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Archive for May 2008

Spain claims $500 million in sunken treasure

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Subject: Re: Spain claims $500 million in sunken treasure
From: George Myers Reply-To: Underwater Archaeology Discussion List
Date: Sat, 31 May 2008 07:14:59 -0700

June 2 Native Americans “granted” citizenship, 1924
Google calender: created by: Misc. history

What also complicates “Spain” is the the southern “kingdom” of Andalusia, which was held by the Moors and then in treaty joined into the “Spain” (as reported anyway) by an important treaty with Castille, for whom Christopher Columbus (“The Admiral of All the Oceans” a title they would never grant him, though he pursued it) ? It might explain “New World” maize in Arab botanical tracts and represented in some sculpture in India, though both hard to date I was told. Maybe the world was interested in “lunch” at the Castillo de Jaguar, as some European famines have been served later, by wheat from a monopoly in the Hudson River valley, sold as “hard tack”. (“The Marine Society of the City of New York – 1770-1995 – A Concise History” by Gerald J. Barry)

Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 07:31:20 -0700

I was thinking of a few things, how irrigation techniques and the cultural implications of Cordova and other places in Spain that fell in the unification and whether there may have been a parallel problem in agriculture, in themes of the “origin of the state” and Karl Wittfogel’s “hydraulic hypothesis” wherein places like China developed the earliest civil service to manage water resources, as similar research on irrigation in Peru might show there and in Mexico. In the history of the Marine Society of the City of New York, there is a reference to an earlier time in which it is there cited:

Bread Basket of the Western World

The most significant period of the port’s development lay between the years 1815 and 1860. But before we look at those exciting years let’s glimpse at the first real prosperity enjoyed by New Yorkers.

In 1678, four years after the Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, the harbor was said to be home to only three ships, eight sloops, and seven boats, evidence, perhaps, that beaver-skin exports hadn’t been much of a business. Sixteen years later the totals had soared to 60 ships, 62 sloops, and 40 boats. In between those years, New York had become America’s bread basket. Much of the additional shipping in the harbor was needed to carry flour, bread, and hardtack along the Atlantic seaboard and to the West Indies and southern Europe.

The Dutch had created a market for New York bread and flour but it was an uneven one until the first English governor Major Edmund Andros, decided in 1678 to standardize and increase production. He achieved this by granting to a few leading citizens exclusive milling and baking rights to the wheat grown in the Hudson Valley. Although the monopoly lasted until only 1694, flour was to be New York’s most valuable export for more than a century. Testimony to its importance is found today on the flag of the City of New York which shows a windmill, beavers, and two flour barrels. – (Ibid. p.20)

I read further some of the history and the exclusive milling rights were granted to a “German” around near today’s West Point Military Academy adjacent in Highland Falls, NY. It’s also a leap, since Spain once ruled the Netherlands and was arguably important in the unification of their states seen in an early coin found at the “Augustine Heerman Warehouse Site” (he an ambassador from Maryland, who may have introduced tobacco to the Dutch) in a winter excavation in lower Manhattan. That other agricultural product has come to dominate historical research.

Added: I like to add that if “Odyssey” is the same people that came to the “Ronson Ship” in the winter excavations at the “175 Water Street Site” (Joan Geismar, PhD, et al., ca. 1983) that hired a hydraulic scaffold to photograph/film the ship-hulk or a film they were making to document the “18th century trailer truck” and the crew was paid a legal $0.25 to appear in the film…is there some place I could see the footage?

I was in the last of three backhoe trenches that found it the “deep tests” permitted with a small backhoe, where in trench #2 were some nice large pieces of “brain coral” probably part of the ballast master’s deposits (one of three known nearby).

Subject: Dutch routes to New Amsterdam
Underwater Archaeology Discussion List
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2008 10:28:02 -0700

This new research tool Concharto ( just displayed the locations and sea route of the Dutch to the New Amsterdam colony locations at Fort Nassau and Fort Orange. New Amsterdam colony


Written by georgejmyersjr

05/31/2008 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Slate -> The Fray -> Today’s Blogs

