For the colonists of the 1600s and 1700s much of daily life was filled by tiring drudgery, but throughout the long hours of the work day, intoxicating beverages provided a dependable source of comfort. Drinking accompanied a diverse range of occasions that often took place in taverns, or during meals, work breaks, business meetings, weddings, funerals, trials, and legislative sessions.
When John Hoskins sailed to the New World, he was a middle-aged family man. The paper trail that establishes his English background is shaky, but has recently been fleshed out using advancements in DNA technology. Hoskins’s story is of interest not only to descendants, but also to anyone whose family research might benefit from similar genetic study.
According to legend, on October 4, 1675, Toto "the Windsor Indian" learned of a surprise attack on the city of Springfield being planned by King Philip’s soldiers. In response to this news, Toto ran 20 miles to sound the alarm, thereby saving the people of Springfield from a massacre. But the legend conjures up several questions for the historical record.
Hannah Hayden and her family moved from Windsor to Hartwick, New York in 1806. Her letters back home reveal a willful woman grappling with her new identity in the frontier. Her textile work and the burdens of caring for her brood of children and employees usually took center stage in her letters, while her focus on and longing for material goods and economic success remained subtle yet sharply detailed motifs.
Do you ever wonder how objects end up in museum exhibitions? The cloak on view in our museum gallery arrived at the Society in a box. It had ripped seams, frayed trim, insect damage, and layers of dirt. But in its prime in the early 1800s, the bright red color was a fashion statement and a sign of the owner’s wealth.