The Lansingburgh Historical Society

At the Herman Melville House



“equal political rights and privileges with other citizens, irrespective of color” (1838)

The African-American community of Lansingburgh, though small, was apparently active: LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK. From the Albany Evening Journal […] WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7. […] IN ASSEMBLY. […] PETITIONS PRESENTED AND REFERRED. […] of the colored citizens of… Continue Reading →

“the anguish of his soul” (1788)

Lansingburgh, sadly did have some enslaved people living within its bounds in the Eighteenth Century. Records pertaining to any of Lansingburgh’s residents in its first few decades are limited, records pertaining to any of Lansingburgh’s African-American residents even more so…. Continue Reading →

George Biddle Kelley (1884-1962) engineer, Alpha Phi Alpha cofounder, Troy NAACP cofounder

The Kelley family lived at 1 113th Street in Lansingburgh starting around 1909. George Biddle Kelley lived there until his death in 1862. He attended RPI, graduated from Cornell, co-founded Alpha Phi Alpha at Cornell, was active with the United… Continue Reading →

Walter Bulkley (1828-1900) and his family of musicians

Walter Bulkey had been active with the Hedding Methodist Church and Olivet Presbyterian Church, and in musical performances at the Powers Opera House (also called the Concert Hall) among other venues – as was his second wife and two of… Continue Reading →

Susan Hornbeck (1754-1864?)

A centennarian with ten years to spare, died at Lansingburgh yesterday. Susan Hornbeck, better known as “Aunt Susan,” was her name. She had attained the age of one hundred and ten years. The deceased was a colored woman—born a slave… Continue Reading →

Civil War veteran Jerome Lee (abt 1843-1865)

Jerome Lee is one of the known African-American Civil War veterans with headstones in the Lansingburgh Village Burying Ground. There is some indication he might actually be buried in the Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, however. On the 1850… Continue Reading →

Black-Owned Newspapers in Troy (1842-1847)

There were two newspapers in Troy with which Rev. Henry Highland Garnet was involved, the Clarion and the National Watchman. There is not a lot known about either newspaper, not even the years in which they were in operation; different… Continue Reading →

Names of Men Drafted in Lansingburgh, Battle of Olustee, and Thomas Benedict (1863)

THE DRAFT. — Names of Men Drafted in the County of Rensselaer. […] LANSINGBURGH—562 BALLOTS, 170 REQUIRED. John Daley, Patrick O’Brien, E. Vander Robbins, Wm. Cassidy, Andrew J. Mitchell, James H. Weaver, Jules Prescott, John Kennedy, Richard Barron, Frederick Barrett,… Continue Reading →

Peter F. Baltimore and Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet, Stephen Myers, William H. Topp

Peter F. Baltimore, a Trojan and not a Burgher, is interred in Oakwood Cemetery in Lansingburgh. In life he would have been known by the African-American population of Lansingburgh – the population of Lansingburgh generally, in all probability. His wife… Continue Reading →

John M. Van Buskirk and the rescue of Charles Nalle (1860)

For information about Charles Nalle, a “fugitive slave,” and his rescue in Troy involving Harriet Tubman, see e.g. “Walkabout: The Rescue of Charles Nalle — A Troy Story” by Suzanne Spellen (aka Montrose Morris). March 18, 2014. What follows… Continue Reading →

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