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December 15, 2014

JURY: MOORE DID NOT WRITE FAMOUS TWAS CHRISTMAS POEM

Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Author,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 5:27 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

Jury: Moore Did Not Write Famous ‘Twas Christmas Poem

Courtroom Trial Verdict Challenges Holiday History in Troy, NY

HD Trial Footage & High Res Still Photos Available NOW

TROY, NY (Dec. 15, 2014) — A jury delivered a surprise verdict on Sunday that long-credited author Clement Clarke Moore did not write the most famous Christmas poem in history.

Trial Before Christmas Artwork by Ben Karis-NixThe holiday mock re-trial was held on Dec. 7, 2014 in the John T. Casey Ceremonial Courtroom at the Rensselaer County Courthouse in downtown Troy, the city where “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously, for the first time ever, in the Dec. 23, 1823 edition of the Troy Sentinel newspaper.

Six jurors, selected at random from the packed courthouse gallery, unanimously found that Major Henry Livingston Jr. of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. is the true author of those cherished verses that begin with the famous line “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“The people of Troy do like to route for the upstate underdog,” said trial creator Duncan Crary. “But this verdict came completely by surprise for all involved.”

LIVINGSTON v MOORE

Now in its second year, “The Trial Before Christmas” is a full-blown mock trial to determine “Who Really Wrote ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It is held in a real court, before a real (retired) judge, real attorneys, with real court guards and personnel.

The trial centers on a centuries-old authorship controversy between to old New York families.

Years after its un-credited publication in the Sentinel, in 1837, a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar named Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship and has been officially credited ever since. But descendants of Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman farmer of the Hudson Valley, claim their ancestor was the true, unrecognized author. Backing their assertions is Vassar College professor and literary forensics expert Don Foster, whose 2000 book “Author Unknown” presented a strong case for Livingston. On the other hand, Dr. Joe Nickell thoroughly refuted those claims in his book “Pen, Ink and Evidence,” also published in 2000. Both works and other research serve as inspiration for the upcoming courtroom showdown.

“There’s no question that Santa is real — because children believe in him!” said event creator Duncan Crary. “The question is: who wrote this magical poem that first sparked our belief in a distinctly American Santa known and loved around the world?”

Attny. E. Stewart Jones during cross examination of Pamela McColl, publisher of best-selling book titled

Photo Caption: Attny. E. Stewart Jones Jr. during cross examination of Pamela McColl, publisher of best-selling book titled “Twas The Night Before Christmas: edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st century” (Grafton and Scratch Publishers). Court Stenographer Judy DelCogliano transcribes the proceedings. | Photo by Neil Grabowsky, Jersey Nerds.

After a hung jury on Dec. 18 2013, this year’s case of Livingston v. Moore was once again tried by E. Stewart Jones, Jr., upstate New York’s preeminent trial attorney, representing the interests of Moore. Reprising their roles for the Livingston claim were Troy novelist/sole practicing attorney Jack Casey, author of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” and his daughter, attorney Molly Casey of Albany law firm Thuillez, Ford, Gold, Butler & Monroe.

Retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Edward O. Spain presided over this year’s retrial.

Expert testimony was given by City of Troy and Rensselaer County Historian Kathryn Sheehan, as well as Canadian anti-smoking advocate Pamela McColl, who famously published a version of the poem with all references to smoking removed (during her testimony, McColl furbished a letter by Moore that deplored smoking, thus calling into question his authorship of a jolly, smoking elf).

Three ghosts took the stand to testify as well: Maj. Henry Livingston Jr. , played by Byron Nilsson; Sarah Sackett, played by Kathleen Carey; and Clement Clarke Moore, played by Patrick McKenna.

“If they can vote in Troy, they can testify,” said each of the Caseys at different points, in response to Jones objections to calling the dead to the stand — and in tongue-in-cheek reference to a long history of voter fraud involving deceased residents of that city.

MOORE AND LIVINGSTON DESCENDANTS PRESENT

The ghost of Sarah Sackett (played by Kathleen Carey) interrupts testimony by the ghost of Maj. Henry Livingston, Jr. (played by Byron Nilsson). Also shown are Rensselaer County Court Guards Colleen Casey and Brian Pettit, NYS Supreme Court Justice Edward O. Spain, Ret., Court Clerk Beth Muller and Court Stenographer Judy DelCogliano. | Photo by Neil Grabowsky, Jersey Nerds..

Photo Caption: The ghost of Sarah Sackett (played by Kathleen Carey) interrupts testimony by the ghost of Maj. Henry Livingston, Jr. (played by Byron Nilsson). Also shown are Rensselaer County Court Guards Colleen Casey and Brian Pettit, NYS Supreme Court Justice Edward O. Spain, ret., Court Clerk Beth Muller and Court Stenographer Judy DelCogliano. | Photo by Neil Grabowsky, Jersey Nerds.

Seated at Jones’ table was Chris Post, a descendant of Clement C. Moore. Joining the Caseys was Mary Van Deusen, a descendant of Henry Livingston Jr., who was responsible for bringing the authorship controversy to the world’s attention in 2000 by enlisting the help of literary forensics expert Don Foster.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that Troy adopted Henry Livingston so enthusiastically, since Henry’s authorship has been a matter of passionate belief by so many along the Hudson River for decades before I was ever born,” Van Deusen said after the verdict. “If Henry belongs to anyone, it’s to those people who grew up with Henry’s same love of this vital and energetic Hudson Valley region.”

Crary said he would not be surprised if this year’s re-trial were declared a mis-trial, and for the Moore party to come back ready to reclaim their ancestor’s author credit in the future.

“We may never know who the true author of this poem was,” Crary said. “But the controversy is nearly as old as the poem itself, and this mock trial is a fun way to keep interest in this literature alive for another generation.”

MAYOR PROCLAIMS HENRY LIVINGSTON JR. DAY
Friday Dec. 19, Noon Ceremony at Sentinel Bldg. Troy, NY

Proclamation: Henry Livingston Jr. DayTroy Mayor Lou Rosamilia issued a proclamation to honor the jury’s historic verdict, finding Maj. Henry Livingston Jr. as the true author of “The Night Before Christmas.”

The mayor will present the proclamation during a brief ceremony at noon, on Friday, Dec. 19 in front of the historic Sentinel newspaper building in Troy at 225 River Street in downtown Troy. The ceremony will be attended by both the Jones and Casey legal teams, as well as by event creator Duncan Crary, and members of Gramercy Communications, major sponsors of The Trial Before Christmas.

Also present will be Uncle Sam re-enactor Fred Polnisch and “Sax-O-Claus” Luke McNamee.

“Troy, New York is the place where two of our greatest American icons, ‘Uncle Sam’ and ‘Santa Claus,’ first took shape,” said Crary. “It only makes sense for them to attend our Friday ceremony to recognize our community’s role in the history of national symbolism and myth.”

Crary said a traditional St. Nicholas, or “Sinterklaas,” will attend to meet his successor, Santa Claus, and that the two figures will exchange special gifts. (Dec. 19 is celebrated ast “St. Nicholas Day” in orthodox countries.)

