Don’s Online Digital Art Gallery #2

Originally published in the TU on May 22, 2020

by Don Rittner

The Capital District is full of great artists.  Every month -before the COVID apocalypse- I enjoyed going to Troy Night Art (especially The Photography Center of the Capital District), Arts, Letters and Numbers (art colony in Averill Park), and Albany’s First Night (especially the Opalka Gallery and Albany Institute), to name a few.  These monthly gatherings allowed our artists to show their visions and even make a dollar or two by offering up their works.  With the Shut-in going on and no set date for it to end I decided to offer an online digital gallery each month.  Local artists will still have a venue, albeit an online one, and for we art lovers now will have a chance to view their latest creations. Hopefully those with some spending money have an opportunity to acquire these works.  So enjoy.  Each artist can show one or two items followed by a short bio and contact info.  This is “show” number two.

 Jon Gernon

“The Golden Apple” – Acrylic & Oil on paper/panel – 21” x 32” – $950
“Preface to a Dream” – 35” x 47” – Acrylic & Oil on canvas- $1500.

My work draws from pieces of the past. Using elements associated with symbolism, Mythology and the fantastique, I blend history with contemporary figures and ideas.

With my work, I try to bring the use of classical techniques and subject matter into the 21st century. In doing so, I allow my art to tell stories, but stories the viewer could construct on their own, unconstrained by whatever my ideas of the stories are.

In the end, I’m simply trying to make a beautiful image, regardless of whether or not some would consider that to be kitschy or sentimental.

Jon Gernon’s work has been included in over seventy group and solo exhibitions in the past fifteen years. In 2015 his work was part of the traveling Imaginaire: Contemporary Magic Realism Exhibition in Denmark, England, and the United States. In 2019 he will be part of the Attleboro Arts Museums major exhibition Nature & Narrative. Selected work has been included in such exhibitions as; En Point:Drawing From History: Historic Northampton Museum, Beautifully Strange at The Clement Art Gallery, Troy, NY, Past/Present: The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, Lustorus Lines: Metalpoint Drawing at The Morris Graves Museum , Eureka, CA, Contemporary Icons: Tempera at Westfield State College in

Massachusetts, Art Connections: the George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University,

Montclair, NJ, The Katherine Butler Gallery in Sarasota, FL, The New Jersey Arts Incubator Program in West Essex, NJ, The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. His work is in private and corporate collections in The United States, Canada & Europe.

Ann Norsworthy

‘Fog & Dune’ 6×9 archival limited edition print on 110# Fine Art Paper $55. Other sizes and print material available.
‘ELEV’ March, 2013 Two time Honorable mention winner, most recently Albany Center Art Gallery, Members Show, 2014 12”x8” unmounted, signed, limited edition, archival print with 1/4 white border. $80

Ann Norsworthy is an Artist from Schenectady, New York.

Art has influenced Ann from a very young age, first experiencing the world as shapes and colors, then as symbols, and finally defining them as they relate to surrounding spaces. After-school art classes were the highlight of her youth until college when Design and Art History sparked her appreciation and love for the creation of others that further inspired her work.

Photography is the most prolific area of Ms. Norsworthy’s work. She is also passionate about ceramics, watercolor, sketching, painting, and teaching individuals and inspiring community through art.

Ann has won numerous awards from exhibitions at galleries around the Capital Region including Albany Center Gallery and Red Hook Community Arts Network, 2012, 2013, 2014. Her photography has been recognized by Henry Horenstein as Juror for PHOTOgraphy exhibition 2012, and has had images added to the Getty Images collection, 2017.  Following a long illness Ann resumed her work in 2018 and offered private lessons from her home studio Summer, 2019.

Tony Murray

“Tara.” Scratchboard medium.

Tony Murray  is a self taught artist whoʼs work has been in over 75 Nationwide and Regional juried art shows and exhibits. His eclectic works involve various media such as drawing, scratchboard, painting, videography, sculpture and photography. More recently Tony has concentrated his efforts into a new medium called

“Sculptography” which combines his sculpture and photography. His works begin with a title or a word and then he begins the process of creating that vision into captivating verisimilitude while informing

otherworldliness. His goal is that the viewer takes a moment and explores the deeper meaning of what is being illustrated.

Tony Murray scrtchbrd@yahoo.com.


Frances E. Giroux

The flower.
The Frear Building and The Flower. 8 x 10.

Frances Giroux amateur photographer that loves taking pictures from road trips and the nearby towns to Troy, NY where she resides. Contact iamfrang2@yahoo.com

Virginia Bryant

7185 (title). 20×16″ acrylic/canvas.
7227 (title)20×16″ acrylic on canvas

It may seem paradoxical to say I wish for authentic painting to be as musical as possible. It is better said that like music this is an elemental art, music is in air as paint is in water. So if painting is most clearly itself it is through its liquid manifestation as air is the carrier for music. Rhythm, pattern and harmony move through paint as they move through music. If ever we were in need of manifestations of interior and intuitive flow, it is now. If ever we were in need of respecting the basic elements making our survival possible, such as air and water it is now. Art is the ultimate manifestation of this respectful devotion in music and painting.

Virginia Bryant’s early training as a dancer and designer and work as a performer, choreographer, theatrical, fabric & garment designer in San Francisco in the 70’s and 80’s has formed the basic skills and orientations for her painting practice of the last thirty five years. Her curatorial projects spanned the years of 1986-2004. She published related art writing in local dailies, also lecturing on related projects at Edison College, Florida Gulf Coast University and the Renaissance Society in Naples Florida. Her awards for painting include a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, a George Sugarman Grant, and a Change award from Bob Rauschenberg. Her paintings have been shown at the Holter Museum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Baker Artis Museum in Naples Florida. She paints from her studio in Troy New York.

Old Visions of Troy

Old Visions of Troy

By Don Rittner

When I was writing the Heritage on the Hudson column in the Troy Record decades ago, I penned a series of columns on my visions for Troy. Written mostly in August of 2004 I recently revisited the columns when it was revealed that they might tear down the Uncle Sam Atrium and build apartments and parking.  Another unimaginative proposal from my viewpoint.  But here are those “visions” of mine from back then.  Maybe they were hallucinations instead?  Here they are unedited.

Visions for Troy
By Don Rittner

August 10, 2004

There have been several proposals on the table to redevelop Troy from South Troy’s riverfront to landscaping the hills with housing tracts and dotting each entrance to the city with chain drug stores. I have my own visions of what Troy should look like and for the next few weeks will present a dozen of them here. Troy is a city waiting to be rediscovered, but we want to make sure the city doesn’t end up looking like every other city – full of fast-food chains and mall type department stores.

My proposals begin at Congress Street and run the entire length of the river to the Menands Bridge. When taken as a whole, they blend the city’s great historic treasures into new uses and give people a reason to come to Troy.

This simple idea is to reestablish Troy’s beginning point at Ferry and River Street, where city father Dirk Vanderheyden built his farm in 1707, and progress outwardly from there, allowing the city to keep and promote the existing historic North River Street area, and to rebuild a new South River Street area that continues along the river into South Troy. This proposal reconnects the part of the city that has been taken away by the Congress Street Bridge/Ferry Street Tunnel.

Hopefully, these columns will stir discussion and debate on where Troy needs to be in 5 to 10 years, and I hope it will stimulate even more alternative designs and ideas for the city.

The following proposals are based on an artist’s view of having a clean canvas to work on. Obviously, in the proposals that follow, existing business would have to be relocated, bought out, and/or would agree to this vision.

Proposal One (A)

Trojan Market Place
Location: Taylor Apartments, Congress to Division.

For the last few years, a public farmer’s market has been located in the parking lot of John Hedley’s office complex on River Street, north of the Green Island Bridge. Local farmers bring their products to the parking lot, once a week, set up tents and overheads, and then leave. It’s time that a permanent location of the market be developed and housed with permanent open-air pavilions.

This new public market should be located where buildings 1 and 2 of the Taylor Apartments exist. The fact that the intrusive bridge that now bisects this housing complex has made living there unbearable also makes the need for change obvious.

The market square would be two side-by-side pavilions east of the bridge access road that could be enclosed in inclement weather so yearlong use could be utilized.

In addition, the lands in which building 3 sits should become a terraced park with a small active playground called Ilium Park.

The access road that now runs along the river should be abandoned for car use and turned into part of a greenway and trolley route (explained later). A utility road can run along the western side of the bridge until it meets with Building 4 of the Taylor apartments.

Building four should be renovated and expanded into a new hotel complex (Ashley’s Ferry Inn) complete with a top-level restaurant where diners can view the Hudson River Valley, and perhaps a new ferry to Albany. This hotel complex would be located right off the exit ramp of the bridge.

Proposal One (B)

Pedestrian Bridge
Location: Along north & south side of Ferry Street where bridge access road enters Ferry Street Tunnel.

Ferry & River have been radically altered. It’s the location of Dirk Vanderheyden’s home, Ashley’s Ferry, and the first two roads in Rensselaer County – the road to Hoosick and the Road to Schaghticoke. Since it’s unlikely that the bridge will be taken down in the near future, there’s a need for a pedestrian bridge that will take people over it and reconnect with both sides of Ferry and the city downtown.

Currently, there’s a small pedestrian tunnel on the east and north side of the bridge exit ramp that leads under the bridge to go from building 2 to building 3.

A pedestrian bridge should be built at the location where the bridge access ramp drops into Ferry Street tunnel at the point where the former alley between River and First intersects the tunnel. The bridge would be accessible for the handicapped by having a large ramp run parallel to the tunnel (Ferry Street) on both sides. This would lead along the River street sidewalk between the barrier wall of the north access ramp and Russell Sage dormitory building. The area on the east side of the bridge and Ferry Street can be landscaped, as it will be part of the Trojan Marketplace.

More detail to follow in the coming weeks.

Visions of Troy #2
By Don Rittner

August 17, 2004

Last week we reestablished the original founding location of Troy at River and Ferry by proposing a permanent public market pavilion, children’s park, pedestrian bridge, and four-star hotel complex in the area surrounding it. This week we reclaim the east and west sides of River Street from Division to Adams.

Proposal Two

Vanderheyden Square
Location: The entire rectangle beginning at Division Street, running the length of the west side of River to north side of Adams, east to the river.

This entire block should be developed into a retail/commercial mall styled after Guilderland’s Stuyvesant Plaza, a great example of an upscale economy base without gaudy chain stores and vanilla box designs. Ours would have boutique & specialty shops, restaurants, outdoor cafes, etc., gracing the River Street frontage. There’s easy access to this retail center since the southeast exit ramp of the Congress Street Bridge ends at Division.

Vanderheyden Square’s building designs, themed in Dutch Colonial style, will surround a center public square with access to the river via the Hudson River Walkway. The Hudson River Walkway is a green line that runs along the entire length of the Hudson from Lansingburgh to the Menands Bridge. Notice I did NOT say bike path, but more on that later.

Existing historic buildings along this tract should be incorporated into the design plan and not demolished.

River Street should have the original Belgium block and trolley lines exposed. If the trolley lines are usable, they will be incorporated into a new trolley system from Congress to Division to Adams. If not, they should be dug up and a new trolley line installed that would run to the new train station, proposed later. The proposed trolley could end at the Ashley Ferry Inn or continue along the access road to Congress Street to bring shoppers and sightseers into the historic River Street quadrant.

Proposal Three (A)

Troy City Museum
Location: Southeastern corner and lots of Division and River to First Street.

Located here are the 18th century Matthias Vanderheyden house, one of the founders of Troy, and the 19th century Knowlson & Kelley steam turbine factory. Today it’s Russell Sage’s parking lot. The site should be excavated archeologically, and a museum should be built over the ruins, much the same way as Montreal’s Point-a-Calliere Museum of Archaeology and History (www.musee-pointe-a-calliere.qc.ca/indexan.html). Here visitors can see the beginnings of Montreal, the first Catholic cemetery, canalized river that became the William collector sewer, stone stockade wall, and the town’s first public square, all underground. Another great example of innovative archaeology is Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel (www.marguerite-bourgeoys.com). The archaeological site under the chapel displays the foundation walls of the original 17th-Century chapel built of fieldstone in the early days of Ville-Marie, remains of the palisade of the second extension of the fortifications of the town in 1709, evidence of the fire that destroyed the chapel in 1754, and vestiges of a Native presence dating back to 400 B.C. It’s also the resting place of nine religious members of the Hôtel Dieu who died in the epidemic of 1734.

Our three-story Troy City Museum would allow visitors to explore the architectural ruins of both the 18th and 19th century ruins, along with any artifacts recovered, and the remaining two floors would house a museum covering Troy’s history from prehistoric times to around 1840, leaving the industrial history to the Burden Museum and Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway located in South Troy.

Proposal Four

The Ilium
Location: Adjacent to the Jewish Synagogue, east side of River, between Division and Liberty.

Albany and Scotia have movie houses (Schenectady next year). Once, there were nine movie houses in Troy and it’s time for a new one. The Ilium will be an Art Deco style theater with a large 1930s-style marquee. A multilevel garage can be erected adjacent to the theater for the movie house and Vanderheyden Square across the street. By locating it here, visitors and shoppers from the train ride or mall shopping can have easy access to all. Being only a short walk from the new train station (explained next week), tourists and shoppers can take a historic train ride to Troy, shop at the mall, visit the museum, and go to a movie.

Proposal Five

Meneely Bell Museum
East side of River Street adjacent to Old Brick House warehouse.

Between the Old Brick House Warehouse (a former shirt and collar factory) and a garage is the site of the Clinton Meneely bell foundry. This site should be excavated and enclosed as an open-air museum with a bell-shaped roof. The site would be self-contained so that visitors could walk through it.

Next week’s proposal calls for a new transportation center for Troy.

Visions for Troy, Part 3
By Don Rittner

August 24, 2004

This week we will create a new transportation center that will bring thousands of people into Troy.

Troy Union Square
Location: Four-corner intersection of River and Adams Streets.

At one time, Troy was the hub of several railroads meeting in downtown at Union Station between Fulton and Broadway. During the 1950’s, rail left Troy, Union Station was demolished, and most of the tracks were torn up.

Today, Troy needs a new train station and rail connections that can be used by our high-tech businesses, RPI, Russell Sage, and others, but also as a historic steam excursion rail line that brings back the thrill of the old-time steam locomotives of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

An historic 19th century steam train between Troy and Rensselaer would carry destination tourists from the Albany area to Troy and generate huge tourism dollars. It could also become an alternative for Albany workers living in Troy to commute to work each day. A Schenectady built ALCO steam engine, currently being restored by the Mohawk Hudson chapter of the National Railway Society, could be the center piece of such an excursion train, or perhaps one of the existing 8 historic railways already existing in NYS (Arcade & Attica RR, Delaware & Ulster Rail Ride, New York & Lake Erie RR, Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley RR, Catskill Mountain RR, Tioga Scenic RR, Batten Kill Rambler, & Adirondack Scenic RR), would agree to run such a route.

The new Union Station, classically designed, would be built at the site of the New York Central yards, running the length of Adams from River to the Jones Bell Foundry on the south side of Adams & First. Existing track bed exists at the site and is currently used by freight traffic. The tracks have been upgraded and are rated for passenger service. This track runs over the old Troy and Greenbush lines, originally completed in 1845, into Rensselaer, not far from the new railroad station. Union Station can be attached to a new building that will serve as a bus terminal, which in turn will be attached to the Jones Bell Foundry on the southwest corner of Adams and First. This bell foundry museum would be incorporated into the train station and become a permanent exhibit on the history of bell making in Troy. The bell museum can serve as an orientation point for tourism information about Troy and the Capital District. Behind the train station, the existing NY Central freight building can be restored and turned into small specialty shops or restaurants to serve the train traffic.

Directly across the station and museum, a 5-level car garage can be built on the site of the old Troy police precinct building, just east of the old shirt factory (Old Brick Furniture now). The shirt factory can be rehabbed into offices, retail, apartments, restaurants, and galleries.

Senator Bruno announced a proposed development on the river that would hold 4 replica ships and provide retail and educational centers. Rather than place this proposal near Liberty, it would fit in nicely along the river adjacent to the train station. Imagine coming into Troy on a steam train and seeing replicas of the USS Monitor, old Dutch ships, and Hudson River Sloops docked and ready to board.

Ferry Hook and Trolley

Adjacent to the train station and terminating at the end of Adams Street at the Hudson, and serving as the southern terminus of Vanderheyden Square, a ferry/water taxi can take people from Troy to Albany and back. A small parking lot can be accommodated at the southwest corner of River and Adams (where they meet). This would be next to the Ferry and behind the Vanderheyden Square retail complex. I also proposed a ferry at River and Ferry, the first ferry site in Troy, but both could be accommodated.

The smaller two-story parking lot would house a trolley barn so that a 19th century replica trolley can take visitors/shoppers from the train down the middle of River Street (the old trolley tracks should still be under River Street) to the hotel complex at the corner of Division and River, around the access road, past the new Ilium park, and up to Congress Street where visitors could disembark and shop in new public farmers market and the old historic part of River Street (Antique District).

My proposal in essence is this. At the corner of River and Adams would be a train station, water ferry, bus station, trolley, car garages, and bell and nautical museum. Tell me that wouldn’t drive tourists to Troy!

Next week, boat building and a museum complex with worldwide importance!

Visions for Troy, Part 4
By Don Rittner

August 31, 2004

Last week we created a new transportation hub. Now we will give tourists a reason to take the train to Troy.

The Hudson River Sloop Company
Location: Rensselaer Rolling Mill, foot of Monroe Street.

The Rensselaer Rolling Mill, (aka Ludlow Valve Company), was an important 19th century ironworks. Among other things, it provided rivets and bolts for the USS Monitor in 1862. The city has owned the site for several years letting it deteriorate to the point that part of the roof is collapsing. Within the building are two cupola furnaces, a steam engine works, bellows, and other 19th century industrial remains.

This building is ideal for a new ship building facility where Hudson River Sloops and Schooners, as well as battoes, canoes, Dutch sailing vessels, and paper boats can be built and sold.

Once, several boat makers lined the rivers from Waterford to Albany, and hundreds of boats could be seen plying up and down the river daily. Look at any 19th century painting of Troy or Albany!

The rolling mill could be used to bring back the paper boat industry created by Eliza Waters and son George in 1867. One year after the first Waters paper boat was constructed, paper-racing hulls won 14 water races, followed by 26 wins the following year, making quite a splash with the rowing public. Visit the Burden Museum to see one of only three in existence.

Local Trojan Greg Pattison, with his BOCES students, has built replicas of battoes, and there is an association of ice racers south of us that could perhaps bring winter sports to the area. Ice racing and sleighing were common on the river during the 19th century.

If Senator Joe Bruno’s harbor plan doesn’t materialize, a harbor can be created next to the sloop company so that a replica of the USS Monitor can dock there, as well as have landings for the sloop Woody Guthrie, and the 100-year-old Dutch barge, the Golden Re’al, operated by the New Netherland Co.

This project would not only create boats and jobs but would liven up the river travel between Waterford and Albany.

In a recent federal report, Civil War sites in America reported a visitation of 11,220,084. Attendance by visitors to visitor centers was 5,833,232. These parks collectively have 163 fulltime positions and 129 part-time positions. In addition, 8,338 volunteers also provide visitor services in the parks. A large park like Gettysburg reported 18 fulltime permanent interpretive positions. A USS Monitor Civil War Museum Park will add to this.

The Mt Ida Nature Trail
Location: Between the new railroad station and sloop company, where the Poestenkill empties into the Hudson River.

A greenway hiking trail system should begin at the train station and run up the southern bank of the stream, until it reaches Mt Ida Falls. Here it can be incorporated into a larger trail system at the falls, proposed a few years ago, but dumped by the city.

Burden Iron Museum Complex
Location: Burden Museum off Polk

The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway manages the Burden Museum. Several new buildings should be constructed with this main facility acting as the centerpiece and forming a horseshoe shape complex (remove the jail first). Each building would house a museum dedicated to one of the industrial giants of the city, e.g., steel making (first Bessemer steel), nail making (brought Henry Burden to Troy) cast iron stoves, valves, and horseshoes, for example. The current office building can continue to be the central operating facility for an educational program that promotes the unique and important 19th century iron age of Troy to the world (which they do now).

Don’t think this has international significance? Last week a tour given by Gateway Director Tom Carroll had more than 60 of the leading horseshoe makers and farriers in the world (as far away as Argentina), including our Mayor, County Supervisor, and the great-great-grand daughter of Henry Burden himself, all exploring Burden’s upper works.

Horseshoe Commons
Location. South of the Burden Museum.

This complex of five buildings is what remains of a much larger complex, the Burden Lower Works. Here horseshoes were made, stored, and shipped around world. These buildings are unique architecturally by having truss roofs, but the buildings are falling down. Of course, the city owns them.

This complex should be renovated into a Quincy Market style complex with a miniature golf course on the north end. A rail, which runs along the length of the longest building, can be used by the proposed trolley system and can make daily runs from here to the train station to Congress Street.

By the way, the new tourist train from Rensselaer to Troy runs past all these sites allowing easy access for visitors.

Next week? Peripheral visions.

Old Visions of Troy

By Don Rittner

Peripheral Visions

By Don Rittner

September 7, 2004

Over the last month I presented my vision for making Troy “hustle & bustle” again.  This plan brings within walking distance new cultural, economic, and recreational facilities, which in turn will bring in millions of people wanting to spend their money.  Will it work?  Of course, and if anyone takes time to visit other American communities that are doing well, they will see the formula is not the secret of some rocket scientist. 

Here are some additional proposals:

Living Mohican Village

South Troy, south of the Burden Horseshoe Buildings

A living Mohican village can be built not far from a known village that existed near the Wynantskill during the 17th century. Built on the banks of the ‘Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk’ (where the waters were never still) – the Hudson River, this living village would consist of several longhouses and wigwams and would be utilized by members of the Mohican Nation. Tourists could visit and learn the ways of a people that lived here in harmony with the land for thousands of years.  Workshops and special events could take place seasonally. It would be the only living village of its kind in their original territorial limits.

The Trojan Train Museum

Location:  Ferry Street Tunnel

The Congress and Ferry Street side of the tunnel should be reopened. Both sets of tracks should still be in there. Offer the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter of the National Railway Society the use of the tunnel to place their 1946 ALCO built steam locomotive and rolling stock inside the tunnel as a railroad museum.

The engine should stick out of the tunnel and the cars converted into a diner, exhibits, and audiovisual center featuring train films, etc. Schenectady has an ALCO diesel sitting in front of the Schenectady Museum.

Uncle Sam Archeological Site

Location: Intersection of short 7th Avenue and Ferry Street.

Tearing down the house of Uncle Sam Wilson during the country’s bicentennial celebration is symbolic of how far Troy lost its sense of place.

In honor of the country’s lasting symbol, the site should be completely excavated and turned into a memorial or celebration of Sam Wilson.

Alleviating Architectural Constipation

What is it with these existing parking garages in the city?  If we need parking garages, at least give them some design that fits into the cityscape.  Take the garage (erector set?) on State and River and give it a façade that matches the 19th century streetscape.  Fortunately, the one on the river between Fulton and Broadway is going to come down, before it falls down.  Ditto on the city hall garage.  Take the entrance between the Arts building and Dauchy building and create some infill housing or commercial building that matches (ditto throughout Troy).  Take that new monstrosity on Fifth Ave and give it a deserving facade.  Now if everyone were really smart, garages would have their street side contain commercial space and hide the fact that they are sleeping quarters for automobiles.

Mt. Ida Performing Arts

Location: The slope of land between Ferry and Congress, just east of the old Rensselaer County Jail and Cole Muffler Shops, and just west of the Train tunnel.

If we need new parking garages, build a new one at the southeastern corner of Congress and Fifth Avenue – into the hill.  The back of the garage can have a performing arts stage while terraced seating arrangements can be built into the hill.  This would allow outdoor concerts to take place in the summertime.  Congress Street could be narrowed and rerouted to accommodate.

Hilton on the Hudson

Knock down the current City Hall and give the area from 251 River south to the Troy Sentinel Building to the Hilton folks. Let them build a hotel and harbor on the Hudson.  The River Street side can conform to the historic streetscape while the riverside can be modern glass, with harbor and entrance for boats and water taxi. Rehab the Stanley Building into a new city hall (Nan Carroll’s idea).

Museum on the River

Hold on Junior Museum, not so fast.  Mike Kittner’s Boardwalk building (the old Kelly Clothes) on Middleburg is begging for use.  Take the first two floors and remodel it for the Junior Museum.  The Nature Conservancy has a great plan to turn the area in back of the building into a canal park, and the Greenway is building a boat launch at the end of Engles.  I’m sure RPI’s Hudson River Estuary Studies program can be convinced to move into the building as well.  This would give the Mt. Olympus area a real shot in the arm and the Junior Museum can stay where it belongs – IN THE CITY, not the suburbs.

Will we see any of these visions become reality? Don’t hold your breath!  Reality always costs more.

Want To Have Fun With Colors.  Nix It!

by Don Rittner

Have you ever been at a location where you admired the color of a wall, desktop, or whatever and wondered where you can get that exact color? I am always looking for tech tools that can help me in my various projects. One of the newest ones is the Nix Mini Color Sensor.  Now this little device, basically a miniature scanner, is one of the most important tools for color designers, interior decorators, artists, art restorers, and I would propose even scientists. No more than an inch and half round (actually an octagon) you simply press the scanner on a wall or any surface that has color and the scanner shines an internal light that lights up the surface. The Nix app on your smartphone shows you the matching color and you have the tech specs on the color within seconds. Can’t be any simpler!

Only an inch and half this powerful little scanner and database of colors is a must have for any working in color management.

Charging is via Micro USB cable, included, and you can get several thousand scans per charge. Lanyard included. Since it works via Bluetooth just open the app, place the scanner nearby, and it connects. You can get the HEX values for Web design for example as part of the info you get from the app.

It does more.  If you would like to match color schemes (harmonies) just swipe to the left and see various schemes such as monochromatic (multiple colors of the same family with different luminosity), Complementary (opposite colors on a color wheel), Analogous (three adjacent colors on a color wheel), Split complementary (two colors adjacent to the complementary of the base color), Triadic (Three evenly spaced colors on a color wheel), Tetradic A (Four colors arranged into two complementary pairs), Tetradic B (Four colors arranged into two complementary pairs), and Square (Four evenly spaced colors on a color wheel). There are 200,000+ plus colors available.

