“People generally are improving in their knowledge of good Tea”: 19th Century Americans & Tea
September 2, 2015

This post was written by Samantha Walsh, Reference Assistant in the Department of Prints, Photographs & Architectural Collections  On September 9, 1828, a member of the Townsend family attended a tea auction at Lippincott & Richards auction house in Philadelphia. While the purchase of tea by a New York merchant is not surprising, I was intrigued…

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“An abomination in the eyes of sportsmen”: The early days of professional football
January 29, 2014

On April 4, 1865, New Yorker James F. Maury wrote in his diary “Very fine day. I celebrated the capture of Richmond by breaking my leg while playing football.” Although the injury will not be new to today’s football fan, the game played that day might not have been quite as familiar. In 1865, football…

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Free of an Empire, by Way of an Empress
February 27, 2013

This posting was written by Dael Norwood, a  Bernard & Irene Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellow at the New-York Historical Society.  On February 22, 1784, a small ship with big ambitions weighed anchor, and sailed down the East River. Commanded by John Green, the Empress of China left New York on George Washington’s birthday aiming to be…

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