DEC. 21 SCREENING OF TRIAL VIDEO

The Trial Before Christmas was filmed for a live simulcast and webcast by RPI TV. A special, edited and re-mixed video, featuring additional B-Roll footage, will be screened at Brown’s Revolution Hall on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. with suggested donation of $5.

Video editing and re-mixing is by Jersey Nerds. Revolution Hall is located at 425 River Street in Troy, NY. The edited video will be posted online at http://ChristmasTrial.com

PUBLICITY IMAGES

High resolution stills from The Trial Before Christmas 2014, copies of the original hand-illustrated artwork for the Trial, a copy of the Mayor’s proclamation and much more can be downloaded for media reproduction at:

http://duncancrary.com/St_Nick/images.html

Note: Television producers may contact Duncan Crary for HD trial footage of the Trial for use in holiday news broadcast packages. (You can view a recording of the live RPI TV broadcast now at the link above, now).

FOR INFORMATION

For information about The Trial Before Christmas 2013 & Retrial 2014, visit: http://ChristmasTrial.com

CONTACT:

For questions or to schedule interviews, contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

###

November 26, 2014

COURTROOM RETRIAL: WHO WROTE “‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” – Dec. 7, 2014

Filed under: Author,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 2:57 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

Courtroom Retrial to Determine True “Night Before Christmas” Author

Seeking a Verdict After Last Year’s Hung Jury: Livingston v. Moore

Dec. 7 “Trial Before Christmas” is a Real Life “Miracle on 34th Street” in Troy, New York
Feat. Star Attorney E. Stewart Jones Jr., anti-smoking publisher Pamela McColl, famous Livingston Descendant

TROY, N.Y. (Nov. 26, 2014) — A juried re-trial in a real courtroom this Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. aims to solve a centuries-old controversy over who really wrote one of the most beloved holiday poems in the world: “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Trial Before Christmas Artwork by Ben Karis-NixLast year, “The Trial Before Christmas” was a surprise holiday spectacle that gained national media attention and attracted more than 500 spectators to the Rensselaer County Courthouse – a standing-room-only crowd. But the jury was unable to reach a verdict, so the case will be heard again.

LIVINGSTON v. MOORE

“Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” a.k.a. “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was published anonymously for the first time ever in Troy, N.Y. by the Sentinel newspaper on December 23, 1823. And for nearly as long, two New York families have argued over who the poem’s true author was.

Years after its publication, in 1837, a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar named Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship and has been officially credited ever since. But descendants of Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman farmer of the Hudson Valley, claim he was the true, unrecognized author. Backing their assertions is Vassar College professor and literary forensics expert Don Foster, whose 2000 book “Author Unknown” presented a strong case for Livingston. On the other hand, Dr. Joe Nickell thoroughly refuted those claims in his book “Pen, Ink and Evidence,” also published in 2000. Both works and other research serve as inspiration for the upcoming courtroom showdown.

“There’s no question that Santa is real — because children believe in him!” said event creator Duncan Crary. “The question is: who wrote this magical poem that first sparked our belief in a distinctly American Santa known and loved around the world?”

AUTHENTIC COURTROOM EXPERIENCE WITH HOLIDAY CHEER

Representing Moore is Upstate New York’s preeminent litigator, E. Stewart Jones, Jr. On the side of Livingston will be Troy novelist and attorney Jack Casey, author of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” and his daughter, attorney Molly Casey of Albany law firm Thuillez, Ford, Gold, Butler & Monroe.

A third-generation lawyer, Jones heads the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm established in Troy in 1898 by his grandfather, Abbott Jones.

The trial’s ornate setting will be The John T. Casey Ceremonial Court, named for Jack Casey’s father who served there as State Supreme Court Justice.

Retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Edward O. Spain will hear the trial to settle the contested authorship.

Real court officers, a court clerk and a court stenographer will give mock trial goers an authentic experience. But the spirit will be fun and lively, Crary said, noting that a saxophone playing Santa Claus, elf and special guest will entertain the audience during a brief jury deliberation.

HUNG JURY IN 2013 > LOOKING FOR A VERDICT IN 2014

Last year on Wed., December 18, the Jones and Casey legal teams argued passionately on behalf of their “clients,” descendants of Clement C. Moore and Henry Livingston Jr. But a jury of six with one alternate — selected from the audience — was unable to reach a verdict.

This year, the case will be re-tried with the original legal teams reprising their roles during Troy’s 32nd Annual Victorian Stroll, a city-wide holiday festival that attracts more than 20,000 visitors.

“This year we’re going to do what it takes to get a verdict,” said attorney Jack Casey. “I intend to set the historical record straight and give Henry Livingston Jr. his rightful due as the true author of this magical poem.”

Jones, however, remains confident the jury will agree with the long-accepted authorship credit to Clement Clarke Moore.

“This is the most frivolous litigation ever brought before a judge in this illustrious courthouse,” Jones said. “I will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt in court that Moore was the author.”

Last year, Jones played up the case mostly for laughs. And laughs there were many. Casey, who also caused some riotous chuckles from the crowd, said he probably takes the arguments more seriously as he’s representing the underdog. “The people of Troy root for the underdog,” Casey said.

EXPERTS TO INCLUDE BEST SELLING AUTHOR PAMELA McCOLL

Pamela McColl

Famous Canadian anti-smoking advocate Pamela McColl will take the stand this year, to give expert testimony regarding the inclusion of a smoking Santa and how it reflects upon the views of the contesting authorship claims.

In 2012, McColl published a version of “Account of a Visit From Saint Nicholas” that removed all lines referring to the “jolly old elf” smoking. Her best-selling book, titled “Twas The Night Before Christmas, edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st century” (Grafton and Scratch Publishers), was the winner of four IBPA 2013 Benjamin Franklin Awards: including first place best cover, Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2012; Gold Medal best holiday book; first place at the Global International Ebook Awards best Christian children’s title; and gold place for the Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013.

McColl’s smoke-free edits to the classic poem captured international media attention including the Associated Press, NBC Nightly News, The Colbert Report, The View, the BBC and National Public Radio.

“Clement Clarke Moore was himself against smoking,” McColl said. “He likened the lure of tobacco to ‘opium’s treach’rous aid.’ So it is curious why he would include a smoking elf in a poem that was ultimately intended for children.”

McColl will selling and signing books at The Book Outlet in downtown Troy’s Uncle Sam Atrium on Saturday, Dec. 6 (Saint Nicholas Day) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Troy Farmers Market. She will also sell and sign books at the post-trial reception at 4 p.m. in the Troy Public Library.

Rensselaer County Historian Kathryn Sheehan will give also expert testimony.

“I think the evidence on both sides is compelling,” said Sheehan, who assisted Foster with research for the chapter of his book dedicated to the poem’s authorship controversy. “I’ll leave it up to the jury as to who really wrote the poem.”

As with last year, a few ghosts from Christmases Past are also expected to take the stand.

Jurors will be selected at random from the audience. Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis. There will be a live simulcast in the courthouse rotunda to accommodate overflow crowd. A post-trial party on the second floor of the neighboring Troy Public Library, with a $5 suggested donation to benefit that organization. For more information about this event, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or visit: http://DuncanCrary.com

David Baecker, associate professor of Theatre at Russell Sage College, serves as director of “The Trial Before Christmas.”