A scan of my Apple Trackpad gives me the color with HEX info.
A scan with the Sherwin-Williams dataset (Nix Paint app) gives me choices for matching the color.

You can share any of these colors details via email, etc.

You have the ability to download other usable companion apps like Nix Paints, and save your scanned colors to custom swatches.  Nix Paint matches over 40k colors and gives you the name and maker from forty nine different paint manufacturers (you import each company’s color database).

Now for my suggestions.  This little device would be great for archeologists like myself and geologists.  When you excavate an archaeological site the soil profiles are very important and we use what is known as the Munsell Color Charts, a series of cards with color chips and their numerical info for reference. We place the card on the soil profile and try to match the color.  This of course takes a toll on the cards and they often get soiled from the dirt and periodically have to be replace (not cheap).

This is what happens after a few years in the field. Replacement pages are not inexpensive either.

We have been using the Munsell charts for over 50 years in the field. I would love to have the Munsell Color Chart colors as a separate database in the Nix Scanner.  This would make our work extremely more accurate.  The only addition would be a glass cap to snap on it so the soils you are testing do not fall into the scanner well.

The Munsell Soil Book includes the following soil color charts

  • Munsell 10R Soil Chart
  • Munsell 10YR Soil Chart
  • Munsell 2.5Y Soil Chart
  • Munsell 2.5YR Soil Chart
  • Munsell 5Y Soil Chart
  • Munsell 5YR Soil Chart
  • Munsell 7.5YR Soil Chart
  • 10Y – 5GY Colors – Olive greens Soil Chart
  • Gley 1 & 2 Soil Charts (2 – Separate Soil Charts)
  • Munsell 5R Individual Soil Chart
  • Munsell 7.5R Individual Soil Chart
  • “New” White Page, 7.5R, 10YR, & 2.5Y

For geologists’ rock color is also important and Munsell has a rock color chart as well.  They also have charts for plant tissues and bead colors.

Munsell’s rock colors would also be useful as an imported database for the Nix scanner.

Not only this one great device, really a “must have,” I find myself now trying it out on almost anything I walk by.  So the company may need to put a disclaimer on the box:  “Caution: Habit forming. You may not be able to stop using this device. ”

This review is for the NIX Mini 2 but they also have a Nix Pro and a QC Color Sensor that can even match liquids, along with the three available apps. The NIX Mini 2 retails around $99.

Their Web site is


Boy Scouts, Detachable Collars, and a Troy Connection?

Originally published in the TU on Dec 30, 2020

By Don Rittner

Chances are everyone knows a Boy Scout or two. This youth building movement began in London back in 1908. It was brought to America shortly after by W. D. Boyce, an American newspaperman, who after being aided by a London scout thought it would a great program for kids in the US.

After returning to America in 1910 he joined up with Edward S. Stewart and Stanley D. Willis and incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8 of that year. Boyce was encouraged to take it nationally by Edgar M. Robinson, a leader of the YMCA in New York City, and offered financial help. That year the Woodcraft Indians led by Ernest Thompson Seton, the Boy Scouts of the United States headed by Colonel Peter Bomus, and the National Scouts of America headed by Colonel William Verbeck were absorbed into the new Boy Scouts of America. The first office was opened in New York City on June 1, 1910, in the 128th street YMCA building.

By the fall they had applications for leaders in 44 states and 150,000 requests from youths. The National Council formed in the fall of 1910 with Colin H. Livingston as the national president and Robinson becoming the managing secretary. Seton became Chief Scout and wrote ‘A Handbook of Woodcraft, Scouting, and Life-Craft,’ the original Boy Scout Handbook. You can download the original here: https://archive.org/details/boyscoutsofameri00seto/mode/2up

So who was the first official Boy Scout Leader? On September 19, 1910, only three months after the Scouts became official, Simeon F. Lester of Troy, New York, became the very first person to hold the Scouting leadership position

of Scoutmaster that was approved by the BSA. He received his certification from the BSA headquarters in New York City. Lester was already working on a Scout program earlier. During three weeks in July 1910 he led a group of 63 boys at Camp Ilium, in Pownal, Vermont.

Camp Ilium was the starting point of the Boy Scout Movement for Troy, and Pownal is only 35 miles away from Troy. Camp Ilium began in 1908 on Barber’s Pond at Pownal. The camp was used for eight years and then moved in 1918 to Camp On-Da-Wa on a rented site on Crooked Lake until 1921. That was replaced by Camp Van Schoonhoven on Burden Lake.

Lester eventually moved to Wellsville and headed the Allegany County YMCA and died at his home in Middlesex in 1937.

While at Troy Lester lived at 100 Seventh Avenue in Lansingburgh and worked for the YMCA on First Street in Troy.

The Troy Semi-Weekly Times on Tuesday, August 6, 1910, discussed the founding of the Troy Boy Scouts in an article about the opening of the Lake George Ernest Thompson-Beton Camp (In 1910 Ernest Thompson Seton became chairman of the founding committee of Boy Scouts of America). The camp was new and its purpose was to: “advance the work of the Scouts of America in the Young Men’s Christian Association.” The article goes on to say:

“The Movement in Troy

The Boy Scout Movement was started in the Troy association [YMCA] at Camp Ilium and has met with great favor. The following members qualified as tenderfeet:

Walter MacNey, Daniel C. Lester, Cornelius S Bullions, John A. McCullough, Alfred Haword Craig, William H. Demers, Willard H. Myers, Earl Hughes, Waldo V Dater, James G Schauwecker, Carl H Ruether, Walter Vause, Charles Harold Schauwecker, William D. Forster, Job F. Lyon, Chester H. Clifford, James L. Smith, H. Grant Stevens, Nelson P. Lund, George H. McCarthy, Walter S. Hogben, James Lloyd Handy, Floyd K. Inch, Raymond Griffin, Paul Neal, Ayers Holloway, Charters McQuide, Walter Nichols and Harold McChesney.

The Future Work

Secretary S. F. Lester of the local association has been appointed Scout Master of Troy by John Alexander of New York, who is at the head of the movement. [Alexander was a YMCA administrator from Philadelphia – DR.] The work will be vigorously pushed at the close of the vacation season. Those who have qualified as tenderfeet are making excellent progress toward the next step, when they will become second class scouts. Scout Master Lester is arranging a three-day outing September 3-5. He is receiving many inquires for information as the association rooms. Mr. Lester said to-day the purpose of he camp at Lake George was to make the fellows well acquainted with the movement and produce results after their return.”

Scouting was not universally accepted in Troy or elsewhere and particularly with the Catholic Church. They did not like it since it was founded by the YMCA, a protestant based organization. In the Albany Evening Journal of September 25, 1911, it was reported that:

“The Rev Msg John H. Swift, pastor of St. Patrick’s church announced from his pulpit yesterday that he did not want any of his parishioners to allow their children to belong to the Boy Scouts as he said, the Scouts were an auxiliary of the YMCA. When interviewed he is said to have stated that the warning was for his own people only. The movement was a good thing for Protestant boys, he said, but he did not favor the organization seeking recruits among Catholic children.”

That didn’t catch on fortunately.

But Troy’s influence on the Boy Scouts does not end there. There is another Boy Scout First. The Boy Scout uniform so familiar across America was designed by Troy’s Charles M. Connelly. He also helped design the scout badge and various other marks and insignia now familiar in the scouting world.

Connelly was the editor of the Chicago Trade journal, The Haberdasher. But Cluett, Peabody & Company, the giant collar maker of Troy, hired him to become their advertising manager. He lived at 25 Locust Avenue in Troy. The first thing Connelly did was to ask his artist friend Joseph Christian Leyendecker whom he had worked with in Chicago to work up an ad of a man in an Arrow collar. In 1907 the Arrow Collar Man, the ideal young American with the broad brow, frank eye, prow like jaw and cleft chin (not to mention Leydendecker’s model was his gay boyfriend Charles Beach) for many years forward wore his clothes “with aplomb” and was the first American dream man and succeeded in making Arrow collars (over 400 types) the badge of the well dressed man. In fact, nine out of ten American men wore a Troy made collar. Arrow collars and shirts were the sign of excellence.

For example, in Drift, the Butler University (Indianapolis, Indiana) yearbook of 1917, their Pi Beta Phi emblem had this saying (emphasis on arrow theirs):

“He took her in a Pierce-Arrow Car;

He wore an Arrow collar;

He wore an Arrow shirt;

And if he had been a lady

He would have worn an Arrow skirt.”

Another version of this is found in the 1921 college yearbook Chinook, from Washington State University:

The Arrow Collar and Arrow Collar man became part of the American lexicon during the 1920s through 40s. Lyrics from Irving Berlin’s song “Puttin’ on the Ritz” include the line “High hats and Arrow collars…” in the second verse, 1946 version. Watch Fred Astaire sing it here (27 seconds into it, but watch the whole video for fantastic tap dancing):

Cole Porter referred to “Arrow Collars” in his song: “You’re The Top” from the 1934 musical Anything Goes (you can hear it here sang by Porter himself in about 2:00):

Lyrics sung by Julie (Hollie Bliss) in F. S. Fitzgerald’s comic one-act play “Porcelain and Pink” from the 1922 short story collection Tales of the Jazz Age include the lines “When the Arrow-collar man / Meets the D’jer-Kiss girl.” In Season 2, Episode 9 of the TV series 30 Rock, Jack Donaghy is described by Liz Lemon’s father as “looking like an Arrow Shirt Model” after he’s stunned by Jack’s appearance.

There is even a modern Arrow Collar Man song by Sonic Kimono a 2011 psychedelic rock band from St Albans, UK. You can listen to it on Spotify (scroll down to song number 9)

Connelly also held a patent for a collar display device that he received in 1927.

Connelly served on the Boy Scouts of America Committee on Permanent Organization and Field Supervision and was a member of the National Council and is listed in the first official handbook for boys. He was also on the Committee on Badges, Awards and Equipment and helped design the Merit Badges and other items as well.

So not only was Connelly responsible for the look of the Boy Scouts, his advertising acumen made Cluett Peabody and Co. one of the largest and most successful collar and shirt companies in the world. The Arrow Collar Man was the most successful advertising campaign in the world and the Boy Scouts became one of the largest organizations for boys.

This article is from my new publication “Troy (is).”  Hardcopies are still available.

In This Issue

Map of Troy One Year after Incorporation, 2

Boy Scouts, Detachable Collars, and a Troy Connection, 3

An Early Description of Troy, 8

Troy. A City of Firsts! 10

Who was Catherine Armstrong? 11

BATESTOWN Troy’s Nowhere Land, 12

Yes Virginia there was Rock and Roll in the Capital District

Originally published in the TU on Nov 2, 2020.

By Don Rittner

The 20th century was the era that shaped the American music scene. Of course there was always some form of music in this country though at first by Indigenous peoples living here, and then the importation of European music, heavily German and later French influenced, once they arrived on the shores in the 17th century. Edward Alexander MacDowell (1861-1908) is given credit for being one of the first American orchestra composers with his “The Indian Suite,” in 1892.  It was based on numerous Native melodies and rhythms.  You can hear it here:

As one reviewer noted “MacDowell was the greatest composer of classical music in the history of America.  I am well aware that it is politically correct to say that Gershwin, Copland, Ellington, and others were better, but truthfully they were not better but just different.  MacDowell was writing music in a German Tradition that still dominated the musical scene throughout the 19th century.  After World War I, Americans tended to be attracted to France more than to Germany,  and jazz music arrived on the scene.  So styles changed and the “critics” of the time name jazz music an “authentic” American genre (which it was.)  Truthfully, with the history of the Twentieth Century behind us, we know now that rock played a much larger role than jazz and dominated the American scene from the 1950’s to the end of the century — and that the Gershwin and Ellington are products of their time just as MacDowell is a product of his.  The bottom line is that we have to look at MacDowell’s music based on the events and styles of his time — a time when music was dominated by Wagner and Brahms.  Also, we have to look at the political correctness of referring to any composition as an “Indian” Suite when the better term is “Native American.”  But in MacDowell’s time they were called “Indians” and MacDowell meant his music as a beautiful tribute to these people.”

The Troy Music Hall, famous for its acoustics, was opened on April 19, 1875.  Even before the city was a city, members of the Apollo Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, purchased a bassoon, violin and other instruments to form a band in 1797. During the early part of the 20th century, many companies like General Electric, American Locomotive and Mohawk Carpet Mills sponsored or initiated small bands that played local gigs. Even hotels like Albany’s DeWitt Clinton had its own big band, Phil Romano and his Dewitt Clinton Hotel Orchestra.

While Rock and Roll is said to have been born in the 40’s and 50’s, the “British Invasion” of the 60s with The Beatles, The Stones, and others completely marked a generation with songs about love and protest, and influenced daily life, fashion, attitudes and language like nothing before it. It crossed racial barriers which before that was mostly confined to regions and specific races (i.e. blues, jazz, etc.).  Rock also brought in the era of heavy drug use and the resulting deaths in legends like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendix and Jim Morrison brought the issue to light.  Drug culture is still a big issue in music.  Rock  originated from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, and country music and rock and roll got its formal name in 1954. It was performed here by the likes of Chuck Berry, Bill Halley and the Comets, and of course Elvis, but for many of us Baby Boomers, it really became part of our everyday life with The Beatles and those English Bands that followed.

The Capital District was not immune to Rock and Roll.  I remember going to the movies with my girlfriend Margo to see the Elvis movies.  Not that I could hear it with all the girls screaming (and Margo almost pulling my hair out).  My first live concert was seeing the Stones at the Palace in April  1965 (and helping remove all the furniture in their hotel rooms, but that is a different story) followed by the Dave Clark Five in Troy in July and following years with Sonny and Cher (who I swear was singing just to me in the front row), The Doors,  Jimi Hendrix and others.

The Ruins, 1966. That’s me on drums. The Hideout was in Glenmont.

If you were a teenage boy (and yes even the young women wanted to get in the act), you wanted to be in a rock band and the Capital District had hundreds of them.  I belonged to four rock bands, The Inertians (65), The Ruins (66), Fresh Cream (69), and Horton Strong (1970-72). There were some attempts after that but by then I was married with two kids and a full time job.  Being a rock and roll star was not meant to be although with Horton Strong we did cut demos at Vanguard and had offers by RCA. When I was playing with The Ruins a contemporary band was The Bougalieu who was able to get a single recorded (and stole our lead singer).  They were one of my favorite rock bands.  Of course through the years we had popular groups like Blotto, Fear of Strangers (The Units) with lead singer Lonesome Val who I still have a crush on, The Gray Things (my cousin was their manager), Love’s Ice Cubes (their bass player ended up with us), Monolith, Tino and the Revlons, the Knickerbockers, and many more. There were many  places to play in the old days. Rock bands played at RPI and its fraternities (we played for most of them), Paul’s on River Street in Troy, Valenti’s on West Sand Lake Rd, and early on at The Escape, the basement of a church on Hoosick Street. In Albany, Bogart’s, J.B. Scotts, and Refer Network’s Sunday concerts in Washington Park were favorites. Other venues included The College Inn up towards Saratoga and The Hide Out in Glenmont. Many of the bars featured bands.  In Troy, the famous “Strip” a row of bars on River Street from Fulton to Congress had many places and one in particular known as The Riviera had name acts (saw Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs there and The Isley Brothers in 64).  Several local groups had their music recorded including The Bougalieu, Tino, The Knickerbockers, Blotto, and others like Horton Strong had their original music played on local radio stations.  If you were an aspiring musician, you purchased your instruments at Hilton’s (Troy & Albany), Romeo’s, or George’s Music Store.  If you wanted to actually learn how to read music or take lessons, you would go over to Miller’s Music Store on 4th Street in Troy. RPI’s radio station, WRPI, use to have a live performance night and singers like Natalie Merchant would stop by (before she made it big).  On Saturday nights, you would tune in to Kaleidoscope with Jim Barrett, who still does his Kaleidoscope  show and the commercial stations like WTRY and WPTR with jocks like Lee Gray and Boom Boom Brannigan would spin out the top 40 hits. Today, groups can make their own digital music, some without actual instruments, using software like Apple’s Garageband. They press their own CD’s from their personal computer, and market their homemade product on the Internet or at their gigs.  You can now download music from Apple Computer into your smartphone for pennies a song and store over 1,000 songs.

In 1970, famed attorney William Kunstler then representing the Chicago 7 (the story about the trial is now on Netflix) spoke at SUNYA to 7000 people.  We opened for him with the opening song “Politician” by Cream, an appropriate song for the occasion. Most of us rock and roll wannabes never made it big of course, but it sure was fun trying.  In those days, getting a record contract was not easy. There was no such thing as digital music, just analog. You bought vinyls, not CDs, and having stereo meant you had two speakers. But one thing is certain. Rock and Roll is here to stay.

Me on drums opening for William Kunstler at SUNYA in 1970.

With Horton Strong we were the first rock band to open SPAC’s 1971 season opening for The Grassroots and ended with opening for the J. Geils Band at SUNYA in October 71.

Horton Strong opening for The Grassroots in 1971 at SPAC. Me on drums.

It is true that almost every legendary rock band (and other genres) played in the Albany area except the Beatles (solos by Paul and Ringo don’t count) during the 20th century and to prove it below is a list of them that I compiled from various sources.

So enjoy this trip down memory lane.  Many of you will have attended these concerts.  Will update as needed.


