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Monday, April 14, 2014


Zines from the Borderlands:
Storytelling about Mixed Heritage
Thursday, April 24th, 7pm


Reserve tickets>>
Come participate in a vibrant conversation about race, gender, sexuality, and media with Nia KingDaniela Capistrano, and Jenna Freedman, moderated by Ann Hayes of Sleeping Creatures and Storyscape. This event is part of BHS's weekend of zine activities, all in connection with Brooklyn Zine Fest at BHS on April 26th and 27th.

This is a program of Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (CBBG), a Brooklyn Historical Society oral history project and public programming series that examines the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families, cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity, and identity in the historically diverse borough of Brooklyn.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Handmade History!
Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
Sat, Apr 12, 3-4pm
It's baseball season! Celebrate with the family with a visit to BHS to learn
about our extensive Dodgers paraphernalia collection and then silk screen
your own jerseys.

               IMPORTANT NOTE: Bring your own black or white t-shirts to
                                                  silk screen and some paper bags.

This is Brooklyn
Sun Apr 18, 1pm
FREE with museum admission
Learn the history of Brooklyn through the lens of our building in tho
 hour-long tour.
Longtime Brooklyn residents and first-time visitors alike will enjoy
fascinating details about this special building and extraordinary borough.

Wallabout Walking Tour
Sat, Apr 26, 11am
$25/$15 for BHS Members

The Wallabout Historic District, near the Brooklyn Navy Yard,
contains one of the largest concentrations of intact pre-Civil War
wood-frame rowhouses in the entire city! Chelcey Berryhill and
Elizabeth Finkelstein shine a light on the fascinating early roots.

Bannerman Castle: The Medieval Ruins of Hudson Valley
Sat, Apr 12, 1pm
Talk: free
Tour: $20/$15 for GW and BHS Members

Programming partner Green-Wood Cemetery presents the unique
opportunity to discover the history behind this mysterious
castle-like structure often viewed by Metro North riders on their 
ride up the Hudson River. Site tour guides detail the history of 
this remarkable site, then board the trolley for a short 
Green-Wood tour, including a stop at the Bannerman family plot.

Thinking about becoming a BHS Member?
Membership packages begin at $50, all with great perks like
discounted tickets to public programs and 10% off every day
at our Museum Store.

Our mailing address is:
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Suggested contribution: 
$10 adults; $6 teachers and seniors; free to members, students
with valid school IDs, and children 12 years and under. 

Phone: 718-222-4111

Copyright © 2014 Brooklyn Historical Society, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

54th New York Antiquarian Book Fair

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that we will take part in the 54th Annual NEW YORK ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR at the Park Avenue Armory.
You can click here to view our online catalogue.
We hope you will visit us at Booth C1.


Donald Heald

  54th New York Antiquarian Book Fair
  Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Ave (67th Street)
  New York, NY 10065

  Friday April 4 (noon - 8pm)
  Saturday April 5 (noon - 7pm)
  Sunday April 6 (noon- 5pm

   Contact Information during the Fair
 email: (mobile: 917.453.9124)
   email: (mobile: 917.623.8962)

email: (mobile:201-400-5728)
124 East 74th Street, New York, NY 10021 | T: 212 744 3505 |

Sunday, March 23, 2014



Apr 2
The Manhattan Company is formed.

Jacob Housman, a future developer of Florida's Indian Key, future county seat of Dade County, is born in Staten Island.

Sep 22
Irish immigrant James Jackson dies in Manhattan at the age of 28. He will be buried at the potter's field, located at the future site of Washington Square Park. A backhoe working on the site in October of 2009 uncovers his gravestone. His body will not be found.

Dec 22
Twenty-one-year-old Gulielma "Elma" Sands leaves her home in the Lispenard Meadows area of the future Greenwich Village.

Dec 24
The body of Elma Sands is found at true bottom of a well near her home. Boyfriend Levi Weeks, a carpenter, is taken into custody and indicted for murder, although the evidence is circumstantial. He will be exonerated when Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr defend him, and will soon move to Natchez, Mississippi, and become a major architect.

New York City
When Colonel William Stephens Smith, son-in-law of John Adams, runs into financial problems he sells the unfinished Manhattan home he began last year on what will become East 61st Street to wealthy merchant William T. Robinson.    **    The summer home of Scottish-born shipping merchant Archibald Gracie is completed, on the eastern side of Manhattan.    **    Wholesale merchant  Joshua Isaacs build a clapboard home at the future Bedford Street - the first house in the future Greenwich Village.    **    The thrice-weekly Gazette Francaise newspaper, begun in 1796 by the Claude Parisot and Company, ceases publication.    **    The Manhattan Company, formed as a water company that will serve 2,000 homes through 25 miles of piping. At this year's end the company - now serving mainly as a bank -  has cash resources totaling $447,029.    **    Yellow fever strikes the city.    **    A house claimed to be dating back to this year is built in Jamaica, Queens, for the Reverend Abraham Ketelas.    **    A carriage house - the future 1826 Mount Vernon Hotel - is built at the future East 61st Street.