SPECIAL: LIVINGSTON DESCENDANT TO ATTEND

Mary Van Deusen, a descendant of Henry Livingston Jr., is slated to attend and sit with attorneys Jack Casey and Molly Casey during the trial. Van Deusen is responsible for bringing the authorship controversy to the world’s attention in 2000 by enlisting the help of literary forensics expert Don Foster. Her exhaustive family research is available online here:

http://www.henrylivingston.com

LIVE BROADCAST

In order to accommodate overflow crowds, there will be a live simulcast on a large movie screen in the Rensselaer County courthouse rotunda.

LIVE BROADCAST

The Trial Before Christmas will be filmed by RPI TV. To watch the trial live online at 2 p.m., visit: http://rpitv.org/productions/876-the-trial-before-christmas

There will be a live simulcast on a big screen in the Rensselaer County Courthouse rotunda for overflow crowd.

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN

The Trial Before Christmas has reached its $2000 minimum goal on Kickstarter, however donations are still encouraged and needed and will go directly to making this production as wonderful as possible.

Visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2079613722/the-trial-before-christmas-troy-ny

SPONSORSHIP

Troy Sentinel Building Gramercy Communications

Underwriting Sponsor of the event is Gramercy Communications, an independently-owned strategic communications agency headquartered in the historic Troy Sentinel building at 225 River Street. A bronze plaque commemorating the site where “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” was first published is affixed to the building’s exterior wall. It credits Moore as the author.

Gramercy Communications previously provided a grant to fund the digitization of the Troy Sentinel’s archives, including the edition featuring the historic poem, and donated the full archives to the Troy Public Library.

“Working in a building that was the former home a newspaper is not only appropriate for our firm, it’s inspiring. That inspiration is why we wanted to forever preserve the Troy Sentinel,” said Tom Nardacci, president and founder of Gramercy Communications. “And I’m excited to see if this year the jury will order us to add an asterisk to that plaque.”

TROY WINS NO MATTER

“I’d really love to see a verdict this year, after last year’s hung jury,” said Crary, 36, who promotes the city’s history and culture as an author and public relations consultant. “But either way, the City of Troy will remain the place that first shared this holiday gift with the world.”

PUBLICITY IMAGES

For high resolution publicity images of the attorneys, courthouse, a scan of Troy Sentinel featuring the poem, visit: http://duncancrary.com/St_Nick/images.html

This year’s “Trial Before Christmas” poster features the hand-drawn illustrations of Ben Karis-Nix, of Troy Cloth and Paper. It is available for download at the link above.

For information, visit: http://ChristmasTrial.com or facebook.com/NightBeforeChristmasTroy

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com

###

September 17, 2014

AUTHOR TELLS “INTERESTING TALES OF OTHER PEOPLE’S WOE”

Filed under: Author,Events,Features — duncan @ 2:48 am

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274 2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

Author Tells “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe”

Damon Stewart Writes Short Stories of Ordinary Lives Gone Awry

ALBANY, N.Y. (09/17/14) — A local author explores the experiences of those who surrender to their character flaws in a new collection of short stories.

Damon Stewart: Interesting Tales of Other People's WoeDamon Stewart’s “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe” (162 pages) presents 12 stories written over the span of 15 years, some previously published in various literary magazines.

The stories in “Woe” provide a glimpse into lives that have gone off in unpredictable directions, both bad and good.

“Not all the tales are truly about ‘woe’ — some characters find hope, even contentment, in this collection,” said Stewart. “But we can relate to all of them, or at least get a sense of our neighbor’s fear or wonder. Sometimes it’s not about where you end up, but how you got there.”

In “Deja Vu, You Too, Champ,” the author explores the concept of reincarnation and what would happen if one remembers all one’s past lives.

In “Fall Harvest,” Stewart makes the case that those awkward reencounters with long lost friends just don’t have to be that awkward. In other stories, we see the consequences of decisions we might have made but (fortunately) didn’t— e.g. what if you did run off with the that person you were infatuated with, leaving spouse, children and all trappings of your former life behind? What if your rage at a betrayal was given full rein? What if you did have that one-more-for-the road, after you’ve had one for the road?

“Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe” is about roads to “getting there”, both the paved and the rough path. Seven of the stories first appeared in the following literary journals: Word Riot, Salvage, Big Toe Press, Hobart, Amoskeag, Full Circle, and The Morpo Review.

“Woe” is available through Amazon in paperback and ebook editions. For information, and to read a sample story, visit: http://peopleswoe.com

PUBLICATION PARTY

The author will host a book publication party for “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woes” this Tuesday, Oct. 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen at 79 North Pearl St., in downtown Albany. The party is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The author will also lead a “Toast To Bad Decisions” (yours and others’). Improv performers from the Mop & Bucket Co. will riff on passages from the book. There will be drink specials inspired by the seedy characters who haunt Damon’s sordid imagination, as well as free finger foods. The band Hard Soul will perform a tribute song to the author and play a set during the after party.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Damon Stewart: Author

Damon Stewart lives in New York’s Capital Region. He has published short stories in several literary journals as well as travel and outdoor articles for national and regional magazines and newspapers. He is the author of “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe,” a short story collection published in 2014.

In 2007, he wrote and co-produced a pilot for a reality series, “The List.” In 2009, he wrote, produced and starred in a short film called “Shot Through The Heart.” His screenplay, “Termini Station,” was a finalist in the Fall 2011 Buffalo-Niagara Screenplay Competition.

He is seeking publication for a recently completed novel.

His website is http://peopleswoe.com.

PUBLICITY IMAGES

For high resolution author photos and publicity images, visit:

http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/DamonStewart.html

REVIEW COPIES, INTERVIEW REQUEST

To request a review copy of “Interesting Tales of Other People’s Woe” or to schedule an interview with Damon Stewart, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com

###

August 18, 2014

ESSAY: PINPOINTING FORT NASSAU 1614 (ALBANY)

Filed under: Author,Features,News — duncan @ 12:32 am

The following is an essay which may be reprinted in newspapers, magazines and blogs with attribution. For an accompanying press release, see: Researcher Pinpoints Long Lost 1614 Albany Fort, (Aug. 18, 2014).

Contact: John Wolcott, 518-465-8930
Lbecker7@gmail.com

Pinpointing Fort Nassau 1614 (Albany)

Location of long lost fort, at long last

By John Wolcott

Fort Nassau: the first Dutch trading house built in North America, was constructed on Castle (Westerlo) Island on the Upper Hudson where Albany, N.Y. is. It was but a small redoubt yet deemed the acorn from which sprouted the American Middle States. This trading post lasted only three years and was badly damaged by a spring freshet and abandoned. Eventually even its ruins were silted over and forgotten.

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.In 1796, Albany contemplated a plan to acquire patents for water lots and extend South End streets opposite the north end of Castle Island, out into the Hudson River. It was similar, on a smaller scale, to the way Manhattan expanded out into the Hudson and East Rivers. In the course of finally implementing this in the 1840s, dredging was found necessary to adjust the upper end of Castle Island and Island Creek to accommodate the plan.