Compiled by Don Rittner

1957      11/14/  The CricketsRPI FieldhouseTroy
1957 11/14/Fats DominoRPI FieldhouseTroy
1960 2/21/Dizzy GillespieTroy ArmoryTroy
1961 11/3/Ray CharlesRPI FieldhouseTroy
1962  2/23/Dave BrubeckRPITroy
1962  2/24/Duke EllingtonRPITroy
1963   9/25/Ray CharlesPalace TheaterAlbany
196310/5/MantovaniRPI FieldhouseTroy
196311/4/Benny GoodmanRPI FieldhouseTroy
196410/23/Sonny Terry & Brownie McGheeRPI FieldhouseTroy
19649/4/The Beach BoysRPI FieldhouseTroy
19642/28/New Christy MinstrelsTroy ArmoryTroy
19644/24/The Brothers Four & Leon BibbRPI FieldhouseTroy
196410/6/MantovaniRPI FieldhouseTroy
196410/9/The Kingsmen & The ChiffonsRPI FieldhouseTroy
196410/23/Harry BelafonteRPI FieldhouseTroy
196411/7/Pete Seager87 GymTroy
19654/29/The Rolling StonesPalace TheaterAlbany
19652/12/Bob DylanTroy ArmoryTroy
19652/12/Bob DylanTroy ArmoryTroy
19653/5/The Clancy Brothers & Tommy MakemTroy ArmoryTroy
19654/30/Peter, Paul and MaryRPI FieldhouseTroy
196510/15/Isley BrothersRPI FieldhouseTroy
196510/15/Bobby Comstock and the CountsRPI FieldhouseTroy
196510/16/Dave BrubeckRPI FieldhouseTroy
196511/12/Jimmy Dorsey OrchestraTroy ArmoryTroy
19657/25/Dave Clark FiveRPI FieldhouseTroy
19664/14/Jerry Lee LewisExcelsior HouseTroy
19663/25/Ramsey Lewis TrioCrooked Lake HouseAverill Park
19663/5/The ShirellesCrooked Lake HouseAverill Park
19665/6/Ray CharlesRPI FieldhouseTroy
19665/13/The Brothers FourTroy ArmoryTroy
196610/8/Simon and GarfunkleRPITroy
196611/11/Peter, Paul and MaryRPITroy
19677/24/The Dave Clark FiveColonie ColiseumLatham
196712/8/The DoorsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19677/24/The Dave Clark FiveColonie ColiseumLatham
19673/3/The AssociationRPI FieldhouseTroy
19673/3/The RascalsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19675/5/Sammy Davis JrRPITroy
196711/10/The Lovin’ SpoonfulRPI FieldhouseTroy
196712/8/The DoorsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19684/19/The Jim Hendrix ExperienceTroy ArmoryTroy
19682/10/New Christy MinstrelsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19683/1/Frankie Valli & The Four SeasonsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19684/19/Jimi HendrixTroy ArmoryTroy
196911/10/The WhoPalace TheaterAlbany
196910/11/Johnny CashRPI FieldhouseTroy
19697/20/The Beach BoysTroy ArmoryTroy
196911/14/Sonny & CherRPI FieldhouseTroy
19693/8/McKendree SpringMcNeil Room, RPITroy
19697/20/Beach BoysTroy ArmoryTroy
196910/17/Iron ButterflyRPI FieldhouseTroy
196911/14/Sonny & CherRPI FieldhouseTroy
19703/22/The Moody BluesSUNYAAlbany
197010/9/SantanaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19702/14/McKendree Spring87 GymTroy
19702/24/The Fifth DimensionRPI FieldhouseTroy
19703/13/Bill CosbyRPI FieldhouseTroy
19704/11/Van Morrison87 GymTroy
197010/9/SantanaRPI FieldhouseTroy
197111/16/Jethro TullPalace TheaterAlbany
197111/7/Bill Haley & His CometsLinda Norris AuditoriumAlbany
19717/3/Carl PerkinsUnknownAlbany
19712/11/The Bee GeesPalace TheaterAlbany
19711/20/ChicagoPalace TheaterAlbany
19715/1/Gordon LightfootRPI FieldhouseTroy
197110/16/Blood, Sweat & TearsRPI FieldhouseTroy
197112/4/The Allman BrothersHudson Valley Civic CenterTroy
197110/29/J. Geils BandSUNYAAlbany
197112/4/J. Geils BandHudson Valley Community CollegeTroy
197112/4/Allman BrothersHudson Valley Community CollegeTroy
197112/4/NRBQHudson Valley Community CollegeTroy
197211/29/Eric AndersonPalace TheaterAlbany
197211/29/New Riders of the Purple SagePalace TheaterAlbany
197211/14/The Beach BoysPalace TheaterAlbany
19723/9/Uriah HeapCollege of St RoseAlbany
19724/21/Sha Na NaHudson River CafeAlbany
19729/17/J. Geils BandRPI FieldhouseTroy
19729/29/Isaac Hayes MovementRPI FieldhouseTroy
197210/31/ChicagoRPI ArmoryTroy
197211/1/ChicagoRPI ArmoryTroy
19722/23/Bette MidlerRPI ArmoryTroy
19724/14/MelanieRPI FieldhouseTroy
19723/19/J. Geils BandPalace TheaterAlbany
19723/19/SweathogPalace TheaterAlbany
19729/17/J. Geils BandRPI ArmoryTroy
19728/17/Sonny & CherSPACSaratoga
197311/7/ArgentPalace TheaterAlbany
19739/6/New Riders of the Purple SagePalace TheaterAlbany
19735/17/Mahavishnu OrchestraPalace TheaterAlbany
19733/3/The Allman BrothersPalace TheaterAlbany
19731/28/Mahavishnu OrchestraSUNYAAlbany
19739/28/If & Dick Morrissey87 GymTroy
197310/20/The CarpentersRPI FieldhouseTroy
197412/11/GenesisPalace TheaterAlbany
197411/24/The KinksPalace TheaterAlbany
197411/10/Jerry Garcia & Merl SaundersPalace TheaterAlbany
19743/8/Seals & CroftRPI FieldhouseTroy
19749/20/Sha Na NaRPI FieldhouseTroy
197410/21/Jackson BrownePalace TheaterAlbany
197411/16/AmericaHouston Field House, RPITroy
197411/30/J. Geils BandPalace TheaterAlbany
197511/4/Stephen StillsPalace TheaterAlbany
197511/2/New Riders of the Purple SagePalace TheaterAlbany
197510/14/Black Oak ArkansasPalace TheaterAlbany
197510/14/FoghatPalace TheaterAlbany
197510/14/MontrosePalace TheaterAlbany
19759/27/ZZ TopPalace TheaterAlbany
19759/5/The Edgar Winter GroupPalace TheaterAlbany
19758/9/KissPalace TheaterAlbany
19754/24/Frank ZappaPalace TheaterAlbany
19755/4/New Riders of the Purple SageRPI FieldhouseTroy
197511/1/Poco & McKendree SpringProctor’s TheaterTroy
197612/12/Black Oak ArkansasPalace TheaterAlbany
197612/12/MontrosePalace TheaterAlbany
197612/12/RushPalace TheaterAlbany
197610/31/Manfred Mann’s Earth BandPalace TheaterAlbany
19769/20/Blue Oyster CultPalace TheaterAlbany
19769/20/Tommy BolinPalace TheaterAlbany
19769/19/Blue Oyster CultPalace TheaterAlbany
19769/19/Tommy BolinPalace TheaterAlbany
19767/2/UtopiaPalace TheaterAlbany
19764/22/StyxPalace TheaterAlbany
19761/27/Blue Oyster CultPalace TheaterAlbany
19761/27/Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet BankPalace TheaterAlbany
197611/6/Frank ZappaRPI FieldhouseTroy
197610/10/Jackson Browne and OrleansRPI FieldhouseTroy
197611/6/Frank ZappaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19764/8/J. Geils BandProctor’s TheaterTroy
197712/8/Jerry Garcia BandPalace TheaterAlbany
197711/17/AC/DCPalace TheaterAlbany
197711/17/RushPalace TheaterAlbany
197711/3/Dr FeelgoodPalace TheaterAlbany
197711/3/Gentle GiantPalace TheaterAlbany
197710/9/Be Bop DeluxePalace TheaterAlbany
197710/19/City BoyPalace TheaterAlbany
197710/19/NektarPalace TheaterAlbany
197710/13/Fats DominoTurf ClubAlbany
19771/4/Uriah HeapPalace TheaterAlbany
19774/24/AngelPalace TheaterAlbany
19774/24/Max WebsterPalace TheaterAlbany
19774/24/RushPalace TheaterAlbany
19772/24/Dr FeelgoodPalace TheaterAlbany
19772/24/Gentle GiantPalace TheaterAlbany
19772/7/Bruce SpringsteenPalace TheaterAlbany
19772/2/BostonPalace TheaterAlbany
19775/8/BostonRPI FieldhouseTroy
19777/15/J. Geils BandLebanon Valley SpeedwayAlbany
19777/15/Blue Oyster CultLebanon Valley SpeedwayAlbany
19777/15/Black Oak ArkansasLebanon Valley SpeedwayAlbany
19777/15/The DictatorsLebanon Valley SpeedwayAlbany
19785/1/Talking HeadsHullabalooRensselaer
19783/4/Talking HeadsHullabalooRensselaer
197812/13/Cheap TrickPalace TheaterAlbany
197810/8/Frank ZappaPalace TheaterAlbany
19788/23/AC/DCPalace TheaterAlbany
19788/23/RainbowPalace TheaterAlbany
19787/22/Blue Oyster CultAlbany-Saratoga SpeedwayMalta
19787/22/British LionsAlbany-Saratoga SpeedwayMalta
19787/22/DerringerAlbany-Saratoga SpeedwayMalta
19787/22/Alvin LeeAlbany-Saratoga SpeedwayMalta
19787/22/NantucketAlbany-Saratoga SpeedwayMalta
19787/22/UFOAlbany-Saratoga SpeedwayMalta
19786/3/REO SpeedwagonPalace TheaterAlbany
19786/3/RainbowPalace TheaterAlbany
19785/24/Bruce SprinsteenPalace TheaterAlbany
19783/22/JourneyPalace TheaterAlbany
19783/22/Van HalenPalace TheaterAlbany
19783/15/StyxPalace TheaterAlbany
19783/5/Be Bop DeluxePalace TheaterAlbany
19783/5/StarzPalace TheaterAlbany
19783/1/OutlawsPalace TheaterAlbany
19783/1/Sea LevelPalace TheaterAlbany
197811/12/Bruce SprinsteenRPI FieldhouseTroy
19785/7/Grateful DeadRPI FieldhouseTroy
19782/6/Emerson, Lake & PalmerRPI FieldhouseTroy
19785/7/Grateful DeadRPI FieldhouseTroy
197811/12/Bruce SpringsteenRPI FieldhouseTroy
197912/9/RainbowPalace TheaterAlbany
197912/2/OutlawsPalace TheaterAlbany
197910/12/Commander Cody BandJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19796/10/AC/DCPalace TheaterAlbany
19796/6/JourneyPalace TheaterAlbany
19795/10/Cheap TrickPalace TheaterAlbany
19793/25/Elvis Costello & The AttractionsPalace TheaterAlbany
19792/22/The KinksPalace TheaterAlbany
19791/16/RushPalace TheaterAlbany
19791/16/StarzPalace TheaterAlbany
197911/18/Jefferson StarshipRPI FieldhouseTroy
19795/27/SupertrampRPI FieldhouseTroy
197911/8/Jefferson StarshipRPI FieldhouseTroy
19805/7/Gentle GiantHullabalooRensselaer
198011/29/Captain Beefheart & His Magic BandJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198011/22/Think LizzyJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198010/28/Frank ZappaPalace TheaterAlbany
19807/27/Jerry Garcia BandPalace TheaterAlbany
19804/28/Bob DylanPalace TheaterAlbany
19804/27/Bob DylanPalace TheaterAlbany
19803/9/The KinksPalace TheaterAlbany
19803/8/AerosmithAlive at FiveAlbany
19803/3/UFOPalace TheaterAlbany
19802/13/Jerry Garcia BandPalace TheaterAlbany
19802/3/Blue Oyster CultPalace TheaterAlbany
19801/23/Max WebsterPalace TheaterAlbany
19801/23/RushPalace TheaterAlbany
19801/22/Max WebsterPalace TheaterAlbany
19801/22/RushPalace TheaterAlbany
19809/18/Billy IdolKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
1980Apr 2,  Frank ZappaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19804/26/Frank ZappaRPI FieldhouseTroy
198112/12/Todd RundgrenJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198111/14/David CrosbyJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198111/13/U2Jb Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198111/4/Jerry Garcia BandPalace TheaterAlbany
198110/9/Alice CooperPalace TheaterAlbany
198110/2/BlackfootPalace TheaterAlbany
198110/2/Def LeppardPalace TheaterAlbany
19817/21/Iron MaidenPalace TheaterAlbany
19817/19/Judas PriestPalace TheaterAlbany
19815/23/U2JB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19815/12/RainbowPalace TheaterAlbany
19815/12/Pat TraversPalace TheaterAlbany
19812/25/RainbowJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19812/22/UtopiaJb Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19813/8/Cheap TrickRPI FieldhouseTroy
19813/8/UFORPI FieldhouseTroy
19813/8/Cheap TrickRPI FieldhouseTroy
19823/2/King CrimsonHullabalooRensselaer
198212/10/Stray CatsSUNYAAlbany
198211/23/R.E.M.The Chateau LoungeAlbany
19829/23/Blue Oyster CultPalace TheaterAlbany
19829/23/Aldo NovaPalace TheaterAlbany
19828/17/Roy BuchananJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19826/2/Black FlagUnknownAlbany
19824/25/Uriah HeapUnknownAlbany
198210/9/David JohansenRPI West Hall AuditoriumTroy
198210/3/The ClashRPI FieldhouseTroy
198210/3/ClashRPI FieldhouseTroy
19828/25/J. Geils BandSPACSaratoga
19828/25/The MotelsSPACSaratoga
198312/11/Billy IdolSUNYAAlbany
198311/11/Billy IdolSUNYAAlbany
198310/23/The BandPalace TheaterAlbany
198310/11/Hot TunaPalace TheaterAlbany
198310/4/Bryan AdamsUnknownAlbany
19836/2/Jerry Lee LewisUnknownAlbany
19835/7/Robert HazardSUNYAAlbany
19835/7/David JohansenSUNYAAlbany
19834/20/Jorma KaukonenPage HallAlbany
19834/10/Bryan AdamsUnknownAlbany
19833/19/Jerry Lee LewisLinda Norris AuditoriumAlbany
19832/28/Quiet RiotPalace TheaterAlbany
198411/14/SlayerHudson River CafeAlbany
198411/5/SantanaPalace TheaterAlbany
19847/20/Twisted SisterPalace TheaterAlbany
19847/17/Sammy Davis JrColonie ColiseumLatham
19847/7/Ted NugentPalace TheaterAlbany
19846/7/AlcatrazPalace TheaterAlbany
19846/7/Ted NugentPalace TheaterAlbany
19843/21/Pablo CruisePalace TheaterAlbany
19843/1/Black SabbathPalace TheaterAlbany
19843/1/HelixPalace TheaterAlbany
19842/24/Blue Oyster CultPalace TheaterAlbany
19842/24/GirlschoolPalace TheaterAlbany
198411/9/Cyndi LauperRPI FieldhouseTroy
198512/12/Roger DaltryPalace TheaterAlbany
198511/29/The HootersJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198511/22/Stevie Ray VaughanJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198511/6/Al Di MeolaPalace TheaterAlbany
198510/25/Ray CharlesPalace TheaterAlbany
198510/25/HavenJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198510/18/Blue Oyster CultJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198510/18/KixJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19859/13/The Marshall Tucker BandJb Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19858/25/R.E.M.JB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19858/12/Stevie Ray VaughanPalace TheaterAlbany
19856/15/TroubleNew York CafeAlbany
19855/4/The TubesSUNYAAlbany
19854/14/Julian LennonPalace TheaterAlbany
19853/21/Pablo CruisePalace TheaterAlbany
19853/21/UB40Palace TheaterAlbany
198510/9/The MotelsRPI FieldhouseTroy
198510/9/SupertrampRPI FieldhouseTroy
19859/10/Cheap TrickRPI FieldhouseTroy
19859/10/HeartRPI FieldhouseTroy
19859/4/DioRPI FieldhouseTroy
19858/15/Neil YoungRPI FieldhouseTroy
19855/17/The Beach BoysRPI FieldhouseTroy
19855/17/NRBQRPI FieldhouseTroy
19854/17/George Thorogood & The DestroyersRPI FieldhouseTroy
19855/17/Beach BoysRPI FieldhouseTroy
19859/4/Ronnie James DioRPI FieldhouseTroy
19859/10/Heart/Cheap TrickRPI FieldhouseTroy
198510/9/SupertrampRPI FieldhouseTroy
198511/16/Starship/Night RangerRPI FieldhouseTroy
198611/15/Alice CooperPalace TheaterAlbany
198611/15/Vinnie Vincent InvasionPalace TheaterAlbany
198610/26/Game TheoryClub 288Albany
19867/26/Blue Oyster CultJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19866/20/RamonesJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19865/29/UFOJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19865/16/Armored SaintUnknownAlbany
19865/16/Fates WarningUnknownAlbany
1986AprilBlack FlagUnknownAlbany
19864/3/Cheap TrickJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19864/3/Todd RundgrenJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19861/24/Pat TraversJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
19861/3/Charlie SextonJB Scott’s TheaterAlbany
198611/30/Stevie Ray VaughanRPI FieldhouseTroy
198611/2/Crosby, Stills & NashRPI FieldhouseTroy
19869/24/Neil YoungRPI FieldhouseTroy
19867/29/Judas PriestRPI FieldhouseTroy
19864/22/Bobby McFerrinRPI FieldhouseTroy
19864/22/Robin WilliamsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19864/11/The FoolsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19864/11/Southside Johnny & The Ashbury JukesRPI FieldhouseTroy
19862/24/Pat BenatarRPI FieldhouseTroy
19867/29/Judas PriestRPI FieldhouseTroy
19869/24/Neil YoungRPI FieldhouseTroy
198610/10/MonkeesRPI FieldhouseTroy
198611/30/Stevie Ray VaughanRPI FieldhouseTroy
198712/2/The AlarmPalace TheaterAlbany
198711/17/John EntwistlePalace TheaterAlbany
198711/12/SqueezePalace TheaterAlbany
198710/29/The BrandosUnknownAlbany
198710/29/INXSPalace TheaterAlbany
198710/21/Guns N RosesUnknownAlbany
198710/12/MarillionPalace TheaterAlbany
19878/30/Gary MooreSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19877/21/Saint VitusUnknownAlbany
19877/3/Frehley’s CometPalace TheaterAlbany
19877/3/White LionPalace TheaterAlbany
19875/29/AnthraxPalace TheaterAlbany
19875/29/Metal ChurchPalace TheaterAlbany
19875/28/MegadethColonie ColiseumLatham
19875/28/NecrosColonie ColiseumLatham
19875/28/OverkillColonie ColiseumLatham
19874/30/Sonic YouthQE2Albany
19873/7/Eddie MoneyPalace TheaterAlbany
1987FebSaxonSaratoga WinnersCohoes
198712/15/YesRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/13/Alice CooperRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/13/Faster PussycatRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/12/McAuley-Schenker GroupRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/12/RushRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/10/Jethro TullRPI FieldhouseTroy
19878/14/Motley CrueRPI FieldhouseTroy
19878/14/WhitesnakeRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/27/Bad CompanyRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/27/Deep PurpleRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/17/Bestie BoysRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/17/Public EnemyRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/10/Bon JoviRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/10/CinderellaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19871/29/RavenRPI FieldhouseTroy
19871/29/SlayerRPI FieldhouseTroy
19871/29/W.A.S.P.RPI FieldhouseTroy
19871/11/Iron MaidenRPI FieldhouseTroy
19871/11/Yngwie J. MamsteenRPI FieldhouseTroy
19874/10/Bon JoviRPI FieldhouseTroy
19878/14/Motley CrueRPI FieldhouseTroy
198710/10/HootersRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/10/Jethro TullRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/12/RushRPI FieldhouseTroy
198711/13/Alice CooperRPI FieldhouseTroy
198712/15/RushRPI FieldhouseTroy
198811/10/King DiamondSaratoga WinnersCohoes
198811/1/Red Hot Chili PeppersQE2Albany
19887/12/Yngwie J. MamsteenPalace TheaterAlbany
19885/18/Zondiac Mindwaro and the Love ReactionSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19885/18/U,D.O.Saratoga WinnersCohoes
19882/17/Armored SaintSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19882/2/Frank ZappaPalace TheaterAlbany
19881/26/Game TheoryQE2Albany
198811/5/Jimmy PageRPI FieldhouseTroy
198810/18/Robert PlantRPI FieldhouseTroy
19887/16/Frehley’s CometRPI FieldhouseTroy
19887/16/Iron MaidenRPI FieldhouseTroy
19886/23/REO SpeedwagonRPI FieldhouseTroy
19882/6/StingRPI FieldhouseTroy
19882/6/StingRPI FieldhouseTroy
198912/20/Bad EnglishSaratoga WinnersCohoes
198912/20/SarayaSaratoga WinnersCohoes
198911/15/King DiamondSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19897/27/Joe JacksonPalace TheaterAlbany
19895/11/PhishPauly’s HotelAlbany
19894/15/Spin DoctorsReality FestAlbany
19891/24/Cheap TrickPalace TheaterAlbany
19891/24/House of LordsPalace TheaterAlbany
198911/12/Stevie Ray VaughanRPI FieldhouseTroy
198910/27/Bob DylanRPI FieldhouseTroy
198910/24/Great WhiteRPI FieldhouseTroy
198910/24/TeslaRPI FieldhouseTroy
198910/23/Jethro TullRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/9/Rod StewartRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/8/AnthraxRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/8/ExodusRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/8/HelloweenRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/4/CinderellaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/4/WingerRPI FieldhouseTroy
19894/9/KixRPI FieldhouseTroy
19894/9/RattRPI FieldhouseTroy
19893/15/MetallicaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19893/15/QueensrycheRPI FieldhouseTroy
19893/15/MetallicaRPI FieldhouseTroy
19895/9/Rod StewartRPI FieldhouseTroy
198910/23/Jethro TullRPI FieldhouseTroy
198910/27/Bob DylanRPI FieldhouseTroy
199012/18/Billy JoelKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199012/9/Billy JoelKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199011/29/The Black CrowesSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199011/17/Fleetwood MacKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199011/16/PoisonKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199011/16/WarrantKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199011/6/Iggy PopSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199010/28/DanzigSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199010/28/TroubleSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199010/27/Bad CompanyKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199010/27/Dam YankeesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19909/25/Midnight OilPalace TheaterAlbany
19909/19/The Allman Brothers BandKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19909/18/Faith No MoreKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19909/7/ExodusSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19909/7/PanteraSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19909/7/Suicidal TendenciesSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19908/25/Janet JacksonKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19907/7/KISSKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19907/7/Little CaesarKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19907/7/SlaughterKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19907/5/Alannah MylesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19907/5/Robert PlantKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19906/14/MarillionSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19906/2/Mr. BigKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19906/2/RushKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19905/23/SavatageSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19905/4/The KinksPalace TheaterAlbany
19904/11/Faster PussycatKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19904/11/Motley CrueKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19903/26/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19903/25/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19903/24/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19902/15/WhitesnakeKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19901/30/Frank SinatraKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19909/29/They Might Be GiantsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19909/29/They Might Be GiantsMcNeil Room, RPITroy
199112/12/Vinnie MooreKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199112/12/RushKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199112/1/Spin DoctorsBogiesAlbany
199111/20/Paula AbdulKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199111/20/Color Me BaddKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199111/16/Jerry Garcia BandKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199111/15/Jethro TullKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199111/13/Frank SinatraKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199110/24/Nuclear AssaultSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199110/23/Alice in ChainsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199110/23/Van HalenKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199110/11/James Cotton Blues BandBogiesAlbany
19919/23/Van HalenKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19918/21/The Beach BoysKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19917/28/QueensrycheKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19917/28/Suicidal TendenciesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19917/5/AC/DCKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19917/5/L.A. GunsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19915/8/Bob DylanPalace TheaterAlbany
19914/25/YesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19914/22/Great WhiteKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19914/22/ScorpionsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19914/22/TrixterKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19913/25/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19913/23/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19913/10/FugaziSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19912/5/The Black CrowesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19912/5/ZZ TopKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19911/AnthraxKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19911/22/Iron MaidenKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19911/14/Judas PriestKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19911/14/MegadethKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199111/5/Pearl JamRPI FieldhouseTroy
199111/5/Red Hot Chili PeppersRPI FieldhouseTroy
199111/5/The Smashing PumpkinsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19919/27/AnthraxRPI FieldhouseTroy
19919/27/PrimusRPI FieldhouseTroy
19919/27/Public EnemyRPI FieldhouseTroy
19914/27/Jane’s AddictionRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/11/SlayerRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/11/TestamentRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/9/Social DistortionRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/9/Sonic YouthRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/9/Neil YoungRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/9/Neil Young & Crazy HorseRPI FieldhouseTroy
19912/9/Sonic YouthRPI FieldhouseTroy
199111/5/Red Hot Chili PeppersRPI FieldhouseTroy
199111/5/Smashing PumpkinsRPI FieldhouseTroy
199111/5/Pearl JamRPI FieldhouseTroy
199212/5/Bryan AdamsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199212/5/Mr. BigKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199211/20/PhishPalace TheaterAlbany
199211/8/Tori AmosPage HallAlbany
199210/29/Spin DoctorsPalace TheaterAlbany
199210/28/Def LeppardKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199210/16/Black SabbathPalace TheaterAlbany
199210/16/ExodusPalace TheaterAlbany
199210/16/Skew SiskinPalace TheaterAlbany
199210/7/Jethro TullPalace TheaterAlbany
199210/4/Faith No MorePalace TheaterAlbany
199210/4/HelmetPalace TheaterAlbany
199210/1/Dream TheaterSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19929/25/Elton JohnKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19929/2/Neil DiamondKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19929/1/Neil DiamondKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19928/22/The Black CrowesPalace TheaterAlbany
19928/2/Emerson, Lake & PalmerPalace TheaterAlbany
19927/14/Spin DoctorsSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19926/12/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19926/11/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19925/30/Spin DoctorsSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19924/15/They Might Be GiantsUnknownAlbany
1992Ap 12The Moody BluesPalace TheaterAlbany
19923/22/The Mighty Mighty BosstonesBogiesAlbany
19923/21/PixiesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19923/21/U2Knickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19922/29/Spin DoctorsBogiesAlbany
19922/28/MetallicaKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19924/27/Steve Miller BandRPI FieldhouseTroy
199311/20/Best Kissers in the WorldSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199311/12/Rod StewartKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199311/11/I Mother EarthSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199311/11/My Sister’s MachineSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199311/8/Neil DiamondKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199311/3/Jerry Garcia BandKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199310/1/Black 47Recreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199310/1/CrackerRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199310/1/The Mighty Mighty BosstonesRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199310/1/Pere UbuRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199310/1/They Might Be GiantsRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19939/23/Steely DanKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19939/20/FugaziRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19939/18/4 Non BlondesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19939/1/AerosmithKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19939/19/CathedralSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19939/8/Flotsam and JetsamSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19939/8/Mercyful FateSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19938/19/Billy Ray CyrusKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19937/25/WingerSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19935/16/Dream TheaterPalace TheaterAlbany
19935/6/PhishPalace TheaterAlbany
19935/5/PhishPalace TheaterAlbany
19934/26/Digable PlanetsRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19934/20/Flotsam and JetsamSaratoga WinnersAlbany
19933/29/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19933/28/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19933/27/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19933/19/Blind MelonSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19933/12/PanteraPalace TheaterAlbany
19933/12/Sacred ReichPalace TheaterAlbany
19932/16/Bon JoviKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19931/22/MegadethKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19931/22/Stone Temple PilotsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199412/18/AerosmithKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199412/18/JackylKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199412/4/The Jim Rose Circus SideshowKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199412/4/Marilyn MansonKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199412/4/Nine Inch NailsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199411/11/CandleboxRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199411/11/The Flaming LipsRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199411/11/Sweet WaterRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199411/4/Fates WarningSaratoga WinnersAlbany
199411/3/The CranberriesRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199411/3/Gigolo AuntsRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199411/3/MC 900 Ft JesusRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199410/23/MoeKicks NightclubAlbany
199410/14/Bob DylanPalace TheaterAlbany
199410/3/LiveSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199410/2/Dan FogelbergPalace TheaterAlbany
19947/1/The Moody BluesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19946/28/Travis TrittKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19946/27/Tori AmosPalace TheaterAlbany
19946/23/Billy Ray CyrusRiverfrontAlbany
19946/16/BiohazardKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19946/16/PanteraKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19946/16/SepulturaKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19945/3/CandleboxKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19945/3/RushKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19944/18/Red Red MeatRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19944/18/The Smashing PumpkinsRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19943/13/De La SoulRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19943/13/A Tribe Called QuestRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19943/11/I Mother EarthSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19943/11/Mutha’s Day OutSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19943/9/ClutchSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19943/9/Fear FactorySaratoga WinnersCohoes
19943/9/Fudge TunnelSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19943/9/SepulturaSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19943/2/Widespread PanicSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19941/24/Janet JacksonKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19941/20/Billy JoelKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19941/18/Billy JoelKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199512/9/PhishKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199512/9/MoeValentines Music HallAlbany
199511/30/White ZombieUnknownAlbany
199511/18/PrimusRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199511/17/CandleboxRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199511/17/Our Lady PeaceRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199511/17/SpongeRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199510/28/Marilyn MansonSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199510/8/Mike Watt and he Crew of the Flying SaucerBogiesAlbany
199510/Blues TravelerRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19959/22/MoeValentines Music HallAlbany
19959/1/Dionne FarrisRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19959/1/Dave Matthews BandRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19957/26/RadioheadSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19957/21/QueensrycheKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19957/21/Type O NegativeKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19957/13/MoeAlive at FiveAlbany
19957/13/MoeValentines Music HallAlbany
19956/22/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19956/22/KornSaratoga WinnersAlbany
19956/22/Sugar RaySaratoga WinnersAlbany
19956/21/Grateful DeadKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19956/20/Goo Goo DollsUnknownAlbany
19956/20/Luscious JacksonKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19956/20/R.E.M.Knickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19955/14/BellyWashington ParkAlbany
19955/7/Van HalenKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19953/25/Sheryl CrowRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19953/25/Freddy JohnsonRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19953/23/Joe CockerPalace TheaterAlbany
19953/23/Keb’ Mo’Palace TheaterAlbany
19953/9/LiveRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19953/9/Love Spit LoveRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19953/9/SpongeRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19953/6/Marilyn MansonQE2Albany
19952/9/They Might Be GiantsSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19952/8/Dave Matthews BandPalace TheaterAlbany
199512/2/MoePhi Kappa AlphaTroy
199611/29/DeftonesSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199611/22/The Electric Hellfire ClubSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199611/22/Fear FactorySaratoga WinnersCohoes
199611/18/The WhoKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199611/9/Type O NegativeSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199611/2/The Smashing PumpkinsKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199610/26/Mercyful FateSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199610/26/OverdoseSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199610/25/MoeSaratoga WinnersCohoes
199610/RushKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199610/18/RushKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199610/15/The Black CrowesPalace TheaterAlbany
199610/12/DeltonesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199610/12/KissKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199610/10/Boxing GandhisKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
199610/10/Dave Matthews BandKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19969/27/They Might Be GiantsRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19969/26/MoePalace TheaterAlbany
19969/11/The CureKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19969/26/MoePalace TheaterAlbany
19969/11/The CureKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19969/7/AC/DCKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19968/28/DeftonesKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19968/28/PanteraKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19968/28/White ZombieKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19967/29/AC/DCKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19966/30/Anal CuntBogiesAlbany
19966/30/Morpheus DescendsBogiesAlbany
19965/10/Tori AmosPalace TheaterAlbany
19964/28/RamonesLincoln ParkAlbany
19963/30/Billy JoelPalace TheaterAlbany
19963/16/KreatorSaratoga WinnersAlbany
19962/23/MoeValentines Music HallAlbany
19962/22/Rod StewartKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19962/11/Red Hot Chili PeppersKnickerbocker ArenaAlbany
19961/22/Ben Folds FiveBogiesAlbany
19961/10/Marilyn MansonSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19962/13/Loud LucyRPI FieldhouseTroy
19962/13/Alanis MorissetteRPI FieldhouseTroy
19961/27/KornRPI FieldhouseTroy
19961/27/Ozzy OsbourneRPI FieldhouseTroy
19961/27/Ozzy Osbourne/KornRPI FieldhouseTroy
19962/11/Red Hot Chili PeppersRPI FieldhouseTroy
19962/13/Alanis MorissetteRPITroy
199712/13/PhishPepsi ArenaAlbany
199712/12/PhishPepsi ArenaAlbany
199711/26/Fleetwood MacPepsi ArenaAlbany
199710/31/The Beach BoysPepsi ArenaAlbany
199710/31/From Good HomesPalace TheaterAlbany
199710/31/RatdogPalace TheaterAlbany
199710/26/Grand Funk RailroadPalace TheaterAlbany
199710/21/YesPalace TheaterAlbany
199710/20/Machine HeadQE2Albany
19977/25/Machine HeadSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19977/10/No DoubtPepsi ArenaAlbany
19976/14/WilcoSaratoga WinnersAlbany
19974/30/Barry ManilowPepsi ArenaAlbany
19974/18/Bob DylanRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19974/16/MoeSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19974/12/Garth BrooksPepsi ArenaAlbany
19974/11/Garth BrooksPepsi ArenaAlbany
19974/10/Garth BrooksPepsi ArenaAlbany
19974/6/Corrosion of ConformityPepsi ArenaAlbany
19974/6/MetallicaPepsi ArenaAlbany
19973/25/Phil CollinsPepsi ArenaAlbany
19973/4/Soul CoughingSaratoga WinnersCohoes
19977/13/Queens of the Stone AgePalace TheaterAlbany
19977/11/Snoop DogUpstate Concert HallClifton Park
19977/10/Lord HuronAlive at FiveAlbany
19977/7/AttilaUpstate Concert HallClifton Park
19977/7/Born of OsirisUpstate Concert HallClifton Park
19977/7/Get ScaredUpstate Concert HallClifton Park
19977/6/Syd ArthurHart Theater, The EggAlbany
19977/6/TraptUpstate Concert HallClifton Park
199710/3/Herbie Hancock & Wayne ShorterTroy Savings Bank Music HallTroy
19972/18/L7RPI FieldhouseTroy
19972/18/Marilyn MansonRPI FieldhouseTroy
19972/17/LiveRPI FieldhouseTroy
19972/18/LiveRPI FieldhouseTroy
19972/18/Marilyn MansonRPI FieldhouseTroy
199812/29/AerosmithPepsi ArenaAlbany
199812/29/CandleboxPalace TheaterAlbany
199812/5/Bela Fleck and the FlecktonesPepsi ArenaAlbany
199812/5/Dave Matthews BandPepsi ArenaAlbany
199812/1/Celine DionPepsi ArenaAlbany
199811/25/PhishPepsi ArenaAlbany
199811/24/Todd RundgrenNorthern LightsClifton Park
199811/15/Econoline CrushPepsi ArenaAlbany
199811/15/KissPepsi ArenaAlbany
19989/20/You Am IValentines Music HallAlbany
19989/15/Elton JohnPepsi ArenaAlbany
19989/11/HansonPepsi ArenaAlbany
19988/23/CinderellaValentines Music HallAlbany
19988/21/FloaterThe Venetian TheaterAlbany
19988/5/Tori AmosPalace TheaterAlbany
19987/11/Jimmy Page & Robert PlantPepsi ArenaAlbany
19986/24/SkinlessValentines Music HallAlbany
19986/9/Fury of FiveValentinesAlbany
19986/8/Vision of DisorderValentinesAlbany
19986/3/Schrodinger’s CatBogiesAlbany
19985/8/Foo FightersPage HallAlbany
19985/8/Projekct TwoValentines Music HallAlbany
19985/8/Rocket From the CryptPage HallAlbany
19985/7/Jars Of ClayPalace TheaterAlbany
19984/26/MoeRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19984/18/The Electric Hellfire ClubQE2Albany
19984/10/Ani DiFrancoPalace TheaterAlbany
19983/28/16 HorsepowerRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19983/28/RatdogRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
19981/13/AerosmithPepsi ArenaAlbany
19981/13/Kenny Wayne ShepherdPepsi ArenaAlbany
19983/28/There Might Be GiantsRPI FieldhouseTroy
19982/14/Chuck MangioneTroy Savings Bank Music HallTroy
19983/28/They Might Be GiantsMcNeil Room, RPITroy
199912/1/GusterNorthern LightsClifton Park
199911/21/Bruce SprinsteenPepsi ArenaAlbany
199911/20/Bruce SprinsteenPepsi ArenaAlbany
199911/20/Widespread PanicPalace TheaterAlbany
199911/13/Beth HartRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199911/13/RatdogRecreation and Convocation CenterAlbany
199911/12/Type O NegativeUnknownAlbany
199910/25/PrimusPepsi ArenaAlbany
199910/10/PhishPepsi ArenaAlbany
199910/9/PhishPepsi ArenaAlbany
19998/31/Little FeatEmpire State PlazaAlbany
19998/28/Jethro TullPalace TheaterAlbany
19998/10/Roger WatersPepsi ArenaAlbany
19997/20/Bob DylanPepsi ArenaAlbany
19997/20/Paul SimonPepsi ArenaAlbany
19997/16/CherPepsi ArenaAlbany
19996/30/Night RangerPepsi ArenaAlbany
19996/30/Ted NugentPepsi ArenaAlbany
19996/30/Quiet RiotPepsi ArenaAlbany
19996/30/SlaughterPepsi ArenaAlbany
19996/29/NevermoreNorthern LightsClifton Park
19996/5/BuckcherryAltamont FairgroundsAltamont
19996/5/The FlysAltamont FairgroundsAltamont
19996/5/FuelAltamont FairgroundsAltamont
19996/5/Local HAltamont FairgroundsAltamont
19996/5/SpongeAltamont FairgroundsAltamont
19996/5/Rob ZombieAltamont FairgroundsAltamont
19995/15/Trey Anastasio BandPalace TheaterAlbany
19994/22/Cheap TrickPalace TheaterAlbany
19993/25/Better Than EzraNorthern LightsClifton Park
19993/25/TrainNorthern LightsClifton Park
19993/23/Gov’t MuleNorthern LightsCohoes
19993/15/NSYNCPepsi ArenaAlbany
19993/13/Billy JoelPepsi ArenaAlbany
19993/8/The Black CrowesPalace TheaterAlbany
19992/25/Rod StewartPepsi ArenaAlbany
19993/2/The Living EndRPI FieldhouseTroy
19993/2/The OffspringRPI FieldhouseTroy
19993/2/OzomatliRPI FieldhouseTroy
19992/22/Bob DylanRPI FieldhouseTroy
19992/22/Bob DylanRPI FieldhouseTroy
19993/22/The Offspring This list is copyrighted 2020 by Don RittnerRPI FieldhouseTroy 

