Interesting Things I’ve Learned Researching Blackwell’s Island

“The Jews Petition to the Governor for Liberty to Exercise their Religion, being by him Recommended to the Mayor and aldermen was read in Common Council, and they Returned their opinions thereupon. That noe publique Worship is Tolerated by act of assembly, but to those that professe faith in Christ, and therefore the Jews Worship not to be allowed.”

– Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, Vol. 6, (that entry was from 1685).

I think that belongs firmly in the category of “holy shit!” Do we ever do the right thing immediately? Or does it take always take years, decades and centuries?

The relatively empty Apple store on Tuesday. The floor with the Genius Bar, where I went, was hopping however. I briefly considered making a joke about “Apple Declares War on Christmas,” because their shirts are red without any other decoration. But then I thought some asshole might pick up on it and make it a thing.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Interesting Things I’ve Learned Researching Blackwell’s Island

  1. Oh, Stacy, you are funny. You do realize that driving web and social media traffic is all about some asshole picking it up and making it a thing, right? 🙂

    Also, sadly, I think we’re lucky if it only takes us years or decades to do the right thing. Seems most of the time to take centuries and we’re not quite there yet.

  2. I agree with CR about both the assholes and the fact that it seems to take forever to do the right thing. I’m reading Frederick Lewis Allen’s book about the Great Depression (written in 1940, “Since Yesterday”, and with just a few tweaks, he could be describing the Great Recession and Republicans of today.

    What is the French aphorism? “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” or (literally) “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”

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