Outside observers who came to Albany during its first two hundred years have left us their impressions and observations. Traditionally, their accounts have been central resources in the writing of early Albany history. Early on, the Colonial Albany Project began to experience great difficulty in reconciling outsider outlooks with the Albany that emerged from our comprehensive sweep of community based resources. Nevertheless, those narratives are extremely interesting and bear repeating. Links have been arranged chronologically.
1643 Isaac Jogues
1680 Jasper Danckaerts
1695 Reverend John Miller
1700s Reverend William Burgiss
1749 Peter Kalm
1760s Anne Mc Vickar Grant
1774 Journal of Abraham Lott (trip up the Hudson - summer 1774)
1774 A Tour Through Part of the North Provinces of America, 1774-1775, by Patrick M'Robert (first printed for the author in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1776). Republished in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (April 1945); and offprinted individually by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Mc Robert noted the farm of newcomer John Tunnicliff.
1783-1831 "Memoirs of an emigrant: The journal of Alexander Coventry, M.D.; in Scotland, the United States and Canada during the period 1783-1831," (working title) transcription of a lengthy document not readily available.(Typescript reportedly at AIHA, NYSL, and other Albany area libraries: 1978)
1790s Levi Beardsley's (1785-1857) Reminiscences of a trip by sleigh with a load of wheat.
1794 Travels in New England and New York, by Timothy Dwight, recalling his travels which included a trip to Albany in 1794. First published in four volumes between 1821 and 1823.
1800 John Maude's Journal (June 25 - July 1)
1810 Description of Albany about 1810 by Englishman John Melish.
Visitors: These outsider observations are much more obviously descriptive than the community-based resources that together form the backbone of the portrait of Albany and its people that emanates from the work of the Colonial Albany Social History Project. Literate and in-print, they have been much more accessible than the scattered records we use every day!Coventry: Reference to a copy in the Walter H. Bradish Papers 1862-1907, "Included is a typescript copy of the diary, ca. 1785-1830, of his ancestor, Alexander Coventry, a Scot who emigrated to America in 1785, which includes a description of his trip." Collection transferred to the New York Public Library from the NYG&B perhaps in 2008.
Alexander Coventry (1766-1831): Additional works by Coventry;
Notes: Look for descriptions by Isaac Jogues, William Burgiss, delegates to the Albany Congress in 1754, Governor Tryon, Thomas Anburey, and others!
first posted 3/25/03; last revised 10/15/16