Talking Hart Island
The Orphan Trains and Charles Loring Brace

The Orphan Trains and Charles Loring Brace

May 24, 2020

Episode 39 “The Orphan Trains and Charles Loring Brace”: Michael T. Keene

In 1848 Ireland was gripped by famine. Nearly a million people would die of starvation and typhoid Fever. Desperate for survival a million more Irish would abandon their homeland and come to America. Many settled in the Five Points section of lower Manhattan infamous for its squalor, violence and disease

By the end of the Civil War, an estimated 30,000 orphaned and homeless children roamed the streets of New York City. They survived by resorting to petty crime, by begging, and by selling newspapers for a nickel a piece.

In response to this crisis the age of orphan asylums began, culminating in one of the most improbable and audacious episodes in American history. Inspired by Charles Loring Brace, it was called the Orphan Train Movement. It endeavored to save these children by heroes who fought for their liberation.

 

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

 

Pre-Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

*Orders will ship on or after Oct 14, 2019

 

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

 

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

 

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

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Lloyd “The Whistler” Threlkeld with Douglass Fraser

Lloyd “The Whistler” Threlkeld with Douglass Fraser

May 17, 2020

Episode 38 “Lloyd “The Whistler” Threlkeld”: with Douglass Fraser,

Professor and Musicologist.

Lloyd Buford Threlkeld, also known as “The Whistler” for his ability to make sweet melodious sounds emerge from his practiced nose flute, also played the guitar and sang. “Whistler and his Band” was one of the most famous jug bands of its time.

Threlkeld was born in Kentucky and in 1932 moved to Harlem in New York City. He continued performing, but had stopped recording. In May of 1935 he was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with tuberculosis where he died, later that year. He was without family or friends and, like thousands before and since in similar circumstances, was buried on Hart Island.

Listen to Professor Douglass Fraser as he takes us on a musical tour of not only jug band music, but also jazz and rock in-roll, which incredibly owed their very origins to this pioneering music.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

AIDS-The First Five Years with Jean Ashton

AIDS-The First Five Years with Jean Ashton

May 10, 2020

Episode 37 “AIDS-The First Five Years”: with Jean Ashton,

Director, New York Historical Society Resources & Programs.

It is estimated that during the AIDS epidemic thousands of AIDS victims were buried on Hart Island. Many because they had become disowned by their family and died unclaimed, and many more because there was no one left to take charge of their burials.

AIDS was particularly cruel and terrifying during the first few years of its existence, because of the lack of knowledge of what it actually was. Even the medical community was at a loss to explain this new contagion. The book, “AIDS The First Five Years”, is an attempt to explain what happened and why.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Burial Grounds in a Segregated City with Tom Angotti

Burial Grounds in a Segregated City with Tom Angotti

May 3, 2020

Episode 36 “Burial Grounds in a Segregated City”: with Tom Angotti,

Professor Emertis, Hunter College.

During the period of Dutch and English settlement, New York City was one of the nation’s largest urban centers for the slave trade and served as a financial patron, of the plantation economy, in the South. In the Dutch colony, as many as 40 percent of the population were slaves.

Slaves had no choice of residence, were treated like a commodity, and even in burial were denied equal access. At the end of the 17th century, Trinity Church formally banned blacks from its cemetery in lower Manhattan as land in the fortified city became scarce. The African Burial Grounds in lower Manhattan were a result of this process. And perhaps most shocking of all, it even limited their access to New York City’s Potters Field, Hart Island. Even in death their discrimination persisted.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

AIDS with Michael Bronsky

AIDS with Michael Bronsky

April 26, 2020

Episode 35 “AIDS”: with Michael Bronsky,

Professor, Harvard University.

On a hot midsummer night in June of 1969, a group of police officers stormed into Greenwich Village’s tiny Stonewall Inn, one of Manhattans early gay and lesbian bars. The patrons of Stonewall revolted. For many this confrontation would eventually become known as the Gay Liberation Movement.   

As a result, New York City became the rallying place for gay men throughout the country.

Beginning in the early 1980’s a terrifying and mysterious disease appeared. For the next twenty years the disease known as AIDS, would eventually take the lives of over 100,000 people in New York City alone. Many would end up on Hart Island.

