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Gabriel Furman's Brooklyn
 

Gabriel Furman's Brooklyn

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Created by Julie Golia for the SAFA Summer Fellowship

Created by Julie Golia for the SAFA Summer Fellowship

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  • What Brooklyns of the past have you learned about in SAFA?Brooklyn as boro vs. town or cityKings County vs. Brooklyn2010 population 2,504,700 (a little over 30% of NYC’s pop)1810, when GF was 10  4,402 (vs. NYC at the time which was almost 100K!) Today describe it: urban, crowded, etc. Describe it back then …
  • Remember these were separate towns and remained so until 1880s and 1890s.
  • Key – THIS is Gabriel Furman’s Brooklyn – but he also goes to visit farming areas, more rural areas. The Kings County he lives in is a mixed places – parts are vibrant urban centers, other parts are sleepy, barely populated agricultural hamlets.
  • Long history back to 1642, but very spotty – rowboats or sailboats, at the whim of the weather, couldn’t carry a lot of people or stuff, and farming foodstuffs often took precedent over people. Things changed in 1814 …
  • Furman’s Father William  as early as 1795 started ferry system from Main Street (Fulton Street) to Catharine Slip in Manhattan (but not a steam ferry). What a steam ferry did  regularized time; greater space; greater reliability. Made it possible for people in Brooklyn to regularly get back and forth to Manhattan in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Became a city by 1834. By the 1830s and 1840s, a bustling suburban center. Predominantly wealthy residents  merchants, lawyers, politicians, etc. 1810: 4,402 pop1850: 96,838 (7th largest city in country)1860: 266,661
  • While Brooklyn Heights was becoming a booming suburb, the commercial-industrial waterfront was growing as well. Diversifying economy  not just agriculture. Storage; relationship with New York
  • IMMIGRATION: Irish and German worked ports; undercut wages; industrial violenceBy middle of the century about ½ Brooklyn’s population was foreign born Increasing division between Brooklyn’s wealthy and poor
  • Brooklyn institutions – creating urban culture separate from that of New York. Furman’s role …

Gabriel Furman's Brooklyn Gabriel Furman's Brooklyn Presentation Transcript

  • Exploring Gabriel Furman’sBrooklynSAFA Summer Fellowship 2013
  • Google map screenshot, taken July 22, 2012; Bernard Ratzer, Plan of the City of New York in North America, circa 1770; Map Collection, NYC-[1770].Fl.F.RA; Brooklyn Historical SocietyWhat is Brooklyn today? What was Brooklyn in the past?
  • Brooklyn Eagle Historic Series, 1946; reprinted from Flatbush, A Neighborhood Guide, Brooklyn Historical Society, 2008.Brooklyn … back then• Dutch origins• Just 1 of 6 small agricultural towns incolonial Kings County• Parts of the growing town of Brooklynbecame a village in 1816•Brooklyn became its own city in 1834•Consolidated with other parts of KingsCounty over the 19th century•Consolidated with Greater NYC in1898, becoming 1 of 5 boroughs
  • Brooklyn Eagle Historic Series, 1946; reprinted from Flatbush, A Neighborhood Guide, Brooklyn Historical Society, 2008.Gabriel Furman and Brooklyn• born in 1800 on Fulton Street – Brooklynonly small town of a few thousand people• Dad was an influential politician & judge• Prolifichistorian, writer, lawyer, politician• Helped establish municipalservices, institutions, schools• Declined as public figure in 1840s - mayhave been addicted to opium!• Died 1854 – Brooklyn had over 100,000residents and was on its way to being 3rdlargest city in country
  • Early Brooklyn farm, circa 1880, V1972.1.824; Early Brooklyn and Long Island photograph collection, ARC.201; Brooklyn Historical Society.Brooklyn’s origins: farming and agriculture
  • Slave bill of sale, Gilleyam Cornel and Jan Lefferts, May 21, 1751; Lefferts family papers, ARC.145, box 3, folder 9; Brooklyn Historical Society.Brooklyn’s reliance on slavery until 1827 emancipation
  • John William Hill, View of the Lower Aqueduct on the Erie Canal, New York, circa 1829-1830; 1974.47; New-York Historical Society.Erie Canal opens 1825, and Brooklyn farmers adapt
  • Man plowing field, 1888, V1974.7.10; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.In parts of Kings County like Flatbush, Flatlands, and NewUtrecht, farming persists until the 1910s and 1920s
  • Bernard Ratzer, Plan of the City of New York in North America, circa 1770; Map Collection, NYC-[1770].Fl.F.RA; Brooklyn Historical Society…But even as farms persist deep in Kings County, other areascloser to New York City begin to grow and develop.
  • Bernard Ratzer, Plan of the City of New York in North America, circa 1770; Map Collection, NYC-[1770].Fl.F.RA; Brooklyn Historical Society“Brookland Ferry”
  • G. Parker, Engraving of Robert Fulton, circa 1820; M1992.398.1; Brooklyn Historical Society.1814: Robert Fultonestablished the first steamferry line between Fulton Ferryin Brooklyn and Wall Street inNew York
  • John Chester Buttre, Engraving, Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont, 1860; M1975.176.1; Brooklyn Historical SocietyHezekiah Beers Pierrepontwas an early investor in thesteam ferry. He was alsoone of the first major realestate investors inBrooklyn’s history.
  • Hezekiah B. Pierrepont House; V1973.6.233; Brooklyn Historical Society.
  • Map of H.B. Pierreponts property and part of the adjoining land, in the village of Brooklyn, county of Kings and state of New York. Wm. C.Pierrepont. 1825. Pierrepont-1825.Fl. Brooklyn Historical Society Map Collection.
  • Montague Street Hill in 1850; Brooklyn Eagle Postcard, Series 49, No. 290; V1973.4.955; Brooklyn Historical Society.
  • John William Hill, Lithograph, Brooklyn, Long Island, 1853; M1975.1155.1; Brooklyn Historical Society.Brooklyn’s Commercial Waterfront
  • Pierrepont Stores, circa 1890; V1973.5.854; Brooklyn Historical Society.
  • Brooklyn Brush Manufacturing Company articles of incorporation; 1978.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.Brooklyn’s free black communityexpanded as well.Faced with increasing racism –even after the 1827 emancipationlaw – many African Americansfocused on building self-sufficientblack institutions, businesses, andcommunities.Black Brooklynites were alsoamong the first and mostinfluential abolitionists – fightingfor the an end to slavery acrossthe country.
  • John B. Johnson and Edward Hall, Design for front elevation of Brooklyn City Hall, M1975.48.2; Brooklyn Historical Society.The growth of Brooklyn institutions: municipalorganizations, schools, theaters, libraries, and more.
  • Engraving, Long Island Historical Society, 1884; V1973.2.232; Brooklyn Historical Society.1845: Packer Institute1861: Brooklyn Academy of Music1863: Long Island HistoricalSociety (today BHS!)Gabriel Furman himself helpedspark Brooklynites’ interest incollecting and chronicling theirown history.
  • Brooklyn at Furman’s death…• Still only one of many very different townsin Kings County•7th largest city in country … soon to be the3rd largest• Bustling urban and residential center• Growing economy• Increasingly diverse – and unequal –population