If you are interested in local music scene you can check out these excellent Facebook pages:

“N.Y. Capital District’s Bands of the 60s, 70s, and 80s”

here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1752542151638706

“80’s/90’s Albany Underground Punk, Hardcore & Alternative Music Scene”

here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/541070529266011


here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/169296379888433

“Capital Area Music And Beyond Scene Thru The Decades”

here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/471307560144030

The Schuyler-Hamilton Families

Originally published in the TU on Aug. 26, 2020

By Don Rittner

While the dust has settled and the screaming racist at each other has subsided for the moment, there is still the question of the Philip J. Schuyler monument in front of Albany’s City Hall.  The mayor Kathy Sheehan is hell bent to have it removed even in the face of the real facts about Schuyler and his role in helping to end slavery in New York State.

You can recap the arguments here:

Should I stay or should I go? The Philip Schuyler Affair

Atone for his Sins?

On the Issue of Slavery in New York State

The Schuyler Family, Part Two

Let’s continue and look at his family and relatives and their contributions to the anti-slavery movement and human rights contributions. Several participated in the Civil War and others were philanthropists contributing to various causes. The Schuyler and Hamilton families were very close and many marriages between the two produced men and women who made large contributions to society.

Descendants of Philip John Schuyler in the Union Army during the American Civil War

Major Gen. Schuyler Hamilton (1822-1903) Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Schuyler Hamilton’s two grandfathers were Alexander Hamilton and Philip Schuyler. He served in the Civil War and saw action and had a successful career after the war.  See this great biography on the man from HistoryNet:

or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuyler_Hamilton

Louisa Lee Schuyler (1837-1926) – (Soldier Aid Society) Great Granddaughter of MG Philip Schuyler

Louisa Lee Schuyler. 1920 Léon_Bonnat

Louisa was a leader of Civil War relief and philanthropist. She founded the first nursing school in America. During the Civil War she was the corresponding secretary in the Woman’s Central Association of Relief (WCAR) in New York City. The mission of WCAR was to coordinate the efforts of the volunteers on the home front, including distribution of millions of dollars of supplies, and providing training materials. . Miss Schuyler was the driving force in the movement to reform the poor house system in New York State. Here are some bios of her:

Louisa Lee Schuyler And Her Legacy

Louisa Lee Schuyler


Georgina Schuyler (1841-1923) – (Soldier Aid Society) Great Granddaughter of MG Philip Schuyler

Georgina Schuyler

It was Georgina who lobbied for two years to get Emma Lazarus'”The New Colossus” plaque placed on an interior wall of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, where it remained  until the 1930s, when thousands of Europeans started seeking asylum from the Fascists.  In 1986, the plaque was moved to an introductory exhibit in the statue’s pedestal. She wrote the history of the Schuyler Family (The Schuyler Mansion at Albany: Residence of Major-General Philip Schuyler, 1762-1804). She was an art patron and philanthropist who supported the many social reform programs established by her sister, Louisa.

Elizabeth Hamilton Culum

Elizabeth Hamilton Culum (1831-1884) Great Granddaughter of MG Philip Schuyler. 

Spouse of Commander-in-Chief MG Henry Halleck and later spouse of MG George Washington Cullum. Great Granddaughter of MG Philip Schuyler.  Sister of Maj. Gen. Alexander Schuyler Hamilton, Sr.

In 1884, she called together a group of friends to discuss the possibility of of a hospital designed only for the treatment of cancer. Her only son died from it two years earlier. Within a year of his death she learned she had cancer too. Her and friends formed the New York Cancer Hospital that now is known as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the largest and oldest privately supported comprehensive cancer center in the world. When she died she left her entire estate for the hospital.

George Lee Schuyler (1811 – 1890) Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

George Lee Schuyler

The subject, the youngest son of Philip Jeremiah Schuyler of Rhinebeck, New York, and Mary Anna (Sawyer) Schuyler, settled in New York City about 1830. This miniature portrait of him was a gift from his daughters. He was the author of “Correspondence and Remarks Upon Bancroft’s History of the Northern Campaign of 1777, and the character of Major-Ge. Philip Schuyler,” in 1867.

Mary Morris Hamilton (1818-1877)

Mary Morris Hamilton was the daughter of New York lawyer James A. Hamilton, the third son of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth (Schuyler) Hamilton. She became the second wife of George Lee Schuyler, noted yachtsman of New York, in 1869.

Mrs. Philip Jeremiah Schuyler (1781-1852)

Mary Anna Sawyer

Mary Anna Sawyer was the daughter of Dr. Micajah Sawyer and Sybil (Farnham) Sawyer of Newburyport, Massachusetts. She was the second wife of Philip Jeremiah Schuyler to whom she was married in 1807, and she was the mother of George Lee Schuyler. This portrait was a gift to the Society from her granddaughters.

Aide-de-Camp Alexander Hamilton Jr. (1816-1889) Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Alexander Hamilton Jr.

In April 1861, during the American Civil War, Hamilton was appointed a volunteer aide-de-camp to Troy’s General John E. Wool, who commanded the U.S. Army’s Department of the East in New York. On August 28, 1861, he was given an official position as Wool’s additional aide-de-camp, and served in that capacity until he resigned on December 11, 1861. In July 1863, during the New York City draft riots, he again assisted Wool, who reported to Governor Seymour that his “former aid[e], Colonel Alexander Hamilton Jr. … volunteered especially for this occasion, and [was] constantly in attendance day and night.”

See bio here:


Major Gen. Alexander Cornelius Hamilton (1815-1907) Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Major Gen. Alexander Cornelius Hamilton

Hamilton joined the 11th Regiment of the New York Artillery, where he became a second lieutenant. When the Civil War broke out, he became the aide-de-camp to Major General Charles W. Sandford, and took part in active campaigns in Virginia.

He was promoted to Major General in the New York Militia for his use of a gas balloon constructed by Thaddeus S. C. Lowe for military observation during the war. He later reported directly to President Abraham Lincoln. He was placed in charge of troops during the New York Draft Riots in 1863.

See Bio here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Hamilton_(general)

Edgar A. Hamilton (1841-1926) 2X Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Rev. Edgar A. Hamilton. Great Grandson of Alexander Hamilton 1841-1926. Lieut. Col. Of The First N.Y. Mounted Rifles 1861-1865. Pastor Of Presbyterian Church Sussex, N.J. 1873-1883 1893-1918 .

John C.L. Hamilton, Jr. (1842-1919) 2X Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Served in the Civil War as private, 5th Infantry, Army, Company C. Also listed as Civil War 1st Lieutenant 3rd New York Heavy Artillery.

Charles Apthorp Hamilton (1826-1901) Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Lt. Col. 7th Wis. Vols. Iron Brigade Severely wounded Gainesville Aug. 28, 1862 While commanding Regiment
Circuit Judge Milwaukee 1881 – 1887.

Louis McLane Hamilton (1844-1868) Great Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Louis McLane Hamilton

At the age of seventeen, in June 1862, Hamilton enlisted as a volunteer private in the 22nd New York State Militia, serving for three months at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Hamilton then returned home to Poughkeepsie, New York, where he immediately engaged in raising a company of volunteers.

On August 18, 1862, during Hamilton’s term of service in the militia at Harper’s Ferry, President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, recommending that Hamilton be commissioned as a lieutenant in the regular army. He was given a commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment on September 21, 1862.

Lieutenant Hamilton commanded a company in the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862, and again at the Battle of Chancellorsville early in May 1863, covering the retreat of the army across the Rappahannock River. As a result of his conspicuous “gallant and meritorious conduct” during the passage of the river, he was placed the next day on the staff of General Romeyn B. Ayres, who commanded the division.

While serving with the Army of the Potomac, Hamilton was promoted to first lieutenant and twice brevetted for gallantry, for his conduct during the battles at Chancellorville and Gettysburg.

He also fought at the Siege of Petersburg, and at the Battle of Appomattox Court House.

See bio here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_McLane_Hamilton

William Henry Church (1826-1866) Gr Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

William Henry Church

William Henry Church was a medical doctor. He graduated from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1849. He entered medical practice in New York City in 1851, where he was on staff at Bellevue Hospital. He joined the Union Army as Surgeon of Volunteers in August 1861, and was medical director in General Ambrose Burnside’s Ninth Corps. Dr. Church contracted a very serious lung disease while in the army, and was mustered out in October 1863.

He first went to New Orleans in an effort to regain his health and then to Europe. He ended up dying at age 40 in the southern French city of Pau. According to a contemporary publication, Dr. Church was “laid to rest at the Episcopal Cemetery in Pau.”

Walter Stewart Church (1813-1890) Gr Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

During the Civil War, Walter Church became the Colonel of the 25th Regiment, New York State National Guard in 1864. This is rather ironic as author Henry Christman describes Church as “a leader in the strong Copperhead [anti-war] faction in Albany, which included many prominent Democrats.”

After the end of the Civil War in April 1865, Church used his National Guard troops to raid farms back in New York, which still owed him back rents. After one raid at the farm of Peter Warner in the Helderbergs, the Albany Evening Journal reported, “Ruin and desolation were never more calmly received. The most malevolent hatred seems to inspire them (the Warner Family) against Colonel Church.”

See Bio here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/196417591/walter-stewart-church

William Sawyer Schuyler (1840-1864) Gr Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Capt. William Sawyer Schuyler married Florence Miriam Barbour and had 1 child. He passed away on June 20, 1864 in Battle Of Cold Harbor, Cold Harbor, Hanover, Virginia, United States.

General Philip Hamilton (1836 – 1906) Great-Grandson of MG Philip Schuyler

Philip Schuyler

The only son of George Lee Schuyler and Eliza (Hamilton) Schuyler and brother of the two donors. He was a graduate of Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard and the University of Berlin. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, attaining the rank of brigadier general, and he was a member of the Seventh Regiment, New York National Guard.See bio here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Schuyler_(born_1836)

The Schuyler Family Tree


The Hamilton Family Tree


Special thanks to George Hamilton for many of these names.

The Schuyler Family, Part Two

Originally published in the TU on July 6, 2020

by Don Rittner

Philip Schuyler besides being a Revolutionary War hero spent most of his later life trying to abolish slavery in New York State as a State representative and through the New York Manumission Society. He also helped in establishing free Black schools.

Painted by Jacob H. Lazarus (1822-91) from a miniature painted by John Trumbull

Schuyler is also considered a founding father of Union College in Schenectady. As a member of the New York State Board of Regents he supported placing the college in Schenectady instead of his home city of Albany. He used his rank and political influence to sway his fellow Board members.  In a letter he wrote on January 22, 1795 about this decision he wrote:

“ …Gentlemen, I do in full confidence commit myself, persuaded your decision will be that circumstanced as I am, I am bound by every consideration which ought to influence a moral mind, to support the application of our brethren of Schenectady…”

His letter announcing the granting of the charter for Union in 1795 is now preserved at the college’s Special Collections department. Union is the second oldest college in New York State and the first non-denominational institution of higher education in the United States.

Engraving of African Free School #2 in NYC.

Union College was not devoid of Black students.

The first African-American that has been documented for admission to enter Union College is David Rosell. His time at Union was relatively brief, since he transferred in from another institution, then left to further his study elsewhere. He was involved with the Department of Chemistry during his time at Union College. This photograph of him comes from the Picture File of the Chemistry Department in Special Collections. It was taken in 1859.

David Rosell (center) the first documented Black student at Union.  Special thanks to Matthew Golebiewski and Becky Fried at Union’s Schaffer Library.)

Many Black Union students served in the Civil War in the Colored Troops division. George H. Camp (class of 1836), Edward Martindale (1836), Hiram Scofield (1853), Cleaveland J. Campbell (1855, was killed), John Wilder (1856), George Washington De Costa (1859), William T Frohoch (1859), Abraham Bockee Jr. (1860), Edgar Beach Van Winkle (1860), Sylvanus B Huested (1861), Hiram Leonard Marvin (1861), Edwin Malaney (1863), Leander Willis (1863, was killed), and Archibald McIntyre (1864).

Original plan of Union College bu Joseph Ramée. Schuyler was a champion of the creation of the school.

It was a Black Union college student from Troy that would test the segregationist mood of the Capital District and industry. Two months after World War 1 began Wendell King, a Black 20 year old Union student, began working in Building 23 at General Electric in Schenectady. When he enrolled at Union in 1916 he enrolled in the electrical engineering department made famous earlier by the likes of Charles Steinmetz and others. His presence as a drill press operator at GE led to a strike by 2500 workers because of his presence there. To its credit, GE did not back down and refused to have a segregated workplace. GE’s Plant Manager George Emmons responded to the strikers: “It is contrary to the policy of the company to take any action detrimental to the best interests of its employees… “But it will tolerate no discrimination against any worthy individual on account of nationality or color.” This is pretty progressive policy for a company in 1917. As one newspaper account put it: “The fact that Emmons drew a line in the sand over one black worker is even more significant considering that tens of millions of dollars in military contracts were at stake, and the federal government was putting enormous pressure on the company to deliver critical parts for new battleships.“ (Times Union, A Legacy of Enduring. July 2, 2017, by Larry Rulison).

Today. Union College’s present president David R. Harris is Black.

Philip Schuyler’s second daughter Elizabeth Schuyler is perhaps better known as Elizabeth Hamilton, wife of the famed Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was far from Schuyler’s ideal man since he was an orphan raised in poverty in the Caribbean with no land, money, or family ties, so approving the marriage gives some credit to the man to overlook those facts and considered his other qualities.

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. Painted by Ralph Earl, 1787.

Elizabeth is well known for her charity work. She spent much of her widowed life (After the famous death of her husband to Aaron Burr) in poverty but helped start the New York Orphan Asylum Society and founded orphanages in New York City and Washington D.C. She is also known to have taken in homeless children into her home.

See https://gvshp.org/blog/2015/12/28/the-new-york-orphan-asylum/



However, what most people do not know is that Elizabeth helped create the first Black school and church in Albany. Thanks to the research by Albany historian John Wolcott we learn that in 1812 eight free Albany Black men banded together to jointly acquire a 32X50 foot lot, Lot #12, at what is now 90 and 92 Broad Street then called Malcolm Street.

Lattimore purchased with the help “chiefly by the liberality of the citizens of Albany” this lot from Elizabeth Schuyler on April 20, 1811 for $400. This is the deed of sale.

Benjamin Lattimore, a black man, led this effort; his occupation listed as Cartman (#51) in 1815 and lived at number 9 Plain Street. Plain Street was between Hudson and Hamilton. This side street ran west from South Pearl up the hill toward Eagle Street. In 1813, it was one of the streets that were to be paved. In that year, the city directory showed nine Plain Street addresses. Today, it has been covered over by the South Mall Arterial.

Lattimore purchased with the help “chiefly by the liberality of the citizens of Albany” this lot from Elizabeth Schuyler on April 20, 1811 for $400. They built the first Black school on the lot in 1812 and later turning into the first Black church (by 1819 and known as the Albany African Church) just around the corner from the Schuyler Mansion.

1818 map showing location of first Black school in Albany around the corner from the Schuyler Mansion.

In 1816, the State Legislature formalized the tax exempt property and approved on April 12, 1816 “AN ACT to incorporate a School for People of Color, in the city of Albany.” There were seven initial trustees that included Benjamin Lattimore, Francis Jacobs, Thomas Elcock, Samuel Edge, Altus Hugenon, John Williams and Richard Thompson.

This information only strengthens the importance of the Schuyler family to Albany and removing his statue to some unknown location is a miscarriage of the preservation of Albany Black history.

90-92 Broad Street. Site of Albany’s original African Black School. Now an empty lot like so much of Albany’s history.

On the Issue of Slavery in New York State

Originally published in the TU on June 19, 2020

By Don Rittner

The recent decision by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan on unilaterally deciding to bring down the Philip Schuyler statue because he had slaves shows the ignorance that most local politicians have on the issue of Slavery.

While all agree that slavery was legal, accepted, and being practiced for thousands of years, there was an epiphany by many of the early New York State forefathers that slavery should be abolished. It was not an easy thing to do, particularly in the Hudson Valley, which housed the largest number of slaves. Present day Albany and New York City have the dubious claim to fame to where it all began in the 17th century in our state.

New Yorkers like John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, George Clinton, James Duane, Daniel Tomkins, Philip Schuyler and others made it their business to try and end slavery through legal means and make amends for sins of the past. It was not easy considering at the time that Albany was settled by the Dutch and Philip Schuyler, who himself was from a wealthy and prestigious Dutch family, had to go against his own people to convince a still Dutch stronghold such as Albany that it needed to abolish a system that was always here. Many Albanians and landowners owned slaves for example:

Killian K Van Rensselaer, Patrick Clark, John Jac. Beeckman, Robert Yates, John W. Watkins, Francis Nicolle, Leonart Gansevoort, Thomas Lottridge, Nicholas Frats, Gilbert Jenkins, Renier I. Van Irveren, John Ten Broeck, James Caldwell, Abraham Ten Broeck (12 slaves), Pieter Schuyler, first mayor of Albany, and son Philip Schuyler (13 slaves, most of the hard work on his farm was done by white tenant farmers according to the Schuyler Mansion Web site), to name a few.

According to the New York Slavery Records Index, between 1646-1820 there were 250 slave holders in Albany County with a total of 4,288 slaves. The total Capital District of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy had 250, 228, and 977 respectively for a total of 728 slaveholders with 6,345 slaves during this period. By 1820 there were 645 free blacks living in Albany. These numbers are bound to change as more research is conducted.

Abolishing slavery in New York was an evolutionary process and the New York State law makers grappled with it by passing law after law. The best summary of this process was published in Documents of the Senate of the State of New York 124th Session in 1901. It included a State Library Bulletin History No. 4 written by ex -judge A. Judd Northrup.

Since there has been so much erroneous comments made about slavery in NYS on Facebook and elsewhere, and about particular people like Schuyler, here is the section verbatim on the legislative history of slavery in New York.


When New York came to statehood in 1776 it had a population, as we have seen, of about 169,148 whites and 21,993 blacks, or the “blacks” constituted about 11 1/2% of the entire population. Up to this time there had been little legislation tending to mitigate the hardships of slavery, or indicating any relaxation of the old idea that slaves were to be regarded and treated solely as property. The colony of New York was no worse, and perhaps no better, in this respect than the other colonies.

The declaration of independence and the wide promulgation and general discussion of the doctrines of freedom and the “rights of man,” however, threw a new light on the subject. The “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” though intended by its proclaimers to apply to white men only, was yet seed sown in many minds and hearts, where it grew into doubts at least of the rightfulness of negro slavery. “Liberty and equality” was a phrase that shook all Europe when shouted in revolutionary France; and it made men think beyond the old limitations of race lines when reechoed in America. The revolutionary fathers, Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Madison, and many others, voiced what was perhaps a not uncommon sentiment among the better and more intelligent classes at this time, in declaring slavery to be an evil and a wrong, and in expressing the hope and belief that it would speedily come to an end in the republic. If this sentiment prevailed to some extent in the southern states, where slaves were numerous and slavery profitable, as we know it did, it is reasonable to believe that, to an equal if not greater extent, it pervaded New York and the other northern states, where slaves were few in number and their employment was of little pecuniary value.

The exigencies of the war of the revolution were the cause of the first state legislation mentioning slaves. The war had dragged along for five years, and the drain on the scanty population to supply the needs of the army had been severe. There had never been an extreme reluctance to use free negroes as soldiers, and these had fought side by side with white men all through the war thus far; but it was a pressing need indeed that made the whites willing to employ slaves as soldiers. The emergency, however, was great, and Mar. 20, 1781 was passed “An Act for raising two regiments for the Defense of this State, on Bounties of unappropriated Lands.”

In the act was the following:

VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any person who shall deliver one or more of his or her able bodied male slaves to any warrant officer as aforesaid, to serve in either of the said regiments or independent corps, and produce a certificate thereof, signed by any officer or person authorized to muster and receive the men, to be raised by virtue of this act, and produce such certificate to the surveyor general, shall, for every male slave so entered or mustered as aforesaid, be entitled to the location and grant of one right, [to 500 acres of bounty lands], in manner as in and by this act is directed; and shall be, and hereby is discharged from any future maintenance of such slave; any law to the contrary notwithstanding; and such slave, so entered as aforesaid, who shall serve for the term of three years, or until regularly discharged, shall, immediately after such service or discharge, be, and is hereby declared to be a free man of this state.

This was followed, soon after the war, by an act, passed May 12, 1784 entitled “An Act for the speedy sale of the confiscated and forfeited Estates within this State, and for other Purposes therein mentioned,” referring to estates forfeited to the state “by attainder or conviction in the progress of the late war.” It contained the following provision:

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said commissioner or commissioners shall, out of any monies which may come into his or their hands for rents, make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of any slave or slaves who may be found unable to support themselves, and who belonged to, and have not been disposed of by any person or persons, whose respective estates have become confiscated or forfeited to the people of this state.

This act was so amended May 1, 1786 as to manumit all negro slaves become the property of the state, by the attainder or conviction of any person whomsoever, and in the possession of the commissioners of forfeitures, who were required to provide, at the expense of the state, for the comfortable subsistence of all old and feeble slaves unable to gain a subsistence, so forfeited in their respective districts.

An act, with the misleading title, “An Act granting bounty on hemp to be raised within this state,” etc. “ and for other purposes,” was passed Ap. 12, 1785. It provided:

That if any negro or other person to be imported or brought into this state from any of the United States or from any other place or country after the first day of June next, shall be sold as a slave or slaves within this state, the seller or his or her factor or agent, shall be deemed guilty of a public offense, and shall for every such offense forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds lawful money of New York, to be recovered by any person who will sue for the same in an action of debt, in any court of this state having cognizance of the same, together with costs of suit. . . That every such person imported or brought into this state and sold contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act shall be freed.


That when any person or persons hereafter shall be disposed to manumit his, her or their slave or slaves, and shall previous thereto procure a certificate signed by the overseers of the poor (or the major part of them) of the town, manor, district or precinct, together with two justices of the peace of the county where such person or persons shall reside, and if in the counties of New York or Albany then from the mayor or recorder any two of the aldermen certifying that slave or slaves appear to be under fifty years of age, and of sufficient ability to provide for themselves, and shall cause such certificates of manumission to be registered in the office of the clerk of the town, manor, district or precinct, in which the master or mistress may reside, that then it shall be lawful for such person or persons to manumit such slave or slaves without giving or providing any security to indemnify the town, manor, district or precinct; and such slave or slaves so manumitted shall be deemed, taken and adjudged to be free; and the clerk for registering such certificate shall be entitled to two shillings and no more.