Staten Island
The New York State legislature passes an act appointing commissioners to select sites on Staten Island, appraise the lands for their value, appropriate them from their owners, and erect quarantine stations on them. A Marine Hospital/Quarantine Station is erected in the St. George neighborhood, largely due to fears over Yellow Fever.    **    The 8-acre Fountain Cemetery on Staten Island opens on the site of a Revolutionary War skirmish and an Indian burial ground. The first burial will take place in 1802.

© 2014    David Minor / Eagles Byte

Thursday, March 20, 2014


The famous and one-of-a-kind St. Mark's Bookshop is preparing for a move to a new location. The Friends of St. Mark's Bookshop Committee - local leaders, business people, authors, artists, and publishers - are asking for your support as St. Mark's transitions to its new role in the community as store, event space, and literary non-profit.

Along with its unique selection of books not often found elsewhere and its fame here and abroad, St. Mark's Bookshop will be mounting a new reading series, as well as forming a consortium of like-minded independent bookstores in NYC and across the country to promote a culture of thoughtful debate in a time of shouting.

St. Mark's Bookshop's 60 day Indiegogo campaign has made close to $8000, 16% of our $50,000 goal. We still need at least $17,000 more to even make a deposit on the new space, and $42,000 to reach our goal, which will halve Indiegogo's fees.  

If you haven't done so already, share this campaign on your Facebook, Twitter, blog; tell your friends; decry and lament! But spread the word.

Sunday, March 9, 2014




On March 11, 1939, Bronx Borough President James J. Lyons invaded Manhattan and tried to annex a piece of it for his borough! With his driver in tow he climbed to the highest point in Marble Hill and planted the Bronxflag. Marble Hill, though physically attached to the Bronx in 1913 with landfill, was legally Manhattan territory.

To mark the 75th anniversary of B.P. Lyons' audacious stunt, on Tuesday, March 11th Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione will offer a lighthearted multimedia presentation about the curious history of Marble Hill.

See a photo of the flag-planting, read an amusing New York Times article about the event, and get complete details about the lecture here: 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Apart from the stone water tower, few major

construction projects were under way but, as

usual, the layout of lower Manhattan was

undergoing constant change. Settlement of the

affairs of the late (29 years ago) property owner

Captain Robert Richard Randall finally drew

to a close when the U. S. Supreme Court cleared

his land title to the area around today’s

Washington Square. The original will, by the

way, had been drawn up by no other than

Alexander Hamilton. The freed funds will be

used to purchase land on Staten Island for

construction of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, a

retirement home for, “aged, decrepit, and 

worn-out sailors”, and to provide for its


As for the Square itself, it had at one time

been a potter’s field, where the city’s poor

were buried in unmarked graves. Which

made it a handy repository for criminals

hanged on a nearby gibbet. But in New York,

real estate rules and over the last four years

the poor were reburied elsewhere and

expensive homes constructed around the

perimeter. New graveyards, especially for the 

poor, will, of necessity have to be located away

from lower Manhattan as the Common Council

this year bans them from all land south of Canal

Street. Meanwhile street construction goes on

between 13th Street and Canal Street. Eleventh

Street is laid out except for the two-block section

between Broadway and the Bowery, construction

there blocked by the apple orchard of council

member Henry Brevoort, a buddy of Washington

Irving’s. The second incarnation of Grace Church

will rise on the site in 1843. Four blocks to the

south, on lower Third Avenue one of the city’s

many public markets will be laid out this year

and named for the previous owner of the land,

the late former governor and U. S. vice-president

Daniel D. Tompkins. More changes to the city’s

infrastructure are in the works this year as

incorporation papers are filed for the Manhattan

Gas Light Company, which will soon be

providing gas street lights for the new


Part of the impetus for the move of old money

further uptown is the deteriorating condition

of the area known as Five Points on the east

side of the city a few short blocks northeast of

City Hall. Here, where Park and Baxter streets

intersect and Anthony Street thrusts its way

into the crossing, buildings erected on formerly

filled-in swamp land, the old Collect Pond,

have begun to collapse in on themselves, driving

out all but the most destitute. And there are over

13,000 of these unfortunates, existing in streets

of flop houses and taverns, precursor of the

tenements of the Lower East Side and the Bowery

of future decades. Letters are beginning to appear

in the New York Sun, complaining that these 

slums are not being demolished.

Across town (in today’s Triangle Below Canal

Street, or Tribeca neighborhood), sits St. John’s

Park, one of the city’s more exclusive

neighborhoods. Now, in 1830, the residents

have erected an iron replacement for the wooden

fence that had surrounded the park they all face.

As in a latter-day Gramercy Park, the gates are

kept locked, the property owners all having their

own keys. After the U. S. Civil War our budding

millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt will knock

down the fence, level the park’s greenery and

convert the area into a stable for new toys, the 

iron steeds of his New York Central & Hudson

River Rail Road.

Broadcast on WXXI-FM / Simon Pontin's Salmagundi - April 2006

© 2006  David Minor / Eagles Byte