At some point, as an incidental result of this dredging, the north side of Fort Nassau’s moat was broken into. This in turn, apparently caused a large washout area to the west and south of the fort’s remains. This temporary re-exposure of Fort Nassau was recorded on a survey of the Upper Hudson conducted in 1861 by the U.S. Coast Survey and printed by them in 1863. I have the good fortune of owning one of these scarce charts. By the way of some slightly painstaking intermediate measures, I transferred the fort’s quadrangle from the 1863 printed chart onto a current satellite image. The little orange square on this satellite image is about 60 foot square, which squares with the only contemporary source for the fort’s quadrangle plan. It’s in a text block on Adriaen Block’s “NIEUNEDER LANDT” chart of 1614. This reads: “Fort van Nassauen is binnen de wallen 58 voeten wydt in’t vierkant.” This will I English as: “Nassau’s Fort has within its walls a 58 foot quadrangle.” This is the little “lump” with a sort of wedge or tail below it on the detail enlargement of the 1863 chart. Close to 60 feet English (American) measure would be 58 feet Rynland Measure.

OF DOUBTS AND REDOUBTS

Don Rittner, archaeologist and president of the Onrust Project, suspects two additional Fort Nassau about half a mile south of that which I have pinpointed – these would be opposite the Normans Kill which flows into Island Creek from the west. One spot of Don’s is on the west bank of Castle Island, there. The first spot seems to be indicated on Block’s Nieuneder Landt chart as referenced to above. The second is on a chart of 1616 two years later. So there could be not one but three sites, although only one is now pin pointed and should be tested A.S.A.P.

Why are we, here, met with such seeming anomalies? I can’t really say considering the paucity of contemporary written sources in this case. Strata, features and artifacts can be “read” in many a good site. Once my pinpointed site is archaeologically tested and explored and the other two suspected places searched, perhaps a nagging and persistent local legend might be affirmed or denied. This legend has it that a French Chateaux was built on Castle Island in 1540 and that Fort Nassau was constructed atop the ruins of the Chateaux.

John R. Wolcott
August 2014

Contact: John Wolcott, 518-465-8930
Lbecker7@gmail.com

For a full press release regarding these findings, see: Researcher Pinpoints Long Lost 1614 Albany Fort, (Aug. 18, 2014).

Maps of Fort Nassau

Courtesy of John Wolcott

Map: Fort Nassau Site Today, by John Wolcott

To Download Image (3.6 MB), right-click this link: FortNassau-JohnWolcott.jpg

Graphic: Fort Nassau Site Today, based on John Wolcott’s Findings

To Download Image (2.5 MB), right-click this link: FtNassauGoogleEarth.jpg

Caption: An illustration showing location of Fort Nassau site, based on John Wolcott’s findings.

1614 Chart

Caption: This 1614 chart, attributed to attributed to Adriaen Block, positions Fort Nassau at 43 degrees north latitude. The writings of Joannes de Laet also support this: “On the east lies a long broken island, through which several creeks find a passage, forming several islands, extending nearly to the island on which the fort was erected, in latitude 43˚.” John Wolcott analyzed this early latitude for problems caused by instruments of that time to pinpoint the location on later maps and charts.

Map Detail: “Noort Rivier in Niew Neerlandt”

To Download Image (156 KB), right-click this link: FortNassauMap01.jpg [To download the entire map at full resolution, visit: http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3802h.ct001070]

Caption: Map by Johannes Vingboons, “Noort Rivier in Niew Neerlandt,” showing location of abandoned Fort Nassau and Fort Orange on the mainland. The Library of Congress dates the map at 1639. John Wolcott believes the map was actually created earlier, probably in 1626. Image courtesy of Don Rittner.

Map: Fort Nassau Site 1863 Detail, courtesy John Wolcott

To Download Image (2.5 MB), right-click this link: USCoastSurvey-Crop-Detail-CourtesyJohnWolcott.jpg [To download full original map (339 MB), USCoastSurvey-Full-CourtesyJohnWolcott.tif

Caption: Detail showing site of Fort Nassau Courtesy of John Wolcott, from: “Preliminary Chart of Hudson River Sheet No. 3 From Poughkeepsie to Troy New York. From a Trigonometrical Survey under the direction of A.D. BACHE Superintendent of the SURVEY OF THE COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. 1863”

1910 Chart (John Wolcott’s “Rosetta Map”)

To Download Image (2.7 MB), right-click this link: 1910Map-Wolcott.jpg

Caption: John Wolcott used Joannes de Laet’s description of the island fort at “43 degrees” to locate it on an 1863 hand drawn copy of a 1614 map attributed to Adriaen Block. He then analyzed this early latitude for problems caused by instruments of that time to pinpoint the location on later maps and charts.

For a press release regarding Wolcott’s findings, see: Researcher Pinpoints Long Lost 1614 Albany Fort, (Aug. 18, 2014).

July 20, 2014

THE LEGEND OF MAJOR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, “TICONDEROGA” JULY 1758

Filed under: #TroyCrazy,Author,Business,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 6:04 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

The Legend of Major Duncan Campbell, “Ticonderoga” July 1758

A Spirited Re-Telling of New York’s First World-Famous Ghost Story, 7/24

TROY, N.Y. (7/21/14) — The Scottish spirits will haunt and flow in Brown’s Malt Room this Thursday night.

A Ghost Story With Whisky - Duncan Crary at Brown's Malt Room, July 24, 2014 - 6 p.m.On July 24, at 6 p.m., Troy storyteller Duncan Crary will spin a candle-lit account of the legend of Major Duncan Campbell of the Black Watch, a Scottish highlander who met his eerie fate during the failed British attack on Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) in upstate New York, July 1758.

According to legend, a ghost foretold of the major’s death many years prior at his home in Inverawe, Scotland.

“Robert Louis Stevenson made the story of Major Duncan Campbell world famous in his 1887 poem, ‘Ticonderoga,’” said Crary. “But it was already well-known in these parts, and in the west of Scotland, for more than a century before that.”

The evening will also feature:

  • Soothing tunes on the Scottish small pipes (what Crary calls “indoor bagpipes”), played by Alex Bartholomew of New Paltz;
  • A free tasting of single malt scotches, by West Highland distiller Jura;
  • Fine Scottish small plates prepared in-house.
  • Menu:

    Scotch Egg – $8

    Roast Cornish Hen with Scottish Black Pudding – $14

    Venison Pasties – $10

    Traditional Scottish Gladloch Sausage – $12

    Smoked Scottish King Salmon – $13

    Bread & Cheese: Scratch made bread with a selection of Windsor Red, Cahill Irish Porter, Cypress Grove Midnight Moon cheeses – $13

    (Sorry, no haggis).

    Admission and Scotch samples are free. The Malt Room opens at 5 p.m. Music will begin at 6 p.m. Crary will tell the story shortly after, when the crowd is ready.

    The Malt Room is located at 425 River Street in downtown Troy (in the basement of Revolution Hall). The entrance is in the rear, immediately north of the Brown’s Brewing Co. taproom deck.

    A WEE BIT OF HISTORY
    From the West Highlands to the Adirondacks

    Major Duncan Campbell was a real figure in both Scottish and North American history. Laird of the Scottish House of Inverawe, he served as an officer in the 42nd (Highland) Regiment — a famously fierce military unit in Scotland, known as the dreaded “Black Watch.”

