Stuck inside? Need something to read?
Johanna Porr Yaun, the Orange County Historian, has a list of books of local significance for you to cozy up to while staying safe in your house.
“A lot of people have asked what books I recommend now that they have extra time to read,” Johanna says. “So, I put together this list.”
1. Becoming German: The 1709 Palatine Migration to New York by Philip L. Otterness
The so-called Palatine migration of 1709 began in the western part of the Holy Roman Empire, where perhaps as many as thirty thousand people left their homes, lured by rumors that Britain's Queen Anne would give them free passage overseas and land in America. After facing many hardships, a group of these settlers were given land on the Hudson River and founded a village that has since become Newburgh.
2. A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution by David Head
The dramatic story of George Washington's first crisis of the fledgling republic. Set in the final months of the American Revolution while George Washington and his troops were camped in Newburgh and New Windsor.
3. The Legacy of the Mastodon: The Golden Age of Fossils in America by Keith Stewart Thompson
A history of the early days of fossil hunting in America, replete with high adventure, ruthless competitors and amazing scientific discoveries. The discovery of mastodon bones in Montgomery is prominent in this story.
4. Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820–1909 by David Schuyler
As the 19th century advanced and as landscape and history became increasingly intertwined in the national consciousness, an aesthetic identity took shape in the region through literature, art, memory and folklore - even gardens and domestic architecture. This book recounts this story of America's idealization of the Hudson Valley during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
5. Death Passage on the Hudson: The Wreck of the Henry Clay by Kris A. Hansen
A documented account of the worst steamboat disaster to occur on the Hudson River. Many lost their lives in the accident, including renowned landscape designer and tastemaker Andrew Jackson Downing.
6. Making Mountains: New York City and the Catskills by David Stradling
For more than two hundred years, the Catskill Mountains have been repeatedly and dramatically transformed by New York City. In “Making Mountains,“ David Stradling shows the transformation of the Catskills landscape as a collaborative process, one in which local and urban hands, capital and ideas have come together to reshape the mountains and the communities therein.
7. Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter
Sojourner Truth: Ex-slave and fiery abolitionist born in Swartekill, a figure of imposing physique, a riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and originality. Straight-talking and unsentimental, Truth became a national symbol for strong black women - indeed, for all strong women.
8. Seward: Lincoln's Indispensible Man by Walter Stahr
As secretary of state and Lincoln's closest adviser during the Civil War, Seward not only managed foreign affairs, but had a substantial role in military, political and personnel matters. He spent his early life and career in the village of Florida.
9. Palisades: 100,000 Acres in 100 Years by Robert O. Binneweis
Beginning with the efforts of Elizabeth Vermilye of the New Jersey Federation of Women's Clubs, who enlisted President Theodore Roosevelt's support to stop the blasting and quarrying of Palisades rock, this book traces the story of the famous - including J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers and the Harrimans - and not-so-famous men and women whose donations of time and money led to the preservation of New York and New Jersey's most scenic and historic lands.
10. West Point: A Bicentennial History by Theodore J. Crackel
Grant. Pershing. Eisenhower. Schwartzkopf. The United States Military Academy has shaped America's senior military leaders from the sons - and now daughters - of farmers and shopkeepers, laborers and bankers.
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