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Thomas Jefferson is Schenectady County historian's favorite president

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Thomas Jefferson is Schenectady County historian's favorite president

Thomas Jefferson. (Wikimedia Commons)
Thomas Jefferson. (Wikimedia Commons)

Troy native and Niskayuna resident Ed Reilly has always had a keen interest in history.

Appointed the Schenectady County historian in April 2014, Reilly has long been a big fan of 16th president Abraham Lincoln, but he doesn't count the Railsplitter as his favorite. That distinction instead goes to the nation's third president, Thomas Jefferson.

The town of Niskayuna supervisor from 1970-79 and again from 1989-97, Reilly also served as president of the Schenectady County Historical Society from 2006-12.

I asked him a number of questions recently and here's how he responded.

  • His favorite time period in history: The period from the election of Lincoln to the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • His favorite museum: That of the Schenectady County Historical Society.
  • His favorite historical person: Jefferson, just one of the many reasons being his famous description of Lake George.
  • His favorite book: "Team of Rivals," by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  • His favorite movie: "Casablanca."

Over the next several weeks in this space, I will be asking those same questions to other prominent figures in the Capital Region's history community.