New York in The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War

Three people self knows have COVID. And she found out just today. She was going to get more stamps at the Post Office, but after she got the last text, she turned right around and went back inside.

Which means, she’ll have to rely on her books to carry her through, like she did in the start of this pandemic, when she blazed through the first five books of The Expanse (and discovered the TV series).

The book she’s just starting is The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War, by Jonathan Daniel Wells, whose main setting is early 19th c New York.

The last time self was in New York, she stayed in the Bowery. The pictures below are from that time.

Wells does a very good job at evoking the setting. Here’s a description from Chapter One:

  • Most streets were unpaved, so dirt and mud were everywhere, and horses provided the main means of transportation. The city would have smelled different than it does today, with wafts of horse manure mixed with the smoke from burning hearths and factories and the stench of an inadequate sanitation system. The loud shouts of the stevedores, bricklayers, lumber merchants, and others working in the city added to the noisy movement of railroads and omnibuses, not to mention the constant whinnying of horses pulling people or goods.

A book like this rewards immersion.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

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