Archive for May, 2016

Jersey City Ranks 36th Out of 100 Park Systems in the Country

The Trust for Public Land has just released its 2016 ParkScore for 100 selected U.S. cities. Jersey City ranks as high as it does because of access to parks, percentage of park acreage, and per capita spending on parks. Newark comes in at 75.

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Fastest Growing Private Companies in New Jersey

This list is courtesy of Inc. Click on the company name for more information. Previous years can be accessed from this site as well.

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GAO Report on Obsolete Computer Systems at the Pentagon

If this doesn’t keep you awake at night nothing will. This GAO report – Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems – notes that the Pentagon spends up to $60 billion maintaining old computer systems/networks that in some cases still use floppies. In addition, the systems are fifty years old. But it is not just the Pentagon’s IT infrastructure that is deficient – practically every major federal department has similar issues; some of them have systems older than the Pentagon’s. This highlight from the report provides an excellent summary of the findings. Here is analyses from Ars Technica, PC World

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Text of State Department OIG Report on Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Private Email Server

The entire report is available online. Reportage can be found at The New York Times, Politico, and The Washington Post.

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More 18-34 Year Olds Live at Home Than Ever Before

This Pew study highlights the shifting demographic impacts of student debt, low wages, and housing unaffordability on the plans of millennials. In 1960, 62% of 18-34 year olds were living with a spouse/partner in their own household; now that percentage has been halved to 31.2%. And over 32% of this age group now resides at home, further putting off relationships and home ownership. See also Millennials after the Great Recession (Monthly Labor Review, September 2014), and The Economic Plight of Millennials (EconSouth, 16#1, 2014).

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2016 New Jersey Memorial Day Observances

Here is a list arranged by county; where available, websites have been added for the event.

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New “Nation’s Report Card” on Use of Technology

The NCES has released its findings of the 2014 The Nation’s Report Card: Technology and Engineering Literacy, the first time educational use of technology has been assessed. This also marks the first time that an NAEP test has been given totally in a digital format. Thousands of eighth-graders took this survey, and a surprising outcome, given the STEM components of the measure, was that girls scored higher than boys. Online results are available that include some of the same disturbing trends indicated on other assessments – the racial divide and the disparities among city, suburban, and rural school districts. T.H.E. Journal,Education Week, and NPR provide cogent analyses.

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Online State Encyclopedias: Colorado

The Colorado Encyclopedia, although it is in “prototype” development, has enough information to provide a reader with a multitude of topics. Broadly arranged by people, places, events, and things, this site contains articles that include internal links, bibliographies, and outside sites of relevance. For instance, the article on Kit Carson is headed by the last photo of him and then proceeds to offer a reasoned biography of the man along with internal links to other articles in the encyclopedia and outside readings. Well worth a perusal.

There are now 23 online state encyclopedias that meet specific criteria for inclusion in this blog.

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Fastest Growing Cities in the United States

Of the top eleven cities, five are in Texas. Data, charts, and key facts are all available here from the Census Bureau.

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New Jersey’s Fastest Growing High Tech Companies

Deloitte has issued its 2015 North America Fast Winners, a listing of high-performing, fast-growing, disruptive -technology-producing companies; New Jersey has ten on this list, including Jersey City’s own  SPHERE Technology Solutions, coming in at number 131. Please read New Heights for High-Tech Startups from New Jersey Business.

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Harvard Business School Working Papers

“A working paper summarizes original research in a narrow segment of a field of study, and is intended for publication within a period of one to three years.” (Introduction) Hundreds of papers are freely available and can be searched by topic, industry, geographic area, author, and date.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: North Carolina

The Colonial and State Records of North Carolina are comprised of twenty-six volumes holding thousands of documents. Published between 1886 and 1905, the first ten volumes deal with colonial times; volumes 11-22 contain material on state affairs through 1790; and the last four hold state laws (1670-1790) and the 1790 Census. Additionally, please consult the North Carolina Newspaper project for thousands of articles dating back to 1756.

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Jersey City’s Population Increases from 2010 to 2015

According to Census Bureau estimates that were just released, Jersey City, the 75th most populous city in the country, saw its population increase by 16,600 from 2010 to 2015 while Newark, at the 70th slot, witnessed a 4,800 increase over the same time period. Jersey City’s numbers increased by 6.7%, Newark’s by 1.7%.