That if any person by his or her last will or testament shall give his or her slave or slaves, being at the death of the testator or testatrix under fifty years of age and likewise of sufficient ability to provide for themselves, to be certified in the manner aforesaid, such freedom given as aforesaid shall, without any security to indemnify the town, manor, district or precinct, be deemed, taken and adjudged to be good and valid to all intents and purposes, any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.

That all negroes, and other persons of any description whatsoever commonly reputed and deemed slaves shall forever hereafter have the privilege of being tried by a jury in all capital cases according to the course of the common law.

“An Act concerning slaves,” passed Feb. 22, 1788, and being chapter 40 of the laws of that year, was a revision of the existing laws of the state relating to slaves. It was the first deliberate expression of the state legislature on the whole subject of slavery, and it may be taken as an exhibit of the temper of the people at that time on that subject. As such, it is worth reproducing, in substance at least. It enacted:

That every negro, mulatto, or mestee, within this state, who at the time of the passing of this act, is a slave, for his or her life, shall continue such, for and during his or her life, unless he or she, shall be manumitted or set free, in the manner prescribed in and by this act, or in some future law of this state.

That the children of every negro, mulatto or mestee woman, being a slave, shall follow the state and condition of the mother, and be esteemed, reputed, taken and adjudged slaves to all in tents and purposes whatsoever.

That the baptizing of any negro, or other slave, shall not be deemed, adjudged, or taken, to be a manumission of such slave.

It was further enacted that slaves should not be imported or those imported since June 1, 1785, sold as slaves, under a penalty of £100, to be sued for by action of debt, the person imported and sold to be free; that any person buying or receiving a slave with intent to remove such slave out of this state, to be sold, should foſeit £100, and such slave be free.

It enacted prohibitions against concealing or harboring runaway slaves; against trafficking with slaves; against selling liquor to slaves; made owners of slaves liable to the persons damaged by thefts committed by slaves, to the amount of £5 or under: slaves to be committed to prison for striking a white person.

Slaves were to be entitled to jury trials in capital cases; slaves not to be witnesses in any case, except in criminal cases in which the evidence of one slave was to be admitted for or against an other slave.

Masters were forbidden to allow their slaves to go about begging. Pretended sales of aged or decrepit slaves to persons unable to keep and maintain them forbidden, and such sales declared void. Manumission of slaves regulated, to same effect as in laws of 1785, ch. 68 (given above, passed Ap. 12, 1785).

To those provisions were added in this act the following:

That if the owner or owners of any other slave, shall be disposed, to manumit and set at liberty, such slave, and such owner or owners, or any other sufficient person, for, or in behalf of such slave, shall and do, at the court of general sessions of the peace, for the city or county, where such negro or other slave shall dwell or reside, enter into a bond, to the people of the state of New York, with one or more surety or sureties, to be approved by such court, in sum, not less than two hundred pounds, to keep any slave from becoming or being any charge to the city, town or place within this state, wherein such slave shall at any time, after such manumission, live, the said slave shall be free, according to such manumission of the owner or owners of such slave.

And further, if any such slave hath been or hereafter shall be made free, by the last will and testament of any person deceased, and if the executor or executors of such person so deceased, or in case of the neglect or refusal of such executor or executors, if any other sufficient person, for, and in behalf of such slave, shall and do, enter into such surety as aforesaid, in manner aforesaid, then the said slave shall be free, according to the true intent and meaning of such last will and testament.

And moreover, that if any person shall, by last will or otherwise, manumit or set free, his or her slave, and no such certificate or security as aforesaid be given or obtained, such slave shall nevertheless, be considered as free from such owner, his or her executor, administrator and assigns. But such owner, his and her heirs, executors and administrators, shall remain and be liable to support and maintain such slave, if the same slave shall become unable to support and maintain himself or herself.

The law relating to manumission thus became, in substance:

1 Slaves under 50 years of age and able to support and maintain themselves, and so certified by the proper officers, might be manumitted by will or otherwise, without security being given for their future support in case they should become unable to support themselves. The master was thus freed from all farther liability on their account.

2 Any other slave, whatever his age or condition or ability, might be manumitted by will or otherwise, and become free on a bond being given for his support in case of his becoming unable to support himself.

3 If any person, by will or otherwise, manumitted a slave, and no certificate or security was given, the slave nevertheless be came free; but the owner, executors and heirs were liable for the support of the slave if he became unable to support himself.

On the subject of manumission, compare the colonial act of Dec. 10, 1712; Gov. Hunter’s letter to the Lords of trade, Nov. 12, 1715; the act of Nov. 2, 1717 (the result of Gov. Hunter’s letter) and the act of Oct. 29, 1730.

Chapter 28, laws of 1790, passed Mar. 22, 1790, “An Act to amend the act entitled “An Act concerning slaves,” provided that slaves convicted of crime under the degree of a capital offense might be transported by the master or mistress out of the state, on the certificate of the court trying the offender, that transportation would be a proper punishment; also allowed appeals to the court of general sessions from the refusal of overseers of the poor to grant certificates for manumission of slaves appearing to be under 50 years of age and of sufficient ability to provide for themselves.

Chapter 17, laws of 1792, authorized the state treasurer to reimburse towns supporting slaves manumitted by the state on the confiscation of the estates of their owners; provided they were supported as other poor persons were.

The Quakers were among the earliest opponents They, however, sometimes owned slaves, but in many instances manumitted them, often without regard to the requisite formalities. The legislature by an act passed Mar. 9, 1798, confirmed such manumissions.

Efforts were made by the prominent statesmen of New York, soon after the formation of the state, to secure the abolition of slavery. The following, from Bancroft, reveals the feeling of the wiser men of that generation:

In the constituent convention of New York, Gouverneur Morris struggled hard for measures tending to abolish domestic slavery, “so that in future ages every human being who breathed the air of the state might enjoy the privileges of a freeman.” The proposition, though strongly supported, especially by the interior and newer counties, was lost by the vote of the counties on the Hudson. Jay lamented the want of a clause against the continuance of domestic slavery. Still, the declaration of independence was incorporated into the constitution of New York; and all its great statesmen were opposed to slavery. All parts of the common law, and all statutes and acts repugnant to the constitution, were abrogated and repealed by the constitution itself.

The New England states and Pennsylvania moved more promptly and effectually in applying the principles of the declaration of independence, the logical outcome of which was the abolition of slavery. New Jersey lagged behind. Even in the southern states there was a strong feeling in favor of some plan for the gradual removal of slavery, which, doubtless, would have culminated in legislative action but for the sudden and disastrous increase in the value of slave labor.

Finally, however, Mar. 29, 1799, New York passed its first great act (laws of 1799, ch. 62) for the gradual abolition of slavery. It enacted:

That any child born of a slave within this state after the fourth day of July next, shall be deemed and adjudged to be born free: Provided nevertheless that such child shall be the servant of the legal proprietor of his or her mother, until such servant if a male shall arrive at the age of twenty-eight years, and if a female at the age of twenty-five years.

That the master of the mother shall be entitled to the services of such child.

That the master shall file a certificate, within nine months after the birth of such child, with the clerk of the city or town of his residence, containing the name and addition of the master or mistress, and name, age and sex of every child so born, under a penalty of $5, for failure to file such certificate.

The person entitled to such service may nevertheless within one year after the birth of such child, elect to abandon his or her right to such service, by written notification filed with the clerk of the town where the owner resides.

The child so abandoned shall be supported and maintained till bound out by the overseers of the poor (as a pauper) at the expense of the state, not to exceed $3.50 a month, but the owner shall support such child till it is 1 year old. If no notification is so given, the owner shall be answerable for the maintenance of such child to the end of the period of its servitude.

That it shall be lawful for the owner of any slave immediately after the passage of this act to manumit such slave by a certificate for that purpose under his hand and seal.

A side light on slavery at this date, 1799, is given in the following advertisement appearing in the Oswego herald:

A YOUNG WENCH-FOR SALE. She is a good cook and ready at all kinds of house-work. None can exceed her if she is kept from liquor. She is 24 years of age—no husband nor children. Price $200; inquire of the printer.

The next legislation on the subject of slavery was chapter 188, laws of 1801, passed Ap. 8, 1801, “An Act concerning slaves and servants.” The first five paragraphs are substantially reenactments of existing laws. The sixth, declares the right of persons traveling to be accompanied by their slaves, to come into the state with their slaves and to remove them again; and of residents of the state to travel elsewhere with their slaves but requires them to bring them back again under severe penalties; also the right of persons having lived one year in this state to remove permanently and to take their slaves with them.

“And be it further enacted, That every child born of a slave within this state after the fourth day of July, 1799” shall be free, on the conditions named in the act of 1799.

In an act imposing a duty on strong liquors and regulating inns and taverns, passed Ap. 7, 1801, is a provision forbidding the sale of liquors to slaves without the consent of the master or mistress.

Several acts followed, of some of which only an abstract need be given to understand their full import, viz: 1802, ch. 52, and 1804, ch. 40, amending the act of 1799 in respect to the maintenance of pauper children of slaves, and the abandonment of children of slaves; 1807, ch. 77, amending the same act, and further limiting the power of residents to carry away slaves.

A most interesting illustration of the activity and earnestness of the very early antislavery movement is found in the preamble of chapter 19 of the laws of 1808, as follows:

An Act to incorporate the Society formed in this State of New York for promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and protecting such of them as have been or may be liberated. [Passed Feb. 19, 1808.] Whereas a voluntary association has for many years past existed in this state, by the name of “The New York Society for promoting the Manumission of Slaves and protecting such of them as have been or may be liberated “; and whereas the said society has represented to the legislature that besides its exertion to further the humane intentions of the legislature, by aiding the operations of the just and salutary laws passed for the gradual abolition of slavery in this state, it has established a free school in the city of New York, for the education of the children of such persons as have been liberated from bondage, that they may hereafter become useful members of the community; and whereas the said society has prayed to be incorporated, that it may be enabled more effectually to support the said school, and to fulfill the benevolent purposes of its association: Therefore [the act then incorporates] The New York Society for promoting the manumission of slaves and protecting such of them as have been or may be liberated, [for 15 years].

Chapter 96, laws of 1808, forbids the kidnapping of free people of color.

Chapter 44, laws of 1809, enacted that manumitted slaves may take “by descent, devise or otherwise; ” that all marriages contracted where a party or parties “was, were, or may be slaves.” shall be valid, and the children legitimate; and facilitated manumission,

The growth of antislavery sentiment is apparent in all the legislation of these years, but nowhere more clearly, perhaps, than in an act passed Mar. 30, 1810, entitled “An addition to the Act concerning slaves and servants.”

It declared that after the first of May next,

No person held as a slave shall be imported, introduced or brought into this State on any pretense whatever by any person or persons coming permanently to reside within the same; and that any person residing within this State for the space of nine months shall be considered as having a permanent residence therein, within the meaning of this act; but it shall not be construed to extend to such persons as may reside within this State for a shorter period; and if any person so held as a slave shall be so imported or introduced or brought into this State, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, he or she shall be and is hereby declared free.

And whereas, To evade the existing laws of this State concerning the importation and transfer of slaves, persons residing in adjacent states have manumitted their slaves and afterwards induced them to indent or bind themselves for a term of years, to certain persons citizens of this State, receiving at the same time for such term of service a price or consideration equal to the full value of the slave, whereby the persons so manumitted are not only reduced back to a state of virtual bondage but after having grown so old in service as to be incapable of gaining a subsistence, are turned out to become a charge on the community, to the great burthen of the public, and against the true intent and meaning of the laws of this State: Therefore,

Be it further enacted That no such indenture, contract or bond shall be obligatory within this State on the person so bound, and the same shall be void, and the person bound, having been a slave, shall be free.

[Further]—every person entitled to the services of a child born of a slave after July 4, 1799 shall cause the child to be taught reading so as to be able to read the Holy Scriptures, previous to its becoming 21 years of age; failure to cause the child to be so taught shall release the child from service at the age of 21 years.

Chapter 193, laws of 1810, provides:

That all such persons who reside in the counties of Ontario, Steuben and Seneca, and who have emigrated from the states of Virginia and Maryland, within ten years last past, who hold in their own right slaves which they brought with them from said states, be and they are hereby authorized to hire out their said slaves to any citizen of this State for a term of time not exceeding seven years; Provided always That at the end of such term of time for which said slaves may be so hired, each and every slave so hired shall be free, any law of this State to the contrary not withstanding: Provided always That the masters of such, slaves shall not be exonerated from liability to maintain any such slave, who, at the expiration of the term, for which he shall be so hired out, shall not be of sufficient ability to maintain himself.

The first law in the state in relation to the voting of black men is “An Act to prevent Frauds and Perjuries at Elections and to prevent Slaves from voting,” passed Ap. 9, 1811. Up to this time, free blacks voted under conditions applicable to whites and blacks alike. This law, “to prevent frauds”, or, in regard to blacks, to “prevent slaves from voting,” enacted:

That whenever any black or mulatto person shall present him self to vote at any election in this State, he shall produce to the inspectors or persons conducting such election a certificate of his freedom, under the hand and seal of any one of the clerks of the counties of this State, or under the hand of a clerk of any town within this State.

The method of proof of freedom before a judge is prescribed, on which, when satisfactory, a certificate was to be issued, certifying to the freedom of the black man, describing the person, his age, place of birth, and the time when he became free; the proof to be filed and the certificate to be recorded, and a certified copy of the record to be the certificate presented when offering to vote. Without producing such certificate, the black or mulatto person could not vote. In addition to producing the certificate he might be required to make oath that he was the identical person named and intended in the certificate, and a false oath in the matter was perjury. The judge or other officer taking proofs of freedom, on application of the black man, might issue a summons and compel the attendance of witnesses to prove such freedom. in a law passed Ap. 8, 1813, it was made lawful to remove any slave who should have left his master, or should have wandered from town to town, to the place of the settlement of his master.

It is a striking revelation of the condition arising and increasing in the period when slavery in the state was moribund. Slaves “leaving their masters”, and “wandering from town to town, ” were doubtless the old and useless, for the most part. The constant effort of the law to compel masters to take care of such slaves discloses a prevalent disposition on their part to turn off their used-up slaves to shift for themselves or to be supported by the public.

Chapter 203, laws of 1813, enacted: That the provisions of the Act entitled “An Act concerning Slaves and Servants’ relative to importation and exportation of slaves, shall not be construed to extend to cases where persons residing within and near the boundary line of this State and owning and occupying land over the said line in an neighboring state, shall bring such slaves into or take them out of this State for the purpose of cultivating the land which they may so own and occupy in either state.

In the revised laws of 1813, there is a reenactment of all then existing laws relating to slavery.

As in the revolutionary war, so now, in the war of 1812, provision was made by law for the raising of regiments in which slaves might become soldiers. This was done by “An Act to authorize the raising of two regiments of color”, passed Oct. 24, 1814. The city of Washington had been seized by the British and the capitol and other public buildings burned. The Americans had been defeated here and there, and the desperate condition caused this last resort for the procuring of needed soldiers.

Section 1 authorized the governor to raise, by voluntary enlistment, two regiments of free men of color, for the defense of the state, for three years, unless sooner discharged. § 3 required the commissioned officers to be white men. § 4 officers and privates to be paid, etc. same as United States troops, and a bounty of $20 given. § 5 provided that these troops might be transferred into the service of the United States. § 6 “That it shall be lawful for any able-bodied slave, with the written assent of his master or mistress, to enlist into the said corps, and the master or mistress of such slave shall be entitled to the pay and bounty allowed him for his service; and further, that said slave, at the time of receiving his discharge, shall be deemed and adjudged to have been legally manumitted from that time, and his said master or mistress shall not thenceforward be liable for his maintenance.” § 7 provided for the settlement of such slave if he became indigent.

Chapter 82, laws of 1814, amends the provisions of law of 1811 as to the place where certificates of freedom shall be filed, in the city of New York.

Chapter 145, laws of 1815, amends “An Act for regulating elections” passed Mar. 29, 1813, and affect New York city and county. A new provision is made, imposing penalties for willfully or corruptly refusing certificates of freedom, the law indicating the crimes that doubtless had been committed.

Chapter 45, laws of 1816, provided, that former slaves of those whose estates were forfeited should be maintained as paupers.

Chapter 137, laws of 1817, contains a reenactment of then existing laws relative to slaves and servants, but they gave the final blow to the existence of slavery in the state after July 4, 1827. It was enacted “That every negro, mulatto or mestee within this state, born before the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, shall, after the fourth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, be free.”

Chapter 141, laws of 1819, amending “An Act relative to Slaves and Servants,” imposes penalties for sending to sea, or exporting, or attempting to export from this state, etc., any slave, or aiding in so doing, or conspiring so to do; declares the slave shall be free; but the act shall not apply to a slave pardoned by the executive on condition of leaving the state. Also, it gives to a person who resides or whose family resides a part of the year in the state and a part of the year in an adjoining state, the right to remove his slaves with him; and forbids the sale of such slave, if previously a resident of this state, to any person not an inhabitant of this state; the slave declared free, if so sold.

Prior to 1821 there was no distinction on account of color between free negroes and the whites in the matter of suffrage. A property qualification was required for all voters. That distinction was first introduced into the slavery institution of 1821. No property qualification was required, in terms, for white voters, but they must have paid taxes, or been exempt, or per formed or paid for highway labor, within the year in which they offered to vote. Colored persons were not allowed to vote unless they had been citizens of the state three years, and were possessed of a freehold of the value of $250 over and above all debts and incumbrances thereon, and had paid a tax on that amount. In 1826 the requirement of property qualification for white voters was abrogated. In 1845, again in 1860 and still again in 1869, the question whether the property qualification for colored voters should be continued, was submitted to the people, and each time was decided in the affirmative, by steadily decreasing majorities. Finally, all distinctions between white and colored voters were wiped out by the 15th amendment to the federal constitution, ratified in 1870, which said: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account or race, color, or previous condition of Servitude.”

The fourth day of July 1827, was the day when, according to the law of 1817, every slave in this state born before July 4, 1799, became free. All children of slaves born after this latter date were free but remained servants till a certain age. Slavery, as such, had come to an end. Various laws and resolutions, however, were passed by the legislature, from time to time, in the interests, and for the protection, of former slaves and other colored persons within the state, and in regard to the general question of slavery elsewhere in the United States. In some sense they belong to this history, and at all events are of interest in this connection. The revised statutes s of 1828, pt 3, ch. 9, tit. 1, art. 1, relating to habeas corpus, regulated the procedure in regard to fugitive slaves from other states and claimed here by their owners, and provided various safeguards against the enslaving of free colored persons.

Part 1, ch. 20, tit. 7, of the same statutes, (1828), is largely a reenactment of various laws, but contains some provisions from which it will be seen that slavery was not, after all, wholly extinguished in the state. The following is a summary of this law. § 1 Persons held as slaves not to be brought into this state. § 2 Last section not to discharge fugitives from other states. § 3 Emigrants from other states may bring their slaves with them, if born after July 4, 1796, and before July 4, 1827. § 4 Such slaves brought in since Mar. 31, 1817, shall be free, but remain servants, males till 28, females till 25 years of age. § 5 Such persons brought after passage of this law to serve only till the age of 21. § 6 permits nonresidents traveling in the state to bring with them their slaves. $ 7 Privilege of resident part of the year. (§ 3-7 are repealed by laws of 1841, ch. 247.) $ 8 & 9 Against selling any person as a slave. § 10 Forbidding transfer of service of certain persons. § 11 Certain contracts for service void. § 12 and 13 Against sending slaves or servants out of the state. § 14 Inhabitants journeying may take servants on certain conditions. § 15 Persons of color owing service or labor in other states secreting themselves in vessels may be returned. (This provision held in violation of the U. S. constitution, in Kirk’s case, 1 Parker’s crim. rep. 67, on the ground that congress has already legislated on the subject.)

Section 16 Every person born within this state, whether white or colored, is free; every person who shall hereafter be born within this state shall be free; and every person brought into this state as a slave, except as authorized by this title, shall be free.

Ch. 225, in laws of 1840, is “An Act to extend the right of trial by jury”, and § 1 declares: “Instead of the hearing provided for ” by the revised statutes, on habeas corpus, “the claim to the service of such alleged fugitive, his identity, and the fact of his having escaped from another State of the United States into this State shall be determined by a jury.” If the finding of the jury was in favor of the claimant on all the matters, a certificate was to be given to such claimant, and the fugitive could be removed, etc. If, however, the finding of the jury was against the claimant on any of the matters submitted to them, “the person so claimed as a fugitive shall be forthwith set at liberty and shall never thereafter be molested upon the same claim; and any person who shall thereafter arrest, detain, or proceed in any manner to retake such alleged fugitive upon the same claim, or shall by virtue of the same claim remove such alleged fugitive out of this state under any process or proceeding whatever, shall be deemed guilty of kidnapping, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the State prison not exceeding ten years.” The district attorney was required to render his services to the alleged fugitive, or counsel should be appointed by the court. There were other incidental provisions, some imposing severe penalties for disregarding the terms of this law designed to protect the rights of the alleged fugitive. Before the writ of habeas corpus should be granted, the applicant was required to give a bond in the sum of $1000 to pay all costs and expenses, and $2 weekly for the support of the alleged fugitive while in custody, and if the jury should decide against the claimant, to pay the expenses of the alleged fugitive.

Chapter 375, in laws of 1840, being “An Act more effectually to protect the free citizens of this State from being kidnapped or reduced to slavery, ” required the governor “to take such measures as he shall deem necessary to procure ‘’ that any per son kidnapped, etc., be restored to his liberty, and returned. He might appoint agents to effect such restoration, who might perform journeys, take proofs, legal proceedings, etc.

The last act, for many years, directly on the subject of slavery, was chapter 247 of laws of 1841, which repealed $ 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, of tit. 7, ch. 20, of the first part of the revised statutes. These sections allowed slaves to be brought into the state, to pass through the state, etc. The repeal extinguishes all privileges of slave owners, and all ownerships in slaves within the state.

The antislavery feeling in the state was not, however, satisfied merely with having extinguished slavery within its own borders. It was as hostile to its existence elsewhere in the United States, but did not seek to interfere with it where already established or permitted by law. But it did propose that the evil should not be extended beyond those limits. The expression of that feeling is found in the “concurrent resolutions” passed by the senate and assembly of the state from time to time. In 1847, during the Mexican war, with the prospect before their eyes that Texas and other territories would be added to our Union, they resolved “That if any territory shall hereafter be acquired by the United States, or annexed thereto, the act by which territory is acquired or annexed, whatever such act may be, should contain an unalterable fundamental article or provision, whereby slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, shall be forever excluded from the territory acquired or annexed.” And in 1848, by concurrent resolution, the senators in congress are requested to use their best efforts to insert into any act or ordinance, etc., provisions excluding slavery; and in 1849, to the same effect.

In 1852, by concurrent resolution, the senators and representatives in congress are requested to use their best efforts to have a joint committee appointed to prepare a compendium of the first and subsequent enumerations of the inhabitants of the United States, showing in separate columns the whites, the free persons of color, and the slaves, by sexes, etc. and the representation under each enumeration, etc.; all of which indicated pretty clearly an intention to prepare for a vigorous attack on slavery in its relations to representation in congress.

In 1855, the legislature by concurrent resolutions declared that the bill, in congress, organizing the territory of Kansas and Nebraska and repealing part of the Missouri compromise prohibiting slavery, etc., was a gross violation of good faith. It demanded of congress the enactment of a law declaring that slavery shall not exist except where it is established by a local law of a state, thus restoring by positive statute the prohibition of slavery in the territory of Kansas and Nebraska. They declared “that the people of the State of New York will not consent to the admission into the Union of any state formed out of Kansas and Nebraska unless its constitution shall prohibit the existence of slavery within its limits.” They denounced the fugitive slave law of 1850; and demanded the right of free discussion, etc.

The intensity of feeling at that period is shown in the concurrent resolutions of Ap. 16, 1857: “That this state will not allow slavery within her borders, in any form, or under any pretence, or for any time however short.—That the Supreme Court of the United States, by reason of a majority of the judges thereof having identified it with a sectional and aggressive party, has impaired the confidence and respect of the people of this state.” The governor is requested to transmit a copy of the resolutions to the respective governors of the states of this Union.

Ap. 12, 1859, they resolved: “That this legislature and the citizens of this State look with surprise, mortification and detestation upon the virtual reopening, within the federal union, of the slave trade; that against this invasion of our laws, our feelings, and the dictates of Christianity, we solemnly protest here, as we will protest elsewhere, and especially at the ballot box;” . . . and call for the punishment of those engaged in the slave trade; and the governor is “required to transmit a copy of this resolution to the legislatures of the several states of the Union and earnestly request their cooperation in arresting this great wickedness.”

Jan. 11, 1865, by concurrent resolution, the legislature instructed their senators in congress to secure a resolution submitting a proposition to amend the federal constitution by adding thereto art. 13, prohibiting slavery in the United States; and February 2 following they ratified, by resolution, the 13th amendment that congress proposed. April 22, the same year, they passed a law ratifying the same amendment, probably on the theory that ratification by resolution was insufficient, or at least not sufficiently formal.

The next, and last, act of legislation of the state in any way affecting the subject of slavery was passed Feb. 20, 1883, (ch. 36), and was in these words: “Title seven, chapter twenty, part one, Volume one of the Revised Statutes is hereby repealed,” thus wiping out the last vestige of slavery legislation from the statute books of the state.

Indian Slaves

Frequent reference is made in the colonial records and laws, not only of New York but also of other colonies, to Indians as slaves. Indian slavery in some form existed in all or nearly all of them. We know that the Indians of the West Indies, from an early period, were made slaves; that the Spaniards made slaves of captives from the continent to some extent; that the Indian tribes made slaves of their captives in war, and sometimes sold them to the whites.

In Massachusetts, in 1637 and after, many captive Indians taken in the Pequot war were made slaves, and were sent to the Bermudas and there sold. Hugh Peter wanted “some boyes for the Bermudas’’ from these captives. Domestic Indian slavery existed at the same time, and the statutes of the colony made constant allusion to the fact.