    The Grave of Major Duncan Campbell, Union Cemetery.In 1756, the Black Watch was dispatched to North America, by the British crown, to fight in the French and Indian War. In the spring of 1758, Major Duncan Campbell and the Black Watch marched north from Albany to attack the French-controlled Fort Carillon (later named Fort Ticonderoga) on Lake Champlain.

    There, the battle that ensued on July 8 was the bloodiest and most dramatic of the war, with more than 3,000 total casualties estimated by historians. The Black Watch suffered the heaviest of all military units on either side, but the mounting deaths of their comrades only fueled their fury on the front lines.

    About half of the 1,000 Black Watch soldiers in action that day were killed, and many more were wounded — including Major Duncan Campbell who died 9 days later. He was buried in a relative’s plot at Fort Edward. Later, Campbell’s remains were moved to Union Cemetery between Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, where they are now located in the Jane McCrea lot.

    One year after the battle, the British finally captured Fort Carillon and renamed it “Ticonderoga,” an anglicized Iroquois word meaning “it is at the junction of two waterways.”

    NOW, A WEE BIT OF LEGEND
    Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

    “No ghost story is more widely known or better authenticated than that of Duncan Campbell of Inverawe,” writes Frederick B. Richards in his circa 1910 publication, “The Black Watch at Ticonderoga and Major Duncan Campbell of Inverawe.”

    The Grave of Major Duncan Campbell, Union Cemetery.The widely circulated legend of Major Duncan Campbell says a desperate man came knocking wildly on the doors of the house of Inverawe one night. He had blood on his hands and kilt, and begged for sanctuary — a sacred oath of protection granted in the Highlands of Scotland.

    Duncan vowed to shelter the man and swore on his dirk, a traditional and ceremonial dagger worn by Highland Scots.

    Soon after, a group of men arrived at Inverawe to inform Duncan Campbell that a highwayman had murdered his cousin, Donald Campbell. The men had last seen the murderer heading that way. But Duncan had already given his word that he would shelter the very same bandit, and so he concealed him from the gang.

    Twice, the ghost of Donald Campbell visited Duncan Campbell, and twice demanded that his death be avenged by his kin. But Duncan kept his oath, and on the third visit the apparition warned him: “Farewell Inverawe. Farewell till we meet again at TICONDEROGA.”

    At the time, neither Duncan nor any highland Scots he consulted had ever heard the strange word. From that day forth, it haunted and perplexed him — “Ticonderoga” — until many years later on the march north from Albany, New York to the French-controlled Fort Carillon. The British were joined during that campaign by their Iroquois — or Haudenosaunee — allies, whose name for that place was tekontaró:ken, which sounded very much like “Ticonderoga.”

    Sure enough, on the eve of battle the ghost of Donald Campbell visited the tent of a terrified Major Duncan Campbell to give one last word that Duncan would soon pay for his betrayal.

    The following day, as the battle raged in North America and the brave Black Watch soldiers were cut down by the French, it is said in Scotland that the clouds over the House of Inverawe took the form of the soldiers and re-enacted the futile assault … until the blow was delivered that would end the life of Major Duncan Campbell.

    “An old sailor friend of mine in Glasgow, Scotland once told me to ‘Never let the facts get in the way of a good story,’” Crary said. “I’ll give a proper history of the old Major and the Black Watch, but I won’t be letting those pesky facts get in the way of this ripping good yarn, either.”

    ** End Spoilers **

    STEVENSON: THE LEGEND GROWS

    The renowned Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson contracted tuberculosis in the late 19th century and headed to the Adirondacks of New York State to take the cure at the famous Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake. It’s there he first heard the tale of Major Duncan Campbell from the locals who knew it well. In December of 1887, Stevenson published the tale in Scribner’s Magazine as the poem: “Ticonderoga a Legend of the West Highlands.” It was an instant and global success.

    Illustration of Major Duncan Campbell, Scribner's 1887.“Stevenson made a few mistakes in his account — most notably, he named his character ‘Duncan Cameron,’” said Crary. “Sure, there were Camerons on the battle pitch that day, but this ghostly tale belongs to none other than Duncan Campbell of Inverawe, Major of the Black Watch.”

    This Thursday night, Crary will spin his own version of the tale, building upon Stevenson’s poem, historical accounts and his own family’s contributions. One element Crary will give more prominence to is the role of the Mohawk allies of the British and their special relationship to the Scots Highlanders they fought alongside.

    Crary’s full name is Duncan Campbell Crary. And while Duncan Campbell is one of the most common Scottish names, his parents named him after Major Duncan Campbell in particular. The family’s Scottish ancestors, both Crary and Campbell, settled upstate New York during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

    “What is a Scotsman without his word? Aye, but what is a Highlander without his kin and clan to count on?” Crary asked. “This is the predicament our hero found himself in, with no way out.”

    PUBLICITY IMAGES

    To download high-resolution publicity images, including an event poster, a recent photograph of Major Duncan Campbell’s grave and an image from Stevenson’s 1887 poem in Scribner’s magazine, visit:

    http://duncancrary.com/clients/DuncanCampbell.html

    ABOUT THE MALT ROOM

    Brown’s basement Malt Room bar is a refined space offering 3 cask conditioned ales from its copper top bar as well as nearly 40 single malt scotches, 20 small batch bourbons and a variety of well crafted proper cocktails. A menu of light tapas changes weekly. Located beneath Brown’s Revolution Hall, the Malt Room is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 pm until close.

    For information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/brownsmaltroom

    ABOUT DUNCAN CRARY

    Storyteller Duncan Campbell Crary, pictured at Brown's Malt Room

    Duncan Crary is an author, storyteller, podcaster and events organizer in Troy, New York. He wandered the empty nesses of Scotland, alone, when his worldview was still forming. His website is: http://DuncanCrary.com

    CONTACT

    Duncan Crary, (518) 274-2723, DCC@DuncanCrary.com
    Gregg Stacy, (518) 698-8330, gregg@brownsbrewing.com

    enjoy mactroy. symbol

    ###

February 27, 2014

AUTHOR TELLS HOW SHE CONQUERED HER OCD WITHOUT MEDICATION

Filed under: Author,Features — duncan @ 1:13 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

Author Tells How She Conquered Her OCD Without Medication

“OCD and Me: My Unconventional Journey Through Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (2/27/14) — A new book tells the story of how a life-long sufferer conquered her own Obsessive Compulsive Disorder without medication.

OCD And Me (Cover)“Some people suffering from OCD definitely do need medication, but I don’t think people realize there are alternatives to try before they subject themselves to medication which can have disagreeable side effects,” said author and former OCD sufferer Bess Cunningham. “Medication often only treats the symptoms, but not the underlying disorder. Understanding of what is happening to them and natural therapies can be very helpful to some sufferers, especially children.”

“OCD and Me: My Unconventional Journey through Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” by Bess Cunningham (PlantaPress, Liverpool, U.K., Dec. 2013), includes the author’s personal narrative with OCD, supplemented by interviews with OCD specialists, and information on natural therapies that help to alleviate OCD, anxiety, and depression.

