Categories
Podcasts 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 — […]

Categories
Brooklyn History

Henry Ward Beecher, on the 200th anniversary of his birth

If anybody could be called a patron saint of Brooklyn, one of the nominees would be Henry Ward Beecher, born 200 years ago today.  In 1847, he arrived in Brooklyn at the behest of a new congregation and, within a few years, his pulpit there at Plymouth Church would draw thousands.  Perhaps Beecher would also […]

Categories
Neighborhoods

Why are there so many Henry Streets in New York City?

Manhattan’s Henry Street looking south, 1935, photo by Berenice Abbott (NYPL) Since Manhattan and Brooklyn developed as two separate cities before they were intertwined within consolidated New York City in 1898, it’s not surprising to see similar street names in both boroughs, deriving from different origins.  But the Henrys being honored in these street names […]

‘The Abolitionists’, first of three parts tonight on PBS

PBS’s American Experience debuts its three-part series on American abolitionists of the 19th century.  With two very different films about slavery in movie theaters (Lincoln, Django Unchained), ‘The Abolitionists’ is certainly a well-timed series, featuring the stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe (no doubt brother Henry Ward Beecher will make an […]

‘The Abolitionists’, first of three parts tonight on PBS

PBS’s American Experience debuts its three-part series on American abolitionists of the 19th century.  With two very different films about slavery in movie theaters (Lincoln, Django Unchained), ‘The Abolitionists’ is certainly a well-timed series, featuring the stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe (no doubt brother Henry Ward Beecher will make an […]

Happy 200th, Harriet Beecher Stowe!

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born two hundred years ago today in Litchfield, Connecticut. Although I don’t believe she ever lived in New York for any significant length of time, her younger brother Henry Ward Beecher was the city of Brooklyn’s most famous resident, a towering religious figure who came to exemplify the dignified society of […]

Categories
Podcasts

PODCAST: Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church

We’ve never done such a saucy show — full of sex, lies, and petticoats. Meet Henry Ward Beecher, Brooklyn Heights’ most notorious resident, and find out about the fascinating and provocative history of the church that turned him into a national celebrity. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you […]