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The Tech Sector in New Jersey and the Other States

This report summarizes the status of the tech industry in the fifty states; it is replete with  tables detailing the scope and size of tech activities, from average salaries to leading tech industry sectors. Much of the New Jersey information is found on page 47 as an infographic. Appendix A contains national data while Appendix B has state comparative data. Page 78 of this report contains statistics that reinforce the findings that the tech industry is heavily populated by males.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Transcribed Civil War Letters

Those of us who do research with primary sources such as letters and diaries know the frustrations that can be encountered in trying to read another person’s handwriting, let alone decipher the at times bizarre orthographical constructions we encounter. Transcription projects, many staffed by volunteers, provide easier access to these important materials. Some good collections include: Civil War Diaries and Letters (University of Iowa); Civil War Letters Collection (University of Washington); Civil War Collection (includes letters, diaries, papers, Michigan State University); Letters and Diaries (Valley of the Shadow); The Civil War in Letters (Newberry Library); Vermonters in the Civil War (University of Vermont); “I Take Up My Pen” (Gilder Lehrman Collection); Manuscripts of the American Civil War: Letters and Correspondences (Notre Dame); and books of Civil War letters (HathiTrust).

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Commencement Speeches by U.S.Government Officials

From presidents to legislators to judges, this C-SPAN site contains over 700 speeches dating back to 1963.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: The American Revolution from the British Perspective

While Cobbett’s Parliamentary History provides us with access to the debates, bills, King’s speeches/messages for this time period (as well as for hundreds of years altogether) as does The Parliamentary Register, and the 18th Century British Political Pamphlets Collection also gives us a window into the past,  we thought we would like to hear from the participants themselves:

John Burgoyne –  A letter from Lieut. Gen. Burgoyne to his constituents, upon his late resignation : with the correspondences between the secretaries of war and him, relative to his return to America (1779);  A Brief examination of the plan and conduct of the northern expedition in America, in 1777: and of the surrender of the army under the command of Lieutenant-General Burgoyne (1779); A state of the expedition from Canada as laid before the House of Commons, by Lieutenant-General Burgoyne, and verified by evidence : with a collection of authentic documents and an addition of many circumstances which were prevented from appearing before the House by the prorogation of Parliament (1780); and Orderly book of Lieut. Gen. John Burgoyne, from his entry into the state of New York until his surrender at Saratoga, 16th Oct. 1777 (1860).

Guy Carleton – Very little is known of the man because all his personal papers were burned after his death at his request.(Canadian Historical Review, 59(#3, September 1969):245. We do have: Hadden’s journal and orderly books. A journal kept in Canada and upon Burgoyne’s campaign in 1776 and 1777, by Lieut. James M. Hadden, Roy. art. Also orders kept by him and issued by Sir Guy Carleton, Lieut. General John Burgoyne, and Major General William Phillips, in 1776, 1777, and 1778 (1884); A Collection of several commissions, and other public instruments, proceeding from his Majesty’s Royal Authority: and other papers, relating to the state of the province of Quebec in North America, since the conquest of it by the British arms in 1760 (1772); and By His Excellency Guy Carleton, captain-general and governor in chief, in and over the province of Quebec … a proclamation, whereas a rebellion prevails in many of His Majesty’s colonies in America (1775?).

Henry Clinton –  The narrative of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, K.B. relative to his conduct during part of his command of the king’s troops in North America particularly to that which respects the unfortunate issue of the campaign in 1781 : with an appendix, containing copies and extracts of those parts of his correspondence with Lord George Germain, Earl Cornwallis, Rear Admiral Graves, &c. which are referred to therein. (1783); and Observations on Earl Cornwallis’ Answer. By Sir Henry Clinton 1783; repr. 1866).

Charles CornwallisA reply to Sir Henry Clinton’s Narrative : wherein his numerous errors are pointed out, and the conduct of Lord Cornwallis fully vindicated from all aspersion…(2d ed., 1783); An answer to that part of the narrative of Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton, K.B. which relates to the conduct of Lieutenant-General Earl Cornwallis during the campaign in North America in the year 1781 (1783); and Correspondence of Charles, first Marquis Cornwallis (3 Vols., 1859).

Thomas GageLetters to the ministry, from Governor Bernard, General Gage, and Commodore Hood (1769); extensive finding aids

George III Calendar of home office papers of the reign of George III : preserved in the Public Record Office [1760-1775](4 vols., 1878-99); and   The correspondence of King George the Third from 1760 to December 1783, printed from the original papers in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle (6 vols., 1927-28).

William Howe – The narrative of Lieut. Gen. Sir William Howe in a committee of the House of Commons, on the 29th of April, 1779, relative to his conduct during his late command of the King’s troops in North America (1780); and General Sir William Howe’s Orderly book, at Charlestown, Boston and Halifax, June 17, 1775 to 1776, 26 May; to which is added the official abridgment of General Howe’s correspondence with the English Government during the siege of Boston, and some military returns (1890).

