ALBANY, N.Y. — A plaque has been unveiled at the New York state Capitol to honor a man who died when a massive fire tore through the Albany statehouse more than a century ago.
Samuel Abbott, a 78-year-old decorated Civil War veteran originally from the Syracuse area, was working as a night watchman when a fire broke out inside the Capitol around 2 a.m. on March 29, 1911.
By the time firefighters arrived, the blaze had grown into an inferno consuming hundreds of thousands of books, historic documents and artifacts. Abbott’s body was found on a fourth-floor passageway.
State lawmakers unveiled a plaque honoring Abbott outside the Legislative Library on the Capitol’s third floor Thursday, the 107th anniversary of the fire.
Legislation for the plaque was sponsored by Sen. Catharine Young, of Olean, and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, of Albany.