Citizen Founders: Ratification, the People Debate the Constitution, 1787–1788

Pauline Maier
Jack Rakove
Akhil Reed Amar (moderator)
Tue, November 9th, 2010 | 6:30 pm

Event Details

The American Constitution is our nation's most important document and the battle to ratify it was a crucial turning point in American history. Three experts recall a nearly 225-year-old debate that raged in homes, taverns, and convention halls across the new nation and discuss the key players who fought for and against ratification.

Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture (1743-1803)

Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture (1743-1803)
after 1832
Watercolor on ivory
Credit Line 
New-York Historical Society, Purchase, The Louis Durr Fund
Object Number 
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Special '21' Club Breakfast & Talk - A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia

Aaron L. Friedberg
Mon, November 28th, 2011 | 8:00 am

Event details

Join us at New York’s landmark ‘21’ Club for this singular program, which includes a breakfast and lecture for $65 (members $55). Book signing with author to follow.

Civil War at Sea

James M. McPherson
Craig L. Symonds
Harold Holzer (moderator)
Tue, December 13th, 2011 | 6:30 pm

Event details

For generations, Civil War military history has focused heavily on the land war, the big battles and on the heroes of the Union and Confederate armies. But the neglected story of the war’s landmark naval engagements, and its great naval heroes, ranks among the most compelling and dramatic in American history. Through both technology and old-fashioned gallantry, on oceans and rivers alike, at places like Hampton Roads, New Orleans, Mobile Bay and even Cherbourg, France, commanders like Farragut, Porter and Semmes changed the course of the war.

Civilization: The West and the Rest

Niall Ferguson
Thu, December 8th, 2011 | 6:30 pm

Event details

What was it about the civilization of Western Europe that allowed it to trump the outwardly superior empires of the Orient? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, was that the West developed six “killer applications” that the Rest lacked: competition, science, property, democracy, medicine, consumerism and work ethic. The key question today is whether or not the West has lost its monopoly on these six things. If so, Mr. Ferguson warns, we may be living through the end of Western ascendancy.

Living History Days: Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration (Friday)

Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with George Washington, Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette, the 1st New York Regiment and Infanterie Regiment von Donop

Fri, November 25th, 2011 | 10:00 am

Event details

History comes alive for the whole family with Living History Days at the New-York Historical Society! Do you want to know what life was like in the 18th century? On November 25th, meet key players of the American Revolution, including George Washington, Benjamin and Deborah Franklin and the Marquis de Lafayette. Members of the 1st New York Regiment will fill the halls with period music throughout the day. Living History Days are produced in conjunction with the exhibition, Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn.

New-York Historical Society Grand Re-opening Weekend Celebration (Saturday)

Celebrate the New-York Historical Society's Grand Reopening with George Washington, Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette, the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, the 3rd New York Regiment of Long Island and Captain Mott's Artillery Company.

Sat, November 12th, 2011 | 10:00 am

Event details

History comes alive for the whole family with Living History Days at the New-York Historical Society! Do you want to know what life was like in the 18th century?

Military Collections


Documenting the greatest triumphs of the nation and some of its darkest days, the manuscript collections contain rich sources on military history stretching from the French and Indian War through World War II. Collections are wide ranging and include the letters and pocket diaries of common soldiers, the official and private papers of commanding officers, and official documentation such as orderly books, muster rolls and regimental records. Within this vast subject are the papers of men such as Horatio Gates, Alexander McDougall, Richard Varick, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Franz Sigel, David E. Cronin, G. Creighton Webb and James Harbord. Among the groups and organizations represented are the 7th Regiment, the United States Military Philosophical Society, the Union Defense Committee of the City of New York and the Naval and Military Order of the Spanish-American War. Of particular note is also the Naval History Society Collection which captures the history of the American Navy from the American Revolution through the Civil War and contains a collection of John Barry manuscripts as well as the papers of Gustavus V. Fox, John Ericsson, Henry A. Wise and many other significant naval figures.



Oct 5 2012 - May 27 2013

The Second World War (1939–1945) was the most widespread, destructive, and consequential conflict in history. WWII & NYC is an account of how New York and its metropolitan region contributed to Allied victory. The exhibition also explores the captivating, sobering, and moving stories of how New Yorkers experienced and confronted the challenges of “total war.”
Want to see everything—from lectures to films to behind-the-scenes stories—related to WWII & NYC? Click here to visit the WWII & NYC site!

Irving Boyer, Prospect Park, ca. 1942–1944. Oil on academy board. The New-York Historical Society, Gift of Selwyn L. Boyer, from the Boyer Family Collection, 2002.49

When war broke out in 1939, New York was a cosmopolitan, heavily immigrant city, whose people had real stakes in the global conflict and strongly held opinions about whether or not to intervene. The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought the U.S. into the war, and New York became the principal port of embarkation for the warfront.

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Creative: Tronvig Group