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FOR RELEASE: Saturday, Mar 14, 2020

Free Talk at NYS Military Museum March 14 Focuses on NY National Guard in 19th Century

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (03/08/2020) (readMedia)-- The New York Militia and National Guard's role in keeping order during the 19th Century is the subject of a free talk at the New York State Military Museum on Saturday March 14 at 2 p.m.

The talk, called "Hangings, Riots, and Strikes – the 19th Century Mobilizations of the New York National Guard," will look at the Guard's place in enforcing the law during the 1800s.

Gary Mitchell, a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy, a veteran of the Active Army and the Army Reserve and a Rochester, N.Y. resident, will be presenting.

The 19th century was a tumult of partisan passion, crime, and labor unrest. Local and state civil authorities turned to the New York National Guard to maintain order in the face of these disturbances. While much is known about the wartime mobilizations of the state's military forces for the War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, little has been documented about their peacetime service, according to Mitchell.

Mitchell has been researching the history of the New York National Guard for 20 years and has written articles about its history as well as tracing its organization.

Events discussed in his talk will include:

• The execution of Kelly Levi on Dec. 28, 1827 in Cooperstown. As 4,000 people watched, Levi, who had been convicted of shooting and killing his tenant farmer in a rage, was transported to the gallows on a sleigh drawn by a team of black horses and escorted by a troop of militia cavalry, artillery, and four companies of infantry.

• The Anti-Rent Wars from 1839-1846 in which tenant farmers who objected to paying rent to land-holding "patroons" caused civic unrest. The Troy Citizen Corps and the Albany Burgess Corps, were called into the Helderberg Hills to restore order.

• The Dead Rabbits riot of 1857 during which the 8th and 71st Regiments New York State Militia, accompanied by 150 police, marched into the Five Points neighborhood of New York City with fixed bayonets to put down a rioting Irish-American gang.

• The Brooklyn Trolley Strike of 1895 during which governor deployed 7,000 New York National Guard Soldiers to protect company-owned equipment from sabotage by the strikers.

The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center is located at 61 Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs. The museum's exhibits tell the story of New Yorkers at war from the Revolution to the current conflicts.

The exhibits include a section on the 19th Century National Guard.

© NYS DMNA Press Release:Free Talk at NYS Military Museum March 14 Focuses on NY National Guard in 19th Century
URL: https://dmna.ny.gov/pressroom/?id=1583762368
Page Last Modified: Mar 09, 2020