6 comments add yours

  1. I enjoyed Linda Gordon’s book on the KKK a lot. Her earlier book The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction is amazing as well. It tells the story of Irish orphans being given for adoption by Catholic nuns to Latino parents. When vigilantes kidnapped the children, the Supreme Court sustained the right of the kidnappers to remove white children from non-white parents.


    As a former ward of the New York Foundling Home, the same orphanage the children were from, this story was of particular interest to me, but everyone could learn something by reading it.

  2. Let us know how the Josephine Shaw Lowell book is. She was the the first real woman to be memorialized in New York City. Previously only allegorical women had appeared on monuments. Her fountain at Bryant Park is beautiful, but it would be nice if more people knew who it was named after. The fact that she mobilized the buying power of middle-class women to help secure the labor rights of immigrant workers marks her as a pioneer.

    • Will do. I am hoping it will help me to better understand Shaw’s home life and the broader community in which he was raised.

  3. There is a lot of misperception around Shaw. Most folks with a casual knowledge of Shaw think of him as a Bostonian. He lived a big part of his life on Staten Island and Europe. His family was Unitarian at a time when that sect was fairly new to New York and his uncle was a Catholic priest and Shaw attended what is now the Jesuit school Fordham Prep. I wonder what the Staten Island part of his life was like.

    Also, his parents seemed willing to sacrifice their son for the greater good. What kinds of pressure did they put on him?

    • All good points. Certainly his time at Harvard had an impact on his character and world view, but he was in Europe for much of the debate about slavery and abolitionism during the 1850s. His religious background is also critical as you point out.

      I am definitely going to want to explore his New York world. Should give us an opportunity to re-connect as well.

Now that you've read the post, share your thoughts.