Gearing up for Fact Checking

My book about Blackwell’s Island is the most fact-heavy book I’ve ever written, and I feel completely intimidated by the fact checking job in front of me. I’ve learned over the years that no matter how careful you are, mistakes abound, and you have to check every single last fact, every word of a quote, every thing you assert. It’s a big job. Oh Jesus, I’m freaking out just thinking about it. Excuse me while I faint, be right back …

It’s important to get it right. Even though plenty of people (historians) are aware of Blackwell’s Island and what went on there, this is still largely an untold story, and even for historians, the stories I’ve uncovered and have chosen to tell are new. I also did the math, which I will triple check, and discovered some surprising and new crime stats. I want to check all those figures again, because I think some people are going to question them.

A dog walker and his charges on 14th Street.

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 →

2 thoughts on “Gearing up for Fact Checking

  1. Sorry fact checking is sending you into a tizzy, but I am sure you will do a great job!

    There IS something about dog walkers, isn’t there? I think for me it is because you have to be basic and honest with dogs. You can’t fool them with false flattery.

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