Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Harrowing History Of Roosevelt Island, Poor, Sick, Mad & Criminal In 19th Century New York - Listen To NYPL Podcast Interview With Damnation Island Author Stacy Horn

Damnation Island is the title of a new book by author Stacy Horn about the history of our home here on Roosevelt Island.

According to the NY Public Library:

Before there was Rikers Island, there was Blackwell's—today known as Roosevelt Island. Historian Stacy Horn's newest book Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York is the first in-depth look at its dark past. In addition to a penitentiary, the small strip of land housed an almshouse, mental institution, and a number of hospitals for the poor—which, as one can imagine, lead to disturbing outcomes for the city's most disenfranchised people. From annual reports of the Women's Prison Association to an unpublished autobiography of a survivor of the NYC draft riots, Horn walks us through some of her findings from the NYPL archives used to write this chilling story, and how it sheds light on the same issues of today.
Listen to this NY Public Library podcast interview with Ms. Horn discussing the dark history of Blackwell's, then Welfare and now Roosevelt Island.

Damnation Island is available for purchase at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center Kiosk or click here.