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November 03, 2014

Living in Dryden

Those Pesky Proposals

Another year, another set of constitutional amendments on the New York State ballot. We don't go as far as some states, but occasionally it gets interesting.

This year's Proposal 1 is the "fake independent redistricting reform" option. It's basically the same terrible broken system we have today with a little bit of window-dressing and a fallback to the usual corruption. Please vote against it. Or listen to Kathy Zahler or Mike Lane's gentler tellings.

Proposal 2 makes me sad, because the temperature of the freshly-copied legal papers hitting legislators' desks combined with the lateness of their arrival is a historically important indicator of how broken last-minute legislation will be. I'll probably vote no, but Kathy Zahler's take on why to vote yes is a saner approach.

Proposal 3 is also a bad idea. Technology is magical, and needs no maintenance right? So let's go into debt and it'll all be fine even if the debts last longer than the tools. Er, no. Again, Kathy Zahler has the right idea.

November 03, 2014 10:06 PM

October 31, 2014

Living in Dryden

Death, Hell, or Canada - rides again November 8th

I'll be giving an expanded version of my talk on the Battle of Queenston Heights at the History Center in downtown Ithaca, on Saturday, November 8th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

History Center talk poster.
Death, Hell, Or Canada: Dryden and the War of 1812.

This time around, I have more information about soldiers from elsewhere in Tompkins County, notably Lansing and Trumansburg, thanks to Carol Kammen and a few town historians. I have more about the comparisons between the armies, and I'll be including more about the Canadian perspective on the battle.

I started from this chapter in George Goodrich's Centennial History of Dryden, which made clear that Dryden militia had fought at the Battle of Queenston Heights, and been killed (one), injured (at least one), or captured (everyone who crossed).

I'll talk about the many ways in which war was different then, and focus on the challenges of a largely militia attack across the Niagara River.

Redcoats firing a musket volley.
Redcoats firing a musket volley.

Somehow, most Americans have forgotten about the War of 1812. Canadians seem to have put a lot more effort into remembering.

Brock cenotaph and monument.
Cenotaph and monument for the fallen General Brock.

I've also posted sets of photos I took while doing research for this:

Obviously, I won't be showing all of those pictures!

October 31, 2014 12:32 PM