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White House Press Secretary

05/28/2008, 9:31 PM The National Archives published an article about the history of this position. It claims that the first was George B. (M.) Cortelyou, who held a number of Cabinet posts, when he invited the press into the White House to discuss President William McKinley’s condition after the then attempted assassination at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. Some of the surviving photos show him standing with the President there. He began as a shorthand teacher in NYC, later Chairman of the Republican Party and then under President Theodore Roosevelt, Postmaster General, and one of the early CEOs of Consolidated Edison in NYC (in their museum on 14th and 3rd Ave). He later lived in Huntington, NY at “Harbor Lights” recently for sale for over 3 million. Historians have suggested his role as overlooked in the history of the US during the Spanish-American War and the McKinley-Roosevelt administration, and his role should be examined by historians, even if they are all in shorthand, perhaps. He was descended from the French Surveyor for the Dutch in New Amsterdam (NYC) of what narrowly became a borough, Brooklyn, NY (by a few votes, once a very large city almost to itself). Oddly the article left out the first woman in that role Dee Dee Myers, though she had already vacated it to get married a year or two before the article. Slate -> The Fray -> Today’s Blogs

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/29/2008 at 2:38 am

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NYC Preservation and Landmarks

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Years ago I was at the doctoral defense of Shereen Baugher, PhD, who was since hired as the first New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Archaeologist, back in the early 1980s when I was in grad school at Stony Brook University. She had also helped teach the prior field-school one summer in Long Island Prehistory, in Mt. Sinai Harbor, NY, run by R. Michael Gramly, PhD. With Wagner College students she excavated "The Prall Site" named for one of Staten Island’s early settlers, in Richmondtown, its once Tory capital under British rule, today an historical interpretative center of activities and re-enactments. Staten Island is sometimes jokingly recalled as named when Henry Hudson remarked, "Is stat an island?" and dutifully recorded by his Dutch crew on the "Halve Moon" (it’s not). Yearly celebrated as an island in a sail around it to deny a claim to it by the freeholders of New Jersey. Freeholders, the former NJ governor and EPA chief, Christine Todd Whitman, is one, also "own" the "gores" leftover in surveys.

The legal basis for archaeology in NYC was "iffy" as many of the laws of city, state and Federal statutes are used as guidelines for archaeology, but were often written to apply to "standing structures". They have had to be defined as cases, like the African Burial Ground, now a US National Monument, and other efforts around NYC are worked into building and design procedures in what is a cosmopolitan environment. However, not too thrilled am I, with "this is where the water fountain in City Hall Park will be put next week" finding two skeletons, a top each other in the planned outline, inconclusively found within the probable "First Almshouse" cemetery, without what today we might require, more forensic analysis.  NYC Preservation and Landmarks – ArchaeoSeek which said:

So if you have a landmark and preservation organization in your city, town or state, here’s what’s going on in my "neck of the woods" (from Landmarks West!)

WEDNESDAY at 2:00 PM! Help Restore the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Budget to Preserve Our City

For the second year in a row, LANDMARK WEST! is working with a coalition of over 40 groups representing neighborhoods throughout the city to co-sponsor the Second Annual NYC Preservation Lobby Day on Wednesday, May 28, 2008. A press conference will take place on the steps of City Hall at 2:00 PM. Please join us! Voters make a difference.

Together, we’re urging the City Council to RESTORE $300,000 in funding to the Landmarks Preservation commission’s 2008-2009 budget! This year, your participation is more important than ever. In 2006, the City Council, led by Council Members Jessica Lappin, Tony Avella and Diana Reyna, allocated $250,000 in additional funds to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s budget, allowing the agency to hire five new full-time staff researchers to aid in their designation efforts. Last year that amount was increased to $300,000, which allowed the LPC to designate more than 1,000 buildings in 2007, a 2,000% increase in buildings since FY2005. Still, despite the amount of much-needed work that these grants have allowed, Mayor Bloomberg has declined to baseline this amount and it has not been included in the Commission’s FY09 budget.

Unless we band together in unified support of a well-funded, open, efficient, effective Landmarks Commission, the agency’s staff and resources will shrink significantly — at a time when its workload is higher than ever and the Department of Buildings is issuing record numbers of demolition permits!


1) Call, write, email and/or fax your local council member stating your support for RESTORING $300,000 to the Landmarks Commission’s budget. For contact information, go to A sample letter is attached.

2) Send copies of your letters/emails to Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Landmarks Subcommittee Chair Jessica Lappin (contact information on website above). In addition, please send copies to or 212-875-0209 (fax).

3) Invite council members, neighbors and colleagues to join you at the press conference. May 28, 2:00 PM, on the steps of City Hall.

