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The Spring '23 issue is out now!


The Spring '23 issue is out now!

May 18, 2023

detail of the cover of the Spring '23 issue of the HRVR, a watercolor painting of sloops sailing through the Hudson Highlands

The Hudson River Valley Review’s Spring 2023
Issue is out now!

From 1609 through the 1960s, and right up to today, the history of the Hudson River Valley has included points of contention. To misquote Heraclitus, you cannot sail the same river twice. Ever since Europeans first explored the Mahicannituck, today called the Hudson, there have been discrepancies in their descriptions and maps. Patrick Landewe focuses on the number and location of the “racks,” or reaches, that navigators recorded, and cartographers fixed to better understand the river. Contrary to what many of us learned even a generation ago, slavery existed in New York, and enslavement could be as brutal here as in the South. Similarly, the lives of Black residents throughout the Hudson River Valley could be just as fraught with peril. This was proven when Port Jervis resident Robert Lewis was lynched by fellow townspeople in 1892. Philip Dray recounts the incident and its aftermath as part of his examination of racial relations and injustices in American history. Another aspect of Black life in the region was Pinkster, an annual celebration that provided enslaved people a brief reprieve from daily life. Few firsthand accounts of these festivities exist, but the late-life recollection of James Eights provides a glimpse of how Pinkster was celebrated by both the Black and white communities in Albany in the early 1800s. In his introduction to Eights’ reminiscence, Michael Groth asks whether — and how — we can know the origins and purposes of certain cultural traditions. Sara Evenson asks the same question through her investigation of family recipes exchanged between Catherine Teresa Romeyn Beck and her granddaughter, Catherine Beck Van Cortlandt, in the mid-nineteenth century. Finally, in the “Regional History Forum,” Michaela Ellison-Davidson offers a tour of Hudson River School art exhibited across the region. She visits two museums and two historic sites that offer experiences of the landscape, art, architecture, and artists who defined and continue to redefine America’s first art movement.


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Volume 39, Number 2, Spring 2023

The Dutch Racks Revisited: The Puzzle of Hudson River Reaches, Patrick Landewe

Race and Reckoning in the Hudson River Valley: A Lynching at Port Jervis, 1892, Philip Dray


Notes and Documents

James Eights’ Contemporary Account of Pinkster Festivities in Nineteenth Century Albany, introduction by Michael E. Groth

Place, Memory, Identity, and Family Recipes at Van Cortlandt Manor, Sara Evenson


Regional History Forum
Finding the Sublime: Where to View Hudson River School Paintings in the Hudson River Valley, Michaela Ellison-Davidson


Review Essay
On Their Own Terms: New York Women Shaping their Lives
Robyn Rosen reviews Ladies of the Valley: Women of the Great Estates of the Hudson Valley by Mary Mistler, Suffrage and the City: New York Women Battle for the Ballot by L. C. Santangelo, and Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality by Tomiko Brown-Nagin


Book Reviews
No Useless Mouth: Waging War and Fighting Hunger in the American Revolution,Rachel Herrmann, reviewed by Sarah Wassberg Johnson

Contest For Liberty: Military Leadership in the Continental Army, 1775–1783, Seanegan P. Sculley reviewed by Michael Diaz


The Haunted History of Pelham New York: Including Ghostly Tales of the Bronx, Westchester County, and Long Island Sound, Blake A. Bell, reviewed by Zachary Finn

Left in the Center: The Liberal Party of New York and the Rise and Fall of American Social Democracy, Daniel Soyer, reviewed by Michael A. Armato

Plus: New & Noteworthy Titles Received


Read a preview of this issue, as well as our back issues, online here.