In King Philip’s war, 1675-78, numerous Indian captives taken were disposed of as slaves. In 1675, 112 men, women and children of the Indians were, by the council of Plymouth, ordered sold, and they were accordingly sold. A little later, 57 more were sold. In all, in 1675-76, 188 were sold for £397 13s. The “Praying Indians” themselves did not escape the common fate of captive Indians. They all went, when captured, into West Indian slavery. The lawfulness of the slavery of both Indians and negroes was recognized by the “Code of 1650 ” of the colony of Connecticut. Indian slaves were imported into Pennsylvania from Carolina and elsewhere.

In Virginia, by and act passed in 1676, all Indians taken in war were to be held and accounted slaves during life. In the same year it was enacted that Indian captives taken by soldiers in war should be the property of such captors. The Indian captives of neighboring Indians were sold to the whites as slaves; and this was made lawful by an act passed in 1862.

Turning to New York, the evidence is not conclusive that Indians were enslaved during the Dutch period, within the province at least. It is probable, however, that the Dutch some times made slaves of Indian prisoners.

In a communication of the “Eight Men,” from Manhattan, to the Amsterdam chamber of the West India company, in 1644, they say: “The captured Indians who might have been of considerable use to us as guides, have been given to the soldiers as presents, and allowed to go to Holland; the others have been sent off to the Bermudas as a present to the English governor,” presumably as slaves.

During the English period, there is frequent reference to Indian slaves. “According to the Minutes of 1679, it was resolved that all Indians within the colony were free—nor could they be forced to be servants or slaves—and if they were brought hither as slaves, a residence of 6 months should entitle them to freedom.” But this rule did not prevail at a later period in the English colony, as is evident from both documents and laws.

In the narrative of grievances against Jacob Leisler, appears this: “The same night (Dec. 23, 1689) an Indian Slave belonging to Philip French was dragged to the Fort (New York) and there imprisoned.”

The colonial act of May 1, 1702, is the first act mentioning Indians as slaves. A tax is levied “upon every Negro or Indian Slave Imported in this Province from their own Countries.” The next is an act passed Oct. 21, 1706: “Whereas divers of her Maties good Subjects, Inhabitants of this Colony now are and have been willing that such Negro, Indian and Mulatto Slaves who belong to them and desire the same, should be baptized,” etc. The same act declared “That all and every Negro, Indian Mulatto and Mestee Bastard Child & Children who is, are and shalbe born of any Negro, Indian, Mulatto or Mestee, shall follow ye state and Condition of the Mother & be esteemed reputed taken & adjudged a slave & slaves to all intents and purposes whatsoever.” An act of Sep. 18, 1708 speaks of “Negro, Indian or other Slaves.”

Lord Cornbury wrote to the board of trade, Feb. 10, 1707-8, as has been said in a preceding chapter: “A most barbarous murder has been committed upon the family of one Hallett by an Indian Man Slave, and a Negro Woman, who have murdered their Master, Mistress and five children.”

In 1712, the Lords of trade, at Whitehall, recommended the reprieve of Hosea and John, “Spanish Indians,” convicted of participation in the insurrection at New York in that year.

Among the slaves imported from the West Indies and Brazil, very probably, were Indian slaves of those countries. This of itself may be some explanation of the frequent reference in the acts of the colony to Indian slaves, but there were evidently other Indian slaves.

It is more than probable that some Indian slaves of the Indian tribes, made such by capture in war, were purchased by the colonists and held as slaves.

In 1702, in “Propositions made by 5 of the farr Indians,” the “Pani” (Pawnee) Indians are spoken of as “the Naudowassees by ye French called Pani, a nation of Indians that live to the Westward towards ye Spanyards,” with whom these “farr Indians” were at war. Schoolcraft, speaking of the “Pawnees (Pani),” says: “The Pawnees were formerly a brave, warlike tribe, living on the Platte River in Nebraska. Their history, until a recent date, is one of almost constant warfare with the Dakotas.” It is pretty certain that these “Panis” were among the Indian slaves of the colonists.

In “the Paris Documents,” of occurrences in Canada during the year 1747-48 the Journal, under date of Nov. 11,1747, recites: “The 4 Negroes and a Panis, who were captured from the English during the war and had run away from Montreal, as mentioned in the entry of the 28th of October, in the preceding Journal, have been overtaken and brought in today; we intend to put them on board a small vessel bound to Martinico, the last in port; these slaves will be sold there for the benefit of the proprietors.”

In the entry of Oct. 28, it is said: “We learn from Montreal that 4 to 5 negroes, who had been taken from the English during the war, have deserted. . . It will be proper, henceforward, to send all these foreign negroes to the Island to be sold there.” The “Panis” was here included in the “4 to 5 negroes, who had been taken from the English during the war.”

The same journal, under date of Dec. 1, 1747, recites the finding of some “Dutchmen” among the Indians, who had been adopted, for which reason the Indians would not sell them for money, “but they will exchange them for Panis men or women. . . We shall wait until the coming down of the Michilimakinac canoes to buy some prisoners at a lower figure than could be done now.”

M. Varin, in a letter to M. Bigot, from Montreal, July 24, 1754, in giving an account of a battle with the English, and of the losses of the Canadians, says: “Mr. Pean’s Panis has been also killed.” This was at Fort Necessity, Fayette co. Pa.

In the articles of capitulation for the surrender of Canada, between Gen. Amherst, commander in chief of the British forces, and the Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor and lieutenant general for the king in Canada, Montreal, Sep. 8, 1760, art. 47 as proposed by the French, recited:

The Negroes and Panis of both sexes shall remain in their quality of slaves, in the possession of the French and Canadians to whom they belong; they shall be at liberty to keep them in their service in the colony, or to sell them; and they shall also continue to bring them up in the Roman religion.

The British general wrote opposite the proposition: “Granted; except those who shall have been made prisoners.” Those, we may assume, were carried off as spoils of war, “Panis” as well as “Negroes.”

If farther proof were needed of the fact that the British kept Panis Indians as slaves, we have it in the “Articles of Peace between Sir William Johnson and the Huron Indians, made at Niagara, July 18, 1764″. They contain the following:

Article 2nd. That any English who may be prisoners or deserters, and any Negroes, Panis, or other Slaves, who are British * property, shall be delivered up, within one month, to the commandant of the Detroit, and that the Hurons use all possible endeavors to get those who are in the hands of the neighboring Nations; engaging never to entertain any deserters, fugitives or slaves; but should any such fly to them for protection, they are to deliver them up to the next commanding officer.

Judge Matthews, of Louisiana, in the case of Seville vs Chretien, in which an Indian sought “to recover his liberty,” says:

It is an admitted principle, that slavery has been permitted and tolerated in all the colonies established in America by the mother country. Not only of Africans, but also of Indians.

In The State (New Jersey) vs Waggoner, April term, 1797, the court says:

They [Indians] have so long been recognized as slaves in our law, that it would be as great a violation of the rights of property to establish a contrary decision at the present day, as it would in the case of the Africans, and as useless to investigate the manner in which they originally lost their freedom.

Judge Matthews, in the Louisiana case above cited, says that the permission to introduce negroes “was intended as a means of enabling the planters to dispense with the slavery of the Indians by their European conquerors.” He says farther:

About twenty years after, [the introduction of slaves into Virginia by the Dutch], slaves were introduced into New England, and it is believed that Indians were at the same time, or before, held in bondage. . . The first Act of the Legislature of the Province of Virginia on the subject of the slavery of the Indians was passed in 1670, and one of its provisions, according to Judge Tucker, prohibits free or manumitted Indians from purchasing Christian servants. The words free or manumitted are useless and absurd, if there did not exist Indians who had been slaves and had been manumitted, before and at the time this Act was passed.

In the case of Gomez vs Boneval, in Louisiana, 1819, the court said:

But the descendants of Africans are not the only subjects of American slavery. The native Indians have also been enslaved, and their descendants are still in slavery.

These citations, it is true, do not conclusively prove that Indians were ever held as slaves in New York; but do show that it was a common custom in the colonies to hold them as such. Presumably, the same custom prevailed in New York.

Aaron Schuyler, of New York, in 1693, gave to his daughters, Eve and Cornelia, by his will, two houses and lots on Broadway, New York, with an Indian slave woman to each. (W. B. Melius)

Mr. Melius, of Albany N. Y. who has made this subject a matter of special study, says:

I do not believe the pure Indian was sold as a slave. There are cases on record wherein Indian women would bind themselves to white men and become their servants. I know of no case where they were afterwards sold as chattel, and believe the Indian who was the slave was not without mixture. . . We find that Sarah Robinson, an Indian woman and native of New York, landed at Southampton and came into the possession of Robert Waters, and was sent as a slave to Madeira and there returned by the English council to New York. I believe this not to be a pure Indian woman, but amalgamated. . . In 1717, complaint was made that slaves ran away and were secreted by the Minisinks, and they intermarried with the Indian women.

On all the evidence on the subject, however, it is safe to say that Indian slaves were owned in the colony of New York. At one period, they were, probably, Indians imported from the West Indies and Brazil. At another period “ Panis” Indians were slaves. Some Indians, specially Indian women, voluntarily be came “servants” or slaves. The children of free Indians and slave mothers of African blood were slaves, following the condition of the mother. It is highly probable that Indian slave captives of the adjacent warlike tribes were purchased from these tribes by the English, and remained slaves. It is not improbable that some of the weaker tribes contributed in various ways to the number of Indian slaves.

It is improbable that any of the stronger tribes, like the proud and warlike Six Nations, were ever made slaves.

That Indian slavery in some of these forms existed in New York is reasonably certain. The statutes for a long period repeated the phrase “Indian slaves,” which is a clear recognition of an existing fact. And the fact that Indian slavery existed in all the surrounding colonies leads to the same conclusion.

It is noticeable that “Indian * slaves are not mentioned in the acts of the legislature of the state, though the colonial laws, down to the end of the colonial period, speak, in almost every statute relating to slavery, of “Negro and Indian slaves.”

[End of Senate Slavery section]

The New York Manumission Society

In 1785 “The New York Society for the Manumission of Slaves and the Protection of such of them as had been or wanted to be Liberated” was created and in 1808 incorporated in New York State. They organized on behalf of black New Yorkers who were experiencing the widespread practice of kidnapping black New Yorkers (both slave and free) and selling them as slaves.

The Society founded the New York African Free School two years later and members provided or raised funds for teachers’ salaries, for supplies, and the erection of new buildings to accommodate the increase in student population They also visited the schools periodically and reported on the state of the school and the students. Later they lobbied to pass the 1799 law, which granted gradual manumission to New York’s slaves. The organization provided legal assistance to both free and enslaved blacks.

Besides helping in legislation, in 1787, they created the African Free School to educate black children. By 1820 over 500 black children were enrolled and by 1832 there were black teachers instructing them.

A number of success stories came out that school system.

Dr. James McCune Smith wanted to be come a doctor but had to Glasgow, Scotland to get his medical degree. In 1952 his picture was on the cover of the March issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association. Smith was born in New York City in 1811, got his early education at the Free School After he graduated in 1837 from medical school he practiced in New York City.

Ira Aldridge went to the free school at age 13. He became a celebrated Shakespearian actor who played before the crowns throughout Europe. Aldridge is the only actor of African-American descent among the 33 actors of the English stage honored with bronze plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. He was especially popular in Prussia and Russia, where he received top honors from heads of state.

Henry Highland Garnet was an African-American abolitionist, minister, educator and orator. Having escaped with his family as a child from slavery in Maryland, he grew up in New York City. He was educated at the African Free School and other institutions, and became an advocate of militant abolitionism. He became a minister and based his drive for abolitionism in religion. Trojans know Garnet since he moved with his family to Troy, New York, in 1839 and taught school and studied theology. In 1842, he became pastor of the Liberty Street Presbyterian Church for six years. During this time, he published papers that combined religious and abolitionist themes. Closely identifying with the church, Garnet supported the temperance movement and became a strong advocate of political antislavery.

Charles Lewis Reason went to the free school with his two brothers but was teaching mathematics there at the age of fourteen. He became the first African-American college professor in the United States, teaching at New-York Central College, in McGraw NY. In 1847, Reason, along with Charles Bennett Ray, founded the New York-based Society for the Promotion of Education among Colored Children.

George T. Downing was an abolitionist and activist for African-American civil rights while building a successful career as a restaurateur in New York City; Newport, Rhode Island; and Washington, DC.

Alexander Crummell was a pioneering African-American minister, teacher and African nationalist. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in the United States, and went to England in the late 1840s to raise money for his church by lecturing about American slavery. Abolitionists supported his three years of study at Cambridge University, where Crummell developed concepts of pan-Africanism.

While we can acknowledge that many slaveholders were early New Yorkers. We can also acknowledge that many of them right here in Albany worked hard to abolish it. Righting the wrong did not always work immediately. It took time and trial and error in legal maneuvers but eventually slavery was totally abolished in New York State and by the Civil War there were no slaves living in the Capital District.

Atone for his sins?

Atone for his sins?

Originally published in the TU on June 14, 2020

by Don Rittner

The New-York Manumission Society was an American organization founded in 1785 by one of the Founding Father’s John Jay, and others, to promote the gradual abolition of slavery and manumission of slaves of African descent within the state of New York.

The Society started a petition against slavery, which was signed by almost all the politically prominent men in New York, of all parties and led to a bill for gradual emancipation.

The Society was instrumental in having a state law passed in 1785 prohibiting the sale of slaves imported into the state, and making it easy for slaveholders to manumit slaves either by a registered certificate or by will.

In 1788 the purchase of slaves for removal to another state was forbidden; they were allowed trial by jury “in all capital cases;” and the earlier laws about slaves were simplified and restated.

The emancipation of slaves by the Quakers was legalized in 1798.

The Society organized boycotts against New York merchants and newspaper owners involved in the slave trade. The Society had a special committee of militants who visited newspaper offices to warn publishers against accepting advertisements for the purchase or sale of slaves. Another committee kept a list of people who were involved in the slave trade, and urged members to boycott anyone listed.

In 1787, the Society founded the African Free School.

Back in the beginning in 1785, the Society lobbied for a state law to abolish slavery in New York, in 1799 when John Jay, as Governor of New York State, signed the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery into law. The resulting legislation declared that, from July 4 of that year, all children born to slave parents would be free. It also outlawed the exportation of current slaves. The Society was founded to address slavery in the state of New York,

When in 1785 the society advocated passage of the state emancipation bill, sponsors included John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and PHILIP SCHUYLER.

Should I stay or should I go? The Philip Schuyler Affair

Originally published in the TU on June 13, 2020

by Don Rittner

Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany has decided that the statue of Revolutionary War Hero and Albany Native Son Philip Schuyler needs to be removed – because he had slaves.

It should be pointed out that most of the early fathers of America owned slaves, you know people like George Washington and several other American presidents.  Many if not most Albany landowners had slaves. While we all agree that slavery was and is a bad idea, this early economic model was being practiced around the world at the time and it took a Civil War to get us out of this one.  U. S. Grant, the commanding General who basically brought it to a halt,  said it well:

 “that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.” 

So who started this mess anyway? Here are the facts surrounding the Schuyler Monument.  You be the judge if he should stay or go.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany has decided that Revolutionary War hero Philip Schuyler will be removed because he owned slaves.

The idea was presented on October 18, 1916 in The Albany Argus newspaper

Albany Moves For Monument to Schuyler

Philip Livingston Chapter Takes First Step at Meeting Last Night

Up to Executive Board

Series of Resolutions Extolling Qualities of Soldier-Statesman Adopt on Anniversary of Surrender.

“The first step toward the erection of a statue to General Philip Schuyler, in recognition of his staunch patriotism and service to the United States, was taken at a meeting of Philip Livingston chapter. Sons of the Revolution, in the University club, Washington Avenue, last night. For some time past efforts were made to honor Schuyler, who was born in this city in 1733, but until a resolution was passed at last night’s meeting, nothing had been formally inaugurated.

The Philip Schuyler monument resolutions was passed upon last night, were as follows:

The Resolutions. Whereas, Philip Schuyler was born in the city of Albany, N. Y., in 1733, lived here—or in the immediate vicinity—throughout his life, and died here in 1804; and

Whereas. He served in the Colonial army during the French and Indian wars, rising to the rank of major; and

Whereas, He was a delegate from New York to the Continental Congress, and was the unanimous choice of the Provincial Assembly of New York to be one of the major generals in the Continental army, to which position he was appointed by the Congress in June. 1775; and

Whereas, He served with distinction as commander of the northern department: being acquitted with the highest honors of all charges brought against him; and

Whereas, in the words of his biographer Benson J Lossing,”to his wise counsels; his unselfish patriotism; to his military skill; to his vigilance, which won for him the name of “The Great Eye of the Northern Northern Department;” to his fortitude; to his great influence; and to his patient endurance, truthful history awards the honor of achieving the capture of Burgoyne and his army;” and

Whereas. He was one of the original representatives of the State of New York in the Senate of the United States; and

Whereas, He also held many important offices in the State government, among which were: Senator, chairman of the Board of Indian commissioners, and surveyor-general; and

Whereas. Throughout his public career, he was conspicuous for his great abilities, his staunch patriotism, and his unselfish devotion to duty; and

Whereas, His great services to the State and nation should be suitably ”commemorated by his native city: therefore be it

Resolved. That Philip I.ivingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution, assembled in annual meeting on October 17. 1916, the one hundred and thirty-ninth anniversary of the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, heartily favors the erection, in the city of Albany, of a statue commemorating the services of Major General Philip Schuyler; and be it further

Resolved That the executive board of this chapter be. and it hereby is authorized and empowered to take appropriate action, having in the fulfillment of this project.”

It’s all his fault. George C. Hawley wanted to pay homage to a war hero and his wife but now it might disappear.

The Erection of the statue was on June 14, 1925 as reported the previous day in The Albany Times Union:

“The ceremonies attending the unveiling of the heroic bronze statue of Major General Philip Schuyler, which is now occupying the center of the triangular park in front of the city hall, will begin tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock. The statue was presented to the city by George C. Hawley in loving memory of his wife, Theodora Millard Hawley. Mr. Hawley has caused to be erected a large grand stand near the statue and this will be occupied by invited guests, to whom cards were issued a week ago.

The exercises will be preceded by a parade led by the escort, with Col. Charles L. Walsh, marshal, and in line the first battalion, the service company and the sanitary detachment of the Tenth Infantry; also the Fort Orange Council, Boy Scouts of America. Adams’ Tenth Regiment band will precede the parade.

The route of march will be as follows: Washington Avenue armory to Lark, to State, to Willett, to Hudson avenue, to Broadway, to State, to the City Hall.

Mayor Hackett to Preside

In front of the statue the ceremonies will be held. Major William S. Hackett will preside. The invocation will be by the Rev. Roelif Brooks, D. D., rector of St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal church. There will be an address by Mayor Hackett and the oration will be by Dr. Charles H. Johnson. The band will give a concert before the ceremonies and between the speeches.

The Citizens’ committee which has done so much for the fulfillment of Mr. Hawley’s plan, is composed of Mayor Hackett, chairman; Dr. Arthur W. Elting, Frank B. Graves and Judge William E. Woollard.

One of the last acts of the late Dr. John Mason Clarke, as president of the Albany Institute of History and Art, was to appoint the following committee to attend the unveiling: James McCredie, chairman; Benjamin Walworth Arnold, Samuel W. Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Charles Gibson, Peter D. Kiernan, Hon. James H. Manning, Dr. Islay F. McCormick, Gen. Amasa J. Parker, Cuyler Reynolds. Hon. Peter G. Ten Eyck, Charles P. Wagoner and Mrs. James C. Farrell.

Room for All

Representatives of the various historical societies, the colonial societies and similar organizations are expected to be present. The day being Sunday and Flag Day, it is an especially fitting patriotic event. There will be room for every citizen of Albany at the point because of the two parks – Capitol and Academy – which adjoin.

The musical program has been arranged in elaborate form. The souvenir programs are a work of art. The front page contains a cut of the statue in bronze.

The beautiful heroic bronze figure of Major. General Philip Schuyler, Albany’s Revolutionary hero, which is to be unveiled in City Halt park tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock, is the gift to the city of George Clement Hawley, retired business man and philanthropist, in memory of his wife, Theodora Millard Hawley. The readers of history know all about Major General Philip Schuyler, native Albanian, and they will be similarly informed about Mr. Hawley; another distinguished Albanian, and the generous donor of the statue. Contemporaries do not know so much about him, although he has done so much for his home city and those it loves that his name should be on everyone’s lips. Mr. Hawley was born, April 7th, 1860, at No. 1 Wilson street, in the city of Albany, when Wilson street was in the heart of the residential section, and daring the stirring times when the convention was assembling to nominate Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. ,

Boy’s Academy Graduate

He received his education in the public schools of Albany and in the Albany Boys’, academy. As a boy he was a member of the Sunday school of the First Reformed (Dutch) church, North Pearl and Orange streets, which was the church his parents attended. C. Augustus Hawley, his father, was born in Catskill in 1832, and moved) to Albany in early youth. He was for many years connected with the hardware store of E. Corning and Son, Broadway. He was one of the ablest business men in the city, had a wide acquaintance among the businessmen of the state, and by his sterling character, and rare traits of temperament, enjoyed the unqualified confidence and good will of all who knew him.

Mary L. Bingham Hawley, his mother, was a woman whose love and affection for her family, and her sympathetic friendship for her neighbors, endeared her to all. She died in 1896.

George Hawley, his grandfather, owned-a line of sloops operating on the Hudson and bad large warehouses in New York City. Daring the War of 1812 he served in the New York State Militia company, under Capt. DuBois, and so distinguishes himself that President James Buchanan, awarded his widow, Marietta Burr Hawley, a land warrant on Nov.1, 1860. which consisted of 100 acres in Township 194 at Sioux City, Iowa. He died in 1837 and the widow in 1862, and both were buried in the Hawley family plat in the Catskills cemetery.

George Clement Hawley, like Gen. Schuyler, has enjoyed a life of interesting and varied activities. As a youth he entered the employ of the Hudson Valley Paper Co., for seven years being its traveling salesman. He then entered a larger field by becoming salesman for the Morgan Envelope Co., of Springfield, Mass. As their representative he traveled all over the country, getting a comprehensive knowledge of the physical conditions of the country and the customs of its people. He studiously refrained from accepting public office, although when but 30 years of age he was offered the Democratic nomination for mayor. The press of the day acclaimed him as the most popular and best qualified for that office.

Wed in 1892

On March 23, 1892, he was married to Miss Theodora Millard Amsdell, daughter of Mr. and Mr. Theodore M. Amsdell. Miss Amsdell was a graduate of St, Agnes’ school, an accomplished musician, and noted for her beauty, her many accomplishments and charm of manner. They led a blissful married life for thirty-three years, where Mrs. Hawley passed peacefully away, mourned by thousands whose Pathway she had brightened during her loving career. The Hawley residence on Madison Avenue is one of the show places In Pine Hills, that section of beautiful homes. From its greenhouses and its gardens happiness was disseminated among the sick and the poor.

Mr. Hawley engaged in business with his father-in-law, Theodore M. Amsdell in the brewing business under the name of the Dobler Brewing Co. Amsdel and Hawley, proprietor. Mr. Amsdell was one of best-known and most successful brewers In New York state, Under Mr. Hawley’s management the business prospered, the product increasing from 12,000 to 120,000 barrels annually. In 1904, Mr. Hawley became the sole proprietor. When the Volstead Act came into effect the plant was sold to Christian Felgensspas, of Newark, N. J. Meantime the plant represented an investment of a million and a half dollars.

Mr. Hawley Insisted upon a strict adherence to the law and his product to anyone who failed to adhere to this policy. In order to compel this adherence to the law he owned a large number of tavern properties.

Upon his retirement in 1919, he devoted his life to the public services and the betterment and improvement of his native city. The Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church has the finest

Pipe organ in the city. a gift from him in memory of his wife.   The home for the Age on the Troy road has a $50,000 addition, which was his gift. In the Albany hospital there is a fully equipped operating room for the exclusive use of Dr. Arthur W Elting, his person friend. In the same institution there is a similar room for Dr. Arthur J. Bedell, the noted oculist. He also donated $50,000 to the extension fund of the hospital. The Albany Medical College has also received a substantial sum from him. Camp Hawley on Kinderhook Lake, the most elaborate en extensive boy’s camp in the state, was presented by him to fort Orange Council Boy Scouts.

His life has been full of good works and the exercise tomorrow ill be another public manifestation of the affection in which Albanians hold him. And now in the evening of his life he is reaping the benefits of a well spend life en enjoying the in license of grateful friendships.”


Schuler was Great Patriot, Nobel Citizen

Donor of Statue Writes Mayor Hackett Appreciation of Life of Eminent Statesman

“Major General Philip Schuyler was the son of John Schuyler, and a nephew of Peter Schuyler, first mayor of Albany when the city was incorporated in 1686. General Schuyler was born in 1733 at Albany. He was a conspicuous figure in the French and Indian war and one of the most outstanding heroes of the revolution.

Historians give General Schuyler credit for winning the battle of Saratoga. At the outbreak of the Revolution he organized the expedition which was to proceed against Canada by- way of Lake Champlain during the Revolutionary war, but illness compelled him to relinquish his command.

One of General Schuyler’s daughters married Alexander Hamilton.

A thrilling episode in the life of the general was played at the Schuyler mansion in Albany. In the summer of 1781 Canadians and Indiana surrounded the house according to a prearranged plan to abduct General Schuyler and hold him for ransom. Warned of the Intended coup Schuyler bolted the doors and retired to the top floor with his family.

Saves Infant

At the last moment it was discovered that the infant daughter had been left behind. General Schuyler’s third daughter, wife of the last Patroou, rushed down the stairs and rescued the child. An Indian tomahawk grazed her dress and landed in the railing of the stairway. The cut is still visible.

General Schuyler died in 1804.

George C. Hawley, donor of the Schuyler monument, wrote to Mayor Hackett of General Schuyler:

Friend of Washington

“The life of General Schuyler needs no eulogy, and though our past is rich with historic characters and events, I feel that no greater patriot, eminent statesman, or nobler citizen is to be found in the pages of our history.

