Almanack Contributor Chris Pullman

Chris Pullman

Chris Pullman is a native of Utica, NY. He has developed a special affection for the Adirondacks as a result of spending many summers, weekends, and holidays with his grandparents at their home in Old Forge. Chris enjoys sharing stories of American history with his social studies students. He lives with his family in Herkimer, NY.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Chaos On An Adirondack Train:
The Case Against Pullman Porter Smith

Pullman Porter Helping Woman circa 1880sWhen the night train to Montreal set out from Utica on April 29, 1931, James E. Smith had already been toiling over the needs and wants of his passengers for many hours. At 29 years old, Smith had been a Pullman porter for about three years. He had done a stint in Pennsylvania and now was employed on the New York Central line of the Pullman Company.

The experience of the Pullman porter was both uncommon yet ordinary. The Pullman Palace Car company hired black men almost exclusively as porters. This practice began under the direction of the founder of the company, George Pullman, after the Civil War. On board a luxurious and comfortable Pullman Car, Pullman porters were expected to be the ideal servants to their well off white passengers. » Continue Reading.