Charles Yaple's "Jacob's Land" Explores the Settling of New York's Frontier

Recently, author and SUNY Cortland professor Dr. Charles Yaple spoke with WSKG’s Shane Johnson about his new nonfiction book, Jacob’s Land: Revolutionary War Soldiers, Schemers, Scoundrels and the Settling of New York’s Frontier (2017). The book chronicles life on New York’s frontier before, during, and after the American Revolution. It does this by weaving together the stories of three individuals; Native American leader Joseph Brant, George Washington’s Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt, and Dr. Yaple’s own ancestor Jacob Yaple. Dr. Yaple is Professor Emeritus of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies at SUNY Cortland, and Director of the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors. His first book, Foxey Brown: A story of an Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit and Guide as He Might Have Told It, was published in 2011.

Charles Yaple’s “Jacob’s Land” Explores the Settling of New York’s Frontier

Recently, author and SUNY Cortland professor Dr. Charles Yaple spoke with WSKG’s Shane Johnson about his new nonfiction book, Jacob’s Land: Revolutionary War Soldiers, Schemers, Scoundrels and the Settling of New York’s Frontier (2017). The book chronicles life on New York’s frontier before, during, and after the American Revolution. It does this by weaving together the stories of three individuals; Native American leader Joseph Brant, George Washington’s Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt, and Dr. Yaple’s own ancestor Jacob Yaple. Dr. Yaple is Professor Emeritus of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies at SUNY Cortland, and Director of the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors. His first book, Foxey Brown: A story of an Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit and Guide as He Might Have Told It, was published in 2011.

Simeon De Witt

At the close of the American Revolution, settlers flooded into the frontier regions of New York looking for a fresh start and new opportunities. The task of mapping and surveying the uncharted wilderness of the new nation fell upon intrepid surveyors like Simeon De Witt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcB8yAuMIwg

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
The History Center in Tompkins County

Photos Courtesy of:
The History Center in Tompkins County
Library of Congress
Wikimedia Commons

What happened to British Loyalists after the Revolutionary War?

What happened to the British Loyalists after the Revolutionary War? That’s the question NPR’s Rachel Martin set out to answer when she spoke with Maya Jasanoff, a professor of history at Harvard University. The short answer: Nothing good. According to the story, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of people in the American colonies during the Revolution remained loyal to England. During the war those loyalists were often subjected to harassment, beatings, and on some occasions tarring and feathering (If you’ve seen the HBO series John Adams you know how unpleasant this could be).

Preserving a Piece of Revolutionary War History in New York

During the summer of 1779, a military expedition ravaged the landscape of upstate New York. Today, on the 235th anniversary of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, the Public Archeology Facility (PAF) at Binghamton University has received a grant to help preserve a part of this often overlooked aspect of the American Revolution. The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign

In May of 1779, General George Washington ordered Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton to lead a military expedition into the western frontier of New York and Pennsylvania. The expedition was the Continental response to a series of deadly raids conducted from the region by Loyalists  and their Iroquois allies – most notably at Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and Cherry Valley in New York. The battles of Chemung and Newtown were the only major military engagements of the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign.

Bement-Billings Farmstead Museum

In 1792, Asa Bement, Jr., a 28-year old blacksmith and Revolutionary War veteran traveled from Massachusetts to claim his new homestead along Owego Creek in Newark Valley. As one of the area’s earliest settlers, Bement worked hard to clear the untamed land and build a log home for his family. Over the years the family expanded the farm by enlarging the house, and building a sawmill, gristmill, and blacksmith shop on the property. The farm would become one of the most prosperous in the area, and Asa Bement, his family and their farmstead would play a significant role in the history of Tioga County. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MKAjH9oMNU

One hundred years later William Billings gained possession of the property and in 1977 his granddaughter deeded the house and property to the Newark Valley Historical Society.