“He was the friend of the great Washington, who often sought his counsel. Beginning with the French and Indian war. General Schuyler rendered distinguished service as a soldier in all the wars which harassed the colonists, his most important service being rendered at the battle of Saratoga, designated as one of the 15 decisive battles of the world by the noted English historian, Sir Edward Creasy.

“At the early age of 28, General Schuyler was sent to England to settle the colonists’ claims, and later he acted as a boundary commissioner to determine the lines between New York sad Massachusetts, and afterward helped settle the New Hampshire boundary question.

“He was a member of the Colonial Assembly, a delegate to the Continental Congress, a member of the Senate of the State of New York, and of the Senate of the United States. As a citizen he was always active in public affairs and actively promoted the building of the Erie Canal, which later made New York State the nation’s greatest transportation highway.

“His devotion to his country in that hour of her greatest need is worthy of emulation by the youth of the land, and none will deny his right to the highest place in the hearts of his countrymen.”

The accomplice was none other than famous Albany sculptor John Massey Rhind.

The Sculptor who made the Statue

We cannot forget that someone actually made the bronze sculpture of Schuyler.  He was familiar to Albanians.

John Massey Rhind, 68 was the sculptor of the Rufus H. King Memorial fountain in Washington Park, showing Moses smiting the Rock of Horeb. How many of you have a photo of you and Moses? Rhind also created the Philip Schuyler monument which stands in front of City hall, on the site of the original Schuyler home. Rhind’s work in Albany brought him international recognition, and soon after this work he was asked to design the bronze doors of Trinity Church at the head of Wall Street New York City. The sculpture was made with “The Lost Wax” process, a centuries old process.

Rhind died at age 68 on October 22, 1936 in London, England.


For 95 years the statue did not bother anyone and no one proclaimed they were offended by Philip standing there. Now he must go?

Personally I feel it is one of the most ridiculous things to come out of City Hall, and I have been around long enough to see quite a few things come out of City Hall!

But how do you feel?  Do you feel the statue must come down? Yes, he had slaves as most did in those days. No one is justifying that stain. We all agree (well most intelligent people anyway) that slavery was a bad idea and oppression of any group is disgusting,

But does that fact that he owned slaves outweigh all the good things Schuyler accomplished?  Maybe it does? Maybe it needs to go the way of the Passenger Pigeon.  Maybe this and other statues of those who participated in slavery can be used to educate future Americans?  Maybe signage in front of each explaining the role slavery had in shaping this country can become a learning experience.  What evil we have done in the past need not be repeated in the future?

Ask yourself this.  What will we find offensive 20 years from now that we want to hide away? Humanity is a long term experiment. It is trial and error but you shouldn’t throw away the test results.

Eradicating the signs of injustice does not eradicate injustice. It hides the fact that humanity can be cruel to each other. They are symbols of a point in time when one segment of society tried to dominate its beliefs over another.

To ignore that fact, and to try and sanitize symbols of oppression, or hide them, only welcome a newer generation to repeat the same mistakes.

Operating in darkness leads to more darkness. Operating in light gives us all a chance to move in a better direction.

Grant’s Cottage and the Mountain Top

Originally published in the TU on June 11, 2020

By Don Rittner

U.S. Grant. Civil War hero and President of the United States.

I think like most people who learned Civil War history in the 60s, Ulysses S. Grant was not kindly represented.  As a Civil War General and later President he was called many things from ‘drunken butcher’ to the “worst president.”  Since I was never much on military history, especially growing up during the Vietnam antiwar era, I didn’t pay much attention to this aspect of American history.  That all changed a few weeks ago after I watched the three part series on Grant on The History Channel.  I had no idea what a great and tragic figure he really was and the series gave me a whole new reason to explore the history of this man.

Many of you have already visited Grant’s Cottage on Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County (Gansevoort). It’s the small former hotel/residence where he spent his last few weeks battling throat cancer and writing his memoirs. I found myself in the area once years ago and actually decided to go to the cottage. I was met with what looked like two military guards. I had no idea it was a prison at the time so turned around and high tailed it out of there.  I thought I inadvertently stumbled onto a new Area 51 and was already paranoid since my favorite show at the time was the X-Files.

After watching the Grant series I was now determined to visit the site that is less than an hour drive from Albany. Of course like everything else it is temporarily closed due to the Pandemic.  I was fortunate to get a private tour by Ben Kemp who is the operation manager of the site.  While it is a State owned site it is actually managed by a non-profit “Friends of Grant’s Cottage” with a cooperative agreement. Friends group was formed in 1989.

Once you are past the gate (no more guards since the prison is closed) you drive along a winding road that passes a number of beautiful stone buildings that recently served as a minimum-security prison but has a more interesting prehistory.  More about that later.

Ben, who has been with the Friends group for the last six years, clearly is passionate about the subject of Grant.  He spent a good two hours explaining Grant’s history and each of the artifacts in the cottage.  Regular tours are 30 minutes. 

Scotsman Duncan McGregor was the first to try and bring people to the top of Mount McGregor in this 1877 ad.

Grant’s cottage was originally a small hotel built by Duncan McGregor (1808-1895), a Scottish Highlander, who purchased Palmertown Mountain, its name at the time, for unpaid taxes from the State. The mountain is almost 1100 feet in elevation (1,070 or 330 m), though advertised as 1200 feet by some. Duncan started building on the top of it in 1872. It included a road and a small hotel/restaurant called Mountain House built in 1874 that held about 30 people and was located where a larger hotel would be built a short time later. He realized the possibilities of making it a resort area so close to Saratoga Springs. A local minister, Rev. Mr. Adams, named it Mt. McGregor after Duncan when it became a popular place for picnics and church group activities such as a Sunday school.  Eventually, realizing he didn’t have enough funds to go bigger, he sold it to investors William J. Arkell (1856-1930) and Joseph W. Drexel (1833-1888) in 1882. These two men have their own places in history.  Duncan and family moved to Glens Falls and made his own history in business affairs.

Arkell was a publisher from Canajoharie NY and his father James had started the influential magazines Judge, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, and Demarest Magazine.  The Judge was a weekly satirical magazine established in 1881 in New York by former artists of the popular weekly Puck. Arkell purchased it in 1885 and used it in part to attack the Democratic administration of Grover Cleveland. Republican support increased the circulation of the magazine and by the early 1890s it reached 50,000 readers. Cartoonists Eugene Zimmerman, Bernard Gillam, Art Young, Richard Outcault and James Montgomery Flagg were regular contributors. Correspondents included August Belmont, James G. Blaine, George W. Childs, Charles A. Dana, Chauncey M. Depew, Joseph W. Drexel, Stephen B. Elkins, Joseph B. Foraker, George Jay Gould, David B. Hill, Collis P. Huntington, Robert Ingersoll, Levi P. Morton, John C. New, Bill Nye, William W. Phelps, Thomas B. Reed, Whitelaw Reid, Samuel Sloan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and William Kissam Vanderbilt.

Arkell sold his magazine interests in 1905 and moved out of the city  and went to California, where he settled into stock brokering, horse racing, and created the George Washington Coffee Company (not to be confused with the company with the same name founded by George Constant Louis Washington, 1817-1946). He was also active in politics. Arkell died in 1905 at age 72 and is buried in Canajoharie. His brother, Bartlett Arkell, was founder of the Beech-Nut Packing Company and was its president for 50 years. Beechnut as you know moved out in recent years, but Bartlett was a collector of art and you may have visited the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie that has a large collection of his American art. Bartlett built the museum, earlier known as the Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery.

Joseph William Drexel was no lightweight either.  He was a banker and director of eleven different banks, philanthropist, violinist, and a book collector. Drexel at first worked with his brother and J. Pierpont Morgan but went out on his own and devoted his life to charitable work including utilizing 13,000 acres turning them into 100 acre farms near NYC and in Michigan where unemployed people lived, were clothed and fed, and taught agriculture until they could find a job. He built five-room houses and sold them at cost to needy people. He was a founding member of the American Museum of Natural History and a trustee of the US National Academy of Sciences, Metropolitan Museum of Art and was director of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York Philharmonic Society, Chair of the New York Sanitary Commission, and a member of the Historical Society of Saratoga.

The 100-room Balmoral Hotel only lasted a little more than a dozen years.

In 1881, Drexel and Arkell teamed up and purchased Mt. McGregor and they constructed a large hotel, Hotel Balmoral, took over an art gallery, and built a railroad to take people to both from Saratoga, called the Saratoga, Mount McGregor and Lake George Railroad. The smaller McGregor hotel Drexel purchased, and he moved it a few feet further down the mountain to make room for the Balmoral. That is now called Grant’s Cottage, though then called the Drexel Cottage.

In 1883, Leo Daft (1843-1922), an English electrical engineer first tested the electric locomotive Ampere on the Mt. McGregor line.
Leo Daft (1843-1922), testing the electric locomotive Ampere.
Passengers getting ready to go back to Saratoga. The Balmoral Hotel can be seen at the top left of the photo.

The Railroad was small gauge at first, 3 Ft. narrow gauge, but later switched to 4 Ft. 8 ½ inch standard gauge.  It began at North Broadway adjoining the Waverly House (near the Famous Empire, High Rock, Red and Magnetic Springs) in Saratoga Springs and ran for about 12 miles through Wilton, Moreau, and Corinth to the top of Mt McGregor. 

Two rail lines met here at the Waverly Hotel in North Broadway, One took passengers to the top of Mt. McGregor.

Construction of the railroad  began on March 17, 1882, and was completed on July 17. At first it brought materials and supplies to build the large hotel and then passengers.  In 1883, Leo Daft (1843-1922), an English electrical engineer first tested the electric locomotive Ampere generating 12 to 25 horsepower along the line. It pulled a 10 ton load up a 1.5 percent grade in 11 minutes and is called “The first standard gauge electric locomotive to be built in the country,” by Anthony Bianculli in his book “Iron Rails in the Garden State” (2008). It had a third rail at first but then went to conventional steam.

The Saratoga, Mount McGregor and Lake George Railroad on its way to the mount.
Saratoga, called the Saratoga, Mount McGregor and Lake George Railroad followed a winding and steep route up the mount.
Trestles carried the Saratoga, called the Saratoga, Mount McGregor and Lake George Railroad over steep valleys on the way to the mount.
Calling card plates waiting for your card. Visitors to the General would leave their cards here.
Along the rock pile you can see vestiges of the rail road right of way.

Daft started out as a photographer with a studio in Troy, NY. Daft was a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and in 1875, “The Photographic News” noted that Daft had submitted to “Scientific American” several photographs of “electrical discharges between the terminals of the Holtz static electrical machine.” Daft indicated that he would continue his photo-electrical experiments. He even had a patent for a new camera screen attachment in 1879.

One of Daft’s photographs of electricty.

Daft quit photography and pursued a successful career in electric light and power generation in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and New Jersey. He held patents for Electric locomotive engines (No. 289,895), Electro-magnetic brake (No. 289, 897), and Conductor for electric railways (No. 289,897) in 1883.

Daft had a successful career in electric light and power generation in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and New Jersey. His work on electric trolleys was one of the first.

Eventually Three engines brought passengers up the hill, the “John Kellogg,” “George West,” and “Joseph W. Drexel.” Running time was 40 minutes. Downward trip was shorter. The grade was 300 feet to the mile.  A newspaper article put it this way:  “As the train creeps cautionary up the mountain side the passengers thrust their hands out of the car windows, admires the beautiful scenery and breathes deep whiffs of the exhilarating air.”  Interestingly enough, Richard Prescott, one of the partners with the architects that designed the Balmoral Hotel was chief engineer of the railroad in April, 1883.

A reporter from the Saratogian on August, 9, 1883 wrote:

“There is something exhilarating in a journey up Mount McGregor. There is the constant appearance of peril accompanied by a comfortable knowledge of perfect safety and the sight-seer settles comfortably back into the softly cushioned chair of the elegantly furnished car, as he gazes out the window and enjoys the wild surroundings or looks beyond the lovely valley and admires the beauty of the blue, misty mountains far away. The little engine puffs and blows and pants as it drags its load of human freight slowly and carefully around the curves, up the steep side of the mountain and the cheery countenance of Conductor Frost is seen as he gathers the tickets and attends in his characteristic, gentlemanly way to the little wants of the passengers. A cool breeze blows through the car windows and there seems but slight need for the cute little fans which are so bountifully provided to add to the comfort of the travelers, but they are a pleasant memento of a trip that is sure to have pleasant memories and even more suggestive than the handsomely engraved tickets of the company.

Daft with his Ampere and passenger car on a run.

But the engine stops and the passengers are landed high and dry up on the summit of the mountain to enjoy its pure air, its magnificent view over the surrounding country and the numerous attractive features of this popular rendezvous.”

Railroad ticket for A.S. Crane on Saratoga, Mt. McGregor and Lake George Railroad in 1884.
1882 ticket stub.

The Albany Evening journal, an Albany newspaper now owned by Arkell and Drexel (and originally owned by Albany Republican and political“Boss” Billy Barnes; purchased by Arkell and Drexel in 1884) published on June 20, 1885: “The rails are three feet apart, but in order to secure a more solid roadbed trunk line ties, eight feet in length, or three feet, longer than those of ordinary modes of this gauge are used. To give additional permanence to the roadbed the ties are placed only 20 inches apart.”

After the railroad was completed the 100-room Belmoral Hotel was built in 1884 by Drexel and Arkell and advertised “No Dew, No Malaria, No Mosquitoes, Certain Relief from Hay Fever.” Another advertisement stated it was: “[a] large, handsome and well-arranged summer hotel, under the capable management of Mr. Thomas Cable” [that] “affords ample and pleasant accommodations for 300 boarders….” There was also “an elegant restaurant.”  The hotel was 200 feet northwest of Grant’s cottage.

A View of the Balmoral Hotel.
Another view of the hotel.
The title is the McGregor Hote, but it really is the Balmoral Hotel in 1894. Mrs Sartoris and Mrs Col. Fred Grant in the Foreground. Fred was General Grant’s oldest son
A, 1886 view from the Hudson Valley looking up at the Belmoral Hotel on the right and the outlook gazebo on the left.

By the way Balmoral is a type of “brimless round cocked hat with a cockade or ribbons attached, worn by certain Scottish regiments.” It also means “a heaving walking shoe” and a “castle and associated estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland that is a private residence of the British sovereign.” Could this have been named in honor of Duncan McGregor’s Scottish ancestry?  Interestingly enough, a Balmoral Hotel was built in Edinburgh, Scotland as a railway hotel and opened in 1902 and recently owned by actor James Bond, I mean Sean Connery, in 1991. Another Balmoral Hotel opened the same year in Paris, France.

A dance card for a dance on August 23, 1889.

The Belmoral was managed by Thomas Cable who was the senior member of Cable, Bailey & Co, restaurateurs at 130 Broadway in NYC.  The June 20, 1885, Albany Evening Journal said:

“The success that has attended the efforts of this firm in New York City, at Coney Island, and everywhere has followed them in the management of the beautiful hotel Balmoral at Mt. McGregor. Form the very day of its opening, the Balmoral has been noted for the excellence of its cooking and for the completeness of the arrangements of the dining-room and kitchen. Of course, a newly opened establishment labors under some embarrassments and is at a disadvantage, but this year the hotel Balmoral will be running as smoothly as any establishment of the kind has ever run, eclipsing if anything the very excellent record if made a year ago. Its patrons are congratulated that they are to be served by so excellent, so industrious and so well-qualified caterers as Cable, Bailey & Co.”

The Belmoral was electrified and according to the American Electrical Directory of 1886 it was lit with 260 Edison incandescent electric lights, each 16-candle power, and had a large 1,600 candlepower light on the top that also acted as an observatory so everyone below the valley could see it, although as one newspaper account described it, it may have been several Edison bulbs together. Even the Drexel Cottage had electric lights installed. One candlepower is the radiating power of a light with the intensity of one candle, but this term is no longer used and was replaced by the candela, the measure of the intensity of a light source in a particular direction, which is essentially the same thing.

This is a 1886 Edison Lightbulb having 16-candle power. There were 260 of these in the hotel.

The hotel was constructed based on the architectural design of Fuller (Albert W.), Wheeler (William A.) & Prescott (Richard), architects and sanitary engineers who had offices at 86 State Street in Albany, NY.   Fuller and Wheeler were architects and partners from 1883-1897. Prescott was a “sanitary engineer,” and as I alluded to above the engineer of the railroad they built.

There was also promotion of family cottages by wealthy people to be built adjacent to the hotel but it seems none were built and the only other two buildings besides the hotel was the art galley (later Arkel’s residence) and Drexel’s Cottage, later Grant’s.

The June 20, 1885, Albany Evening Journal described in detail the hotel in a special Saturday supplement:

“It is four stories in height, with broad piazza 20 feet wide by 340 feet long, and balconies; and is so planned that every room opens upon a pleasant view, those in front commanding the panorama of the Hudson Valley and those in the rear and those of the East looking out upon the green vistas of the primeval forest. From the principal front of the hotel two wings branch off at an obtuse angle. This arrangement is particularly well adapted to the site, as it gives three fronts to the eastern outlook. There are elegantly furnished parlors and balconies on each floor, with the same general outlook over the valley. The cuisine of the hotel Balmoral, under the able supervision of Mr. W. R. Bailey, of the firm of Cable, Bailey & Co., lessees of the hotel, of Now York, and is equal to the best in the land. The spacious dining room is on the ground floor, has a northeastern outlook, and is airy and tastefully furnished. The tables are loaded with all the delicacies of the season. Nothing is wanting, either in the victuals or the service, to tempt the appetite. The salubrious mountain air plays through the room and lends additional comfort. At one end of the dining room is the principal parlor, and at the other the dining room for the nurses and children. There are no winding halls or recesses to retard the circulation of the air in Hotel Balmoral. The nights are uniformly cool, and a refreshing atmosphere that pervades the rooms invites undisturbed repose. Sufferers from asthma and hay fever find relief from sleepless nights, and continued sneezing while on Mt McGregor. Sufferers from diseases of this nature visit Mt. McGregor in large numbers, and are reluctant to leave the resort. A bowling alley, equipped with all modern improvements, is located near the hotel. A skating rink and playhouse for children have also been erected.”

While some of the newspapers said the hotel was four stories, most agree that it was three stories.  It may be that some included the observatory deck on top as a story? Nevertheless it cost $50,000 to build and another $25,000 to furnish it. It was built of pine and hemlock.  It went through several owners. Originally the Saratoga, Mt. McGregor and Lake George Railway was the first owners then Caleb & Bailey for three years, Albert Front for one year, Frank Jones for one year, A.G. Bailey for two years, Frank Jones for one year.  It was idle for two years and then the last one was Harlan P Ryall who managed it. In the Spring of 1896 it was sold to E. A. Mannis of Pittsfield, Mass who may have been responsible for the renovation going on when it burned to the ground..  That connection was probably made because A. C. Kaufman, the manager of the Postal Telegraph Company in Pittsfield, was the treasurer of the Mt. McGregor Railroad Company at the time.

A rail station was built on top of the mountain (the rail right-of-way can still be seen) and as many as seven trips were made daily.  The three sided, three or four story hotel had a stunning view of the valley below it and it was one of the first to have electricity, although they had to turn off the lights at 10PM because the dynamo that generated the electricity made too much noise for guests to sleep, ironically making the usefulness of night lighting mute. A rustic covered wooden walkway went from the railroad station up to the hotel, passing the Queen Anne style Drexel Cottage (later to be called Grant’s cottage)

Grant’s Cottage on the right. The covered walkway and train station on the left.

Another cottage was built around the same time that was to serve as an art gallery.  The Mt. McGregor Gallery of American Art was established by the Mt. McGregor Art Association “For the purpose of adding the best representations of American Art to the many beauties of Nature on this mountain.”  It was established with a permanent endowment fund. A permanent gallery was erected and contained more than a hundred of the best oil paintings “executed by the best American artists.”  Only American artists were exhibited there.  A nominal admission charge helped defray incidental expense but it did not make much revenue and ended up the summer cottage for Arkell, the chief promoter of the resort. He moved the building closer to the hotel and it became his summer retreat with his family.

This is the Art Gallery which later became Arkell’s summer house.

Originally the gallery was located “ a little way back from the hotel in a neat and tasty building.” According to the  Saratogian newspaper on August 9, 1883: “The light is excellently arranged and the pictures are hung so as to give each one its finest effect. It is a collection of the works of American artists and is appropriate to the surroundings because of the  lightness and pleasantness of the subjects. The pictures are all pleasing, many of them pretty, some of them beautiful and some, too, show a high degree of art.”

An ad for the hotel on July 8, 1893. Notice the tag line, “Just above the Cholera Line.” Quite the selling point.

The reporter goes to list some of the works. “The visitor cannot help admiring Lyman’s Waiting for the Tide, Arthur Quartley’s Summer After-noon, DeHaas’ On the Sea Beach and the Scene in New York Harbor by W. Bliss Baker which has been recently added to the collection.  This picture was recently presented to case. Several of Mr. Sages business Russell Sage by the artist, who is a highly esteemed resident of Ballston, and a son of Col. Benjamin T. Baker of that village. One of the most striking and very best pictures of the gallery is by J. W. Ehninger. Its subject is a turkey shoot, and the picture is strikingly realistic and true to life. There is nothing heavy about the pictures. They are all light and agreeable to examine, and an attractive feature of the collection is some very neatly designed humorous paintings. Among these are J. G.  Brown’s Old Shaver, W. J. Smedley’s An Accident and L. E. Wilmarth’s Test of Courage Among the landscapes Lyman’ s Fisherman’s Hut, Bierstadt’s Rocky Mountains. Hart’s Pasture Orchard, Holland’s Banks of Connecticut are especially worthy of attention. To mention but a few more of these really fine pictures, and passing over the water colors and etchings, many of which possess great merit, there is a great deal which repays careful examination in Carter’s Sunday Morning, Palmer’s Bridge of Sighs, Champney’s Melissa, and Henry’s On the Alert.”

Joseph Drexel was a friend of General Grant and when he heard that Grant had cancer and was dying, he offered Grant and family the use of his cottage while finishing his memoirs.  It has been written that he also thought that if Grant died there it would make the site a Mecca, a “national shrine” for his supporters and admirers and it would be good for the hotel business.  Grant came to the mount during the hotel’s second season and stayed at the cabin in June 1885 until he died a few weeks later.

An ad in 1882.

I have been in many “house” museums over the years but Grant’s Cottage is much different from the rest. The first thing you notice is there are no barriers keeping you from walking right up to a chair or his bed for example. This gives you the most intimate experience. You feel like you are actually visiting the General as you walk from room to room.  You are a regular visitor not a “museum” visitor.  As I stood next to the bed where he took his last breath, I could almost imagine being there when it happened.  I wanted to put my business card on one of the calling card plates in the front room where so many had done before while he was alive and paying a visit. 

Two brass calling card plates. Visitors would place their calling card on them when calling on the General.

I stooped down and closely examined his hat and some of his clothes that was in a cabinet. 

The General’s hat which you see in so many photographs. You can almost put it on.

I was able to closely examine a fan that was given to him from overseas during his two-year tour around the world. His notepad and pen was framed in a box.  He was famous for writing notes to people since he could not talk, but they were often taken and auctioned or sold off. I wanted to sit in his favorite chair seen in many of the photos of the General on the porch.

This is the original jar and medicine that was used to coat the General’s throat.

The only room that you are not allowed in, though not roped off, is the room that had several of the large flower wreaths that were placed there when he died. It is remarkable that that have survived all these years intact — and a good reason not to let anyone near them.

The General’s favorite chair and the one you see him sitting in most of the pictures.

For several days after my visit I still felt a connection to that cottage. The rooms are not big, it is sparingly furnished, as it was originally. I believe everything we saw was original and his possessions (there were some reproductions of documents as expected). Like I said very intimate. In all my years never has a museum made me connect as much to its purpose.

Some of Grant’s personal belongings.

Those who stayed at the hotel wanted to pay their respects to the General as he sat on the porch writing his memoirs. To keep them at bay he needed a sort of body guard to keep the well wishers at a distance. This task was given to 60 year old Comrade Samuel Willett of Albany who “guarded the cottage and the General, and slept in a tent which general manager D. J. Fonda of the railroad and Mt McGregor grounds had pitched about two rods [132 feet] from the cottage.”  Comrade Willett was “a sturdy thickset man with bright blue eyes.  His hair is grizzled and his face is smoothly shaven,” according to a newspaper account. Veteran Willett had enlisted in the Sixteenth Heavy Artillery, Company H which left Troy NY in December 1863. At Grant’s request Willett did not wear an army uniform.

When Grant first came to the mount and cottage, supporters put up this sign on the boardwalk that led to the hotel.

The Evening Journal supplement described the cottage:


“Just at present the first object of interest to the visitor at Mt. McGregor is the Drexel Cottage which is occupied by Gen. Grant.  It is a modern two-story frame building with wide piazzas on the north, east and south slides. The cottage is owned by the Hon Joseph W. Drexel of New York, a well-known gentleman of that city and an old friend of Gen Grant.  When the old warrior’s physicians finally decided to recommend that he be removed to Mt. McGregor in preference to all other warmer resorts during the warm weather, Mr. Drexel tendered to the general and his family the exclusive use of the Mt McGregor cottage, furnished already for occupancy.  The Drexel cottage rests easily among the trees about 300 feet west of the eastern outlook.  Hotel Balmoral is situated 200 feet northwest of he cottage. Meals are served from the hotel. Gen Grant enjoys the scenery and seen embracing mountain air.  In front of the cottage, which is queen Anne style of architecture, are two large plats of mountain ?(unreadable).   Beveled shanty walks and romantic drives led to the various outlooks, the lakes, the hotel and the railway station.”

An original brass candle holder in the cottage.

Grant and family did not have to pay a cent while there.  And the hotel next door even provided free meals to the family. Grant’s leading doctor, who encouraged Grant to come here was J. H. Douglas and was from nearby Waterford, NY.

Photo of Grant’s “bed.” He could not lay flat so two chairs made up his sleeping arrangement. Photo by John Gilman in 1885.
Today you can view the same arrangement that Grant had in 1885. The chairs were reupholstered.
The fireplace and clock in the front room.
The same room the day he died.
You can walk right up to the bed in which Grant died. It can be a moving experience.
Taken the day he died. A photo by John Gilman.
These three flower wreaths are still remarkably well preserved at the Cottage. Photo 1886.
Here are the floral wreaths today.
More of the General’s personal items.
More of the General’s personal items, toothbrush and comb.

