The Best of New York Archives

Selections from the Magazine, 2001-2011

By New York State Archives Partnership Trust

Subjects: History, New York/regional, American History
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Hardcover : 9781438464473, 520 pages, March 2017

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Early New York, the 1600s and 1700

1. New York’s First Constitution: Sketching a Map for Becoming American
Edward Countryman

2. Re-Examining Slavery in New York
A. J. Williams-Myers

3. The Battle on Snowshoes
Joseph F. Meany, Jr.

4. Navigating the Deep
Margaret B. Schram

5. Citizen vs. Citizen
John Hanna, Jr.

6. In the Matter of Goody Garlick
George DeWan

7. The Princes of Queens
Peggy Cornett

8. Good Peter and the Governor
Alan Taylor

9. The She-Merchant of Manhattan
Jean Zimmerman

10. New York Patriot
V. T. Dacquino

11. The Importance of Flushing
Russell Shorto

12. A Peaceful Indian Nation
Shirley W. Dunn

13. Spies of the Revolution
John A. Burke and Andrea Meyer

14. Evacuation Day
Jennifer Steenshorne

15. In Search of Truth
Margaret Washington

New York in the 1800s

16. The Poetry and Prose of the Emancipation Proclamation
Harold Holzer

17. Writing and “Righting” the History of Woman Suffrage
Mary E. Corey

18. Speaking with the Dead: The Fox Sisters
Jeanne Mackin

19. Saratoga Springs: Evolution of a Resort
Field Horne

20. West Point: The “Key to America”
Joseph P. Franklin, Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)

21. Reclaiming a Reputation
Laurence M. Hauptman

22. The Ongoing Fable of Baseball
Mark McGuire

23. Self-Taught American Scientist
Ed Landing

24. Rebellion in the Catskills
Dorothy Kubik

25. The Boy Murderer
Rachel Dickinson

26. A Case of Trouble
Andrew W. Arpey

27. “Why, Soldiers, Why?”
Thomas Fleming

28. The Man Who Won the West
Travis M. Bowman

29. “Failure Is Impossible”
Kimberly Troisi-Paton

30. The World’s Greatest Miser
Charles Slack

31. The Untidy Origins of Women’s Rights
Lori D. Ginzberg

32. Freedom for a Stranger
Dennis J. Connors

33. “A Good, Pure, and Natural Story”
William G. Andrews

34. The President’s Benefactor
Warren F. Broderick

35. The Female Mark Twain
Kate Winter

36. When Hops Were King
G. William Beardslee

37. The Forestport Breaks
Michael Doyle

38. “Adversity’s Sweet Milk”
G. William Beardslee

39. Gang of Brothers
E. Fuller Torrey

40. “Poor Little Innocents”
Julie Miller

41. “These Pimps of Piracy”
Ron Soodalter

42. The Scourge of Summer
Edward P. Kohn

43. Mark Twain and Elmira
Mark Woodhouse

44. The Conspirator Who Got Away
G. William Beardslee

45. Divorce Decreed
Ilyon Woo

New York in the 1900s

46. Rockefeller in Retrospect
Joseph E. Persico

47. Freedom Fighters from Buffalo
Glenn T. Johnston

48. Oscar García Rivera, Political Pioneer
Félix V. Matos Rodríguez

49. Gangbuster in the Governor’s Office
Richard Norton Smith

50. Freedom of the Screen: Joseph Burstyn and The Miracle
Laura Wittern-Keller

51. Awash in New York: A Chronicle of the City’s Floating Baths
Ann L. Buttenwieser

52. The Endless Summers of Chautauqua
Marilyn Mathews Bendiksen

53. Under New Management: The Legacy of the Jewish Catskills
Phil Brown

54. Martha Matilda Harper: The Business of Beauty
Sally Parker

55. Curación en el Norte (“The Cure” in the North)
Amy Catania

56. Made in New York
Robert A. Slayton

57. Water and War
David Stradling

58. The Biggest Playground on Earth
Woody Register

59. Island of the Skies
George DeWan

60. “A Remarkable Woman”
Peter C. Engelman

61. The Sweetheart of the A.E.F.
William F. Howard

62. Black Beach
Tricia A. Barbagallo

63. New York Masterpiece
Robert A. Slayton

64. The Case of the Independent Women
Melanie Rehak

65. Conscience in the Classroom
Charles F. Howlett

66. Murder in Chinatown
Mary Ting Yi Lui

67. Thunder on the Hudson
Charles F. Howlett

68. A Self-Made Woman
Mark Fleisher

69. Pioneer of Light
Rayvon Fouché

70. Salesman of the American Dream
Joshua Ruff

71. Watchdogs of the State
Philip A. Bean

72. FDR and His Early Fireside Chats
Geoff Storm

73. The Golden Tubes
Linda J. Lumsden

