April 28, 2001
New York, 1820. Things are happening on dry land as well as on the lakes, rivers and canals we looked at last week. New York grows more settled and cultivated. On Greenpoint, Long Island, the Conklin House is built. It's considered an American "cottage temple", a sign that even humble domestic structures, not just public buildings, can borrow elements from the Greek temple form. It's "revived" architectural descendants will transform the look of the state in years to come. One structure that will not remain beyond the end of the year is last year's Carthage Bridge over the Genesee chasm, where most of it ends up. Buffalo's Orchard Downs hotel has better luck. It lasts on into the year 2001. But not beyond, if 21st century developers have their way. The state now has a population of 1,372,812 people, more than half of them New Englanders and their descendants. Albany has a population of 13,000; Rochesterville has 1502. While all of the above undoubtedly have an interesting story to tell, this might be a good time to catch up with a few of the busier citizens, some of whom we've met before.
Down on the southern tier, the village of Angelica is rising above the wild frontier beginnings of our last visit, with the Church family, in 1811. Now a newspaper (Franklin Cowdery's Angelica Republican), a jail, two stores, and several mills, powered by water from Black Creek, line the main street. Amos Eaton is appointed professor of natural history at the medical school of Vermont's Castleton College. Under the patronage of Stephen van Rensselaer he begins a survey of Albany and Rensselaer counties and completes the publication of his geologic profile of the region between Boston and south-central New York. Another scientist, Dr. T. Romeyn Beck, conducts an agricultural survey of Albany County, the first such in the state. De Witt Clinton has won back the governorship, but is saddled with a Bucktail (read Republican) legislature. Prominent Bucktail lawyer Martin Van Buren, seeking a platform for his views, becomes a major investor in the Albany Argus. You didn't think it was only recently that money translated into political power, did you?
Now meet some newcomers to the scene, who will help alter transport, Utopian life, the city of Rochester, the travel guide and - most profoundly - religion. Utica's J. Parker and Company stage line hires a new driver by the name of John Butterfield, whose vehicles will one day criss-cross the American west. Meet Vermont trapper Sewell Newhouse who moves to New York's woods to try his luck. He'll build a better bear trap and the world will beat a path to the Oneida Community's door. There's Matthew Brown who builds a sawmill and millrace at the High Falls of the Genesee. (A restored section of the race can be seen there in our own time). Also at Rochester, Everard Peck begins publishing the Farmer's Calendar, or Ontario and Genesee Almanac. And, speaking of publishing, a soon-to-be publisher with the patriotic name of Horatio Gates Spafford throws in the towel on his failing experimental farm at Venango, Pennsylvania, and moves to Balston Spa, New York. He will bounce back, publish a series of travel guides and gazetteers, and become the Baedecker of America. The newcomer who will most profoundly alter New York and the world is only 14. Near Palmyra, young Joseph Smith reports seeing God and Christ while praying in a maple grove.
For Classical 91.5 and 90-point-3, this is David Minor
URL OF THE WEEK
Q: Who Let the Dogs Out?
A: In World War II the Allies did. The Germans and the Japanese did. For the whole story check out the Dogs for Defense site at
Here, presented by Hahn's 50th AP K-9, West Germany, the story
of the one million plus canines, serving armed forces on both
sides, is told through text and pictures. By the time the U. S.
was blasted into the war by the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Germans
had 200,000 trained military and police dogs, as well as supplying
25,000 to their Japanese allies. The
U. S. played catch-up throughout the war, with never more than 10,000 in the field at any one time, but trained to serve as sentry dogs, patrol dogs, messengers and mine detection dogs. It required a massive training exercise, for both dogs and humans. Judge the results for yourself.
The Game's Afoot !!
©2001 David Minor / Eagles Byte