Banastre TarletonA history of the campaigns of 1780 and 1781, in the southern provinces of North America (1787).

In addition to the above, attention must be directed to this resource: Report on American manuscripts in the Royal institution of Great Britain (4 vols., 1904-09). These tomes comprise the headquarter papers of the British commanders-in-chief during the American Revolution. These are voluminous calendars containing thousand of summaries from the likes of Howe, Clinton, Carleton, and Cornwallis. In fact, these works are collectively called the “Carleton Papers”.

Founders Online gives free access to the papers of some of the Founding Fathers. Interspersed among the thousands of documents are both mentions of some of the British officers as well as the occasional letter; for example, see the correspondence between George Washington and Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Other works from the British perspective by other than the major figures are:

Thomas Anburey. Travels through the interior parts of America. (1923)

John Andre. André’s journal : an authentic record of the movements and engagements of the British Army in America from June 1777 to November 1778. (2 vols., 1903)

John Barker. The British in Boston, being the diary of Lieutenant John Barker of the King’s own regiment from November 15, 1774 to May 31, 1776. (1924)

James Baxter.The British invasion from the north: the campaigns of generals Carleton and Burgoyne from Canada, 1776-1777 : with the journal of Lieut. William Digby, of the 53d, or Shropshire Regiment of Foot. (1887)

John Clarke. An impartial and authentic narrative of the battle fought on the 17th of June, 1775, between His Britannic Majesty’s troops and the American provincial army, on Bu

Nicholas Cresswell. The journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774-1777. (1924)

The Detail and Conduct of the American War, under Generals Gage, Howe, Burgoyne, and Vice Admiral Lord Howe. (3rd ed, 1780).

Francis Downman. The services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman … in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the years 1758 and 1784. (1898)

Samuel Drake. Bunker Hill: the story told in letters from the battle field by British officers engaged. With an introduction and sketch of the battle. (1875).

W.G. Evelyn. Memoir and letters of Captain W. Glanville Evelyn : of the 4th regiment, (“King’s own”) from North America, 1774-1776 (1879).

David Fanning. The narrative of Colonel David Fanning (a Tory in the revolutionary war with Great Britain) : giving an account of his adventures in North Carolina, from 1775 to 1783. (1861; repr. 1865)

John Krafft. Journal of John Charles Philip von Krafft … 1776-1784. (1888)

Roger Lamb. Memoir of his own life. (1811)

Jeremy Lister. The Concord fight; being so much of the narrative of Ensign Jeremy Lister of the 10th regiment of foot as pertains to his services on the 19th of April, 1775, and to his experiences in Boston during the early months of the siege. (1931)

Alexander McDonald. Letter-book of Captain Alexander McDonald, of the Royal Highland emigrants, 1775-1779 (1882)

The Montresor journals (1882)

Archibald Robertson. Archibald Robertson: his diaries and sketches in America, 1762-1780. (1971)

? Williams. Discord and civil wars; being a portion of the journal kept by Lieutenant Williams of His Majesty’s Twenty-third Regiment while stationed in British North America during the time of the Revolution. (1954)





Nicholas Cresswell. The journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774-1777. (1924)

The Detail and Conduct of the American War, under Generals Gage, Howe, Burgoyne, and Vice Admiral Lord Howe. (3rd ed, 1780).

Samuel Drake. Bunker Hill: the story told in letters from the battle field by British officers engaged. With an introduction and sketch of the battle. (1875).






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Despatches from the London Gazette

The London Gazette has been the official newspaper of record for Great Britain for over three hundred years. Part of its function is to act as the chronicler of military operations as reported by the various theater commanders. To that end, this publication has listed all its military despatches from both World War 1 and World War 2; some of them are quite lengthy. Well worth reading as they are written by those who were present.

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Photos of 2016 NJCU Commencement

Courtesy of The Jersey Journal.

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100th Birthday of the National Park Service

Established in 1916 and overseeing a vast number of designated sites, the National Park Service has the responsibility of acting as the steward of this country’s national historic sites, whether they be beaches or houses or parks. It publishes park histories that include structure reports, administrative histories, and cultural landscape reports among other products. A subset of these are its handbooks and series documents that offer a more comprehensive look at a specific park. You can find the national parks by searching this interactive map; did you know that New Jersey has nine national parks?

As has been already stated, the NPS is not just about parks; it also hosts the National Register of Historic Places that list buildings/complexes worthy of preservation. Hudson County has 56 sites on this list that includes both photographs and histories of the structures; you can drill down a little deeper and find Jersey City’s 27 sites.

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