2020 Lecture Series
Steve McErleane: Imagination Aided by the Painter’s Brush: The Creation of the Purchase of Manhattan, 1844–1909. (October 22)
Though it is now known as a fundamental piece of the early history of the city, it was not until 217 years after the event that New Yorkers first learned of the now infamous 1626 purchase of the island of Manhattan by the Dutch from the Indians for twenty-four dollars. This talk traced the construction of that story from its first appearance in the 1840s to an important and overlooked 1853 painting of the purchase by the American artist William Ranney and beyond.
Dr. David William Voorhees: Colonial New York Censuses: the several places where the inhabitants were dwelling. (January 9)
Since ancient times, societies have kept counts of their population for administrative purposes. This lecture explored when, how, and why population surveys took place in colonial New Netherland and New York, with a specific focus on Claverack Landing, as Hudson was known before it was named Hudson. The lecture was a precursor to the History of the Census in Hudson exhibition, which opened at the Hudson Area Library in February.
Travis Bowman: Slavery and Dutch – Palatine Farmers: How did middle class farmers in Colonial New York interact with slavery? (September 12)
In New York State slavery existed for 200 years, and recent interest and research, particularly focused on the Hudson Valley area, confronts this fact. This lecture examined how slave labor led to prosperity for many white families in the region and also may have eventually influenced the abolition movement.
Ian Stewart: A Truly American Form: Anglo Dutch Houses, Their Roots, Form, and Legacy. (June 13)
In the former New Netherland a new house form arose in the latter years of the 18th century and became a common sight in New England in the first half of the 19th century. This talk focused on the framing of these houses and their various forms, as well as their English and Dutch predecessors, and the circumstances which may have led to the creation of this hybrid.
Dr. Lou Roper: Colonial New York and the World of Jacob Leisler. (March 21)
Starting with the question, “[w]here does the history of New York fit into the history of colonial America and where does the history of colonial America fit into the history of the wider world?” this lecture looked at the 17th-century European colonization of the greater Hudson Valley and what its history suggests about the character of early Americans.
Peter G. Rose: A Taste of Change. (June 21)
Cookbooks and scrapbooks tell us a lot more than just how a dish is made. What recipes are included might give an indication of a family’s ethnicity and how that ethnicity was retained over generations through the continuation of customs and celebrations. Using her knowledge of Dutch customs and food history, food historian Peter G. Rose presented examples of recipe/scrapbooks, with Dutch recipes, from the late 17th century to the 20th century.
Dr. William Starna: American Indians in the Mid-Hudson Valley. (April 19) This lecture focused on the Iroquoian and Algonquian peoples of Eastern North America and their culture and society.
Dr. David William Voorhees: Libelers, Monsters, and Rebels:The Jacob Leisler Institute and Research into Colonial New York’s Neglected English Colonial Period. (February 22)
The Institute thanks filmmaker Dan Udell for producing a video of this talk.