1848) said Hamilton “more than any man, did the thinking of his time.”
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1807 Aug 17
Robert Fulton’s "North River Steam Boat" (popularly, if erroneously, known to this day as the Clermont) began heading up New York’s Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany. It was 125 feet (142-feet) long and 20 feet wide with side paddle wheels and a sheet iron boiler. He averaged 5 mph for the 300-mile round trip. The boat was developed with business partner Robert Livingston.
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1813 Feb 26
Robert R. Livingston (66), US diplomat (Declaration of Independence), died in Clermont, NY. He had helped Robert Fulton develop the "North River Steam Boat" (1807).
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1817 Jul 1
Dewitt Clinton (1769-1828) began serving his first term as governor of New York and continued to 1822.
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1824 Nov 5
Stephen Van Rensselaer established the Rensselaer School with a letter to Rev. Dr. Samuel Blatchford, in which he asked him to serve as the first president. The first engineering college in the U.S., Rensselaer School, opened in Troy, New York, on Jan 3, 1825. It later became known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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1825 Jan 1
Dewitt Clinton (1769-1828) began serving his 2nd term as governor of New York and continued to 1828.
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1825 Oct 26
The Erie Canal was opened in upstate New York. It cut through 363 miles of wilderness and measured 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. It had 18 aqueducts and 83 locks and rose 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. The first boat on the Erie Canal left Buffalo, N.Y. after eight years of construction. At the request of New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, the New York state legislature had provided $7 million to finance the project. The canal facilitated trade between New York City and the Midwest--manufactured goods were shipped out of New York and agricultural products were returned from the Midwest. As the canal became vital to trade, New York City flourished and settlers rapidly moved into the Midwest and founded towns like Clinton, Illinois. [see 1826] Gov. Clinton rode the Seneca Chief canal boat from Buffalo to New York harbor for the inauguration. In 2004 Peter L. Bernstein authored “Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation.” In 2009 Gerard Koeppel authored “Bond of Union: Building the Erie Canal and the American Empire.”
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1828 Feb 11
Dewitt Clinton (b.1769), American politician and naturalist. He had served as a US Senator, 2-time governor of New York state and 3-time mayor of NYC.
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1829 Nov 13
Sam Patch (~23), stunt diver, dove 125 feet from a platform at the Genesee Falls on Friday the 13th in Rochester, NY. His body was found the following March in the Genesee River ice. In 2003 Paul E. Johnson authored "Sam Patch, the Famous Jumper."
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1829
Abner Cutler started a cabinet making business in Buffalo, New York. The company manufactured roll-top desks for decades.
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1830 Apr 6
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith and five others in Fayette, Seneca County, N.Y. Joseph Smith (25) published the “Book of Mormon” in Palmyra, New York. He claimed that the manuscript was based on ancient golden plates revealed to him by the angel Moroni and written in the language of the Egyptians. The book records the journey of an ancient Israelite prophet, Lehi, and his family to the American continent some 2,000 years ago. [see 1827, 1831] Some 5,000 copies of the book were published. In 2014 Avi Steinberg authored “The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla & Kansas City, Missouri.”
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1833 Aug 11
Robert G. Ingersoll (d.1899), advocate of scientific realism and humanistic philosophy, was born in Dresden, NY. "Heresy is what the minority believe; it is the name given by the powerful to the doctrines of the weak." "The history of the world shows that when a mean thing was done, man did it; when a good thing was done, man did it." "Courage without conscience is a wild beast."
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1834 Jan
New of the failure of business houses and banks in Philadelphia, NY, and Washington heralded the newspapers.
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1839 Jun 12
Baseball was said to have been invented. According to legend Abner Doubleday chased cows out of Elihu Phiney’s pasture and invented the game of baseball at Cooperstown, New York, later home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Cooperstown Bat Company. In 1939 on the 100th anniversary of the day Abner Doubleday supposedly invented the sport, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, N.Y. Americans began playing baseball in the 1840s. It was derived from the British game called rounders.
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1839 Aug 26
The slave ship La Amistad was captured off Long Island. The USS Washington, an American Navy brig, seized the Amistad, and escorted it to New London, Connecticut.
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1843
Alonzo Blanchard of Albany, NY, patented a stove design called “Washington.” It featured a cast-iron statue of George Washington on top.
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1847
George Bush, a professor of Hebrew at New York Univ., authored “The Valley of Vision,” in which he called on the US government to militarily wrench Palestine from the Turks and return it to the Jews.
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1847
1852
Durfee’s Knickerbocker root beer was bottled in Rochester, New York, during this period. Durfee used a 12-sided bottle in Ohio and New York. In 2008 the bottles were valued at about $125.
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1847
The Smith brothers reportedly invented the cough drop in a restaurant in Poughkeepsie, NY. Their cough drop brand was revived in 2013, three years after it was brought out of bankruptcy.
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1848 Mar 29
1848 Mar 31
Niagara Falls slowed to a trickle for about 30 hours due to an ice jam from Lake Erie in the Niagara River.
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1848 Mar
The modern spiritualism movement began when Catherine and Margaretta Fox, after encountering numerous disturbances in their new home in Hydesville, New York, devised a way of communicating with a spirit via the use of a tapping system.
