Categories
Politics and Protest

New York City and the Underground Railroad: Escaping to freedom through a hostile city

PODCAST For thousands of people escaping the bonds of slavery in the South, the journey to freedom wound its way through New York City via the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a loose, clandestine network of homes, businesses and churches, operated by freed black people and white abolitionists who put it upon themselves — often […]

Categories
Politics and Protest

Frederick Douglass and the life saver of Lispenard Street, a stop on the Underground Railroad

In the early and mid-nineteenth century, the Underground Railroad secretly escorted tens of thousands of Southern enslaved people to Northern destinations, where slavery was illegal. The African American publisher David Ruggles was born a freeman in Connecticut and moved to New York to energize the emerging abolitionist move- meant via the New York Vigilance Committee, […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

The hole that swallowed Greenpoint and other treasures at Old NYC

The New York Public Library‘s Old NYC interface is pretty much one of the best things to happen to New York City history this year. It selects photographs from their extensive archives and maps them out — all five boroughs and pretty much most major intersections.  It’s like a Google Maps street-view of the past. […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Detonations and flying cheese: Annotated news from 1913

I present this little news item from the June 6, 1913 New York Tribune in its entirety: 1)  The idea of bombs exploding all over the city is shocking to us today.  But in fact the threat of makeshift bombs were sometimes employed in extortion plots such as those by the Black Hand.  Most of these […]

Name That Neighborhood: TriBeCa not so triangular

Some New York neighborhoods are simply named for their location on a map (East Village, Midtown). Others are given prefabricated real-estate designations (SoHo, DUMBO). But a few retain names that link them intimately with their pasts. Other entries in this series can be found here. For all the New York City neighborhoods with wonderful old […]