Few things inspire curiosity like a George Washington letter...or a letter about spies. This past fall, a very generous donor presented to the New-York Historical Society a most interesting item: a George Washington letter about spies! Dated August 21, 1780, Washington writes to Major Benjamin Tallmadge regarding the Culper Spy Ring, one of Washington's most successful intelligence-gathering networks during the American Revolution.
Most active in New York City and along the Long Island Sound, the Culpers have long enjoyed a special chapter in...Read More
Sir Henry Clinton's hair powder duty certificate, 1795 (Donald F. Clark Collection, MS 118)
This 1795 certificate documents that Sir Henry Clinton, the general and former Commander-in-Chief for North America of the British Army during the Revolution, paid the hair powder duty instituted in Great Britain in that year. The duty itself was one guinea, spawning the nickname "guinea pig" for those who paid it.
It may look unassuming, but this document marks a pivotal moment in...Read More
This post was written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections.
At the height of the Roaring Twenties, the wealthy and glamorous descended in droves on the northeast corner of 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue to hear the latest compositions, see the newest dances, and revel in the cultural and creative crucible of Harlem’s most famous nightclub: the Cotton Club. Known as the “Aristocrat of Harlem,” this cabaret was opened in September 1923 by gangster...Read More
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