Trail to Mark Historic March From Fort Miller to Bennington

In August of 1777, German Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum found himself in a precaurious position as his dismounted cavalry trudged through an unfamiliar wilderness – on a continent seperated by the Altlantic Ocean from their European homes – accompanied by British marksmen, layalists, and Native Americans of uncertain discipline.

Speaking in only his native tongue, unfamiliar with war in the wilderness, wary of the rebels’ determination and having no understanding of the landscape that lay between him and his goal, Baum departed from Fort Miller to capture stores at Bennington. So begins the saga of “The Road to Walloomsac.” Read more

What Can New York Learn from Connecticut?

New York is not the only state turning to cultural heritage tourism or seeking to develop its historic community. Let’s look at our neighbor to the east and see what lessons we might learn from them.

Note &#8211 this post contains five items on what Connecticut is doing and four recommendations on what New York should do so it is too long to read on a computer at work in one sitting. Read more

American Revolution Magazine Ceases Publishing

&#8220It is with a heavy heart that we announce our decision to cease publishing American Revolution Magazine, due to a variety of factors,&#8221 the publishers of the popularly oriented magazine of the Revolution have announced.  The last issue of the magazine published was the September/October 2012 issue and mailed in August.

The magazine’s Editor David Reuwer, President of the American Revolution Association (ARA), helped found the periodical in January 2009 as a bi-monthly. About 5,000 copies were distributed in over 40 states and in England, according to ARA’s website. The magazine also used the name Patriots of the American Revolution.

Reuwar has said he plans on continuing to promote Revolutionary history and content on the website www.amrevmag.com and through the American Revolution Association.

Back issues can still be purchased for $4 each by calling 800.767.5828.

New Project: Virtual Center for Prison Memories

The Prison Public Memory Project, focused on making prison history relevant as a guide to the future, today launched a website and blog (www.prisonpublicmemory.org) featuring its work in Hudson, NY a small town that is home to an historic prison and the site of the Project’s pilot effort.

Hudson Correctional Facility, a medium-­?secure state prison for men that opened in 1976, was originally built in the 1800’s as the House of Refuge for Women, the first reformatory for women in New York (1887 – 1904), and then transformed into The New York State Training School for Girls (1904-­?1975) where famed jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and other girls found to be delinquent by the courts were sent to be reformed.
Since 2011, Prison Public Memory Project founders and a growing team of contributors based in the Hudson Valley and around the state have been interviewing Hudson area residents including prison ‘alumni’- conducting research in local and state archives and libraries- and developing educational, interpretive and cultural activities to be offered in Hudson and on the website later this year and
next year.

Visitors to the website can view current photos of former prison workers and inmates and listen to audio clips from their oral histories- see old photographs and maps of the prison- and read prison documents and letters from the 19th and 20th centuries. Short articles tell about ordinary as well as extraordinary prison-­?related events and people that influenced local, state, and national history. One section of
the website invites visitors to become history detectives helping the Project team answer questions and find evidence and visitors are encouraged to contribute in other ways.

Even before its public debut, the website-in-progress grabbed the attention of a few people who offered their own stories and questions and photos. One woman wrote in “My mother’s stories of the (NYS Training) school (for Girls) were brutal, I want to find out if I have another brother or sister. maybe someone has information to help me.” Another woman wrote ” i was sent too hudson in 1964. it wasnt a very nice place to be. but i made my bed so i had to lay in it… once you got use to being there it wasnt, a bad place… it made me a better person some of these young girls now should have a place like that it taught you respect for your self and others.”

Project founder/director Alison Cornyn anticipates more public input as the site is officially launched and word-of-­mouth spreads. “Prisons, especially old prisons like  the one in Hudson, have touched thousands of lives over the course of their history, in both profound and ordinary ways. Using history, art, dialogue and new communications technologies, The Project will craft safe spaces and new opportunities for people from all walks of life &#8211 including those who lived and worked inside the walls ? to connect with the past and each other and engage in conversation, learning, and visioning regarding the role of prisons in communities and in society today and in the future&#8221, said Cornyn, a Brooklyn based
interdisciplinary artist and new media producer whose previous projects have garnered numerous awards.

Illustration: New York State Training School For Girls.

Survey Underway for National Council on Public History

How do you stay informed about the field of public history? The National Council on Public History (NCPH) is conducting a readers survey to learn how public historians at all stages of their careers use journals, blogs, newsletters, listservs, and other venues to engage in critical reflection and keep up with new developments in the profession.

They are interested in hearing from wide variety of practitioners, educators, and students. With your help we hope to strengthen NCPH’s journal, The Public Historian, and to discover new intersections among and formats for professional and scholarly publications.

The survey takes 10-15 minutes and is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/public-history-readers-survey The survey closes August 15.

USGS Digitized Map Project Nearly Complete

For more than 125 years, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the largest producer of printed topographic maps, has portrayed the complex geography of the nation. Prior to 2009, USGS topographic maps were created using traditional cartographic methods and printed using the lithographic printing process.

Now the USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP) is nearing completion of the conversion of these these historical printed topographic quadrangles to an electronic format (GeoPDF). The scanning and processing effort serves the dual purpose of creating a master catalog and digital archive copies of the irreplaceable collection of topographic maps in the USGS Reston Map Library, as well as making the maps available for viewing and download online.

USGS has digitized nearly 200,000 maps, including its collection for the contiguous United States and Hawaii. Remaining maps for Alaska, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Trust Territories are expected to become available in the coming months.Check out the collection online
.

American Latino Heritage Focus of Road Trip

Five of the nation’s top Latino social media influencers are setting off on Saturday on a road trip with the shared mission of visiting historic sites protected by the National Park Service that honor the contributions of Latinos throughout American history.

Organized by the American Latino Heritage Fund in partnership with Hispanicize 2013 and PapiBlogger.com founder Manny Ruiz, and with the support by automotive sponsor Chevrolet and telecommunications partner Verizon, this unique social media project is expected to raise awareness of, and support for, the American Latino Heritage Fund. The Fund strives to tell of a more inclusive story of American History by preserving, celebrating and promoting the cultural, economic and civic contributions of Latinos to the American story.

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