Talk on Slavery “Kidnapping Club” in New York City
Museum’s virtual lecture series hosts author and historian
KINGSTON, N.Y. – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to host author and historian Dr. Jonathan Daniel Wells for “The New York Kidnapping Club,” a live virtual lecture on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Follow the River Lecture Series, sponsored by Rondout Savings Bank.
We often think of slavery as a southern phenomenon, far removed from the booming cities of the North. But even though slavery had been outlawed in Gotham by the 1830s, Black New Yorkers were not safe. Not only was the city built on the backs of slaves; it was essential in keeping slavery and the slave trade alive.
In his recently published book, The Kidnapping Club, historian Jonathan Daniel Wells tells the story of the powerful network of judges, lawyers, and police officers who circumvented anti-slavery laws by sanctioning the kidnapping of free and fugitive African Americans. Nicknamed "The New York Kidnapping Club," the group had the tacit support of institutions from Wall Street to Tammany Hall whose wealth depended on the Southern slave and cotton trade. But a small cohort of abolitionists, including Black journalist David Ruggles, organized tirelessly for the rights of Black New Yorkers, often risking their lives in the process.
Taking readers into the bustling streets and ports of America's great Northern metropolis, The Kidnapping Club is a dramatic account of the ties between slavery and capitalism, the deeply corrupt roots of policing, and the strength of Black activism.
Jonathan Daniel Wells, Ph.D., is Professor of History in the Residential College, the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Department of History at the University of Michigan. He is the author or editor of several books, most recently, The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War (2020).
Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for Hudson River Maritime Museum members. View upcoming lectures and register at www.hrmm.org/lecture-series.
Wedding Rentals at the Maritime Museum
Private rentals include barn, classroom and tour boat
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Hudson River Maritime Museum is offering rentals of various spaces on campus including the museum’s Barn which is an ideal site for weddings. The attractive and convenient location of campus, as well as ample parking and accessibility, make it an ideal location for weddings, parties, meetings and other events. Other sites that are available for private rental include the Boat School Classroom, the museum’s East Gallery and the Solaris tour boat.
The Barn offers a rustic setting beside the Rondout Creek in Kingston's historic Rondout business district. The large open space is flanked with sliding barn doors at both ends to give guests simultaneous access to the waterfront and business district. The site features a raised covered porch entrance beside the yard. Displayed nearby is the 1898 steam tugboat Mathilda, the largest artifact in the museum's collection. Rental can include use of the adjacent yard and docking spaces. This large space comfortably fits a group of 150+ standing and 125 seated. It is available on select dates throughout the season, May through October.
Also available for a variety of events happening year-round is the Boat School Classroom which is ideal for a lecture-style gathering. This venue opens directly onto the waterfront and includes a private patio for additional tables or perhaps an outside bar. The museum’s East Gallery is also available for rent and offers high ceilings and access to fascinating displays of maritime history.
The museum’s solar-powered tour boat Solaris is available for private charter by itself or as part of an event on the museum’s property. The boat can charter short rides or tours of the nearby Rondout Lighthouse and can accommodate up to 28 passengers. Built by the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s restoration crew under the direction of Jim Kricker, this vessel does not require fossil fuels to run and is the only solar-powered boat in operation on the Hudson River.
Photos of the sites at the museum and rates are available at www.hrmm.org/facility-rentals. For details call the museum at 845-338-0071.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries and related communities. In addition to extensive collections documenting maritime transportation, industry, recreation, and natural science, the museum offers classes and programs at its Wooden Boat School, Sailing and Rowing School, and aboard its floating classroom, Solaris. The museum is located along the historic Rondout waterfront in downtown Kingston. Visit www.HRMM.org for more information.
Author Presents Story of Grant’s Tomb
Museum’s virtual lecture series hosts noted presidential historian
KINGSTON, N.Y. – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to host award-winning author and historian Louis L. Picone for a live virtual lecture on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Follow the River Lecture Series, sponsored by Rondout Savings Bank.
Picone talk “Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb: The Monument on the Hudson,” is based on his brand new book, Grant's Tomb: The Epic Death of Ulysses S. Grant and the Making of an American Pantheon, which was published in February of this year.
Picone charts the history of the largest tomb in America. Taking twelve years to build, among controversy about where the former president’s body should be interred, Grant’s Tomb was completed in 1897. The white neoclassical style mausoleum was highly visible from the Hudson River, making it an instant landmark for steamboat tourists. After it was dedicated it was the most popular attraction in New York City (only rivaled by the Statue of Liberty), but is now widely forgotten from public memory except for the Groucho Marx gag, “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” Its popularity began to fade as the Civil War generation passed away, but by the mid-1960s it hit rock bottom. It became one of the most dangerous tourist locations in New York City –besieged by graffiti and vandalism and more popular with drug addicts, prostitutes, and gang members than tourists. After much neglect and many public calls to repair the damage, Grant’s Tomb was finally restored in the mid-1990s by the National Park Service.
Louis L. Picone is the author of Grant's Tomb: The Epic Death of Ulysses S. Grant and the Making of an American Pantheon, The President Is Dead! The Extraordinary Stories of the Presidential Deaths, Final Days, Burials, and Beyond and Where the Presidents Were Born: The History & Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces. Picone is also a trustee on the board of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association in Caldwell, NJ and teaches at William Paterson University.
Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for Hudson River Maritime Museum members. Those interested in attending can view upcoming lectures and register at www.hrmm.org/lecture-series.
First Lecture in March Celebrates Women’s History Month
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KINGSTON, N.Y. – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to announce the return of its popular Follow the River Lecture Series, which is going virtual! Held twice monthly on Wednesdays, the lectures cover a wide variety of maritime and Hudson River-related topics.
“We are especially pleased that the new, virtual format has allowed us to host speakers from across the country,” said Director of Exhibits & Outreach, Sarah Wassberg Johnson, who coordinates the lecture series. “Even after we are able to return to in-person lectures, we intend to keep virtual attendance as an option.”
Wassberg Johnson will also be the first speaker of the season, celebrating Women’s History Month with her talk, “Keepers of the Light: Women Lighthouse Keepers of the Hudson,” scheduled for Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Covering the history of women lighthouse keepers, residents, and preservationists, spanning from the 1830s to the 1980s, the lecture includes special emphasis on local heroine Catherine Murdock, who kept the Rondout Lighthouse for 50 years.
Other talks include “Ulysses S. Grant’s Tomb: The Monument on the Hudson,” by award-winning author Louis L. Picone, scheduled for Wednesday, March 31, 2021, “The New York Kidnapping Club,” by historian and author Dr. Jonathan Daniel Wells, scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, 2021, “The Hudson River in the Ice Age” by geologists and authors Robert & Johanna Titus, scheduled for Wednesday, April 21, 2021, and “New York and the Illegal Slave Trade During the Civil War Era,” by historian and author Dr. John Harris, scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
All programs begin at 7:00 p.m. EST and are hosted via Zoom. Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for Hudson River Maritime Museum members.
More lectures are being confirmed daily. Those interested in attending can view upcoming lectures and register at www.hrmm.org/lecture-series.
The Follow the River Lecture Series is sponsored by Rondout Savings Bank.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.