“This is not a clinical book. It’s a creative informational work that’s meant to connect with the reader on an emotional level,” Cunningham said. “I want my readers with OCD to know that they’re not alone in what they’re experiencing — and for their friends and loved ones to better understand what it feels like to have OCD.”

Cunningham has learned to laugh at some of her past experiences with OCD. But she still can’t laugh at the isolation and humiliation she felt as a child. In grade school, she had a pet goldfish that she loved very much. One morning she had an intrusive thought that told her to wear a particular red headband every day or else her fish would die.

“I was very anxious about wearing the same headband every day,” Cunningham said. “My Granny used to wash it, but I didn’t even want her to wash it. I just wanted to wear it so my fish would be all right. This went on for years.”

One day, she told the kids in her class why she wore the headband, and she was picked on and teased thereafter. “I felt terrible,” she said. “I would get stomach aches from the ridicule. That’s what happens when you speak about this condition. And, no, I can’t laugh at that story. But I can laugh about a lot of other things.”

At one point Cunningham’s OCD was so bad, she had to withdraw from college. But it was not until 1999 that she gained insight about widespread her condition was. After psychotherapy sessions failed to help her, she turned to the Internet and found an online discussion board for OCD sufferers and professionals exploring treatments.

“I used to just live with it, as best I could,” said Cunningham. “But one thing led to another and I learned about professionals like Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, who advocates for a four step self-treatment behavioral therapy approach that helped me a lot. I believe you can change your brain chemistry, and you can do that naturally, by listening to music, immersing yourself in humor, using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), taking Inositol, which is a form of Vitamin B, as well as other natural therapies in the book.”

An interview with Dr. Schwartz, author of “Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior” (Harper Perennial, 1997) appears in “OCD and Me.” The book also includes an appendix of resources and an extensive bibliography and information about other OCD specialists.

“My hope is that this book will inspire and teach OCD sufferers that they don’t have to live this way,” Cunningham said. “There’s humor in my book, but there’s a lot of pain, too, that people can empathize with.”

“OCD and Me” is available through booksellers across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and through Amazon. Illustrations are by David Michael Lyndon Thomas.

REVIEW COPIES/ PUBLICITY ART

For an author photo and book cover, visit: http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/OCDandMe.html

To request an interview or review copy, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com

Bess CunninghamABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bess Cunningham was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is President of Landing Gear, a Brooklyn based company with retail stores in the New York area, which she and her husband run. She is also a mother, a photographer and book editor. None of this would be possible without her conquering her severe OCD, which she did alone and without medication.

She blogs at http://besscunningham.blogspot.com (OCD and Me)

Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/OCDandME

###

January 27, 2014

OIL PLANT COULD DESTROY 1614 DUTCH FORT IN ALBANY, N.Y.

Filed under: Author,Features,News,peak oil — duncan @ 12:38 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Don Rittner, 518-378-9256 drittner@aol.com
John Wolcott, 518-465-8930 beverwyck1@nycap.rr.com

Oil Plant Could Destroy 1614 Dutch Fort in Albany, New York

Historians: First Dutch Habitation in North America Located at Port of Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (1/27/14) — A proposed facility to heat crude oil at the Port of Albany could forever destroy “Fort Nassau,” North America’s oldest Dutch habitation built in January, 1614, say historians. But the structure could be saved, if the project is handled correctly.

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.“This is probably the most important European archaeological site in North America,” said historian, author and archaeologist Don Rittner. “Right now in January, 400 years ago, the Dutch were building Fort Nassau. This structure represents the first real presence of the Dutch in North America, but there is a chance it could be destroyed. The timing is amazing.”

Fort Nassau was constructed during a 1613 trading expedition for the Amsterdam Van Tweenhysen Company, commanded by Captain Adriaen Block. In January 1614, Block remained in New York Bay but sent Hedrick Christiaensen and his crew up the Hudson River (then called the “North River”) to build a trading post, named Fort Nassau.

The fort was located on “Castle Island,” which has since gone by several other names, and was later buried under silt and earth. Fort Nassau became the focal point for the North American fur trade in the Northeast, where the Dutch and indigenous Mohicans traded goods for fur. It also became the staging point for expeditions to seek out mineral deposits and other natural resources for exploitation.

After several washouts by the Hudson River spring floods, and a final severe flood in 1617, the Dutch moved on to the mainland and built Fort Orange, which in 1970 was partially excavated before an exit from I-787 was placed on top of it.

Today, Global Companies plans to build a facility to heat crude oil at the Port of Albany in the general vicinity of where Albany historian and cartographic sleuth John Wolcott has determined that the original Fort Nassau is located. Wolcott was responsible for finding the remains of the original Fort Orange in the early 1970s.

“John Wolcott is very good at reading old maps, old measurements, old triangulations,” Rittner said. “If John tells you something’s in the ground, I’ll put money on it.”

Wolcott has been searching for the remains of Fort Nassau for 50 years. He is now confident that he knows the precise location of the structure. And he does not want to see Albany repeat the same mistake it made with Fort Orange when it buried the colonial fort beneath a highway exit.

“That was so stressing and hurtful to me, personally and publicly,” Wolcott said of the loss of Fort Orange. “Fort Nassau wasn’t a permanent settlement, but it was the beginning of it all here in the Northeast. Let’s finally save one.”

Wolcott is not the only historian who believes Fort Nassau is located on the site of the planned boiler plant. Historian Shirley Dunn, former curator of Fort Crailo in Rensselaer and author of “The Mohicans and Their Land 1609-1730,” published proof of the general whereabouts of Fort Nassau.

“One key to finding the general location of Fort Nassau is a map made by Johannes Vingboons, one of the most masterful cartographers of his time,” Wolcott said. “Shirley Dunn looked at the original map, which was probably made in 1626, and there’s a little smudge at the north end of the island just before you come up to Fort Orange. She enlarged the smudge and found it to be a ruined building which she determined to be Fort Nassau.”

Wolcott also found further verification of the fort’s location by reinterpreting the latitude provided by the historical writer Joannes de Laet. (The latitude reading reported by de Laet must be adjusted for problems caused by being inland using instruments of that time, Wolcott said.)

Based on a contemporary record, Wolcott says the dimensions of Fort Nassau are 58 feet across the quadrangle, surrounded by an 18-foot moat. That poses higher probability of finding something.

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.

ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLANT

Global Companies, a unit of Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., plans to build a 2,600-square-foot facility at the port’s rail yard to heat crude as it is pumped out of rail cars and into storage tanks. The oil will then be shipped out on barges headed downriver toward refineries on the east coast. Global’s application does not specify what kind oil would be heated, but many worry it will be volatile tar sands from Canada.

The proposed boiler plant will have to be reviewed by the Albany Planning Board, and will be subject to an archaeological review. If handled correctly, with sensitivity to the historical importance of this structure, a compromise could be achieved that would save the fort, Rittner said.

“If they find this fort, you can preserve it,” Rittner said. “You can design the plant so that it incorporates the fort into the site plan. You can display any artifacts in a structure on site, or move them to the museum. But you can also expose part of the fort for the public to go see. This is located in a place that is easily accessible to the public and near a public park.”

Wolcott and Rittner are 100 percent opposed to anything being constructed over the ruins of the fort if they are found.

