Professor Cronin and I have made progress strides in tracking down the missing corresponding articles and wood engravings. It has proven to be very difficult because it is common practice for people who find the engravings to discard the article that goes with it and frame the engraving to sell. Luckily, we have had luck contacting the collectors and sellers and getting clues as to where we can find the articles. Sometimes they still have them.

The reason the articles are so crucial is because they provide invaluable insight into the the impact the fishing industry had on the Hudson River. It also simply describes what is exactly going on in the image. Some are even as detailed as describing a step by step process or blueprint of the practice of fishing the men were doing in the image. Being a fisherman, John has noticed that some of the same practices are still done today, almost 200 years later.

Working on this project has been incredible. Growing up next to the Hudson River, I always knew of the importance it has to us today in every aspect, but I never knew how important it has been to the country as a whole. While looking through these engravings, I’ve come across images depicting West Point morning drills in the late 1800s, steam boat races, and mass Fourth of July celebrations along the river by everyone in the area. I’ve learned that the Hudson River is rich with history and stories that are rarely spoken about and I’m honored to work with professor Cronin in working to uncover and tell the story of why it is often called “America’s First River”.

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