This is their story.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Grave Yard of Strangers with Norma Jean Gradsky

Grave Yard of Strangers with Norma Jean Gradsky

April 19, 2020

Episode 34 “Grave Yard of Strangers”: with Norma Jean Gradsky.

Leo Birinski was a playwright, screenwriter and director. He worked in Austria-Hungary, Germany and in the United States.

Birinski was the screenwriter of many Hollywood productions including, “Song of Song”s starring Marlene Dietrich, “The Lady Has Plans”, starring Paulette Goddard, and perhaps his most famous, “Mata Hari” starring the screen legend Greta Garbo.

Until recently, only a minimal amount of information about his life was available. In addition there were many legends and rumors concerning Birinski’s person, some of them even spread by himself. For example, the false report of his “suicide” in 1920 even found its way from the newspaper obituaries into encyclopedias. But it wouldn’t be until 1951 that Birininski actually died. At the time he was alone and penniless, interred for all eternity on Hart Island.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Angels of Mercy with William Seraile

Angels of Mercy with William Seraile

April 12, 2020

Episode 33 “Angels of Mercy”: with William Seraile,

Professor Emeritus, Lehman College, City University of New York.

The Colored Orphan Asylum was founded, in New York City in 1836, as the nation’s first orphanage for African American children. The agency weathered three wars, two major financial panics, a devastating fire during the 1863 Draft Riots (in which over 120 people died and 2,000 injured), several epidemics, waves of racial prejudice, and severe financial difficulties, to care for orphaned, neglected and delinquent children. Incredibly, although African Americans inmates from Rikers Jail are the primary “grave diggers” on Hart Island, there is no evidence that there was, until very recently, any African Americans actually buried on Hart Island.

“Angels of Mercy” not only weaves together African American history of an unsung institution, but also offers a unique window onto complex racial dynamics, during a period when many failed to recognize equality among all citizens, as a worthy purpose.

William Seraile is a professor emeritus at Lehman College, City University of New York, where he taught African American history for 36 years. His most recent books are “New York’s Black Regiments During the Civil War” and “Bruce Grit: The Black Nationalist Writings of John Edward Bruce”.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Boroughs of the Dead with Marie Carter

Boroughs of the Dead with Marie Carter

April 5, 2020

Episode 32 “Boroughs of the Dead”: with Marie Carter,

Editor, writer, teacher, and tour guide.

When detectives and forensic scientists were called to investigate the Hart Island human remains, found littering its beach, none of them could have known they had been probably treading on additional mass graves, hidden beneath New York City’s parks, buildings, and sidewalks.

Hart island might be New York City’s largest mass grave, but it wasn’t the first. Join us on a tour of perhaps lesser known burial sites that stand quietly and nearly forgotten just beneath the crushing grind of growth and change.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Potters Field(s) with Andrew Berman

Potters Field(s) with Andrew Berman

March 29, 2020

Episode 31 “Potters Field(s)”: with Andrew Berman,

Executive Director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

By the early 1800’s New York City boasted a population of over 200,000, qualifying it as the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. As New York City’s population grew, so did its number of dead. The fact that the number of interred, in Trinity Church’s graveyard in 1822, was estimated at 120,000 was just that, an estimate!

New York City was facing an unprecedented crisis at an unprecedented speed. Existing accommodations in the city’s burial grounds could not keep up with the staggering number of people dying. Other grounds in the city faced the same problem; among them were the North Dutch Church and St. Paul’s, all within a close radius to Trinity Church. The solution to the burial dilemma would of course become the purchase of Hart Island in 1869.

Join us as Andrew Berman takes us on a tour of some of Greenwich Villages more notable cemeteries as well as other iconic landmarks of New York City.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Six to Celebrate Simeon Bankoff

Six to Celebrate Simeon Bankoff

March 22, 2020

Episode 30 “Six to Celebrate” Simeon Bankoff,

Executive Director of Historic District Council.

In 2017 the annual “Six to Celebrate” initiative from the Historic Districts Council, highlighted six neighborhoods in New York City, in need of preservation attention: Hart Island, the city’s potter’s field which contains the mass grave of over one million people, was an unexpected addition to the list.

“The Hart Island facility is incredibly important to the history and social responsibility in America and we look forward to promoting public awareness about, and access to, this fascinating historic site”, said Simeon Bankoff.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

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