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History of Hudson Valley Final
Undergraduate 4

Additional History Flashcards








West Point

  • 1775-1865
  • Henry Knox - great general of the period. Proposed a military academy at WP in 1776.
  • WP officially established on March 16, 1802.
  • 10 cadets initially, 71 grads in first 10 years.
  • Gen. Joseph Swift first graduate, first engineer trained in America, became superintendant of WP 1812-14.



WP Cont...




  • War of 1812 - 106 WP grads served in the war.
  • George Ronan - first WPer to die in battle.
  • Disliked by the South because it was in the North. Frequent attempts to close by congress.
  • Many engineering works: all major roads from Jefferson to Lincoln, major dredging, major canal projects, railroads.
  • 1831 - first two steam engines in America built at WP.
  • Mexican War - 523 WP cadets served.
  • Fewer than 1/3 of WP cadets actually end up graduating.
  • Civil War - served in both the North and South.
Sylvanus Thayer 1785-1872
  • "Father of West Point".
  • Captain in the war - not a superhero.
  • Went to Dartmouth then WP - captain in the War of 1812.
  • Sent to France to buy books and maps and study materials. His 1000 volumes became central to the WP library.
  • Superintendent of WP 1817-33.
  • Hired top faculty, knew each cadet personally, merit and demerit system.



  • 1848 Lincoln in Albany.
  • Hurlow Weed & Millard Fillmore.
  • Republican
  • Slavery was a big issue.
  • Emancipation proclommation.
  • 1860 Watershed Movement.
  • Elected President in the fall of 1860 - 16th president.
  • Union leader.
  • Assassinated by John Wilks Booth.
John Burroughs 1837-1921
  • American Naturalist
  • Wrote essays in the style of Waldo Emerson
  • Worked in Washington and then became Special Nat'l Bank Examiner for the Hudson River District.
  • Became a Hudson Valley fruit farmer - celery patches.
  • Built a home in West Park and called it Riverby.
  • Clara Burns - mistress.
  • Great talker and essay writer, produced 24 books, conservationist and naturalist.
  • Myron Benton - Troutbeck (part of a literary family).


The Fire

  • March of 1911 in Albany.
  • Legislature was in a major fight over the appointment of a new junior senator from NY - William Sheehan (Blue-eyed Billy).
  • Louis Howe, a correspondent and a telegraph operator were on the east side of the capital building - Assemblyman Aaron Levy was in the library reading room.
  • Levy left at 2 a.m., but returned to find flames leaping from his desk.
  • Fire spread from the third to fifth floor.
  • Precious documents were removed - papers flying everywhere, roof colapses at 4 a.m.
  • Billy Sheehan did not become junior governor.


Second Industrial Wave

  • Wood was still the pre-eminent Hudson Valley industry.
  • The Albany Lumber District - white pine distribution center of the world.
  • Log-driving on the Hudson.
  • Wood for fires and burning.
  • Industries proliferated and flourished.
  • Improvements and Innovations in transportation.
  • Hudson River Travel - a new schooner, dredging, ice-gathering.
  • Sloop trade initiated several innovations for navigation and ship design.
  • The Hudson River became a canal, with double-track railways on both sides and twenty factory chimneys to every long to the picturesque sight that once existed.


Nelson Rockefeller


  • Unusual Rockefeller, atypical of the family traditions.
  • Father was John D. Rockefeller Jr. - Nelson's grandfather was the founder of standard oil.
  • Very close to his mother, made anonlymous donations to MOMA, very comprehensive art collector, secured Matisse design for Union Church window after the artist died.
  • Republican Governor.
  • created housing units, mental health institutions, wastewater treatment plants, hospitals, state parks, highways, the Northway, the LIE, state universities and almost socialized health care.



  • Social Darwinism and John Burroughs.
  • Saving the Palisades
  • Pollution of the Hudson River - waste, sewage, paper, pcb's etc...
  • Storm King
  • HR Clearwater Sloop
  • radical change in thinking, conservation and protection.
  • Bioregionalism, solar and nanotechnology on the rise, a return to consevation. Greener than Green...


Storm King

  • Edison wanted to build a facility which would provide electric during peak hours.
  • Artificial lake on top of the mountain, tunnel through it, electrical generators in tunnels, heated water dumped in the river.
  • Supported by Gov. Rockefeller.
  • Created a fund to help resore the river.
  • Established right of individuals to sue for environmental damages.
  • SEQRA - State Environmental Quality Review Act


HR Sloop Clearwater
  • Pete Seeger - folk singer, outspoken on social causes and issues, conceived a sloop as a symbol for a renewed river.
  • Sloop visits schools, towns and cities every year.
  • Clearwaters message has expanded to protection of the entire estuary.


Local History

  • Local history is imp. to us individually because it concerns matters most closely associated with our own lives.
  • We are living out our own history, and by knowing the history that came before us, helps us to understand ourselves better.
  • Understanding the laws, politics and members of your local community helps you to understand the law, politics and members of the nation as a whole.
Emma Willard 1787-1870
  • Early 19th century advocate of women's education.
  • Established Troy Seminary in 1812.
  • Taught Math and Science and trained hundreds of teachers.
  • Emma Willard School is her legacy.
Sojourner Truth 1797-1883
  • U.S. Abolitionist and feminist, born a slave in Ulster County, freed by state law in 1827.
  • Took a new name and traveled and lectured on abolition and women's rights.
  • Knew Lincoln.
  • Illiterate.


Cassie Calhoun

  • Poor white woman living near Highland in Ulster County.
  • Lost a cow when it was hit by a train.
  • The railroad refused to repay her for the cow so she decided to paint the railroad by her house with the lard rendered from the dead cow.
  • Caused the Million Dollar Meat Train from Chicago to falter in trying to get up the hill. Had to be trailered by other locamotives to move the train over the hill.
  • The next day the railroad repaid her for the cow.


Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Wife of FDR.
  • Advocate for social and civil rights causes, chair of the committee that drafted the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Lived at Val-kill.
  • Traveled the world lecturing and educating the public on various social issues.


Betty Friedan

  • Housewife-turned-feminist.
  • Wrote the Feminine Mystique at her home in Rockland County.
  • Founder of NOW - National Organization of Women


Margaret Sanger

  • Fishkill native.
  • Founded the birth control movement in the U.S.
  • Became president of International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952.


Frances Reese ("Franny")

  • Fought against the Con Ed pumped storage power plant at Storm King Mountain in the 1960's adn 70's.
  • Resulting in America's most important environmental laws.
  • Created and led Scenic Hudson as a part of this, trustee of Marist College until her death in 2003.


Amy Spingarn

  • Wife of Joel Spingarn.
  • Lived in Amenia at Troutbeck
  • Leading figure in civil rights of women and African Americans.
  • Led suffragist movement in Dutchess County.
  • She was a painter, poet, photographer and caretaker to the tremendous amount of people whe came and went at Troutbeck.
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