4) Add your group’s name to the coalition supporting the RESTORATION! Send emails to our colleagues at the Historic Districts Council, the citywide advocate for New York’s historic neighborhoods –


Here’s more information on why the Landmarks Commission needs your help (from the Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation,

1) The Landmarks Preservation Commission is one of the smallest city agencies in New York, yet its workload is impressively large and growing every day. Their staff and budget have become dangerously small.

2) The Commission’s budget has shrunk by 35% since 1990, in constant dollars.

3) The Commission’s share of the city budget has shrunk by 52% since 1990. It now occupies just .007% of the entire city budget.

4) The Commission’s staff has decreased by 25% since 1990. Over this same time period, the number of applications to repair or modify landmarks (which the Commission regulates) has more than doubled, to 9,000 per year.

5) The Commission has just 52 staff members who watch over more than 23,000 landmarks throughout the five boroughs; only 3 staff members are charged with enforcing the landmarks law.

6) Since 1990, the Commission has increased the revenue it generates for the city from just $10,000 per year to more than $1 million per year. It now raises nearly 1/3 of its agency budget, yet the city continues to deny the Commission the funding and staff it needs. 

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/28/2008 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Plum Island, NY

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McClatchy Washington Bureau | 05/22/2008 | GAO says moving infectious disease lab is risky

Ironically, the first major battle between Great Britain and the American colonists was on Plum Island, in New York it’s thought. It’s arguably in the middle of 40 million people and yes there have been some power problems supplied from a cable on the mainland, backup generators, labor, etc. I grew up watching “Modern Farmer” which showed the place. One suggestion was to move it to the now unused military property in Rome, NY though a population of albino white-tail deer are what it’s known for now, within the perimeter fence (Hannibal and his elephants turned away from the “plague” though leaving Rome intact). Upgrade the research facility was New York Senator Clinton’s statement on that issue.

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/28/2008 at 3:55 pm

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Vincent Bugliosi: George Bush’s Unseemly Response to the Suffering He Has Caused – Politics on The Huffington Post

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It’s hard not to get caught up in the particulars, i.e., angry, about the money from the State sale of the sponsored stadium’s team, and the money to buy the former German’s turkey ranch in Crawford, Texas so I try to think of singer entertainer Joe Cocker’s real cattle ranch in Crawford, Colorado. Money apparently to an arranged sale, the brother owner of CBS wanted the team, but couldn’t have it. That was reported by a family historian (I heard the former President’s father had a big hand in building Shea Stadium in Queens, NY) who had an interview on the WNYC radio station one day, which he insisted the Bush family had no direct contact with the Nazis in their strategic metals business shut down as a matter of course by the Feds when the second World War broke out, a short time after Pearl Harbor, when Germany declared war on the US. According to the Texas Peerage research, there’s only one Bush in Texas a large ranch owner and they’re not related. Vincent Bugliosi: George Bush’s Unseemly Response to the Suffering He Has Caused – Politics on The Huffington Post

Ed. – added May 29, 2008 What has been left out was the complaints I heard (some of my relatives are Canadians) was the amount of time it took President Bush to acknowledge the errors made by the US National Air Guard from Illinois when it bombed Canadian troops in Afghanistan and killed five of their soldiers. It seemed too long when he could have said it sooner…we’re sorry took an inordinate amount of time for someone who seemed to be in command.

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/28/2008 at 2:44 am

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Trickle-Down? Not Quite. – Couric & Co.

I recall a lunch counter in Jamaica, Queens, NY, before the GSA moved out of the World Trade Center, “to the people” where might be the new Family Court is, across the street from NYC’s “Rufus King Manor” park (“…a signer of the Constitution, last Federalist, early abolitionist, Ambassador to Great Britain and candidate for President,” and it was the home for, “…one of the first U.S. senators from New York”) and the “Reaganomics” lunch item on the menu: a plain hamburger on a plain bun with some ketchup!

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/28/2008 at 1:03 am

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Ewan McGregor Joins Amelia Earhart Biopic – Cinematical

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If some one’s interested further, the archaeological investigation “The Earhart Project” at has done recent research and perhaps the film could donate to it some funds. I recall reading in a Westchester, NY paper where she was quoted joking about having a garden in one town and serving the vegetables from her garden in another, the line running through the backyard apparently. Sounds like an interesting biopic and I wish it well, and Gore Vidal too, he was in a few recent films commenting on the lack of coverage the large protests against the US war in Iraq in the media, and also in another flight picture, as Director Josef in “Gattaca” (outside the IMDb box). Ewan McGregor Joins Amelia Earhart Biopic – Cinematical

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/27/2008 at 5:11 pm

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