Saturday, May 16, 2009

The War of 1812: The Niagara Frontier and Joseph Ellicott

A mere 13 years after the first pioneers came to Western New York, the region was struck with fear as war came to the Holland Purchase. Land sales became difficult in a war zone and the unknown of factor of how long it was going to last and which parts of the Purchase was going to see fighting.

Batavia, as the frontier capital, was a staging point for supplies and troops. Many of the homes in the village, including Joseph Ellicott’s, were turned into makeshift hospitals. Back yards and farmers fields became encampments and settlers donated food and provisions to help the Army.

The period of the War of 1812 is an important era in the region’s history. As we near the bicentennial of the War of 1812, look for many more publications about the momentous event.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

HLOM Lecture Series: Lincoln and the Free Soil Movement by Garth Swanson

On February 25, 2009, Prof. Garth Swanson gave a public lecture at the Holland Land Office Museum titled, Lincoln and the Free Soil Movement.

Mr. Swanson is a Professor of History at Genesee Community College. He put Lincoln in perspective, discussed his views on slavery and dispelled some of the Lincoln myth. He also discussed some of Lincoln’s ties to Western New York.

Mr. Swanson is a very animated speaker. He didn’t need a mic for the lecture, but I was able to convince him to us it so that it could be recorded. He moves his hands a lot, and some of his words may not have been picked up by the microphone. I apologize in advance.

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