The next planning board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20, but so far the proposed boiler plant does not yet appear on the agenda. That means there’s still time for the City of Albany to advocate for the best possible outcome, Rittner said.

MAJOR HERITAGE TOURISM DOLLARS AT STAKE

“Heritage tourism is one of the biggest industries in America. Heritage tourists stay an extra day or two and spend up to $600 more than average tourists. The stats are there. The economy is there. And we do next to nothing to promote our heritage in this region,” Rittner said. “Gettysburg rakes in more money in heritage tourism than all of the Capital District sites combined, and all they have is a Civil War Battlefield – we have 400 years of history here. What we do instead is find the sites and put parking lots on top of them. Then the politicians complain: ‘I don’t know why we don’t get tourists here.’ My response is: ‘Well we’ve got plenty of places for them park. But what they want to see is underneath.’”

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.LACK OF CITY ARCHAEOLOGIST COULD LEAD TO MAJOR LAWSUITS

Don Rittner was the City Archaeologist for Albany from 1973 to 1979, the first position of its kind in the United States, during the Erastus Corning II administration.

The City Charter for Albany calls for a City Archaeologist to “advise the Mayor, the Common Council, the Historic Resources Commission, the Planning Board, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Commissioner of Public Safety the Division of Building and Codes, the Engineering Department, and the Planning Department on archaeological matters in the City of Albany,” — Section 7. Section 42-360(A) of Part 35 (Office of the City Archaeologist) of Chapter 42 of the Code of the City of Albany.

The city budget has annually allocated $55,000 for the position, but that position has been unfilled for years.

“Albany is opening itself up to major lawsuits,” Rittner said, with respect to archaeological sites. “But lawsuits can’t bring back what is destroyed. We must be sure this site is preserved, now.”

CALL TO ACTION

Concerned citizens from any area are encouraged to write a letter to the city planning board at:

The Department of Development & Planning
21 Lodge Street Albany, NY 12207
P: (518) 434-2532 | F: (518) 434-9846

MORE ARTICLES

For more information on Fort Nassau and the proposed boiler plant, read Don Rittner’s Times Union Blog posts:

HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES

For historical maps and details showing Fort Nassau, visit:

http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/FortNassau.html

CONTACT:

Don Rittner, 518-378-9256 drittner@aol.com
John Wolcott, 518-465-8930 beverwyck1@nycap.rr.com

###

December 10, 2013

COURT TRIAL WILL DETERMINE TRUE “NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” AUTHOR

Filed under: Author,Events,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 1:34 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
DCC@DuncanCrary.com

Court Trial Will Determine True “Night Before Christmas” Author

“Livingston v. Moore” Gets Real Life “Miracle on 34th Street” Treatment in Troy NY, featuring Star Attorney E. Stewart Jones Jr. & others.

TROY, N.Y. (Dec. 10, 2013) — A juried courtroom trial aims to solve a centuries-old controversy over who really wrote one of the most beloved holiday poems in the world.

Livingston v. Moore“A Visit from St. Nicholas” a.k.a. “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” was published anonymously for the first time ever in Troy, N.Y. by the Sentinel newspaper on December 23, 1823.

Clement Clarke Moore, a wealthy biblical scholar of Manhattan, later claimed authorship and has been officially credited ever since. But Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman farmer of the Hudson Valley, may have been the true, unrecognized author, according to his descendants. Backing their assertions is Vassar College professor and literary forensics expert Don Foster, whose 2000 book “Author Unknown” presented a strong case for Livingston. On the other hand, Dr. Joe Nickell thoroughly refuted those claims in his book “Pen, Ink and Evidence,” also published in 2000. Both works served as inspiration for the upcoming courtroom showdown.

“We’re giving this literary whodunit a full-blown mock trial that’s a bit like a real life ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’” said event host Duncan Crary, an author and public relations consultant in Troy. “Even the court officers will be on duty to complete the authentic trial experience.”

Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m., two noted Troy attorneys will square off before a judge, jury and spectators at the Rensselear County Courthouse, at 80 Second St. in downtown Troy, to determine the literal truth.

AUTHENTIC COURTROOM EXPERIENCE WITH HOLIDAY CHEER

Representing Moore is upstate New York’s preeminent litigator, E. Stewart Jones, Jr. On the side of Livingston will be Troy novelist and attorney Jack Casey, author of “The Trial of Bat Shea,” and his daughter, attorney Molly Casey of Albany law firm Thuillez, Ford, Gold, Butler & Monroe. Both sides have a tenured history of law practice in the city.

A third-generation lawyer, Jones heads the E. Stewart Jones Law Firm. The prestigious Troy firm was established in 1898 by his grandfather, Abbott Jones, who famously defended Prohibition gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond in an infamous Dec. 17, 1931 trial in the same courtroom where “Livingston v. Moore” will be tried.

The trial’s ornate setting will be The John T. Casey Ceremonial Court, named for Jack Casey’s father who served there as State Supreme Court Justice.

Retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Bernard J. Malone will hear the trial to settle the contested authorship.

Real court officers, providing security, will give mock trial goers an authentic experience. But the spirit will be fun and lively, Crary said, noting that a saxophone playing Santa Claus is expected to entertain the audience during a brief jury deliberation.

PLAYING FOR THE WIN, FOR LAUGHS

Casey is taking seriously his chance to defeat his formidable opponent in court. “We’re representing the underdog, Henry Livingston,” Casey said. “But Troy folks like the underdog.”

Jones said he plans to play for laughs. “This is the most frivolous litigation ever brought before a judge in this illustrious courthouse,” Jones joked. “I will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt in court that Moore was the author.”

Actors playing the spirits of Livingston and Moore will take the stand under the direction of David Baecker, an assistant professor of Theatre at Russell Sage College.

Rensselear County Historian Kathryn Sheehan will give expert testimony.

“I think the evidence on both sides is compelling,” said Sheehan, who assisted Foster with research for the chapter of his book dedicated to the poem’s authorship controversy. “I’ll leave it up to the jury as to who really wrote the poem.”

Troy Sentinel Building Gramercy Communications

Jurors will be selected at random from the audience. Admission is free and open to the public on a first come, first seated basis. There will be a post-trial party at the nearby Rensselaer County Historical Society, with a $5 suggested donation to benefit that organization. For information about this event, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or visit: DuncanCrary.com

Sponsoring the event is Gramercy Communications, a public relations firm headquartered in the historic Troy Sentinel building at 225 River Street. A bronze plaque commemorating the site where “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” was first published is affixed to the building’s exterior wall, crediting Moore as the author.

“The jury might order us to include an asterisk with that plaque,” said Tom Nardacci, founder and president of Gramercy Communications. Nardacci paid to have the Sentinel newspaper’s archives digitized, including the edition featuring the poem, and donated them to the Troy Public Library.

“Regardless of this trial’s outcome, Troy, New York will remain the undisputed place that first shared this holiday treasure with the world,” said Crary, 35, who promotes the city’s history and culture as an author and public relations consultant. “‘A Visit From Saint Nicholas’ first introduced the classic imagery we now associate with Santa Claus. This little city gave America two endearing symbols of our nation’s ideals: Uncle Sam, our nation’s personification based on a Troy meatpacker Samuel Wilson, and that jolly old elf, Santa Claus.”