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1849 Jan 23
English-born Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), the 1st woman to receive an American medical degree, graduated at the top of her class from the medical school of Hobart College, Geneva, NY.
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1849
Rufus Porter, founder and first editor of Scientific American, proposed an aerial locomotive to carry up to 100 passengers from New York to California in three days. He built a 700-foot model but a rowdy crowd destroyed its hydrogen gas bag before it could be launched.
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1852 Jul 4
Frederick Douglass delivered the keynote speech for the Independence Day celebration in Rochester, NY. In 2006 James A. Colaiaco authored Frederick Douglass and the Fourth of July.”
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1853 Oct 1
Robert Schuyler, the president and general transfer agent of the New York & New Haven Railroad Company, began issuing, shares of stock beyond the capital limited by its charter.
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1857
A court case in New York, Livingstone v Bank of New York, held that a bank could not be deemed insolvent merely because, during a general panic, it could not redeem its notes in specie.
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1859 Jun 30
French acrobat Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope as 5,000 spectators watched. Harry Colcord crossed over the Niagara Falls while strapped to the back of French tightrope walker Blondin.
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1860 Sep 7
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (d.1961), American folk painter, was born in Greenwich, NY. She began painting at the age of 78. She won worldwide fame in the 1950s with her paintings of rural American farm life.
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1862
The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy was founded in Buffalo, NY. In 1905 it opened the Albright-Knox Art Gallery following a generous gift from Buffalo entrepreneur and philanthropist John J. Albright.
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1863 Aug 3
Horatio Seymour (1810-1886), two-time governor of NY (1853-54 and 1863-64), asked Pres. Lincoln to suspend the draft in NY.
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1863 Aug 3
The Saratoga Race Course opened in Saratoga Springs, NY.
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1866 May 29
US Gen'l. Winfield Scott (79) died at West Point, New York. Union General Winfield Scott was the originator of the military strategy known as the "Anaconda Plan." Scott's plan for defeating the Confederacy featured a naval blockade of the South designed to slowly "strangle" the fledgling country. The Union did impose such a blockade, but by 1861 Scott was considered too old to lead the federal armies and he retired that November. Although a Virginian born on June 13, 1786, Scott-popularly called "Old Fuss and Feathers"-remained loyal to the Union and its army he commanded when war broke out.
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1868 Nov 3
Republican Ulysses S. Grant was elected 18th president. He won the election over Democrat Horatio Seymour (1810-1886), two-time governor of NY (1853-54 and 1863-64), by 27,000 votes. Seymour ran fairly close to Ulysses Grant in the popular vote, but was defeated decisively in the electoral vote by a count of 214 to 80. Grant used the 1867 typewriter phrase "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party" for his campaign.
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1871 Jan 3
Henry W. Bradley patented oleomargarine in Binghamton, NY.
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1872 Aug
The Black Duck, a 51-foot, single-mast ship, sank in Lake Ontario during a gale off the coast of New York. In 2016 divers found the wreck in 350 feet of water off Oswego.
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1872 Oct 10
William Henry Seward (b.1801), former Gov. of New York (1839-1842) and American Sec. of State from 1861-1869, died in Auburn, NY. He had arranged the purchase of Alaska for the United States. In 2012 Walter Stahr authored “Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man.”
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1873 Mar 1
E. Remington and Sons (1816–1896), a firearms manufacturer founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, started manufacturing the first commercial typewriter. James Densmore and George Yost contracted Remington to build 1,000 machines designed by Christopher Latham Sholes.
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1873 Jun 18
Suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1815-1906) was fined $100 in Canandaigua, NY, for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election. The fine was never paid [see Nov 5, 1872].
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1875
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), professor of astronomy at Vassar, helped found the American Association for the Advancement of Women and was elected the association’s 1st president.
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1876
T. Southard of Peekskill, NY, became Southard, Robertson & Co. The Southard company had manufactured toy wood-burning heating stoves as early as 1850.
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1877
Richard Dugdale, American social reformer, authored “The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism, Disease, and Heredity.” The Jukes clan from upstate New York counted prostitutes, thieves and drunkards in its ranks.
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1880 Jan 10
Frank Leslie (b.1821), English-born American engraver, illustrator and publisher, died in NY. His publications included Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, aka Leslie's Weekly, (1852-1922).
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1885 Jul 23
Ulysses S. Grant (b.1822), commander of the Union forces at the end of the Civil War and the 18th president of the United States, died in Mount McGregor, NY, at age 63. He had just completed the final revisions to his memoirs, which were published as a 2 volume set by Mark Twain. In 1928 W.E. Woodward authored "Meet General Grant," and in 1981 William S. McFreeley authored "Grant: A Biography." His tomb was placed in the largest mausoleum in the US on a bluff over the Hudson River. In 1998 Geoffrey Perret published the biography "Ulysses S. Grant: Soldier and President." In 2004 Mark Perry authored “Grant and Twain.” In 2006 Edward G. Longacre authored “General Ulysses S. Grant: The Soldier and Man.” In 2011 Charles Bracelen Flood authored “Grant’s Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant’s Heroic Last Year.”
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