Lecture Highlights Hudson River Valley's Links to
Historic Ironclad Monitor
The first confrontation between ironclads, the USS Monitor (foreground, at left) and the CSS Virginia, formerly the USS Merrimac (at right), took place at Hampton Roads, VA, on March 9, 1862. The building of the Monitor was financed by John Flack Winslow, a 19th-century industrialist who settled at Wood Cliff, a Hudson River estate that is now part of the Marist College campus.
Color lithograph courtesy of the Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, VA
One hundred and fifty years after the USS Monitormade military history in a Civil War naval battle at Hampton Roads, VA, history buffs gathered at Marist to learn about the famous ship’s connection to the Hudson River Valley.
John Flack Winslow was a leading 19th-century industrialist who personally financed and supervised construction of the Monitor. The new ship was constructed of iron and wood and possessed the world’s first ship-mounted rotating gun turret, considered one of the greatest technological advances in naval history. The Monitor made history on March 9, 1862, by facing the ironclad CSS Virginia (the former USS Merrimac) at Hampton Roads. Afterward, Winslow was deemed the “benefactor of the nation” and widely heralded for his vision and foresight. Winslow moved to Poughkeepsie in 1867 and purchased the Wood Cliff estate along the Hudson River on what is now part of the Marist campus.
The Monitor’s link with the Hudson River Valley was highlighted in a talk by Monitor expert David S. Krop titled "Conserving Ironclad Glory: The Monitor at 150—Excavating, Conserving, and Interpreting Winslow's Legacy" earlier this year in the Nelly Goletti Theatre. Descendants of Winslow who live throughout the Northeast attended the lecture by Krop, who is the Monitor conservation project manager at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA.
The talk commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College. HRVI is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.