Crary plans to release a video podcast of the trial on his Troy based program, “A Small American City,” at: http://asmallamericancity.com

PUBLICITY IMAGES

For high resolution publicity images of attorneys, courthouse and scan of Troy Sentinel featuring the poem, visit: http://duncancrary.com/St_Nick/images.html

For information, visit: DuncanCrary.com or facebook.com/NightBeforeChristmasTroy

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com

###

September 27, 2013

TROY AUTHOR HOSTS OPEN HOUSE FEAT. NEW MURALS, HORSE STABLES, ALBUM RELEASE

Filed under: Author,Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 11:52 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jack Casey 518-274-4830 (office) 441-8685 (mobile)
jackcaseyj@aol.com

Troy Author Hosts Open House Feat. New Murals, Horse Stables, Album Release

Jack Casey Displays Hudson River Art, Restores Rare Building Features 47 Second St.

TROY, N.Y. (09/27/13) — Troy novelist Jack Casey opens his home for Troy Night Out this Sept. 27 to display a series of Hudson River murals commissioned for an office in his downtown row house.

North River Mural by Paul BoucheyThe public will also have the opportunity to tour a rare example of an ornate, second story urban horse stables undergoing restoration in Casey’s rear carriage house. The Open House will occur from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 47 Second St. in downtown Troy.

“The Hudson River is a great unspoken force that flows through all our lives,” Casey said. “It was sacred to the Native Americans who called it ‘the river that flows both ways’ because of the tide. It brought the Europeans here, engendered the Industrial Revolution and served as America’s first information highway with the opening of the Erie Canal. I have converted this back office into my study and in celebrating the river’s profound influence in our states history, hopefully I’ll draw influence for new work.”

The murals were painted by Troy artist Paul Bouchey. In Bouchey’s depiction, the river flows above the room’s chair rail and features depictions of Olana, the Clermont mansion, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside and the bustling Troy river front in the heyday of steam power.

Bouchey earned a BFA from Pratt Institute, NYC, and has spent 25 years as a specialized decorative painter and designer. He has assisted in the restoration of two historic theaters, Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, N.Y. and Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vt.

“I’ve now visited the Hudson River three times as a mural subject,” Bouchey said. “The river is an endless source of fascination and inspiration.”

Laura Madia designed and hung the swags and draperies in the room with an early-American theme.

“I wanted to enhance and frame Paul’s beautiful work,” she said. “I accentuated the rich earthy tones of the reds and ochres with a bit of gold trim. The faded stars on the swags blend a feeling of the starry night sky above the sunny day in the rest of the room as the river flows through time and space.”

Madia is a free-lance artisan based in Troy, specializing in window treatments and slip covers.

Casey will also perform music from his new album, “Ya Don’t Know Jack!” Visitors will receive a free CD. For information and to listen online, visit: http://jackcasey.com/yadontknowjack

Horse Stables 47 Second St

PUBLICITY IMAGES

For high resolution photographs of Jack Casey’s Hudson River murals, the urban horse stables, an album cover and an author photo, visit:

http://duncancrary.com/clients/JackCasey.html

ABOUT JACK CASEY

Jack Casey is the author of “Kateri – Lily of the Mohawks,” “The Trial of Bat Shea,” and “A Land Beyond the River,” historical novels about the Hudson-Mohawk corridor with themes of politics and social change. He also recently authored “A Parliament of Fowls,” a political satire loosely based upon his days as Parliamentarian to the New York State Senate when the Republicans staged a “coup” to seize back power after the first Obama landslide.

For information, visit: http://JackCasey.com

###

May 29, 2013

FUNDAMENTALIST LOSES CHRISTIAN FAITH WHILE WRITING BOOK ON EVOLUTION

Filed under: Author,Features — duncan @ 1:26 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Fundamentalist Loses Christian Faith While Writing Book on Evolution

“Evolving out of Eden” Refutes All Attempts to Reconcile “Theistic Evolution” with Science

VALLEY, Wash. (05/29/13) — A new book by two ex-Christians argues that Christian theology and evolutionary science cannot be reconciled, no matter how sincere the attempt.

Evolving out of Eden by Robert M. Price and Edwin A. Suominen “Evolving out of Eden: Christian Responses to Evolution” (Tellectual Press, March 2013) is co-authored by biblical scholar Robert M. Price and Edwin A. Suominen.

“When we first started on this book, I was a struggling Christian,” Suominen said. “I had accepted the reality of evolution, but could not see a way to resolve the conflict between science and my inherited faith. And now that the last page is written, I know that there isn’t one.”

The book began as a collaboration between Robert M. Price, a biblical scholar and atheist, and Suominen, who was a believing Christian at the start. Both accepted the reality of evolution, and agreed to research its theological implications and the various ways that Christian writers have tried to smooth over the conflict between science and faith.

“There are a lot of books and web sites that try to reassure the faithful that they can safely disregard or reinterpret scientific findings,” Suominen said. “But it just doesn’t work. Genetics is real, and Genesis isn’t. It pained me to finally acknowledge this, but there is no deliberate design of humans or any other forms of life.”

While the authors themselves no longer consider themselves religious, they are not anti-religious and both hold a great deal of respect and affection for religion, Christianity, the Bible and Christian theology.

“After 40 years in fundamentalist Christianity, I’m not ready to call myself an atheist,” Suominen said. “But after co-authoring this book, I can’t see where there’s any room for a god.”

“Evolving out of Eden” begins by providing a crash course in evolutionary theory, as understood and explained by leading scientists in the field. Next, the book delves into the vast history of biblical creation stories and explains how they came to be and what they meant to their writers. The authors, Price and Suominen, explain how Christians through the centuries have interpreted and re-interpreted these stories in order to make them fit with an ever-expanding scientific knowledge. Religion originally provided the explanations, they note, but now it is what requires so much explaining. And they illustrate how these attempts to combine science with Creationism have always failed.

“Evolving out of Eden” is available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon.com. It is also available in Nook. For information, visit: http://evolvingoutofeden.com

PRAISE FOR EVOLVING OUT OF EDEN

Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine, calls “Evolving out of Eden” an “unprecedented … joint effort by a theologian and a highly accomplished engineer, both former Christian believers,” to analyze and develop “the theology and the science behind more than a century of Christian responses to the challenge posed by Darwinian evolution.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Robert M. Price holds a PhD in systematic theology from Drew University (1981) and a PhD in New Testament from Drew (1993). He is the author of over a dozen books and his own New Testament translation. He occasionally attends Episcopalian services where he sings, enjoys the stained glass, and keeps his mouth shut.

Edwin Suominen holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington (1995), where his senior project wound up being the subject of fourteen U.S. patents, among several others he holds. He has retired from practice as a registered patent agent to write books rather than patents. Before writing this book, he devoted a year of personal study about evolutionary science and its intersection with theology.

PUBLICITY IMAGES

For high resolution images of the book cover and author photos, visit: http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/evolvingoutofeden

REVIEW COPIES

To request an interview with the authors or a review copy of “Evolving out of Eden” in paperback or ebook format, contact: Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com

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