The paper continued:


“Mr. Drexel’s idea was to have the cottage comfortable without making it luxurious. The mellow old gold paint and light brown trimming of the exterior seems in keeping with the sylvan beauty of the surroundings. The main entrance is from the East and opens into the family or reception room, 15×30 feet, in the Northwest corner of the cottage. It is artistically papered and veneered. The ceiling paper is radiant with golden stars. It is richly carpeted and is furnished with plain, substantial furniture and a large green cloth covered mahogany writing table. The doors and windows are painted light blue amid the antique brick fireplace at the South side of the room Tuscan red. Two wrought iron andirons that are to hold the wood in position bear gargoyles which glare savagely from behind a brass trimmed with green.  The walls are embellished with engravings of Grant and Lincoln and other pictures. Mr. Drexel imported the bric a-brac, which in tastefully arranged, from Paris. Along the walls are hung brass [unreadable] representing antique portraits of Louis XIV, Mother Teresa and the Duchess of Paris.  A large engraving of Lecretia [Lucretia?], the Roman matron, hangs to the right of the fireplace.  Portraits of Gen Washington and his wife are hung on either side of the chimney.”

“The cottage is lighted throughout with Edison electric lights.”

The Drexel Cottage was electrified by he planning was a bit off.
Grant was often seen sitting on his porch either reading or writing on his memoirs.


“From the eastern piazza of the Drexel cottage there is an extended view. Here Gen. Grant sits in his easy chair. To the eastward the view embraces a region where some of the most important battles of the revolution were fought. Every foot of ground is rich in historical reminiscences from Glens Falls, Sandy Hill and Fort Edward in the Northeast, from the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of the Granite State, seen like a blue film on the remote horizon, the eyes wanders southward over Schuylerville amid the battle ground of Saratoga. It takes in Bemis Heights, the famous battle held where Gen. Burgoyne was checked and defeated in the autumn of 1777, soon after Gen. Gates had succeeded to the command of the northern army. At the time of the Revolution the whole country in this vicinity, now blooming with cultivation, was covered with dense forest. To the Northwest the view is picturesque and interesting and embraces many beautiful sights.”

Another view of Grant in his favorite chair and place.


“From the observatory on the hotel Balmoral the view in any direction is unobstructed. All the varied beauties of the various outlooks can be seen with the advantage from the observatory, which is the highest point on the mountain. Visitors who can remain on the summit but a few hours invariably climb up the winding stairs that lead to the observatory and spend a golden hour in feasting on the complete panoramic view. Around the huge center beam that terminates in an embellished globe, 25 feet above the roof of the observatory in a cluster of incandescent electric lights. At night the rays from this mass of brilliancy can be seen in Saratoga. One of the most beautiful sights to be witnessed from the heights of Mt. McGregor is a thunder storm in the valley of the Hudson. As the storm cloud sweeps through the valley, gradually veiling the landscape, the sound of lowing kinn seeking shelter floats up from the plain below, vivid flashes of lightning illuminates the billowy, surging, dark gray folds of rolling vapor that hide the neighboring peaks, and the dark roll of far-off thunder comes bouncing across the atmospheric clouds and fills the spectator with wonder and awe.  But from the vantage ground of the mountain top, with all this majestic view spread beneath, one can watch the progress of a thunder storm with delight. Then after the storm has passed away, the rainbow and the flood of sunlight that fill the cleansed valley, the innumerable brooklets and swelling streams of murky water, left by the retreating clouds, form a sight never to be forgotten.”

Writing against the clock. Here Grant is looking pale and close to his death as he works on his memoirs.
His favorite chair is now inside next to his bed.
Four days before he died, Grant reading the paper.
A closeup of his bed.
An illustration of his death with his family and doctor beside him.
His son stopped the clock on the mantle when Grant died. It was eight minutes after eight in the morning.
Grant’s death mask. Karl Gerhardt, a 22 year old sculptor made the plaster cast of Grant’s face upon his death.

Grant died on July 23, 1885, three days after completing his memoirs. Before he died, he was worried that he would not leave his family with anything, but his publisher Mark Twain and his agents had already sold enough subscriptions to his memoirs. With the 70% profit that he would get his family would be taken care of for the rest of their lives. In fact Twain pre-sold 100,000 copies and eventually 350,000 copies of the two volume set. His wife Julia was paid about $450,000.  In today’s dollars, that is a whopping $11,894,335.05. Grant died knowing that his family would be taken care of.  For a man who for most of his life did not do well financially it must have been a mighty burden off his chest. His memoirs have been described as one of the “greatest pieces of nonfiction in all of American literature.”  Written by a man who was in constant pain from throat cancer and knowing that he was racing to complete his work before he died.  Extraordinary for a healthy man let alone one on his last days. At the end of his Preface, Grant writes:

“With these remarks, I present these volumes to the public, asking no favor but hoping they will meet the approval of the reader.”

The Grant Family photo. Nellie Grant (top left), Gen Grant, Dr. Douglas, Col. Fred Grant. Below Fred is his wife, then her son with the long hair, daughter, Jesse Grant’s daughter, Mrs. Jesse Grant.
Another family photo.

Yes, General, they certainly did and his memoirs are still read today alongside several other biographies from writers such as H. W. Brands, Ronald C. White, and Ron Chernow published over the last few years.

You can read his autobiography for free.  You can download the two volumes here:

Volume I: https://books.google.com/books?id=4zMTAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=grants+autobiography&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi3gL7ysvvpAhXsSTABHcdtDdEQ6AEwAHoECAIQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Volume 2: https://books.google.com/books?id=2Zl6BwAAQBAJ&pg=PA4&dq=Personal+Memoirs+of+U.S.+Grant+…+vol+2&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwid48iSs_vpAhXPRzABHY9HBoMQ6AEwBHoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=Personal%20Memoirs%20of%20U.S.%20Grant%20…%20vol%202&f=false

The funeral train in Saratoga ready to take Grant to NYC.
The funeral train ready to go to NYC.

Grant was many things but a major point of fact is relevant today.  He was against slavery and in an discussion with Otto Van Bismarck (founder of the German Empire) in June 1878, during a discussion of the war, Grant made it clear when he said: “that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.”  He further stated:

“There had to be an end of slavery. Then we were fighting an enemy with whom we could not make a peace. We had to destroy him. No convention, no treaty was possible — only destruction.”

Before Grant died in 1885 he remarked on how great the air was on top of Mt. McGregor:

“I feel the air very fine here.  This must become a great sanatorium before many years.”

His prediction would come true not far in the future.

When Grant spent two years abroad he met many important and famous people and was given many gifts like this fan from Japan.

The Balmoral Hotel built in June 1885 was no more. It burned on Tuesday, January 5, 1897. Painters were working on the hotel and they believe it was spontaneous combustion, perhaps from left oily rags, but no real evidence was ever found. The fire was discovered by a young woman named Ms. Smith who was staying with the Clarke family, custodians at Grant’s Cottage.  Policemen in Saratoga could see the blaze at one in the morning. Fire fighters were called out in Glens Falls as people thought it was at the end of the village. It was a total loss since there were no fire fighting facilities on the site. The bowling alley next to the hotel was saved although it had some flames put to it and sparks fell on the snow covered roofs of other buildings and did not do damage. It was insured for $25,000. What was left was dismantled in 1899, and so ends the tale of the hotel.

Grant’s funeral in NYC was the largest public event in the city’s history up to that point in time. Drexel the owner of the cottage announced “that the cottage will never again by occupied by any family or person.  It has been proposed that the cottage will be deeded to the government,” and “ a fence should be put around it, and that it be preserved about as the Grant family leaves it.”

Grant’s funeral proceeding down State Street to the train station.

Drexel tried to get the federal government to take the building in 1886 but it failed. Yet over 250,000 people visited the site and by 1890 it opened as a museum that year. It took its toll on the property and some of Grant’s personal belongings disappeared. Drexel then offered the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) the property but they were not organized to take in real estate and Drexel died before he could see it saved. 

The New York State Legislature created the The Mount McGregor Memorial Association on February 19, 1889, and accepted the property and 50 feet from each side but they allocated no money for upkeep. Instead the National GAR provided $600 for a caretaker position and funds were donated to install a furnace for the building.

Grant’s empty chair and wreath.

Oliver Pendelton Clarke, A veteran and attorney,  became the first caretaker and gave tours until he died in 1917. The GAR tried to get the Feds involved again with same results as last. So they put a ‘head tax’ on each GAR member to raise money for the cottage in 1893. In 1894  the GAR took over funding the Mt. McGregor Memorial Association Trust and tried to get the Feds or NYS legislature interested but failed again. However, on May 14, 1896, the NYS legislature finally agreed to pay $1000 a year for maintenance to be paid to the Memorial Association.

Later down the road after a sanitarium was built on the property adjacent to the cottage, a young Japanese immigrant Suye Narita became a patient for treating her TB. She was cured and began living with the Clarke family as their adopted daughter. Suye worked at the sanitarium as a librarian and was co-editor of the Metropolitan Optimist, a newsletter put out the company that ran it. Martha Clarke, wife of the caretaker, persuaded the GAR to let her become the caretaker after her husband died in 1917. In 1941 Martha died and Suye became the next caretaker.  During her tenure at the cottage, the nearby sanitarium was turned into a rest camp for WWII vets in 1945.  Suye met Anthony Gambino, a vet who was there recovering from TB and malaria and they married in 1950 and continued to live at the cottage until she died in 1984. Anthony died two years later  in 1986.

The location of the stairs that went down to the overlook can be seen here.

In 1957 the Mt McGregor Memorial Association was dissolved and New York State took control of the Cottage under the State Education Department and remained there until 1966 when the NYS State Historic Trust was created under the director of the State Parks.

Back to the Sanitarium.Grant was right about building a sanitarium on the mountain. One of the leading diseases in America during the early twentieth century was tuberculosis (TB) affecting over 100,000 people a year. 

One of America’s biggest insurance companies, Metropolitan Life, wanted to build a sanitarium for its employees who contracted the disease but insurance regulations prohibited  the company from owning real estate. It was suggested by Dr. S. Adolphus Knopf in January 1909 to build such a structure to combat the disease.

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was founded in 1863 to insure Civil War sailors and soldiers against disabilities due to wartime wounds, accidents or sickness. Joseph F. Knapp its president was a supporter of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).  Knapp was also a friend of Grant.

On August 2, 1909, “The Adjuster,” an insurance company publication, quoted an editorial that appeared in the New York Sun newspaper:

“Now, as we understand it, what the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company desires to do is to build and carry on a tuberculosis hospital by virtue of its powers as an insurance corporation, wholly independent of the provisions of the membership corporations law. Whether this may legally be done seems very doubtful. It is probable that the legislature may be found ready and willing to alter the existing law so as to permit the scheme to be carried into effect; but in their present form the statutes hardly seem to warrant such an extension of the insurance business. The insurance law contains certain restrictions as to the real property which may be held by an insurance corporation transacting business in this state. Generally speaking, the lands which may be possessed by an insurance company may be classified as follows: (1) The building in which it has its principal office and the land upon which it stands; (2) such real property as shall be requisite for its convenient accommodation in the transaction of its business; (3) such as shall have been acquired for the accommodation of its business, and (4) lands which have been bought in under mortgages conveyed in satisfaction of debts and purchased at sales upon judgments or acquired in some similar manner. It is the idea of the officers of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, that they may be permitted to buy a tract of land in the Catskills to be used for the purpose of a tuberculosis hospital, under those pro visions of the insurance law which allow an insurance corporation to acquire such real property “as shall be requisite for its convenient accommodation in the transaction of its business.” Acting upon this assumption they have applied to the state superintendent of insurance for a certificate of approval under a further provision of the insurance law, which provides that no real property shall be acquired by any domestic life insurance corporation except with the approval of the superintendent of insurance.”

The Armstrong Law as it was called was challenged in court.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme court in 1910 decided:

“The reasonable care of its employees, according to the enlightened sentiment of the age and community, is a duty resting upon the corporation, and the proper discharge of that duty is merely transacting its business.  Not only is it within the corporate power to assume the care and treatment of such employees as are afflicted with tuberculosis unless it is shown to be wasteful of the company’s money and unproductive of beneficial results, the practice may stand within the scope of its business.”

In other words,  The Supreme Court said the company was not only the right but the duty of the directors of a corporation to take reasonable care of its employees.

The complex of buildings was dedicated on June 20, 1914. They purchased the whole top of Mt. McGregor, except for Grant’s Cottage, and built many structures.  They could house 229 people at a time and the campus had a chapel, library and even a theater. There were also three lakes. Patients could stay as long as they needed. The insurance company covered the cost and even part of their salaries so the families would not suffer economic hardship. After TB was brought under control, when streptomycin and other drugs were discovered in 1943, the sanitarium closed.

The June 20, 1914, New York Times hailed it as the “First institution of its kind established by an insurance company.”  More than 200 officials and guests of the company were brought to the mount on a special train from New York and Albany.  The paper went on to mention that 69 employees would be housed to take care of 229 patients.

The 493 acre sanitarium site was designed by the insurance company’s chief architect Dan Everett Waid, who was born in Gouverneur, NY, 178 miles northwest of Mt. McGregor. He was a prominent twentieth century architect. He and his partner designed the insurance company’s Home Office Building at 11 Madison Avenue (now called the Metropolitan Life North Building; originally was going to be 100 stories in 1939, then tallest in the world but the Depression brought it down to 29) along with dozens of other commercial, religious, residential and academic structures, including consulting on the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center in New York City. Waid was President of the American Institute of Architects from 1924-1926 and was elevated to a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He was awarded a Gold Medal by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Dan Everett Waid, architect of the sanitarium.

At first the site comprised some 30 buildings in 1911 in American Craftsman architectural style except for the chapel that was built in Mission Revival Style. Eventually over the years some 100 structures were erected on the site.

The insurance company paid for the construction of a road from the Town of Wilton to the top of the mountain ending at the administration building. The main driveway that stood in front of the refectory had a terrace connecting the five central buildings: administration, refectory, infirmary and Wards 1 & 2. A promenade allowed a panoramic view of the Hudson Valley.

Waid wrote about the project in the September 1914  issue of Architect and Building stated that when completed the site would have “eight ward buildings, a refectory, an administration building and an infirmary in the main group. In addition, there are the power house, superintendent’s house and nurses’ cottage.”  “When the buildings are all completed there will be a capacity for 229 patients, but the present capacity is for 73 patients, with the staff and employees number 45.”

“The buildings are constructed with rubble stone foundation walls quarried on the site.  The walls are of hollow tile stuccoed and the floors and roofs are of concrete reinforced.  The roof surface is of red tile and the floor surface of cement.”

Waid describes his design in the September 1914  issue of Architect and Building magazine,

The rubble stone was Gneiss, a high grade metamorphic rock that has been subjected to heat and pressure.  It was formed from shale, a sedimentary rock originally, or what is called Granite Gneiss (has the mineralogical composition like granite which is actually an igneous rock). It was taken right out of the mountain onsite.

September 1914  issue of Architect and Building magazine, showing the construction of the sanitarium.

Waid continued: “The ward buildings are really not much more than amplified ‘lean-tos.’ Patients’ reclining chairs and also beds are always out of doors, but under a roof. The space, except in the outer veranda portion, is enclosed with fly-screens and a low balustrade, designed to protect from driving rain and snow. The beds stand two in each alcove, and at the rear of each alcove is a dressing room for two patients, with a water closet between each two dressing rooms. There is one lavatory in each dressing room. In the central portion of each ward building there are tub bathrooms with showers delivering water at an angle and controlled by valves out of range of the spray, so that in bathing the head may be kept dry. A social room is also provided, and in the wide halls are specially designed over coat and hat racks with compartments for umbrellas and overshoes.”

He also noted: “To one side of the building group is the cottage where General Grant died, which is owned by a Memorial Association. It is in the midst of the sanatorium property.” The cottage would still play a part in the sanitarium as outlined previously.

The last use of these buildings was for a medium security prison.

On June 28, 1914, before the sanitarium was even finished, the insurance company already had 70 of its employees staying there from nineteen states.

When Waid published his article there were ten buildings completed.  By 1918, there were twenty. According to an excellent powerpoint presentation by Jonathan Duda and Melissa Trombley-Prosch, there eventually was built the administration, refectory and infirmary, six open wards, rest house, recreation building and chapel all located on the southern slope of the mountain. The refectory had a post office, library, recreation rooms, patient work rooms and storage.  A large dining room completed the building. T

he dining room was large, 33 feet living and a vaulted cueing 26 1/2 feet tall. You could see the Hudson River Valley and Saratoga Lake from the view.  Female employee bedrooms were also in the building.

The chapel completed in 1916 had 250 seats and had a glass enclosed passage to the infirmary for patients to attend.

The chapel had an organ, Austin Opus 690 with 783 pipes (12 ranks. 783 pipes. 3 divisions. 2 manuals. 12 stops. 14 registers) and was built in 1916 by the Austin company of Hartford, CT.  It was restored in 2006. The Austin Organ Company which began in 1893 still is in business. There are stained glass windows and a large painting by American artist Elliot Daingerfield (1859-1932). Daingerfield was a prolific artist from North Carolina and the son of a captain in the Confederate Army.

The Rest House was for employees who suffered from other problems other than TB and could hold 80 people.

The nurses’ home held 40 people and had individual bedrooms, sitting rooms and heated dressing rooms.

There are three lakes on the grounds: Artist’s Lake which was artificially created in the nineteenth century (1046 feet above sea level).

Lake Anne, and Lake Bonita that is actually was the water reservoir for the property with a stone tower that held 50,000 gallons  An 1885 newspaper article said that all three lakes were “natural.” During Grant’s time (the Hotel Balmoral) the lakes were all provided with fleets of cedar boats. Lake Bonita was stocked with pickerel, perch, and black bass. Lake Anna was stocked with German carp and Black bass. An artesian well was drilled to 100 ½ feet which gave the hotel 3,000 gallons of fresh water daily.

Lake Bonita  (seen here) and Lake Anne was recently acquired by Moreau State Park. Photo from http://newyorktrailheads.com/2017/04/09/lake-bonita.html

One reporter in 1883 took a liking to Lake Bonita. He found it:

“a very pretty little sheet of water shut in among the hills, well supplied with boats which are neat, clean and easy to row. It is rumored that fish are plenty in this little sheet of water, and certainly there are some beautiful pond-lilies along its shady edges. Its still waters are alluring to those who like to row where the splash of oars, the ripple against the bow of the boat, the occasional croak of a frog or the note of a wandering bird are the only sounds that meet the ear.”

The institution had a 540 acre farm down in the valley in the Town of Wilton so it could grow its own food.  They supplied milk, eggs, vegetables, meat and poultry.

There was an underground electric railway that took laundry to the refractory and also moved dead patients discreetly.

A theater building with 400 seats including gallery space had a stage and projection booth and occupational therapy was also practiced there.  Ben told us that local kids would often sneak in to watch the movies.

In 1923 the Hegeman Memorial Laboratory was built to do clinical and research work on TB.

The Met Life Insurance company built the Grant memorial at the Eastern Overlook that has an inscribed slate and metal fence around it.  It is where Grant last viewed the area before he died.

In 1945 New York State purchased the buildings and grounds of the sanitarium since TB was now being cured with antibiotics and transformed it into the Mt. McGregor State Veteran Rest Camp for returning veterans of WWII.  In some way it seems a logical choice.  When the former owner, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, was founded in 1863, its purpose was to provide insurance for  Civil War sailors and soldiers against disabilities due to wartime wounds, accidents or sickness. Turning into a rest place for WWII vets seems appropriate.

The Nurses’ cottage when it was the Veteran’s rest camp in the 1940s.

In 1957 the NYS governor proposed turning the rest camp into a mental hospital which did go over well with veterans. In 1960 Governor Nelson Rockefeller decided to make it part of the Rome State School for the Mentally Retarded (renamed the Wilton School later). 

On February 18, 1971, Grant’s Cottage was added to the National Register of Historic Places yet in April that year William Tyrell who headed the Historic Sites Trust Management for the NYS Historic Trust decided to close Grant’s Cottage to save money.  Suye Gambino continued to live there and gave tours for interested visitors. 

In 1973 the cottage reopened under the new New York State Offices of Parks and Recreation. 

In 1976 the sanitarium became the McGregor Work Camp with the NYS Department of Corrections, a minimum security prison but by 1981 it moved up to medium security.

In 2013 the New York State Department of Corrections spent $2.8 million to replace windows and fix the masonry in eight of the prison buildings then in July 2014 announced that it would close for good.  Since then the State has been trying to unload the 325-acre property but has not been successful even though many good ideas have been suggested for reuse  Only three bids were made on the site and the sale was halted in October 2017.

Recently 53 acres were added to the Grant’s Cottage grounds from the State.

The Overlook

Aside from the great history of Grant’s Cottage and Mt McGregor is the stunning overlook you must visit.  The Saratogian newspaper described it perfectly on August 9, 1883:


“For the visitor is perched in mid-air, and a delightfully pure and refreshing air it is to breathe, and with a feeling that he is “monarch of all he surveys“ he stands and looks. If he be wise he looks in silence. Any attempt to put in words a beautiful view of a broad landscape belittles it. Landscapes are made to be seen and not talked about, and it would be vain to attempt to tell anything but what you see. It is useless to talk about impressions. The views are impressive and fill one with an idea that the world is built on a magnificent scale, and one is apt to think that with all its imperfections he would not care to undertake to get up a better one. The Eastern Outlook will give you a glimpse at the Catskills, the Berkshire Hills, the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. And mixed up among them in a delightful disorder you will gain a view of the Hudson and a score or more of valleys and villages, lakes, streams, ponds and forests, and if you look in the right direction you will see the Schuylerville Monument, peeping up and holding its head in a lordly fashion, as if it owned things in that neighborhood and would not take a back seat for anybody. The Western outlook will give you another view of the Adirondacks and the Hudson.

It would be a difficult task to enumerate the attractions of the mountain. One of its most charming features is its wildness. The spirit of the woods takes possession of the visitors. They leave all conventionalities behind them and usually go in for a right good time. There is a lack of restraint and spirit of good fellowship pervading the place that is in striking and agreeable contrast with the necessary constraints of fashionable life. “

Here you can see Grant at the Lookout House in 1885.
The lookout was popular with guest and you could view the Hudson Valley from two sides. Here one man has binoculars while another has a banjo.

When the Hotel Balmoral was in its prime there was a rustic gazebo where guests could sit and contemplate the scenery.  Grant loved to sit there and take in the sites which included Civil War and Revolutionary War sites.  There is a monument on one end erected by the MET Life insurance company to commemorate the last time Grant looked out for his last view of the valley.

Today the view is still breathtaking.

Mt. McGregor is part of the Adirondack foothills, the Palmertown Range (also called Luzerne Mountains, Palmertown Mountains).  In 2016 New York Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation developed a management plan to add some 762 acres of the mount to Moreau Lake State Park.

One could spend hours sitting here and enjoying the vista and Grant and thousands others did during the nineteenth century.
A view showing the Grant monument placed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company when hey had the Sanitarium operating.
A close up of the Grant memorial.

It is true that once you are on the mountain you really do not want to leave it.  But as the Saratogian so eloquently writes in 1883:

“But a day will come to an end and so will a trip to Mount McGregor and soon we are again moving. Going down the mountain side we had the privilege of riding with the engineer and a grand ride it was as we slowly and carefully wound down the mountain. The engineer’s hand clings to the air brakes and we seem to be going step by step down to the valley. But soon the base of the mountain is reached. The engineer’s hand leaves the air brakes; it is now upon the throttle, and in a moment we are speeding along at a lively pace. Daisy station is reached. The cars give up their passengers and a few moments are spent in gathering the huge yellow daisies. Then on we go again until the tasty little depot is in sight and the passengers wend their way to their homes or hotels and the happy faces testify that they have not been disappointed by their trip up Mount McGregor.”

A souvenir Grant spoon found on Ebay for sale.

Visitor Center

A few years ago they took a carriage house and converted it into a visitor center.  Part of the center is a bookstore and souvenir shop where you can buy books about Grant and the Civil War, postcards, etc.  The other half is an exhibit hall which has a video center, a medical exhibit containing many of the items used by Grant’s doctors, and the a”Bath Wagon,” which they were loaned in 2012, similar to the one the General used. Bath Wagons were made in Bath, England and wheeled invalids from location to location.

The Visitor’s Center has an exhibit on medicine as it pertained to Grant.
A Bath Wagon similar to one that Grant was moved to and fro on the mount,.


The Friends of Grant’s Cottage is now trying to raise money to put in a fire suppression system to insure the cottage does not go up in flames like the Balmoral did so many years ago.

The cottage is open to the public for tours and the Friends group is adjusting to the Pandemic.  Founded in 1989, They have a small staff but can accommodate some 10,000 people during the year (May-Oct).  Last year they reached 7,000 (including non-tour visitors).  Unfortunately this year they can only operate at 50% capacity and tours can only comprise 5 people per tour (plus one tour guide) because of the Pandemic requirements.  That cuts into their revenue ability. They have an audio tour for free. A regular tour is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for kids 17 and under.  Children under 6 are free.  Living History Tour on Saturdays at 9AM is $18 (online booking only) and or a private one hour tour (five people for $100) will be on a limited basis this year. Call them for further details. All of their presentations will be pre-recorded and released online this season.

If you want to visit in person you MUST however order your tickets ONLINE starting on June 15 on their website or their Facebook Page. You can purchase tickets throughout the season (until they meet their capacity for the season) but remember they are operating on half capacity so reserve your tickets as soon as you can.

Phone is (518) 584-4353

Web Site: https://www.grantcottage.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grantcottage/



Limited handicap parking available, but parking is close to the buildings. The Visitor Center and the Cottage are both handicap accessible. Guided tours are no longer than 30 minutes with no longer than 20 minutes standing/walking. Visitors may use walkers/wheelchairs in the Cottage and can be accommodated with folding chairs in the Cottage if needed. The path to the overlook is paved, but is a steep grade so may not be recommended for those with mobility issues. 

Special thanks to Ben Kemp from the Friends group for many of the photos.  Others were gathered from various Internet sources, Wikipedia, old magazines, and public domain collections from Library of Congress.  Modern photos were taken by Don Rittner.