by Michael J. Douma Like many nineteenth-century New Yorkers of Dutch-descent, the historical scholar John Romeyn Brodhead was bothered by the poor treatment the Dutch had received in the written histories of colonial America. In these histories, there was one “vulgar error” in particular that drew his ire. This was, he said, the “absurd use […]
A Presentation for the Schenectady Historical Society, March 23, 2023.
Coming to the house for breakfast after milking, I asked, “What star is that in the southwest, Dad, still so bright with the sun coming up?” That’s no star, Sietze. It’s moving and it’s coming this way.” In minutes, a floating contraption hovered above our farm. A machine growled and ground out a leaflet which […]
Some academics spend their whole lives focused on just one topic, but others branch out in many directions. Here is my attempt to coin the term “venture academics” to explain the growing phenomenon of academics who invest in many, and varied higher-risk, higher-reward research topics.
If you search for articles on “ex-slave centenarians” you will discover many claims of formerly enslaved people who lived not only to 100, but much longer. In 1981, William Pinckey of Prince George’s County, Maryland, claimed to be 118, and had been born a slave. Not to be outdone, Philadelphia’s Mary McDonla claimed to be 135 […]
We Frisians feel left out. As a group, our numbers in America are so small that we flat-out never get mentioned in history texts. That a book attempting to remedy this appeared at all in time for the 400-year Dutch American anniversary celebrations must be a sign of Frisian stubbornness and resolve. I don’t know […]