Category «Life & Times»

Iron Forge in Colonial America by Harry Schenawolf

In the early 17th century nations making claim to the Americas discovered an enormous wealth of natural resources.  Raw materials bolster a country’s economy and increase its ability to dominate in trade and in war.  Though the discovery of gold by the Spanish increased that nation’s wealth, iron ore from North America  gave Great Britain the …

A Drunken, Canting, Lying, Hypocritical Rabble by Harry Schenawolf

The Continental Army of 1775 This article presents four eyewitness accounts on the condition and general attitude of the American Forces in the summer of 1775. It concludes with six of George Washington’s commentaries on the situation of the army at that time and his personal frustrations. After the battles of Lexington and Concord (April …

Cordwainers & Cobblers in Colonial America by Harry Schenawolf

Shoemakers and Repair            “The cobbler aproned and the parson gowned, The friar hooded, and the monarch crowned. Or cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk; Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow. The rest is all but leather or prunella.”                                                 Pope, Essay on Man The word shoe is derived form the …

Defense and Forts of New York City 1775 – 1776 by Harry Schenawolf

It is the summer of 1775. Hostilities have erupted between England and her colonies in America. Among a host of concerns and preparations by New York City’s patriots and Provincial Congress is the defense of Manhattan and the surrounding region. On June 26th, 1775, the New York Provincial Congress met as a body for the …

Holy Ground by Harry Schenawolf

New York City’s Red Light District of the 18th Century  During the mid 1700’s, New York City catered to the darker side of life with its many ‘disorderly houses’, ‘tipling shops’, and brothels. They were all located in a seething slum of shacks and portable houses on land owned and leased by the largest Anglican Parish in …

Military Literature of the Revolutionary War by Harry Schenawolf

Military literature was of little or no value to the early colonists. There were no vast spreads of farmlands and meadows where massive armies could deploy. The terrain was wilderness and their forces small. Militias of farmers and merchants, properly armed to protect themselves from the “savages,” adopted the same methods of fighting as their …

Dutch Ovens in the Army

On October 18th, 1776, at first light, Colonel John Glover stood atop a hill and raised his spy-glass to look out over the harbor of Pell’s Point, NY along the Long Island Sound.  He was flabbergasted.  He saw what looked like upwards of over two hundred British ships sitting off shore.  General William Howe was …

Trinity Church, New York City, 1696-1776

In 1776, Trinity Church stood along Broadway on the high ground opposite the west end of Wall Street.  It was one of three churches in the Anglican parish in New York City; the other two were St. Paul’s, located further north on Broadway and St. George’s to the east on Deekman’s Street. New York was …

Old Slips of New York City

Harold Goldstein recalls, as a small boy, being taken on a walking tour of New York City’s waterfront.  He describes something that astonished and delighted him: “a number of small harbors, inlets from the East River, rectangular in shape and about the size of a city block, in which rusty freighters and even a few …