John Wolcott was chairman of the Pinxter Committee of Albany, also called the People’s Pinxter Festival Committee, which coordinated the annual Pinxter Festival. The festival is known as Pinxter, Pinxter Sunday or Pinkster, Dutch for Pentecost, and as Whitsuntide, the English term for Pentecost.
During the colonial period, Pinxter celebrations were held throughout eastern New York in communities of Dutch origins. Africans played a major role in organizing Pinxter, adding African music and dance to the festivities. In 1811 the Common Council of the City of Albany passed a Whitsuntide Holiday law which banned the essential elements of the festival and, as a result, the festival died out.
In 1971, Pinxter was revived in Albany and celebrated on Sundays during Tulip Fest in Washington Park with craft vendors and musicians. It was often advertised as an illegal festival. Wolcott wrote several letters asking the 1811 law be repealed. The Whitsuntide Holiday Law was repealed in 2011, two hundred years after it was enacted.
The John Wolcott Papers contain materials related to the planning and advertising of Pinxter Festivals in Albany, New York. The collection includes festival posters, fliers, photographs, news clippings, hand written notes, correspondence and programs of similar festivals, including a early souvenir Tulip Fest envelope. Craft vendors were a major part of the festivities and the contact information for many of them is included. Information about historic Pinxter festivals, Albany’s relevant laws and policies, and a small collection of colonial Dutch recipes were used in the planning process.
The collection is organized chronologically. There are no series.
John Wolcott donated his materials in 2007 to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. In 2013 Wolcott donated an additional 26 cubic feet of materials which will be processed at a later date.
Processed by: Kathleen Broeder in 2012.
Collection record created by: Kathleen Broeder
Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.
We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, John Wolcott Papers, 1954-1992. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the John Wolcott Papers).
|Oversized 1||1||KITE News Clippings||1972-1980|
|Oversized 1||2||Pinxter Fest Posters||1976-1982, Undated|
|1||5||Niskayuna Folk Festival||1977|
|1||6||Northeast Craft Fair||1977|
|Oversized 1||3||The Entertainer News Clippings||1979-1980|
|1||17||Albany City Special Event Policy Statement||Undated|
|1||18||Craft Vendor Business Cards and Flyers||Undated|
|1||19||Craft Vendor Notebook||Undated|
|1||20||Loose Leaf Notes||Undated|
|2||1||Pinxter Fest Photographs||Undated|
|2||6||Treasures from Eleanor Skelton Cash, Poetry||Undated|