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New York State miscellany

New York State Miscellany

We are happy to offer some items of history that do not exclusively deal with a particular geography within New York State, but instead with a particular region or with the state as a whole.   We plan to offer additional items soon, so please check back with us.


Now Available for Download

The Old Post Road, by C. G. Hine (1905) --  “The Publick Common General Road and Highway from King’s Bridge to the Ferry at Crawlier over against the City of Albany”. While most of our material is organized by county, this one is regional: from the Bronx in the south to the City of Albany in the north, in the area east of the Hudson River – or where the Old Post Road ran (and where traces of it still run today). It is not a comprehensive history of that highway, but rather a series of references to the history on the perambulation of the author from the southern end to the northern.  There are references spanning the entire history of the area from its initial colonization by Caucasians to the advent of the automobile.  There are photographs – actually pasted into the volume we scanned for this republication, leaving telltale darkening on the facing pages – that show various manmade features of the trip, which reproduced quite nicely in the scanning process.  120+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.00.

 The Old Post Road by c.G. Hine (1905)


Civil History of New York: Colonial Era, from Mather & Brockett’s Geographical History of New York (1848).  Beginning as it did as a Dutch colony, New York State’s colonial history is unique.  Quite unlike the colonial history of New England with its theocratic underpinnings, different from Penn’s colony to the south, and far different from Virginia and the other southern colonies, yet geographically and socially proximate to all of these, this should be of interest to anyone with an interest in American history.  That governance changed from Dutch to English, still in colonial times, merely makes the combined history still more fascinating.  36+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $3.00.

 Civil History of NY: Colonial Era


Charity in New York State in 1906: State Institutions.  We are in the process of republishing sections of volume II of the Annual Report of the State Board of Charities for the year 1906.  The material will be of interest to local historians who wish a better picture of charitable institutions in their locale a century ago, to genealogists and family historians interested in the people who administered charity back then as well as how any unfortunates house in these facilities may have lived, and to those who have questions about the now-politicized "safety net" for the unfortunates in our society back in those years.  This section addresses the state asylums and other state-managed institutions (articles about specific counties will appear in the publications about each county -- note that the state institutions in this article are not included in the county sections).  19++ pages, in PDF format, download now for $2.00.

 State Charities in NYS in 1906


The First 20 years of the WCTU in New York State (1894).  The full title of this publication is Two Decades: A History of the First Twenty Years Work by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the State of New York 1874 – 1894.  Your publisher, when we began the project of digitizing this volume, viewed it as a document that would fit nicely in our Americana section along with the articles on speakeasy cards and “tonics” but came away from the project rather impressed with what these women (who did not yet have the right to vote) accomplished in their first 20 years.  Let it be clear that this is a history of a state WCTU organization, not a polemic, and while the authors assume a friendly audience, their discussion of tactics and their implementation are potentially useful to any disenfranchised group.  We were also impressed to learn of an aspect of the work of the WCTU in a seemingly unrelated area:  until they got legislative action in 1887 raising the age of consent to 16 years, it was a mind-boggling 10 years old.  One pauses in wonder at what the sexual proclivities of a legislature that considered ten year old girls to be fair game must have been.   94+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $5.00.

 WCTU in NYS 1874 - 1894


Land Patents and Purchases in New York State (1860), from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York.  This is a compilation of all of the major land grants, land patents, and land purchases in New York State.  We believe this is essential for anyone interested in the history of the state because of the many ways that the land grants and subdivisions affected land use and subsequent inhabitants.  8+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.50.

 Land patents, purchases and grants in NYS


Manufacturing and Commerce in New York State (1860), from French’s Gazetteer of the State of New York.   New York as a center of commerce and industry is a long-held distinction.  The tables in this chapter should be of use to historians interested in the Civil War and the period leading up to it.  In a few tables one gets a picture of trade – particularly cotton – in the critical years before the war.  The manufacturing section is also useful because it provides comparative statistics by county by type of manufacture.   16+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.25.

 NYS Manufacturing and Commerce 1860


Corporations in New York State (1860), from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York.  This compendium principally lists four kinds of corporations:  steam ship companies, public utilities, insurance companies, and banks.  The lengthy lists of closed and defunct insurance companies and banks gives one pause for thought.  21+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.00

 Corporations in New York State (1860)


Colleges and Academies in New York State (1860), from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York.  This is a compendium of all the colleges and "academies" located in New York State at the time French compiled his Gazetteer.  It will be a useful research aid for many.  10+ pages, PDF format, download now for $2.75.   

 Colleges and Academies in New York State in 1860


Railroads in New York State (1860), from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York.  This is a compendium of all the railroads in the state at the time of compilation.  While this is a useful research tool, even more fascinating is the list of railroads chartered but never build, abandoned, or merged out by that time.  14+ pages, PDF format, download now for $2.75

 Railroads in New York State in 1860


Canals in New York State (1860), from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York.  Canals were critically important parts of the transportation infrastructure in mid 19th century New York State.  This chapter, containing material on all the canals in the state, including those chartered but never built, is a reminder not only of that fact, but also of the extent to which canal routes affected settlement and development of parts of the state.  12+ pages, PDF format, download now for $3.00

 Canals in NYS 1860


New York State Canal Commissioners Report for 1878 By 1878, the great age of canals in New York State was coming to an end, replaced for the most part by railroads, and in some small part to the end of economic viability of the areas the canals were originally constructed to exploit.  It is noteworthy that the canals discussed in this volume are those that were constructed by the State.  The Delaware and Hudson Canal, which was privately constructed, was to continue in profitable operation for some time after the date of this report and it not mentioned in it.  Of the canals discussed, the Erie is the best remembered – in part because much of it survives today as the basis for the New York State Barge Canal system.  Others discussed, such as the Crooked Lake Canal (abandoned in 1877), the Champlain Canal (principally a recreational waterway today), the Chenango Canal (closed in 1878), and the Black River Canal (in partial use until 1925) are far less well known today.  194+ pages, in PDF format, download now for $4.75.

 NY Canal Report for 1878


Military Organizations in New York State in 1860, from French's Gazetteer of the State of New York.  Please see our Military History page for more information.


Prison Etiquette  Edited and with an introduction by Holley Cantine and Dachine Ranier (1950).  This volume, republished to fulfill a commitment made many years ago to Holley Cantine, is a collection of recollections and advice by extreme pacificists during World War II who chose prison over any cooperation at all with the Selective Service System in the United States.  Please see our Americana page for more information. (both Cantine and Ranier were residents of Woodstock, NY).




Other items of this type currently awaiting publication:

None are in the publication queue at this time -- let us know your interests!  We have a surprising amount of New York State material in our inventory and take requests into serious consideration when deciding what to publish next.

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