74. Shippen’s Hole
Faren R. Siminoff

75. The World’s First Video Game
Mona S. Rowe

76. The Man Nobody Knew
C. Evan Stewart

77. “Sympathy for Revolutionaries”
Frank Donegan

78. The Impeachment of Governor Sulzer
Matthew L. Lifflander

photo gallery


Tales of New York State history from the pages of the award-winning publication New York Archives.


For readers interested in uncovering the history of the Empire State, The Best of New York Archives highlights some of the most popular articles of the unique, award-winning publication—as told through the records of the men and women who made it.

Home to some of the United States' most important historical treasures, the New York State Archives serves as steward for more than two hundred million records of New York's colonial and state governments from 1630 to the present. Contributions from Pulitzer Prize winners to best-selling authors mine this wealth of information to tell lively and engaging stories of New York State's rich history. From the pages of The Best of New York Archives, nearly four hundred years of history comes alive.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1992 to develop support for Archives' programs not funded by the state. Thousands of New Yorkers with a passion for history have joined together to make the State Archives and the documents in its collection more accessible to all through membership and annual fund support of the Trust. While it complements and expands the reach of the State Archives, the Trust defines new ground in developing partnerships for preservation, access, education, and outreach programs that extend beyond the availability of state funded activities.

New York Archives magazine is a benefit of Trust membership. This award-winning publication is a shining example of collaboration between the New York State Archives and Trust with history enthusiasts, scholars, and other historical repositories around the Empire State, bringing untold stories and extraordinary happenings to light.


"…people will remember this book most vividly for its remarkable photographs, all in black and white, and very well reproduced … This volume is truly a treasure." — Lake Champlain Weekly

"Anyone with even the least interest in Empire State history will find sections in the book to enjoy. Stories are relatively short, and they become a bit addictive. Most who open this volume will find themselves reading much more broadly than they had planned." — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

"The book is a boon of information for historical enthusiasts and academics alike." — Syracuse Post-Standard

"By evoking the Flushing Remonstrance, Evacuation Day, the women's suffrage movement, and other pivotal episodes in the state's history, The Best of New York Archives reminds readers that, as Columbia's Ken Jackson likes to say, 'America begins in New York.'" — Sam Roberts, New York Times

"The New York State Archives is full of rich documents that serve as gems—they reflect and reveal transformations in national and world history. You'll find many of those gems presented here, and New York's vibrant history comes to life through the eyes of those who lived through it." — Kimberly Gilmore, Senior Historian, History Channel/A+E Networks

"The Best ofNew York Archives is a treasure trove of compelling essays that inform and expand understanding. The selected narratives reflect the essential role the New York State Archives plays in the preservation of the fascinating and wide-ranging particulars of New York State's history. As a bonus, the sampler is a storehouse of golden nuggets useful to deflate any annoying know-it-all whose behavior cries out for it." — Harry Rosenfeld, author of From Kristallnacht to Watergate: Memoirs of a Newspaperman

"An original, authoritative, and entertaining walk through Empire State history—provided by a who's who of leading historians and all inspired by the unparalleled treasures in the New York State Archives." — Harold Holzer, Jonathan F. Fanton Director, Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College