Colonial Schenectady

Overview

Schenectady Began as a Dutch settlement and grew into a British and then American metropolis on the banks of the Mohawk River. Characteristically stubborn Dutchmen battled over land ownership and clashed with newcomers during the early colonial days. Religious conflict erupted as Methodists struggled to overcome adversity, and Presbyterians and the Dutch Reformed struggled to share a new and thriving community. At the same time, important developments took place. Construction of roads and waterways made the city ...

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Overview

Schenectady Began as a Dutch settlement and grew into a British and then American metropolis on the banks of the Mohawk River. Characteristically stubborn Dutchmen battled over land ownership and clashed with newcomers during the early colonial days. Religious conflict erupted as Methodists struggled to overcome adversity, and Presbyterians and the Dutch Reformed struggled to share a new and thriving community. At the same time, important developments took place. Construction of roads and waterways made the city the gateway to the west, and the founding of institutions such as Union College brought refinement to what had once been the rough-edged New World. Originally compiled in 1946 by city historian William B. Efner, this collection of essays by local historians captures the spirit and grit that shaped early Schenectady.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609492298
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,399,937
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to This Volume Don Rittner 11

Original 1948 Introduction P. Schuyler Miller 17

Historical Address-Sesquicentennial Dinner, Hotel Van Curler, March 29, 1948-150th Anniversary of the City Albert B. Corey 19

1 The Struggle to Become a City

With Dutch Stubbornness, Settlers Squabble Over Town's Common Lands William B. Efner 27

Trustees, Harassed by Descendants, Pestered by Newcomers, Now Furious William B. Efner 32

Era of Distrust Ends, Compromise Follows; Law and Order Demanded William B. Efner 34

Turmoil Marks 1797-Dutch and Newcomers Clash-Go to Polls William B. Efner 38

Feud Precedes; Breakdown of Dutch Control as New Comers Plan Moves William B. Efner 40

Elderly, Disillusioned Trustees Quit-Pave Way for City Charter William B. Efner 44

Dorp of Schenectady Two Centuries Ago Had Common Council Troubles William B. Efner Hawley B. Van Vechten 48

Dutch Descendants Defeat Move to Legislate End of Old Order Here William B. Efner Janet Wright 52

City Incorporated 150 Years Ago, March 26, 1798 Gov. Jay Signs Bill Climaxing Newcomers Struggle with Dutch William B. Efner Janet Wright 57

2 Notable Persons

Famed Names Among Those Associated with the Chartering of Schenectady Frederick L. Bronner 63

Charter Year Finds Nation a Land of Rural Peoples and Political Turmoil Frederick L. Bronner 66

Two Noted Albany Lawyers Had Large Part in Incorporation Arthur B. Gregg 68

Timothy Dwight of Yale Visits Schenectady in 1798-Sarcastic William B. Efner 70

Public Life of Joseph C. Yates Town Clerk in 1792; Mayor, 1798 William B. Efner 72

Schenectady's First Mayor Moves Up In State Politics-Rejects Van Buren's Proffered 1817 Bid for Gubernatorial Honors, Then Breaks with Clinton-Plays Game with Bucktail Chief-Slated for U.S. Senate, Yates Sidetracked by Van Buren Who Goes to Washington Instead-Elected Governor in 1822 William B. Efner 78

Though Weary of Bloodshed, Local Men Respond When Needed, Officer Militia William B. Efner 83

Physicians and Surgeons in the 1790s Play Important Role Here Roy C. Keigher 86

Dirck Romeyn, Founder of Union College and Dutch Ecclesiastic Lewis B. Sebring 93

Dirck Romeyn's Five Grandsons, the Beck Boys, Win International Fame Ellis Kellert 98

John Howard Payne, Playwright-Actor-His Unrequited Love Winifred Langworthy Brown 108

3 The "Mohawk Gateway"

Burr Builds "Most Unusual Bridge in America" Here-Succeeds 1798 Failure Richard Sanders Allan 113

Mohawk River Water Trail Westward; Schenectady, Port of Embarkation William B. Efner 118

Story of a Great Waterway, the Mohawk River, Bateaux & Traffic Albert Gayer 122

Stage Coach Days: Early Stages-Turnpikes, Taverns and Personalities Millicent W. Veeder Mohawk Valley 125

4 Schenectady's Early Religions

The Dutch Church Environs John Vrooman 141

Old St. George's-the English Church-Two Centuries Old Frederick L. Bronner 150

Thrilling Happenings Feature Early Presbyterian Services Lona Rives 154

Methodists Active, 1795-Are Persecuted-Increase-Build B.W Jones F.C. Zapf 156

About the Author 159

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